When Natsume announced they’d be showcasing a new Harvest Moon game at E3, virtual farmers everywhere rejoiced. Especially when Hiro Maekawa, President, and CEO of Natsume, stated fans will be surprised with the new take on the series, which allows players to enjoy the classic features in new and exciting ways. Many, including myself, were left wondering what that could possibly mean until June 11, 2019. The demo didn’t hit expectations however, perhaps change is better than I could ever imagine.
Harvest Moon: Mad Dash has beloved characters, animals, fishing, and crops as one comes to expect from this franchise. The biggest difference is the frantic atmosphere of this typically casual game. It’s almost a combination of Bejeweled and Tetris in that, one must collect crops and merge them to create bigger crops. This can also be done via milking cows, fishing, and avoiding obstacles. There is a bit of a storyline as one progresses through the levels, especially when a level is cleared with three stars.
This game is colorful, chaotic, and not the first puzzle type game in the series. Fans will remember several games including Frantic Farming and Puzzle de Harvest Moon. Rune Factory and Innocent Life are also spin-offs of Harvest Moon and we still love those deeply. Before deciding that the graphics aren’t nostalgic enough or the idea is weak, just remember it’s still virtual farming. To be honest, it looks whacky and could be a lot of fun.
At first, I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed, I was hoping for the main storyline however, two little words got me slightly more excited. “Couch co-op”. That’s right, one can whomp on their friends, up to four players, in a game based on our favorite series. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sick of online gameplay and this is just refreshing. Overall, maybe this wasn’t the game we were hoping for but it’s the game we needed.
Harvest Moon: Mad Dash will be available this fall on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.