In terms of Story of Seasons games for the Switch and PC, first we received Light of Hope, a seemingly rushed game that was not met with great opinions; then, it was Doraemon Story of Seasons, a game with beautiful watercolour landscapes and nice gameplay, which may feel quite intimidating if you don’t like or even know Doraemon. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, nonetheless, is the first true-to-the-franchise game for the Nintendo Switch.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a remake of the original Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, which also mixes some of the features of its second version, Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town. Everything available from the first games is available here, too, so we have the same basic story and gameplay with updated graphics and some nice additions. We will talk about some of these improvements in the review, but if you enjoyed the original games then you can expect the same heart-warming feeling plus some quality of life changes!
Friends of Mineral Town looks great on the Switch with updated graphics which remain true to its roots. It has a great use of colour, updated menus (which take some getting used to) and updated character designs which, all together, make the game feel somewhat new.
The camera cannot be fully controlled, and we have specific areas instead of an open world gameplay experience. The cute style of graphics, mixed with the gameplay, bring a true Story of Seasons experience.
The soundtrack for the game is quite relaxing and laid back. Each season brings with it a new seasonal tune. The game also has some nice sound effects when you engage in certain farming activities.
When going through dialogue, the “beeping” that comes with each sentence can grate on you a little, but it just adds to the cute charm of the game at first.
You inherit a farm from your grandpa, and so you move to Mineral Town. When Thomas the Mayor tells you about this place, you have two options: accepting your new life as a farmer or just saying ‘no’… only to watch the credits roll.
Your objective is to become a successful farmer, growing different crops to sell, raising animals to sell their products, fishing, foraging, mining to find valuable minerals, and participating in different events to make your farm even more popular with the townspeople. You can also try and impress your favourite Bachelor and Bachelorettes and start a family.
One of the cool features of this new version is that you can play as either a boy or a girl with 2 different character designs available for every sex. The other addition is that you can romance all single men and women in town, marrying your favourite character regardless of your gender. This feature is a more than welcome addition to the series; in 2020 it is about time that you can marry the same gender as you. However, this is unique to the western version of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town.
For a more casual, relaxed experience, you can also play the easy mode, which gives you more money and makes it easier to befriend all characters (which leads to more events, recipes, etc). Personally, I opted for the easy mode and found it a much more relaxed experience overall, which is exactly why I play these games: to relax.
Instead of the starting puppy, you can have up to 5 pets once you buy them, with several dogs, cats, penguins, and capybara to chose from. You do have to wait till your first Summer to unlock this option, but it’s worth it!
There are 4 different cows now: the classic black and white one gives you regular milk, the pink one gives you strawberry milk, the brown one gives you coffee milk, and the orange one gives you fruit milk. Angora rabbits and alpaca are also available, as well as chickens and your pet horse.
The biggest selling point for this game is the nostalgic feeling it gives you. If you enjoy farming and a relaxing game you can pick up and put down when you feel like it, this game is for you.
This is not the best Story of Seasons game to be released, but it does bring a lot of Quality of Life changes that we did not know we needed. All your seeds are planted in a 3×3 square automatically, and you can run all over them without damaging any.
You can change your clothes, wear costumes, be a gay farmer and play with your animals!
Whilst the “story” can be short, depending on how you go about your daily farming, the possibilities are endless! In my first playthrough, I married Clay and settled down. Now, I am starting a new game and aiming for Jennifer!
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a great remake, breathing new life back into the classic game. Whilst it can seem repetitive at times and the sounds can get a little boring after a while, it certainly makes up for it with its stunning visuals and laid-back gameplay! It is exactly what you’d expect from a Story of Seasons title.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is available now on Nintendo Switch.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town was provided to Gamezo by Marvelous Games to review; all opinions are our own.