Harvest Moon is celebrating its 20th anniversary by making its home on systems new to the series.
Twenty years ago Natsume Inc. changed the world of gaming by introducing an unexpected new genre- farming. The original Harvest Moon released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the United States in 1997, and has captivated the hearts of millions since on the Nintendo 64, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, DS, 3DS, Wii, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PSP. Two Harvest Moon games hit mobile both this year and last, but the much loved series is taking a step in a long awaited direction onto Steam.
“In Harvest Moon: Light of Hope, players begin the game as they set out looking for a fresh start and new surroundings. During their voyage, their ship is hit by a monsoon and goes down. As they drift into a small harbor town, now in a shambles from the storm, it will be up to the player to help rebuild the town and save the lighthouse…but it won’t be easy! Nevertheless, with some hard work growing crops, tending livestock, and gathering materials for repairs, players will be able to make new friends, start a family, revive the lighthouse, and save the town!”
Harvest Moon and adorable cows are synonymously intertwined in the hearts and minds of fans everywhere.
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope was originally going to release in early 2018 alongside two other major platforms, the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Production on the PC version has been going so well and is so far ahead of schedule that Natsume has decided to release it early in order to honor the 20th anniversary.
“Due to the hard work of our team, development for Harvest Moon: Light of Hope for PC ran ahead of schedule, allowing us to release the game early to PC players,” said Hiro Maekawa, President & CEO of Natsume. “We have enjoyed creating an all-new game that honors 20 years of Harvest Moon, and what’s more, the franchise will finally be available for the first time on PC, something fans have long asked for!”
An early release makes Harvest Moon finally hitting PC all the sweeter, with only a $29.99 price to boot. As a 16+ year fan of the series myself, I recall many instances when I said, “Man, this game would be perfect for PC.” I am the type of person that loves to play relaxed games while listening to my favorite TV shows, and now as an adult it is nice to play something while my spouse uses the television. I personally believe that the astounding success of ConcernedApe and Chucklefish’s Stardew Valley had a lot to do with the fact that it was on Steam. It was easy to play anywhere, had a low price tag, and held the same charm as the Harvest Moon series. Now that it is on the Switch, it is seeing a sudden spike in both new and returning players, myself included. Releasing Light of Hope on the versatile PC and Switch, and the high selling PlayStation 4 is an extremely wise move on Natsume’s part.
We can expect to meet fun, quirky new characters in Light of Hope.
“Harvest Moon: Light of Hope includes new features such as repairing, which enables the player to repair destroyed homes and unlock new shops, characters, farming tools, and farming land. The Farming Friend is another new addition, which helps players grow abundant crops. The game also introduces a retro plus feel, with classic SNES inspired graphics alongside some modern features in honor of the 20th anniversary.”
The new title should appeal to lifelong fans and new players alike, and being available on 3 different platforms makes it easier for more people to discover the gem that is Harvest Moon. There is a reason it’s celebrating 20 years, after all.
The two console versions of the game will have both digital and physical releases, while the PC will only be available on Steam.
The release of Harvest Moon: Light of Hope on Steam will be on November 14, 2017 for $29.99. The Switch and PS4 editions will come in early 2018.