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Harvest Moon (牧場物語, Bokujō Monogatari, lit. "The Farm Story") is a series of farm-life simulation with RPG basis. The series was started on the SNES with the first title named "Harvest Moon". It was produced in 1996 by Pack-In-Video. The company then went on to be known as Victor Interactive Software, and finaly what we know it as today: Marvelous Entertainment Inc. The series has spread over many Nintendo consoles since then, and eventually spreading to the Playstation consoles.
The series has been localized by Natsume for English releases in North America while Rising Star Games handles the European release of the game. Most of Harvest Moon games have made their way outside Japan, with the exception of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature For Girls for PlayStation, and Let's All Harvest Moon for PC.
Most of Harvest Moon gameplay deals with farming life, which consists of crop growing. taking care animals, collecting items and selling them for profits. Other than that, the player is encouraged to take part in local festivals, socialize with nearby villagers and get along with them by daily conversation and giving gifts.
Additionally, player can also have romantic relationship and court one of the eligible bachelors or bachelorettes and later get married after s/he fulfill certain requirements. Other things such as mining, cooking and fishing are also available as other activities aside from farming.
The series was originally aimed to appeal only male audiences, by having only male main character as playable option. However, female players also take interest in the series and Marvelous eventually released Harvest Moon 3 for Game Boy Colors, which offered the option to play as male or female for the first time. Since that time, Harvest Moon games were usually made into two different versions: boy version and girl version.
However, the trend did not last long as Marvelous eventually combined the option to play as male and female to a single game, starting from Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness that marked the 10th aniversary of the series and the new generation of Harvest Moon.
The success of Harvest Moon series also encouraged the development of Rune Factory series, Innocent Life series, and some Harvest Moon spin - off games. Two of the spin-off games are puzzle games which were developed independently by Natsume without any affilliation to the Japanese developer, Marvelous Entertainment Inc. Marvelous also released two spin-off farming simulation games. One was made for PC entitled みんなで牧場物語, Minna de Bokumono, lit. "Let's All Harvest Moon" and Harvest Moon Pocket Ranch for i-devices; e.g. as iPod, iPad, iPhone and currently is still in beta version.
Harvest Moon - Spin Off
- Puzzle De Harvest Moon (NDS)
- Harvest Moon Online (PC)
- Harvest Moon: My Little Shop (Wiiware)
Rune Factory series
Innocent Life series
Harvest Moon (developed by Natsume)
- Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley
- Harvest Moon: Skytree Village
- Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories
- Harvest Moon: Light of Hope