Jumping right into Puzzle de Harvest Moon without any training was a bad idea. See, Puzzle de Harvest Moon it isn’t a clone of Bejewled or Tetris with falling sheep; it is its own thing. Since it is fresh, there is a learning curve and a helpful tutorial will be in the final game to teach you the ropes. The tutorial was absent from the E3 build, but a helpful member of the Natsume team came by to teach me how to play. Here is how you can grow crops with the Nintendo DS.
The goal of the game is to grow and pick crops with the touch screen on a shared field with four players. On the right hand side of the screen is a menu with icons. The first thing you want to do is grab seeds and plant them into the shared soil. Once you plant the seeds you need to cultivate them into crops by adding fertilizer and pouring water on them. Helpful icons like a drop of water over your crops indicate what you need to do next to take care of them. When a strawberry appears you can scratch it on the touch screen to harvest it and gain points. While you’re busy growing turnips the other three computer controlled players are working hard on the field too. Remember how I said the field was shared? They AI will try to take over land for their crops and steal your freshly grown green beans. You can retaliate by scratching their crops to steal them, but you earn more points when you harvest your own crops.
Animals are in Puzzle de Harvest Moon too and they randomly appear on the right hand menu. If you click on the chicken it will gobble up an opponent’s seeds. Pick the dog and it acts a guard for a two by two square of your crops. Other animals in Puzzle de Harvest Moon include a cow, sheep and a horse. Sorry the monkey from Harvest Moon Wii didn’t make it in Puzzle de Harvest Moon.
After a brief play session, I like how Puzzle de Harvest Moon is original and sticks to the series concept of growing crops. I imagine it will be a fun game to play with three other people, sort of like the Puzzle Fighter series but with more animals.