Nintendo 3DS

Harvest Moon: Skytree Village Feels Like A Fresh Start




I love farming simulations. I’ve devoured every classic Harvest Moon game, warmly accepted the transition of those titles to the Story of Seasons line, adore Stardew Valley, and have given Natsume’s original Harvest Moon entries a good chance. With respect to the more recent, new-Harvest Moon games, each entry has felt like a work in progress. It’s like Natsume’s trying to find its way and get a hold on something that works. From what I saw of Harvest Moon: Skytree Village at E3 2016, I genuinely feel like this could be the entry where Natsume gets it right.


The E3 demo for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village did a bit of throwing you into the action. While you could customize and create a character for yourself, deciding on a gender, birthday, and such, you were thrown into an already established farm. You had a home. Crops like strawberries and cabbages were already ready to be harvested. I could go ahead and plant things like celery and tulips in their place. Context sensitive controls returned, and it was possible to roam around this new and customizable world.


Yes, customizable. Harvest Moon: Skytree Village has the same terrain altering abilities as Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. This can result in different elevations, for varying farm layouts. Which, in turn, can lead to different crop mutations based on height and placement. It also will alter water features’ ecology. Creating varying sizes of rivers, ponds, and lakes will result in different fish being in them. A 2×2 space will have fewer and different fish than a 10×10 one. Larger lakes will have rarer fish. You get more options based on the environment.


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Harvest Moon: Skytree Village adds an entirely new animal. It’s a Poitou donkey, a French donkey that looks as though it has dreadlocks. People will be able to cut off its fur, like they would a sheep, and use the resulting materials for clothing or as a profit product. These sorts of special touches add a little extra ambiance to the game. Since this is an animal from France, we could imagine this is a farm outside of a small European town.


Because Harvest Moon: Skytree Village does bring back towns. An evolving town, even. As the player’s farm grows and the seven Skytrees are revived, it grows as well. More people come to live and visit. Though, there will only be six romance options in the game, with three bachelors and three bachelorettes. Although, Gareth the wizard and Tabitha the witch aren’t marriage candidates this time. But, the people you can romance will have various events and dates.


But, most importantly, Harvest Moon: Skytree Village looked better than both Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley and Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories combined. People have more elongated and realistic character models. The in-progress build of the town showed varied building types and different terrain levels. It looks like something that’s had more development time and has grown from more humble roots.


While Natsume’s original Harvest Moon entries may have taken a bit of time to find themselves, Harvest Moon: Skytree Village was impressive at E3 2016. The demo showed off new elements unique to this entry, which all seem like they’ll make the game better. It seemed more solid, even at this early state, than the other two entries.


Harvest Moon: Skytree Village is in development for the Nintendo 3DS.

Jenni Lada
About The Author
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.