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Harvest Moon: Mad Dash (Switch) Preview

by Donald Theriault - June 13, 2019, 4:11 pm PDT
Total comments: 2

It's Harvest Moon if you played it at Ludicrous Speed.

The Harvest Moon series went through a bit of an identity crisis a few years ago when the Bokujou no Monogotari games went in-house and became known as Story of Seasons. At E3, Natsume identified the new step for Harvest Moon, which essentially involves playing it at the speed of sound. Harvest Moon: Mad Dash isn't the SNES game I rented in junior high, but it is something that isn't normally said about farming games: It's exhilarating.

Mad Dash involves up to four farmers as they try to appease the farming spirits as fast as humanly possible. Overcooked is specifically cited as an influence, as the objective is to rearrange colored crops on the field as quickly as possible to fulfill orders from the spirits. By picking up and planting the crops next to each other, the amount of the crop sent to the spirits increases along with the score. Time limits ran from 90 seconds to two and a half minutes in our demo, with more stars being awarded for higher scores. It can take a few seconds for the crops to fully become ready for harvest, but clearing enough requests (eight tomatoes, ten eggplants, etc) to fill a super meter stops the clock and makes plants instantly harvest, along with the mission changing to harvest whatever you can without restriction.

Winning would be easy, but for the presence of other obstacles. The demo introduced wild boars early on, who stampede across the screen and destroy crops while stunning any farmer foolish enough to get in the way. Although not present in the demo, we were advised that the boars will leave "fertilizer" behind in the shipping game that will let plants sprout instantly. The board also can be blocked off by rocks, which on one map divided the screen into quadrants. Thankfully, the boars are capable of destroying those too, but it was possible to be cut off from the other farmer for most of the stage. And although the first stage had a single boar running vertically, there had to be seven or eight running in the rock stage so it came down to a prayer to RNGesus as to what they wiped out.

We saw a glimpse of just a single set of eight stages in the demo, but it's easy to imagine the themes for multiple worlds in the game's story mode. The demo was two players, and our guide at Natsume essentially said "If Overcooked causes divorces, Mad Dash saves marriages". This isn't the first time speed has been a priority for a Harvest Moon game; see 2009's Frantic Farming reviewed by Lauren, but making it multiplayer was a grand idea.

Harvest Moon: Mad Dash will launch this fall for US$29.99.

Talkback

StratosJune 14, 2019

**Obligatory post about how the REAL Harvest Moon is Story of Seasons now**

**Obligatory second post about how no one cares about either series because Stardew Valley is king of the farming genre**

iendslJune 17, 2019

I got a chance to play this at E3 and it was really fun! I noticed there was a like counter or currency going up during play that looked persistent. I hope that means there will be some narrative / farming sim stuff you're working on outside of the puzzles.

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Game Profile

Genre Party/Parlor
Developer Natsume
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Harvest Moon: Mad Dash
Release Q4 2019
PublisherNatsume
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