The cult farming sim heads to Wii with waggle to spare.
Farming fanatics rejoice, Harvest Moon, the most popular farming sim in the world, is finally going to lay down its roots in America this Fall exclusively on Wii. Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace came out in Japan earlier this summer with what promises to be the biggest and most interactive farming adventure in the series yet. Developed by Marvelous Interactive, Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace will treat players to a new motion-based take on the traditional gameplay of tending and selling crops to decorate your house and impress the opposite sex. As if that tantalizing prospect weren’t enough, an all-new multiplayer mini-game bonanza has been added to the mix making for one robust package.
Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace will follow the familiar design of previous Harvest Moon games, having players choose to play as a boy or girl and then being deposited on an island where they are given a plot of land to farm and a town full of villagers to interact with. Players will dutifully tend to their crops during the morning hours and in the virtual afternoons head to town to make friends, pick up a part-time job to raise extra seed money, and flirt with the local hotties. The balance between work and play will be at the core of Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace. If you get over-zealous about building your farm and working all day long, your character will run out of energy and become ineffective. He or she can even become sick if worked too hard, costing players several precious days of recovery time. To really get the most out of Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace you’ll have to spend just as much time building relationships in town as you do hoeing. After all, what good is a sprawling mega-farm if you don’t have a family and friends to populate it with?
Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace will also hope to innovate on the traditional formula with motion controls for all of the farming work waiting to be done. The Wii Remote will be used in a wide array of activities including digging holes, brushing animals, patting down the ground in your garden, and fishing. For players less enthusiastic about actually having to do work to play a game about farming, the developers have included button substitutes for the motion control. If you’re really after an old school experience, Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace will also be fully compatible with the Wii Classic controller.
Another new addition to Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace is a motion-based multiplayer mode offering support for up to 4 players. Mini-games will be progressively unlocked as players advance in the single player part of the game and will include a fair amount of variety with games like simple target practice, insect collecting, and horse racing. Waggle curmudgeons, however, need not apply as the multiplayer portion of the game can only be played with the Wii Remote.
Other additions to the game include new kinds of animals and plants to raise. At long last Harvest Moon fans will be able to raise penguins and pandas side by side. The new island also promises to be one of the biggest playable environments to grace the Harvest Moon series to-date, filled with secret nooks and lots of fertile ground to be explored, shoveled, and tilled.
Harvest Moon: Tree Of Peace is scheduled to ship in the US this November, with a tentative release date in Europe coming in the Summer of 2008.