Farmville 0.1, before the days of social media, and before the days of wide spread internet availability there were very few options for those of us looking for a farming simulator game.
Harvest Moon came along and changed all that, and playing it again now it’s easy to see where a number of the Facebook “ville” style games take inspiration from however unlike it’s Facebook relative Harvest Moon does not rely on your continual harassment of your friends list in order to progress, if you want to plants some seeds you go to the seed shop, but them and then stick em’ in the ground, which to me seems like a much simpler process then sending six people you haven’t seen or spoken to since high school a random note asking to come over and plough your field.
Now, I’m not going to lie, the gameplay in Harvest Moon can become rather repetitive rather quickly, but it never feels forced, there is no checking back every few hours etc. The game offers genuine progression and rewards hard work and clever farming (did I just seriously write that!?)
It’s interesting to see an early example of “learn, rinse, repeat” style of Japanese simulation games that are currently gaining popularity via the good folks at Kariosoft and their “Story” series for iPhone/Android and it’s this balanced mix of slightly repetitive gameplay that becomes more addictive then crack cocaine as you grow and develop not only a successful, busy farm but relationships with the towns folk and a strange attachment to your cow shed that sneaks Harvest Moon in to this list.