A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There are several events where characters model positive behaviors, such as learning to listen and relate to each other. In addition, many of the relationships modeled are between parents and children or between siblings, and though the characters themselves may sometimes be non-human, it's rare for a game to explore how to solve familial problems in such depth.
Positive Role Models
Many characters, such as Lumis, Sally, and Granny Smith teach Nobita (the player character) how to be a better friend and community member. Though he always means well, Noby is a child, and sometimes he makes mistakes that make him seem rude or inconsiderate. Luckily, almost every character treats interactions as an opportunity to learn and grow.
This title stands out for its positive depictions of gender roles. A few storylines, specifically the storyline between Stacy - the town doctor - and Aiden - her live-in employee - show that relationships can be complicated by expectations of what men and women should do. Stacy and Aiden struggle to overcome these expectations and contribute equally to Dr. Stacy's practice, all while modeling that even successful people can still have trouble finding balance in their work and home lives. In addition to the Stacy and Aiden storyline, everyone in town looks up to Granny Smith, an elder woman, as the town's unofficial matriarch for her sage advice and welcoming attitude. Lastly, several women own and operate their own businesses without the presence of a man in the household.
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Ease of Play
There are extended tutorials for nearly every feature, as well as the opportunity to revisit them if the player chooses. There's also the option to skip any event or tutorial should the player choose, meaning the game doesn't feel cumbersome for experienced players. All of the controls are intuitive and should be fairly easy for anyone to learn how to play.
Violence & Scariness
There are some instances where characters express negative reactions to others' actions. There's also one instance of a physical fight between two characters. Most of these instances are revisited and solved through communication, patience, and acceptance.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are a few romantic relationships depicted in-game. Kai and Malie are a married couple struggling with Malie's long-term illness, and Stacy and Aiden express mutual romantic feelings for one another. There's no suggestive or sexual content in-game.
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There's the occasional use of mild language, including the word "crap."
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Products & Purchases
Some features require a Nintendo Online subscription to access. There is also additional downloadable content available for purchase. Players are not able to make these purchases without entering a Nintendo E-shop password, so they will need their parents' permission. Characters and features are based on a popular farming sim franchise and manga franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are some references to alcohol in the dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is a downloadable farming simulation game available for Playstation 5, Windows, and the Nintendo Switch. Blending together the classic Story of Seasons game formula with a cast of popular manga characters, this title brings brand-new storylines to this farming simulation franchise. With a focus on developing familial and platonic relationships instead of romance, Friends of the Great Kingdom provides multiple storylines driven by character development. Villagers learn how to understand each other, meet each other's needs, and respect each other's boundaries in healthy, relatable ways. As for inappropriate content, players can expect mild language (such as the word "crap") and references to alcohol.
Is It Any Good?
The success of this simulation game lies in its storytelling. Though many of the farming, mining, and animal husbandry mechanics match past Story of Seasons games completely, Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom feels completely new. The basic goal is the same -- build up the town and relationships with townsfolk -- but the addition of detailed side storylines with all of the townsfolk really helps players feel more deeply invested in the stakes. Every storyline is realistic and fleshed out in a way that instantly makes tasks feel less like mindless chores and more like meaningful goals. Disagreements and ongoing problems persist throughout the entire game instead of being solved in one or two cutscenes. Disconnects can get worse before they get better, even if it takes characters a long time to get there. As a result, the resolution of issues feels earned instead of rushed.
Aside from the storytelling, there's a greater emphasis on teamwork than in past Story of Seasons games. One popular gripe with the franchise is that chores can take up the majority of the in-game days. In Friends of the Great Kingdom, players have the choice of asking their friends to help water crops, mine, fish, or tend to the animals. While getting the other character to follow Noby as intended has some hiccups, this is a major quality-of-life update that really helps players conserve stamina and increase the payoff of their work. Players can also invite others to help on the farm via Nintendo Online, which has the same effect and allows family members to play together. Overall, Friends of the Great Kingdom harnesses all the strengths of the Story of Seasons franchise while improving upon the storytelling and relationship mechanics. The result is that it's one of the best, if not the best, addition to the Story of Seasons franchise that the series has seen in quite a while.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.