Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning

Common Sense Media says

Cute, open-ended farming series adds more customization.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players are rewarded for working hard, taking good care of their animals, and helping out their neighbors. The game encourages them to be caring and thoughtful by giving gifts that are suited to a character's particular tastes.

Positive role models

Some of the characters have mild cases of "attitude," but overall the townspeople are friendly, caring, optimistic, and hard-working.

Ease of play

There's a lot to keep track of in the game, and many repetitive tasks that can't be neglected -- like watering crops and cleaning out the barn. It's all explained through rather hefty tutorials, which can be re-read at any time by accessing the player's bookshelf.

Violence

Players can hit animals with farm tools, causing them to cry out and run away.

Sex

Characters can date and get married. There are references to kissing and love, but nothing graphic.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine can be purchased from the store and consumed to restore stamina. There is no drunkenness.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning is a relaxed and cute farming sim that's very child-friendly, provided kids are patient enough for the game's languid pacing, detail-oriented gameplay, and involved storyline. The game is full of friendly, hard-working role models. Farm animals can die of old age or disease, which some kids might find upsetting. Alcoholic beverages like wine can be consumed in the context of restoring stamina. (There is no drunkenness.)

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • money

Science

  • ecosystems

Social Studies

  • exploration
  • the economy
  • timelines

Hobbies

  • collecting
  • cooking
  • gardening

Skills

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • working efficiently

Emotional Development

  • empathy

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility
  • honoring the community

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This is a slow-paced yet incredibly deep game that yields rich rewards for players who are willing to invest the time. The game is polished and enjoyable whether or not players are familiar with the Harvest Moon series.

Learning Approach

By living another's life, kids learn how to set goals, develop friendships, be part of a community, and build a business. They can also learn about the economy and ecosystems as they run their farms.

Support

There's a lot to keep track of in the game, but it's all explained through hefty tutorials, which can be re-read at any time. The game encourages free exploration, but characters offer hints about what to do next to trigger in-game events.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • money

Science

  • ecosystems

Social Studies

  • exploration
  • the economy
  • timelines

Hobbies

  • collecting
  • cooking
  • gardening

Skills

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • working efficiently

Emotional Development

  • empathy

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility
  • honoring the community

Kids can learn to follow directions and work efficiently to get chores done. They earn badges for collecting, gardening, and cooking skills. Kids learn about the economy and fiscal responsibility by producing products to sell, which increases the town's prosperity. They also learn about ecosystems as the game cycles through four seasons with unique plants, animals, and weather. Kids build friendships and develop empathy by interacting with neighbors and taking care of livestock. By living another's life, kids learn how to set goals, develop friendships, be part of a community, and build a business in Harvest Moon: A New Beginning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's it about?

Like most games in the Harvest Moon series, HARVEST MOON: A NEW BEGINNING starts with the player moving to a new town to start a farm. Gameplay is open-ended and there's a lot to do, including growing crops, raising livestock, cooking, building, socializing with neighbors, and eventually dating and getting married. A New Beginning introduces the ability to customize your appearance (including gender and skin color), and rearrange the layout of the town by dragging and dropping buildings and scenery.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Like its predecessors, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is a slow-paced yet incredibly deep game that yields rich rewards for players who are willing to invest the time. Veterans of the Harvest Moon series will appreciate the ability to put their own personal stamp on the town and their character's appearance. Relationships are more sophisticated, too -- spouses prepare meals and even help out with chores on the farm. The game is a polished and an enjoyable starting point for people who are new to the series as well.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Harvest Moon compares to other farming sims. Is it a more, or less, realistic depiction of farm life?

  • What strategies did you use to court the boyfriend or girlfriend of your choice? Do you think these techniques work in real life?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Natsume
Release date:November 6, 2012
Genre:Simulation
Topics:Friendship, Horses and farm animals
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief, Use of Alcohol (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byScreennameGirl January 19, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Fun and Easy Game

This is a nice, easy to play game. It is possible to hit animals with tools, but not encouraged. You can also love and marry people. There is nothing graphic or inappropriate. This is an amazing game! You can take care of animals and raise crops. It is fun and super easy!
Kid, 12 years old August 30, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Good.

It has some learning because you learn how to take care of animals this way. You can also get married. Boys can marry: Felicity, Iroha, Yuri, Tina, Michelle or The Witch Princess. Girls can marry: Neil, Allen, Rod, Soseki, Sanjay and Amir. I'm currently married to Neil and expecting a child. Once you get married you build the child's bed and you trigger the pregnancy event. Eventually you give birth. The child goes through stages: Baby, Crawler, Child and Temporary Teenager. However, there are some sad parts. Breaking up. Your boyfriend/girlfriend may break up with you, and this triggers the breakup scene. Death. The farm animals you raise may die in the morning when you make up. Very sad music plays when this happened. In Harvest moon Grand bazzar, when this happened to my chicken, I CRIED. However, if you have a high bond with them or if you save before the death, it may survive the next morning. Stress. Animals can get stressed out if you hit them with tools, neglect them, or leave them out in snow storms, tycoons or rain. Once stress builds up you must give them medicine, or the death scene will trigger and they die. Pets (Cats, dogs horses) live forever I guess: They only get fat when stressed out.
What other families should know
Great messages
Easy to play/use
Too much violence

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide