Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning
By Erin Bell,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Cute, open-ended farming series adds more customization.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
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 & Scariness
Players can hit animals with farm tools, causing them to cry out and run away.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters can date and get married. There are references to kissing and love, but nothing graphic.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine can be purchased from the store and consumed to restore stamina. There is no drunkenness.
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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.)
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Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning
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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?
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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Platform: Nintendo 3DS
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading comprehension, Math: money, Science: ecosystems and the environment, 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
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Natsume
- Release date: November 6, 2012
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Friendship, Horses and Farm Animals
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: August 26, 2016
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