Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

Cute role-playing adventure with farming at its core.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game abounds with positive messages; from taking responsibility in cultivating crops and caring for animals, to assisting the overall community, there's plenty to appreciate.

Positive role models

Characters are rewarded for sharing, helping, perseverance, and dedication. As a journeyman rancher, your ultimate goal is to save the town from a blight on their crops.

Ease of play

The controls and menus are easy to use and navigate. Most of the game is controlled without using motion-control aspects of the Wii, but rather the traditional directional pad and A and B button pressing.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Not an issue

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is a role-playing game that focuses on harvesting crops and raising animals. The game has a friendly, cute art style and takes place in a magical realm in which the player must aid the Harvest Goddess in saving the community from a crop blight. This is an open-ended, player-directed game with no real ending and a seemingly endless variety of tasks to perform, so players could spend enormous amounts of time in this virtual world. There's a local pub where characters can socialize, but otherwise the game contains friendly, cartoony and cute characters and situations.

What's it about?

HARVEST MOON: ANIMAL PARADE is the latest in the longstanding franchise of farm simulation games set in a magical land. Here, players begin with either a boy or girl farmer with a small farm plot by the seaside near Harmonica Town. With the help of Finn, your harvest sprite - a helper fairy - you'll gradually build up your ranch with crops and animals, sell your wares and develop relationships with the townspeople. The community is also in need of your help in assisting the Harvest Godess, a diety who ensures healthy crops. This is acheived through tasks that lead to ringing five elemental bells. The game takes an open-ended approach, allowing players to pursue their own interests from a huge assortment of choices; your character can catch and raise wild animals, raise (and race) livestock, cultivate relationships and get married, raise a family, cook, go fishing, mine ore, shop in the village, etc. Play itself involves methodical tasks such as watering, hoeing, and harvesting crops, grooming animals and collecting mushrooms. These activities are all recorded and measured, each having distinct values that can earn your character experience points and money.

Is it any good?


This is a remarkably satisfying and deep game. Despite simple graphics and a slow pace, players are given so many options and activities, there's plenty to keep players engaged in for many, many hours. And the game maintains a friendly, playful and good-hearted tone throughout. You don't, for instance, kill your livestock, but use them for wool, milk, and eggs. Moreover, players can scratch an entrepreurial itch and make a big profits, or build human relationships and a family. Or, they can simply explore and try all manner of activities. In short, there's plenty of rewarding play to be had.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the challenges their character faces managing a ranch. Keeping animals groomed, fed, and happy and tending crops can take up lots of time. Was it ever overwhelming or too repetitive? Did you find that you played this game for long periods of time? Did you need help setting time limits?

  • Each player can pursue different pastimes. Did you prefer catching and raising wild animals, building up your social life, or making your farm and lucrative and successful as possible?

  • Seasons play a big part of this game, with special festivals in the town at different times of year. What were your favorites? Do favorite seasons in the game correspond to favorites in real life?

  • You can make profits in numerous ways, from selling eggs, milk and butter to fishing, mining and, of course, peddling your harvest. What was your favorites?

  • This world is suprisingly free of technology. You have no phones, cars or computers. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages to a world without these conveniences?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 10, 2009
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:E for Alcohol Reference (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Harvest Moon: Animal Parade was written by

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old June 22, 2015
age 9+

Great Game If You're Patient Enough

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade (to me, the best game in the series) is a game that has three story lines. Story line 1 (the main story line): The Harvest Tree is dying and you have to save it by getting all the Harvest Sprites to ring their bells. Story line 2: You can get married to one of the bachelors or bachelorettes and have up to two children. Story line 3: You can grow crops and have pets and farm animals, all of which you can name (except for the crops). In Harvest Moon: Animal Parade it takes a long time for stuff to get done but if you're really invested (like I am) and have patience, then you can really have fun! I got married to a bachelor and had two kids. That takes some real patience. The only edgy stuff in Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is that when the bar re-opens you can get cocktails (yam cocktail, blueberry cocktail, etc) and your animals can and will eventually die. Other than that, it's a completely age-apropriate game and it's my personal favorite video game ever. Not to mention that there's some great role models in the game (in my opinion).
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent Written bymyab November 14, 2011
age 8+

Great Game, No Questionable Content, Months and Months of Fun

We bought this for our daughter after much reviewing on various websites, and we haven't regretted it. She loves the game, which teaches her patience, allows her to grow food and raise animals, and also allows her to enter her plants and animals in the in-game festivals. This game does also allow the player to "woo" and marry NPCs (computer characters) and have and raise children. There is an excellent work/reward system woven in, letting the player expand their homes, earn prizes and money, and have a happy family. Mature 8 year olds should be able to handle the need for patience and follow the directions to accomplish their goals.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old October 8, 2011
age 7+

best game ever!

I absolutely love this game! it is soo addicting! im a tween, and i still love it, even though its aimed at slightly younger kids!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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