Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley

Common Sense Media says

Great farm sim with a few references to grown-up behavior.

Age(i)

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

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are a lot of positive messages in Hero of Leaf Valley, including ones about respect for nature, the importance of friendships, the rewards of hard work, and responsibility in the care of animals. There are some minor negative messages in the consumption of wine at the café (although the characters are adults) and in gambling at horse races.

Positive role models

There are many varied personalities in Leaf Valley, but almost all of its inhabitants are generally admirable people. They're all hard-working, genial folks with a strong respect for nature. Even the black-suited executives from Funland Corporation -- who plan to tear down the town and build an amusement park -- turn out to be pretty decent people in the long run.

Ease of play

Controls are simple, but there's an awful lot to do -- and to remember.  Keeping track of all the tasks that need to be done is the hardest part of the game.

Violence

Your hero farmer may collapse if you work him to the point of exhaustion, but that's the worst you'll see here.

Sex

You can woo any of the women in the game and potentially marry them as well (no babies here, though, as there were in some previous Harvest Moon games). Some of the women show a little bit of cleavage or wear midriff-revealing tops.

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

You can buy and drink wheat wine or nut wine at the local café, both of which will refill some of your stamina. There is no drunkenness, though, as there was in some previous Harvest Moon games.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley, unlike many recent titles in the series, does not offer the chance to play as a female protagonist. The male lead can woo and marry any of the women in the game -- including the supernatural Harvest Goddess. The game does contain gambling on horse races and the drinking of wine, but neither ever has to occur if the player chooses not to engage in those events. Parents should also be aware that the town in the game contains a church at which some game events may take place.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In HARVEST MOON: HERO OF LEAF VALLEY, a young farmer has just moved into town after inheriting a farm from his grandfather. Unfortunately, the Funland Corporation is prepared to raze the entire area and turn it into a theme park. The farmer -- and the new friends he makes in Leaf Valley -- have two years to find a way to stop the construction. There are numerous paths to victory -- raising $50,000 to buy back the land, getting Leaf Valley declared a nature preserve, finding ways to bring tourism to the area -- and along the way, the farmer will make friends, find a wife, and discover new things about himself.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In many ways, Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley feels like a revitalization of the series. With the exception of last year's Frantic Farming (which was technically a puzzle game), we've had a decade of extremely similar Harvest Moon titles. Although Hero of Leaf Valley bears resemblance to previous incarnations, it feels so much fresher. Instead of dumping your crops into one box, you take them around to sell yourself -- this adds more work, but also a welcome new business element. Farming is not the only way to make money, as you can now take on jobs around town (as a miner, cook, lumberjack, and more). It's also very nice to have a story with a definitive goal -- and multiple ways to get there. Having the corporate "villains" milling about town -- and available for you to marry! -- adds a depth of drama that previous iterations also lacked.

Harvest Moon games have always been fun and well-made, but were often too similar to one another. Hero of Leaf Valley bucks that trend with a gorgeous new look and adventurous new feel. I still miss the option to play as a girl, though.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why children choose to pursue a certain girl over others in the game. What is it about that character that makes you decide to woo her? If the player is a girl: Do you choose a wife who is similar to yourself, or very different?

  • Hero of Leaf Valley only lets you play as a boy, while other Harvest Moon games gave you the choice of being a male or female farmer. Is that a flaw in this game? Can girls still play this Harvest Moon game and have as much fun with it?

  • Farming and growing flowers and vegetables is a huge part of this game. Does playing make you interested in real-life gardening? Do you think you would take pride in the food you grow, just as the characters in the game do?

Game details

Platforms:PSP
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Natsume
Release date:April 27, 2010
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:E for Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol (PSP)

This review of Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley 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.

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Quality

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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, okay 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, 9 years old May 8, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

i love this

i like this because it is good for kids
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bywho_am_i June 30, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 11 year old Written byJUSTINBIEBERS F... May 8, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
LOVE IT
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns

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