Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness

 
(i)

 

Plodding farming sim that's more work than fun.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message of the game is to work hard and you will prosper.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This is part of the Harvest Moon series of video games.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is the latest release in a series of simulation games that all focus on farming, raising livestock, and finding a spouse. While this E-rated game has no offensive material, it's a game with frustrating controls and a reward system that is slow to reveal new content. As such, it is a tremendous time suck for children without much corresponding reward. The online portion is for uploading your records so as to compare your progress through the game to others.

What's it about?

The Harvest Moon series of video games is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the release of HARVEST MOON: ISLAND OF HAPPINESS for the Nintendo DS. This game continues the series' tradition of providing a farming simulation where you are tasked with raising crops and livestock, and interacting with your community in hopes of finding a spouse. In this version, you are shipwrecked on an island along with others.

You can choose to play the game as a cute anime-style girl or a boy.You play the game by managing your time everyday between your chores and talking to people while buying needed items or giving presents. In the beginning, you must clear fields of stones and wood so that you can till the soil and plant seeds. After you have harvested enough crops or made money by running around and collecting wild grasses, you can build a chicken coop or other building for livestock. While the animals bring in more money, they also require daily attending. Over time, you can unlock more of the island to explore.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While this simulation seems interesting at first, your jobs quickly become tedious and repetitive. And the new content unfolds at a snail's pace. But what's worse is that the game controls don't work well. This is a stylus-controlled game where it is difficult to make the stylus do what you want. For example, when you want to clear land or water plants, you must move your character around so that a purple square lands on the space you want to work. Unfortunately the purple square jerks around a lot as the character moves, so that it can take multiple tries to get it to stop where you want it to. This game will frustrate all but the most patient of players.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about strategies to earn money and keep their character fed since doing both are difficult early in the game. What did you like about this game? What parts did you dislike?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:Natsume
Release date:August 26, 2008
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo DS)

This review of Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness was written by

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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; 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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Parent of a 11 and 15 year old Written byhappy15908 April 7, 2011
 

Boring. Period.

Well it may LOOK like a great game for kids my kiddos got bored really fast. Sometimes they say it feels like a endless loop. It can be fun at times but overall it's a waste of your time and money.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byAugustyne17 September 17, 2009
 

Perfect for Kids 6+

I liked and disliked it. It wasn't like any normal harvest moon I've played were you are able to use the D-pad. You can't use it. I bought it thinking it would be fun and it is but it's a little difficult because your hand gets tired pointing and tapping the DS screen over and over again. I liked the older versions where you could use the D-pad to do something now it is just Tap this Tap that. But other than that this game is fun. It tells children work is fun and you should take responsibility in your crops. You should care for the land. No littering and such things like that, etc. In my opinion it teaches you to respect the earth and all that it does. There is not any violence in this game. It is as I would put it "Child Friendly". So that will be a plus among parents. If your child buys this game warn them it will be hard work to play and they may not want to buy it, at this moment! It gets tiring after awhile and then you tend to wish you had bought a different game but then you start playing again and realize actually this is fun. . .Its a really big cycle but the outcome, just keep playing. Eventually you will be enjoying the game so much you can't even put it down, hehe like me. I'm playing it now!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old July 30, 2009
 

Good for all ages

Now 2 year olds might not be able to understand how to play but it basicly is a kid friendly game.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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