A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This is a farming simulation with a fantastical story about reviving a Harvest Goddess by finding magical wisps that give you seeds to plant. Positive messages about family (including how the character respectfully interacts with his or her mother), politely wooing 10 bachelors and bachelorettes, and how the characters take care of animals and talk with townsfolk.
Positive Role Models
The protagonists are positive: Choose to play as a boy or a girl, and select skin, hair, eye color. Task is to revive a spiritual goddess by collecting and planting seeds, growing crops, performing tasks for various townsfolk -- across many different environments. Characters talk respectfully to others (family and strangers), take care of animals, and court other characters in search of love.
Ease of Play
Basic tutorial at start of game goes over tasks and controls. A mini-map shows your location and people to see. Some issues with the controls -- e.g., having to be exactly in front of an object (like a wisp) for interaction to work. Some issues opening up some menus from within the game.
Products & Purchases
A few special editions of the game cost more, but players get extra content. Plus, there are some DLC (downloadable content) packs announced, such as: Interior Design & Tool Upgrade Pack ($2.99, out now), Far East Adventure Pack (March 23, 2021, for $12.99), Precious Pets Pack (April 13, 2021, for $2.99), and Mythical Wild Animals Pack (May 4, 2021, for $2.99). Lots of Harvest Moon merchandise over the years, including plush toys and apparel.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Harvest Moon: One World is a farming simulation for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. This is the latest game in the Harvest Moon franchise. The farming sim is fused with a fantastical story about a Harvest Goddess, the "Queen of Crops," who has vanished. The player travels to faraway lands, interacts with townsfolk, grows crops, takes care of animals, and eventually helps to revive the Harvest Goddess. There isn't any inappropriate content included. Players can choose to play as a male or female character and can select skin, hair, and eye color. You can woo bachelors and bachelorettes (opposite sex of your character) throughout the game, but it's handled respectfully and innocently.
Is It Any Good?
Despite some repetition in tasks, some nagging issues with controls, and plain graphics, this farming sim proves to be a fun, challenging, and rewarding sim for those willing to put in the time. It won't take long to appreciate the sense of scale in Harvest Moon: One World. The moment your mom expands your bag (to fit more seeds, food, and other items) and as you begin to explore the map, you realize this is a grand adventure, with several people to meet, missions to tackle, crops to grow, and animals to tend to. More than any previous Harvest Moon game, it has a lot to do. You'll walk around and interact with people to hear what they'd like you to help them with, go back to your farm to tend to your animals and fields, find glowing wisps, and then repeat the process. You'll rest when you get tired, and some locations you want to visit, such as nearby shops, are open only at certain times of the day. While the gameplay is similar between the regions, and might feel a little repetitive at times, it's indeed fun to unlock new areas, each with its own unique flare, and it does seem like you're working toward a larger goal.
The controls can be finicky, though, where you need to stand in a specific spot to interact with an object or a person. It can be annoying, as you'll run around something or someone to find that small area that works. The production quality also lags behind other games, with dated graphics, MIDI music, and no voice-over talent, which helps it feel, well, shallow. Also, conversations with townsfolk are very generic, and some odd Japanese-to-English translations break the suspension of disbelief. In some ways, it feels like the series isn't really moving forward much. But that can be nitpicking, because Harvest Moon: One World has a lot going for it, and those who love this series and farming sims as a whole will no doubt appreciate the breadth and depth here.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.