Harvest Moon: One World

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Harvest Moon: One World Game Poster Image
Farming sim tale grows fun crops and some frustrating play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

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.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

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.

What 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.

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What's it about?

In HARVEST MOON: ONE WORLD, your hardworking farmer has gone global. The story surrounds the disappearance of the Harvest Goddess, leaving the land without many crops (limited to potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots, mostly). But at the very least, before she mysteriously vanished, the Harvest Goddess imbued tiny Harvest Wisps with the knowledge of various seeds, thus ensuring that the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables of the world wouldn't be gone forever. Thus begins your quest: to travel around collecting seeds from the wisps to plant. From there, you can choose to consume, gift, or sell the bountiful yields, as well as eventually help revive the Harvest Goddess. It's a good thing you travel with a magical Expando-Farm, which you can place down in an empty field wherever life takes you (providing a barn, field for crops, and home with a bed to rest in), and bring it with you to go as you traverse the globe. In total, you will explore five unique areas. Each land has unique people, challenges, and some exotic animals (like tigers, camels, bears, and reindeer). Harvest sprites can be found to unlock additional crops, too.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of farming simulation games. Is it relaxing, or challenging? Is it a fantasy, since most people live in cities today and are perhaps curious about what life is like on a farm? Or is it the fantastical story connected to Harvest Moon: One World that keeps it interesting, including wisps, faeries, and goddesses?

  • What are some good ways to work on developing new friendships? How can helping others lead to building a stronger community?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulations

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