Harvest Moon: Skytree Village

Game review by
Marcia Morgan, Common Sense Media
Harvest Moon: Skytree Village Game Poster Image
Fantasy farm sim is fun but has some tedious crop work.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Teaches hard work, that caring is best path. You also care about, help your fellow townspeople, building relationships along way. The more effort you put into it, the better results.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Encourages people to be good, helpful to each other. Some characters, the witch, wizard in particular, have a competitive rivalry going on, but overall, everyone willing to come together, do what it takes to restore land.

Ease of Play

Easy to pick up, play, though farming mechanics may be a bit complicated for younger players. Tutorials are very user-friendly, explain things with lots of detail. But raising, lowering squares of land or water (terraforming) is clumsy, frustrating.

Consumerism

Latest in Harvest Moon series, which has been around for more than 10 years; has a number of games, spin-offs, toys, other merchandise.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Harvest Moon: Skytree Village is a downloadable life-simulation game. This is the latest installment of the popular franchise, which has spanned multiple games and products. Some characters may bicker, but overall, the townspeople are positive and helpful. This game is designed to be very child-friendly, without any inappropriate content, though the complexity of certain parts of the game may be a bit much for younger children.

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What's it about?

HARVEST MOON: SKYTREE VILLAGE is set in the land known as the "Oasis of the Harvest Goddess." Once upon a time, many people lived and thrived in the lush, green lands of Skytree Village. Over time, the power of the Harvest Goddess gradually waned, causing the land to become parched and dry. Now it's up to you to try to restore Skytree Village to its former glory, working your farm, rebuilding the village, and reviving the seven legendary Skytrees to help the Harvest Goddess regain her power. Along the way, players will meet up with a whole new cast of characters (and a few familiar faces) as they customize their land, upgrade their tools, and even just relax a bit down by the old fishing hole. After all, even heroes need to learn to take a break every once in a while.

Is it any good?

To those of us born and raised in the city, farm life might look simple and far away from the chaos of the urban jungle, but it's anything but simple. If you don't believe that, just spend some time with Harvest Moon: Skytree Village. Every day in the game, you have to get out of bed, hit the fields, take care of your crops, feed your animals, and try to stay ahead of the needs of your fellow villagers. While learning exactly "what" to do is pretty easy, learning "how" to do it is likely to cause a few headaches. A lot of times, villagers will ask for specific things from your farm but give no clue as to how to get what they need. Sometimes it might be a hybrid crop or a specific item, but you'll only figure it out through trial and error or by cheating with a quick Google search to find the answer. While these little gripes and complaints might make it seem like Skytree Village isn't any fun, that's not the case at all. In fact, it's a lot of fun to build up your little plot of land or just kick back and do your own thing for a while. It's like having your own personal Zen garden in your pocket.

Another fun part of the game is interacting with the different townsfolk. They all have their own little stories to add to the main adventure. It could be Dean at the florist who needs some items for a new fertilizer or Haley at the inn who needs ingredients for her next recipe she's making to try to impress her father, who's a chef. The best part is that if you find one you take a fancy to, you can try to woo them with a little romance (and a lot of bribery) to settle down, get married, and raise a family to help with the farmwork. When the sun goes down in Skytree Village, it's silly and it's cheesy, but it's still plenty of fun, if you can overlook some of the clunkiness and vagueness.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about city life versus farm life. What are some of the ways your life might be different if you were living on a farm? How about if you lived in a city?

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

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