Parents' Guide to

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Farm sim is a bumper crop of repetition and frustration.

Game Nintendo Switch , Windows 2020
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If there's one lesson to learn from the Story of Seasons games (as well as the Harvest Moon games before it), it's that farm life is a lot of hard work. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is no different, with a heavy focus on the daily grind of cultivating and maintaining your farm. The game is an irritatingly slow burn with limited options, especially in the beginning stages of the story. The biggest obstacle in these early moments is the player's stamina gauge. It's frustrating to wake up at the crack of dawn and attempt to clear out some debris to make usable land, only to be worn out and on the verge of collapse by lunchtime. Eventually, players are able to extend their workdays through careful planning and by restoring stamina with certain food and drink. But by and large, it's a long grind to feel like any real headway is getting made.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a remake of two earlier games previously released on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance system. As a result, it feels much smaller than expected, which is particularly ironic considering how long it takes to make much progress. Mineral Town, while populated with some interesting characters, is little more than a claustrophobic two or three city blocks and a town square. Interacting with characters means catching them at just the right time at home or stumbling into them on the sidewalks. After a while, the available options and stories of the characters open up a bit more, giving the player more to do to break up the monotony of the daily routine. Much like life on the farm, this is a game where the real rewards are harvested well after the seeds of repetition and exasperation have been sown.

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