A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is a role-playing and farm-simulator game. Players are challenged to renovate and maintain a farm while helping and contributing to the overall community. They can even, potentially, find love and raise a family. Trio of Towns is a nonviolent game, though there's a little flirtatious conversation among courting townsfolk and occasional use of alcohol. And though the game is easy to control, younger players may need some help to navigate its various inventories and menus.
What's it about?
There comes a time in every person's life when they have to strike out on their own and chase their dreams. That's the premise behind STORY OF SEASONS: TRIO OF TOWNS. The game begins with the player's father letting the family know that they'll be moving due to a new job. Instead, the player decides the time is right to strike out on his or her own and chase their dream of owning a farm. After moving to West Town and learning the basics of farm life from Uncle Frank, players are given a plot of land of their very own to cultivate. Over time, the player builds ties to the community and branches out to visit other nearby towns, harvesting new friendships as often as new crops. Players can even choose to settle down, get married, and raise a family. Whatever they choose, it's up to the player to maintain and upgrade not only their farm but their life as well.
Is it any good?
In the usual fast-paced world of action-packed video games, sometimes it's good to stop and smell the roses … and the vegetables, and the livestock. At least, that's the idea behind Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. If the gameplay seems instantly familiar to Harvest Moon fans, there's a good reason. Trio of Towns is the latest localized release of a popular Japanese franchise that was the source of the original Harvest Moon games until a licensing deal forced a rebranding of the series. Make no mistake about it, though; Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns doesn't just follow through on a tried-and-true formula; it's an expansion of everything fans have come to love in the popular life/farm-simulation series.
One of the great things about games like Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is that the whole point is to enjoy your virtual life. There's no real "winning," no end boss to fight, and no worries about running into a "Game Over" screen. You simply take each day as it comes, tend to your crops and livestock, enjoy the company of others, and kick back with a few relaxing activities. It's like a personal Zen garden with no time limit, which is great considering that the game takes so long to actually build momentum; to say the game is a slow burn is an understatement. Making matters worse, it's a pretty steep learning curve at the start, as you try to efficiently scrape by from day to day. Slowly but surely, though, players start getting into the swing of things, cycling crops and harvests with the seasons, upgrading their farms, improving the towns' shops, and building a strong community among the three titular towns. Much like running an actual farm, if you're willing to put in the time and the effort, you'll reap a lot of reward from Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of community. Why is it important to contribute to your neighborhood, and what are the benefits of a strong community?
Talk about the importance of farming in the real world. What are some of the things we get thanks to farming? What would it be like to maintain a farm in real life?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Xseed Games
- Release date: February 28, 2017
- Genre: Role Playing
- Topics: Adventures, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Horses and Farm Animals, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Comic Mischief, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.