Everyone loves remakes. You go in being familiar with something and that makes it easier to love from the start. There comes a point, though, when everything spirals out of control and the history needs a flow chart and maybe a seventh-dimensional spread-sheet to keep track of. The short version is that first there was the PS1 entry in the Harvest Moon series, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. Back to Nature was remade for the Gameboy Advance as Friends of Mineral Town, which got a spin-off game More Friends of Mineral Town where you got to play as a girl instead of a boy. Then things went a little weird with the licensing, with the series continuing as Story of Seasons under XSEED while Natsume kept the name Harvest Moon, but the condensed version is that Story of Seasons is the original series continuing on under the original creative team. Now the GBA remake of the PS1 game is getting its own remake on the Switch, with Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town lets you choose one of four characters, two boys and two girls, to live the bucolic life. The basics haven’t changed much at all over the years, in that you start with a run-down chunk of dirt and slowly clear the land to turn it into a thriving farm, then spend what little energy you have at the end of the day socializing in the village. Grow crops, tend to the (cute beyond all reason) livestock, hang with pets (Team Capybara!), fall in love, get married, have a kid, and enjoy a lovely simple life where hard work is rewarded. It’s a gameplay system that’s been working nicely for decades now, from the initial “Wait, games can be like this?” release on the SNES all the way through modern versions like My Time at Portia and Stardew Valley, where work is play and life moves slower.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town comes out on July 14, and those pre-ordering the physical edition get a small plushy strawberry cow plus an adorably ridiculous in-game cow costume. In the meantime there’s a new trailer, so give it a look below and get ready to save the farm one more time.