Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Content at a glance:
Mild Sexual Content: You see a brief kiss between newlyweds, one character wears a stomach-baring outfit, you can watch a TV show that talks about girls changing and another TV show describes a bath scene and hints at cohabitation. Your character is briefly shown nude, though nothing is seen
Mild Language: One use of d**n in a TV show
Spiritual Content: One characters is the Harvest Goddess, another one of the characters is the mythological creature Kappa. One of the TV shows involves a demon
Alcohol Use: You can purchase wine and you can watch a drinking contest; one character gets drunk.
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is part of the farming simulation series, Harvest Moon. Each game involves the same basic plot, just with a few variations. In this one, your character visits an old farm in a quiet little town. He spent a lot of time there when he was a kid and consequently became friends with the owner. The character, which you can name whatever you want, learns that his old friend has died and has left him the farm. Since you can’t say no, the character takes on the farm (and a dog) and sets to work to rejuvenate its neglected fields…and possibly find true love in the process. As you play, you can court one of the five girls in Mineral Town, who may one day become your wife.
This is pretty basic stuff. You move around and use the buttons to talk to people, use tools, plant seeds, harvest crops, give gifts, fish, take care of animals, and just about everything.
Your character starts each day with a certain amount of Stamina points, which you can’t see. Using tools or just about anything except talking will drain your Stamina. Your character will look like he’s tiring at certain points which alerts you to how much Stamina he has left. After your Stamina is gone, your Fatigue starts to build up. If you keep working hard your character will eventually pass out, and that brings the day to an end.
Talking to people and giving them gifts they like increases their friendship with you. Beyond them saying new things when you talk to them, there’s really no reward except being allowed into their houses.
Five of the girls, Karen, Ann, Elli, Popuri, and Mary, are eligible for marriage. You can only pick one to be your future Mrs. though. You also have five rivals for each girl, so you have to start courting fast, or they might walk down the isle with someone else.
I’m pleased to say there’s nothing of the sort in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town.
A bit shocking for such a simple game. One character is called the Harvest Goddess. She doesn’t appear to be worshiped though, plus as this game takes place in a world other than our own, it really isn’t that big of a problem.
Another character is the Kappa (from Japanese creature), a strange turtle-like being who has a thing for cucumbers.
Also, you can watch a TV show about a boy and a girl who switch bodies. Another TV show is a fairy-tale style show about a princess who is waiting for a hero to rescue her from a demon lord. If you just watch the daily weather forecast though, this can be avoided entirely.
One of the buildings in Mineral Town is a church. There’s no Sunday morning service though, although you can talk to Carter the pastor there for a sermon; which are complete nonsense. You can also go into the confession booth at the church which occasionally changes your relationships with people and your animals. When an animal on your farm dies, a brief funeral is held here, and if you choose to woo a girl your wedding is held here also.
Again, this area is quite tame, yet still somewhat surprising.
You can bathe in a nearby hot spring, and your character is shown jumping in and out of the spring. Though your character is nude, you see nothing and it all happens really fast.
The Harvest Goddess wears a somewhat-revealing outfit that could best be described as a bikini top and a skirt.
The TV shows are the worst in this area. One show describes a boy in his girlfriend’s body unwilling watching girls changing. The princess show describes the princess taking a bath (alone) and later suggests that she plans to stay with her captor/host. Again, if you just watch the weather forecast, this is avoidable.
You can get married and you kiss your bride. You’re also shown in the same bed, though no funny business is shown or even hinted at. Your wife does end up pregnant after so many days, but there is no sex at all.
One use of the word d**n. Again this is only in one of the TV programs.
Other Negative Elements
You can buy wine as a gift. You can’t get drunk though, even if you buy 99 of them and drink them all.
One of the girls, Karen, takes part in a drinking game. She’s later shown victorious and staggers away. It’s hinted that she’s the town alcoholic, though she goes cold turkey if you marry her. You can also bet on a horse race.
Good stewardship is encouraged as you have to put in the effort to make your farm successful. If you don’t clear the fields, plant and take care of your crops, you can’t “reap the rewards”. Once your character picks a wife, you can’t leave her or mess around with the other girls. Everyone shows happiness when you discover you and your wife are going to be parents. In a day and age when the unborn are given little value at all, that’s quite pleasing.
I did a lot of research on Harvest Moon before I picked up my first game. When I learned it used alcohol, I was more than a little concerned. But my worries were fairly groundless.
Friends of Mineral Town is a fun game to play. With no monsters to worry about, it’s a nice game to relax with. The only problem is it never ends. Even that wouldn’t be so bad, if there was a little more variety, but it’s the same stuff every year. Eventually you will get bored with it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. If you can get passed the questionable areas, I would recommend trying to track this title down. It’s a must for any Harvest Moon fan or for anyone that likes simulation games.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.
About this game
- ERSB Rating:
- E (Everyone)
- November, 2003
- Review Published:
- February 23, 2009 / 12:37 pm
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