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Game Info:

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Developed by: Marvelous Inc.
Published by: XSEED Games
Release date: March 23, 2021
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Simulation
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Everyone with mild cartoon violence
Version reviewed: 1.04
Price: $49.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you XSEED Games for sending us a review code!

Your character’s grandfather founded Olive Town and ran a farm near it. Sadly, it has been abandoned and run-down since his passing. Oddly enough, when you first create your character you get to choose their facial features, hair, and clothing styles, but the sex isn’t chosen until you introduce yourself to the mayor as a grandson or granddaughter. Choose wisely as many of your entries cannot be altered later. I mistakenly called my farm “Olive Farm” and the game added a Farm afterwards so it was always referred to as “Olive Farm Farm”.

After your character’s bike breaks down near Olive Town, they are pretty much trapped there until the repairs can be completed. Until then, you may as well revitalize your grandfather’s farm and make yourself at home. The mayor is a friendly fellow who will give you some starting tools to help you collect basic resources like wood, stone, and grass, which are needed for building and clearing land for farming.

By default, the tools are stored in a tool bag, but they can only be used when they’re part of your inventory. Your character’s inventory is limited so keeping unneeded tools in the tool bag is not a bad idea. You can only upgrade your inventory bag size once. There’s no limit to the number of storage boxes you can build on your property though.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Same classic gameplay of improving your farm and nearby town; interesting marriage candidates; cute visuals; charming music that often got stuck in my head
Weak Points: Some slowdowns and hiccups on the Switch though it has improved with patches since launch
Moral Warnings: Same sex relationships and marriage is possible; earth sprites and a goddess live nearby

Olive Town is a cute little settlement with many mom and pop businesses. The mayor has lofty dreams of making Olive Town a tourist destination and to someday have a luxury cruise ship stop there as a destination. Can you make that dream a reality?

As you use your tools and skills, you'll earn experience and level up. There are many achievements and milestones and for each one, there is a prize waiting for you to claim at the village hall. Learn from my fail and check the awards board often. Often times the prizes are various makers which are needed to create lumber, ingots, butter, cheese, yogurt, yarn, bricks, mayonnaise, honey, to name a few. You can also craft many things on the fly without the need for a maker. For example, you’ll need to make several suction pumps to drain large bodies of water so you can uncover the treasure on the bottom. One of my favorite items to make is a sprinkler which automatically waters a section of your farm daily. Watering plants is my least favorite part of farming!

Mining is a must if you want to upgrade your tools and living quarters. Unfortunately, you won’t be alone in there as you’ll encounter at least one mole in each level that will drain some of your precious stamina if they make contact with you. If you hit and defeat them with your hammer whack-a-mole style, they’ll leave you alone until you change floors.

Dating hasn’t changed much in this game and you can play on an easier difficulty level if you want to quickly grow relationships. You can boost your relationship with some by talking with them and giving them a gift daily. If they really like the gift you gave them, the relationship gauge will increase significantly.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay: 17/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Stability: 4/5
Controls: 5/5

Morality Score - 78%
Violence: 8/10
Language: 10/10
Sexual Content: 6/10
Occult Supernatural: 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 8/10

There are many town competitions with minigames to partake in. The townsfolk will think highly of you if you do well in these festivities. Some of the events will let you participate with a love interest and inviting them to join you will boost their relationship status.

Relationships and marriages in this game can be same sex. Attire for this event is interesting as there was only one traditional wedding dress for my female character to choose from. If you regret your relationship, you can dissolve it by visiting the goddess at the shrine and she will reset your relationship status to before you confessed your feelings to that individual. Any children you had as a result will also cease to exist.

There’s a lot of charm in the game with the colorful visuals and cute animals. The townsfolk are very diversified and have their own quirks and personalities. The voice acting is limited, but nice. The background music is catchy and often got stuck in my head.

Other than the strange gender options and music getting stuck in my head, I enjoyed my visit to Olive Town. When I first launched the game, I experienced many slowdowns on my Switch, but they got better as patches were released. I look forward to more Story of Seasons entries and technologies to make farming life even easier. I like the auto feeder for the barn animals, but having the silo only store forty bushels of fodder is lame. Perhaps playing Factorio has me desiring more automation, but the ability to streamline tasks is a welcome change.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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