Game Info:

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Developed by: Marvelous Inc.
Published by: XSEED Games
Release date: July 14, 2020
Available on: Game Boy Advance, Wii U, Windows
Genre: Simulation
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E10+ for comic mischief, suggestive themes, use of alcohol
Price: $49.99

Thank you XSEED Games for sending us a review code!

Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town was first released on the Game Boy Advance in 2003 and later came to the Wii U’s virtual console in 2015. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a 3D remake of this classic that adds some new gameplay mechanics like same-sex relationships.

Your character comes back to Mineral town to tend to their deceased grandparent’s farm. The villagers are pretty friendly and have frequent festivals. As luck would have it, many of them are single and enjoy receiving gifts from prospective suitors. Each person has their own schedule and gift preferences to keep in mind when trying to impress them.

There are various story sequences that trigger and reveal the backstories of the townspeople and some of them are sad. The character I wound up marrying, Rick, helps his sick mom and sister run their chicken business while his father is out of town searching for a cure for his wife. Rick is obsessed with chickens and their offspring. As a result, he enjoys receiving eggs as a gift, but his dialogue is rather dull and repetitive. In the afternoons, the wives all gather in the center of the town to gossip. One of the lady’s daughters ran off and her husband has been spending too much time at the tavern ever since.


Strong Points: Cute visuals; catchy music
Weak Points: Repetitive dialogue; tedious gameplay; relationships aren’t that interesting
Moral Warnings: The town worships a harvest goddess; alcohol references and consumption; same-sex relationships and marriages are possible

Your farm is quite quaint at first and you’ll start off with basic tools, a fruit tree, and a horse given to you. In order to raise crops, you’ll have to pull or use the sickle to take care of the weeds. The ground will also have to be tilled using the hoe. After you get an area of 3X3 squares ready, you’ll be able to plant some seeds. Crops are season specific and only grow in one season. Some crops like corn, cucumbers, eggplants, and yams continually yield crops, while others like carrots and onions only produce one harvest. At the beginning of a new 30-day season, all of your crops will die and the fields will have to be cleared and tilled before you can plant new seeds.

Basic tools only work with one square at a time which is rather tedious. There are a couple of mines in town where you can harvest various ores which are required to upgrade the efficiency of your tools. The mine randomly regenerates its layout each time you enter it and you’ll have to rediscover where the stairs to the lower level are by tilling the ground. Time does not progress when you’re in the mine, but your stamina and energy are not limitless. Be sure to bring plenty of food to replenish your stamina for continuous mining.

In the winter season, you cannot grow crops so this is the ideal time to mine. One of the mines is only accessible in the winter time since it’s in the middle of a frozen lake. One the 2nd day of the winter month be prepared for the mayor to give you an outlandish request that has to be completed that day. I overworked myself and wound up in the clinic trying to complete it the first time around, and I declined the second one.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay: 14/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Stability: 5/5
Controls: 5/5

Morality Score - 82%
Violence: 10/10
Language: 10/10
Sexual Content: 6/10
Occult/Supernatural: 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 8/10

There’s a public bath that you can use to replenish your stamina after a long day’s work. After you upgrade your house, you can add a bathroom to recover some of your stamina in private. Before you can get married, you’ll have to have your house fully upgraded with a double bed. Unfortunately, you can’t relocate/reposition the furniture in your house.

Dating and marriage aren't very exciting in this game. As you strengthen relationships with the villagers, you’ll unlock cutscenes and get some recipes. Other than those few moments, it’s just the same dialogue over and over. You get added bonus points for giving gifts on people’s birthdays. I was disappointed in my virtual husband for not acknowledging my in-game birthday. He didn’t help with any of the farm work either. Thankfully, there are seven nature sprites that live behind the church in town. If you give them flour as a gift, they’ll be happy to help with watering, harvesting, or taking care of your livestock.

Once you’re married you can choose a nickname for your spouse to call you. Pregnancy happens sooner for heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples have to wait an extra 30 days for them to be blessed with a child from the harvest goddess. Once the baby is born, it’ll lay in bed and be unreachable since you can’t move the old bed out of the way to get to it.

Before playing this title, I reviewed Rune Factory 4 Special, which was also a remake. Between the better dialogue and quests, I have to give the nod to Rune Factory 4. If you don’t mind the same-sex relationships and enjoyed the original Friends of Mineral Town game, this 3D version is worth looking into.

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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