Review by Levi Tru Playa

"I didn't know work could be so fun."

I tool the plunge and bought a copy of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. I knew it was about farming but it was an unknown game to me really and I hadn't played any of the other Harvest Moon games.
The risk was worth it. Perhaps the best game i've ever played for the gba which I played for more than a week non stop. No other game has come close for me.

Graphics - Nothing special but great none the less. The sprites look detailed and well polished and the character portraits looks good too. The game has a bit of bright colour but certainly nothing annoying or too ''cutesy''. Their is a wide range of well drawn scenery in the rather small world. Everything is anything from good to great but nothing breathtaking but their are some nice scenes in the game which you can trigger.

Audio - I love the music. It is catchy and their is a good variety depending on where you are and the date. Even if you do get sick of the tunes, it is possible to unlock some bonus music.
The sounds are pleasing like animals all sound as they should.

Gameplay - Wow! Work is so fun. Their is not really any of the game. Instead, you choose what you want to do whether it be a farmer, get married, be a fisherman, mine, etc. Your main source of income will be your farm though. You can both grow crops or raise animals which produce goods like eggs and milk for you to ship away.
Their are heaps of festivals and special happenings which you may participate in. Their is animal contests, horse racing, music festival, harvest festival and more. You may find it a little boring and difficult to play and get into for a start but once you clean up the farm a bit and buy some animals, you'll be having loads of fun.

Replay Value - As this is a game where you decide what you want to do, it offers unlimited replay value. It is the most addictive game i've ever played on any gaming system.

Extras - This is one of the first games i've played where the TV actually doesn't just play as a decoration. Their are four channels to watch. The weather channel which is useful so you can plan ahead e.g. you will be able to decide if you can keep your live stock outside or no. The news channel which tells you about the events around Mineral Town and other useful information. Their is the farming channel which can give you helpful hints and tips to improve your farming skills and last of all their is the variety channel. The variety channel has a variety of different shows on at different times, some more useful than others. Two of the more useful ones are Dueling Chef's show as you can learn how to make recipes and the TV Shopping Network where you can buy useful things.
Cooking is another great extra of the game.
Their are heaps of recipes to cook, probably over 100. Some you can learn from towns folk and TV while others you'll have to just experiment.
The many calendar events add more to this huge game in a small world, some of the events of which I listed earlier.
Their is tons of other extras which I have not mentioned.

Bugs - Their are some minor bugs and mistakes in the game. Some of the sentences people say don't make sense and i've come across a guy talking German in the game? Generally, they are minor and limited though and don't effect the fun of the game.

Overall - Excellent! Unique, addictive, looks great,plays well and sounds good. All the elements of a top game.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/31/03

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