Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is an odd game for a couple of reasons, it’s the first Harvest Moon game I’ve played since the release of Stardew Valley which is a pretty amazing game overall. It’s also the first Harvest Moon game I’ve played that wasn’t developed by series creator Marvelous (formerly Victor Interactive Software) so it was with some trepidation that I approached this game after being interested in what I’d seen.
When I started it up I was pleasantly surprised, graphically it wasn’t too dissimilar to the older games in the series. Obviously, it’s different enough to not be identical but it definitely has a lot of very familiar elements. What’s nice from a personal standpoint is that the game returns to a 2D viewpoint as I never really got on especially with the fully 3D games. In my head, Harvest Moon should be in 2D I guess.
The game has a pretty gentle introduction, the tutorial teaches you the basics and progression feels pretty organic. It’s simple and I’d say it’s accessible for people who are new to the series or farming games in general, but there’s also enough to be doing to keep you busy. It’s not got the same level of depth that Stardew Valley has though which is a shame, and suggests that the people in charge wanted a safe game rather than something that innovated the formula.
The biggest problem though is the controls, they’re not game-breaking by any stretch of the imagination but they certainly lose the game a few marks from the overall score. They’re slightly clunky compared to prior instalments and it’s far too easy to carry out an action on a completely different area of the land to the one you’re actually facing which is incredibly frustrating.
Overall Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is an above-average game but it’s unfortunate there are better examples of the genre out there these days as the aforementioned Stardew Valley.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Nintendo, Mobile
Release Date: 29/05/2018
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Sim, RPG
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Download link: eShop