Some time ago, Facebook introduced us to the premise of playing games within its website. People were hooked on playing the games because it offered them a chance for playing online with friends and others. Some even offered the chance for them to become a top player, defeating others with the same purpose. It?s like they?re playing a massive multiplayer online game (MMO) using only their web browser, and the Internet. After all this, Farmville was created.
Farmville, if you recall, gave people the chance to become farmers while playing on their own browsers. Aside from collectibles, cute animals, and the attention to growing crops to let your farm progress, the game rewarded frequent players on their efforts. Prizes were awarded to players who managed to reach the top, aside from the bragging rights it afforded. Another reason for the ensuing addiction, perhaps, was that, like a real farm, you needed to look after your farm and the animals in it.
This same formula is espoused in Natsume?s Harvest Moon series. While there is the simple premise of raising a farm, making it progress, you also have a lot of other things to do, such as build relationships with the townspeople in the place where your farm is located. So why is this game so addictive to girls as well?
The Cuteness That Is Harvest Moon
Ever since it began as a simple farming game, Harvest Moon evolved into something gamers would play for entire weeks, even months, on end. People were presented with a good start for a backstory: You get to inherit a farm that?s been neglected for some time, and your job is to get the farm up and running at the beginning. Next, you are presented with the task of restoring the farm to its former glory, and from there, you get the option to take the farm to even greater heights. Great enough for a backstory, eh?
The main reason why even girls are hooked on playing Harvest Moon seems to be because of the character designs. The Japanese term for such characters is ?chibi?, and it may be because this is the general theme of all the characters in-game that gets girls hooked on it. Another thing to cite is the second premise of the game, and that is to have a meaningful life in the town you?re living in. As you get immersed in forming relationships with various townspeople, you also get the chance to build a family with one of them, wooing them and eventually ending up with them. To this end, there are even Harvest Moon games that have an option to select playing as a boy or a girl, presenting the player with a pair of different storylines.
Why It?s Popular
The Farmville phenomena had presented a formula that is being used in most new apps right now: you develop a game with simple aims and a good enough premise and people will play. While complication is a good thing to build upon, simplicity is, too, and Harvest Moon is rife with it. The creators seemed to have been able to transcend the barrier by making it cute and appealing to girls, as well as gamers, too.
With all its flair and cuteness, it does seem that Natsume has a gold mine in Harvest Moon. Get ready to farm because Harvest Moon seems to be here to stay.