With a hundred notifications I used to get on my Facebook with all the people who played Farmville, it sure set me against the entire farming RPG genre. I guess i should blame my facebook friends; they’re the ones who sent me all those “gifts” to get rewards in return. But all that said, I’m glad my friends introduced me to Harvest Moon which brought me to understand what it was that made the entire genre so attractive. Games like Harvest Moon bring to you a very relaxing escape, a way to live the simple life of a farmer without having to deal with the actual labor or logistics too much. It’s like living on a farm resort. Even if it is a virtual character on the PC.
Surely enough, I got addicted to the games and I played them till I was dreaming about new farm animals and what I’d name them. I still spend half my weekends on the game, though I imagine my farm would be ravaged by the elements if I tended to a real farm only 4 days a month. Anyway, it need not be that everyone finds the series just as lucrative as I do, and that is ok. Because there are a few good games I can think of from the genre that are just as good, if not better than Harvest Moon. Check out this list of 10 amazing games similar to Harvest Moon that I’m sure will have at least 3 options you’re going to get addicted to.
Kynseed is one of the best farming games. It just recently finished with its kickstarter campaign. Even though it still waits for an official release (if there is ever going to be one), Kynseed has been a popular choice for those looking for PC games like Harvest Moon for Steam Community. The game is conceptualised pretty radically, in that your character eventually ages and dies so you need to have children to continue working on the farm. There are a load of tools to use including a fun fishing rod that does take some practice to get used to. The pace is pretty relaxed though, which is a big advantage the game has over many others of the genre. The concept of the dog helping you find things might seem very ordinary, but if you’ve tried a few games in the genre you understand how unique and helpful it is. I’m also a fan of the game’s color scheme especially the transition from day to night.
2. Don’t Starve
OK if there is only one game you can try from this list, make it this one. Don’t Starve explains the objective of the game in pretty simple terms. You need to find food, avoid a monster with an egg, make a science machine, prepare for magic and eventually prosper. I love how the theme is so dark and foreboding, almost like you’re playing a live action stimulation of Sweeney Todd; The character does look like Johnny Depp. But you also need to keep yourself safe from unsavoury elements that will take a toll of your health and sanity. It’s a truckload of fun.
3. Castaway Paradise
Castaway Paradise is not the best in terms of animation and at times you kind of think it’s something you’d find on the shores of an island that’s quite close to where Spongebob Squarepants lives, just because the whole box theme, but it’s not that bad when you play the game itself. You have a nice introduction to the setting where you get to just meet friends and water their plants, but soon enough your character is integrated into the social setting of the island you get to farm yourself and grow. It’s like Farmville meets Cityville. The game can appear to be slow and the plot is lost at times, but if you’re into the animation it comes with, you’re going to enjoy every bit of this game.
4. Hay Day
Hay Day is the perfect Farmville replacement. Sometimes, you can’t tell them apart. Hay Day however has better animation and realism, though crops still flower into fully ready harvests right before your eyes. The farm also tends to turn into a big factory the more you progress with the game, but nobody minds it since by that point, you’re basically addicted to the game and might even be keeping an eye on the clock all the time to make sure you plant the next crops of time. You even unlock upgrades like sending more cargo to sell using a boat instead on just a truck. After a point, you basically try to get your machines and bakeries to run all the time just so you can keep up with the massive produce your farm is spinning out all the time.
5. Farm For Your Life
Your farm has been attacked by zombies and your dad’s missing. What do you do? You farm for food, and then open a restaurant, employ a rude person as a farm hand and then fight the zombies with tomatoes. Fun concept? It’s even more fun when you play the game. There is a lot going on in favor of the game, whether that be the trading concept or the fact that the zombies spring up on you out of the blue. The trading and the restaurant are a nice addendum to the game and transform it into a totally new concept. The starting will probably take you a lot of time to learn how to trade well and earn a good value for your sparse products, but later you can afford to maybe even give something for no value at all.
6. Farm Up
Farm Up is free to play, which is a good thing working in its favor because some might be hard pressed to find something worth their time in the game. It’s basically Farmville but outside of Facebook, where you can play your games and tend your virtual farm without feeling guilty or having to be careful to not send people game requests. There is the energy restriction that keeps you from burning yourself out, and you have festiva special contests and bonuses as well. Then there are gophers you have to deal with and other such pests and problems, and so the game becomes complex enough to keep you pretty occupied. You should surely try out Farm Up if you don’t like Harvest Moon’s usual Anime-like looks. You’ll be leveling up for quite a while before you can do some stuff like travelling, rearing poultry or doing the more long-drawn missions.
7. Rune Factory 2
Rune Factory 2 definitely feels like a Manga set to video, because for the first 15 minutes or so you really don’t do much than press a bunch on buttons to go through the long exposition. The art can be great at places and a bit terrible at other places. The crops could definitely have been smaller, because I don’t know a lot of plants that disappear when you put them on your head. Regardless, the game is a pretty good alternate to Harvest Moon, especially if you don’t have high expectations of it. The cliched story could have been replaced to save the game’s playability, but I suppose the current one isn’t all that bad.
8. Funky Barn
The game is okay and the set up surely takes a while during which you look around and wonder what could have prompted the developers to give you a large fallow field to begin the game with. But Funk Barn entertains you well enough. The graphics are a little old fashioned, but to be fair the game did come out in 2012. The animation is a little rusty too, but it is still superior to Harvest Moon. The game really begins to start weaving its charm after about 30 minutes of playing, so give it a fair chance. You’ll like it just fine.
9. Graveyard Keeper
Graveyard Keeper is not the happiest game of the lot. It definitely isn’t very appropriate for younger kids. Why? Well, the game has dead bodies, organ harvesting and some pretty spooky and even disturbing stuff, and you slash through bats and kill priests and a load of that stuff. The dark theme is pretty dominant and continues throughout; i mean the game literally has graveyard in the name. If you think Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon are too sugar and candy for you, you might find this goth game more up your alley.
Terraria is a lot like a more compact version of Minecraft (or Minecraft Comes Alive), where you mine for stuff, try to gather enough resources to build a house and keep zombies out and also save your friends and co-inhabitants on your domain. The animation is pretty interesting, and for a game that came out 7 years ago, it can still keep you on the edge of your seat, glued to the screen. Bonus points for the lighting concept. Also, do watch out for the traps when you mine. They’re pretty hard to spot, but they keep the game fun.
There are so many other Games like Harvest Moon for PC I’m sure, but I can’t write about all of them, can I? If you think I skipped a game that really deserved to be on this list, tell us in the comments and I’ll be sure to go through them again. Or maybe you’ll introduce me to a completely new game that I never knew of. Anyway, time to sign off. Let me know what you think!