Harvestella Review – A Magical Journey of Self Discovery and Peace
Harvestella is without a doubt one of the year’s biggest surprises. Even if the game starts slowly, it never ceases to be fun to play and keeps throwing new stuff at the player. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel for its genre, but it does provide enough enjoyable gameplay moments for those willing to go deeper. Harvestella is an underappreciated gem that deserves to be recognized, and more games like it are needed.
Harvestella’s PC port appears to be way too simplistic at first glance. This isn’t strictly a negative thing because it enables the game to operate on a variety of devices, including the Steam Deck. It’s evident from the start that the game was designed for the Nintendo Switch, but the PC port is pretty good, letting it operate at 60 frames per second and better quality. Even if you have a low-spec PC, it gives a crisper image with good performance.
Harvestella is a hybrid of the action RPG and farming simulation genres. It is not a novel idea from a developer, as we have seen in the past with games such as the Rune Factory series, but it is the first effort from Square Enix. Harvestella’s action RPG aspects are almost as significant as its farm simulation and slice-of-life gameplay. The plot of the game revolves around the player’s efforts to save the planet from imminent disaster. The primary protagonist has amnesia, which has been seen in several other games, but it also allows the developers to bring character creation. Players may create individualized characters to play as the main character.
Harvestella’s major flaw is that the game takes way too long to start. Initially, the player has few options for managing their farm, exploring the world map for items, and fighting enemies. However, as the story develops, additional options present themselves. The game includes a lengthy tutorial in the sense that it takes some time before things start rolling, which might be frustrating for certain players. The visuals aren’t very eye-catching, but they do seem great. The cutscene animations, on the other hand, make it clear that this is a low-budget game. It does not affect the gaming experience, which is where Harvestella truly shines.
Harvestella contains a variety of towns for players to explore as well as a slew of fascinating side characters. The main quest feels like a diversion in comparison to the game’s plentiful side activities. The core gameplay loop is keeping a farm that may be expanded over time and traveling to the world map to combat monsters. For the most part, the player is focused on the action RPG portion of the game, fighting enemies and adhering to the story mission. There are dungeons to explore, as well as boss fights and shortcuts. Some powerful enemies patrol a certain region, much as in a Souls game, however, the player can return to them once they have achieved some experience.
The job-based system is the meat of the action RPG gameplay. The player has access to over a dozen different jobs. Some of these will become available later. Because there aren’t many jobs to choose from, the battle feels repetitive at first, but after it opens up, it’s fun to go back and try some of the tougher fights again. The same may be said for Harvestella’s farming simulation. The farm first appears to be less challenging and more of a side activity, but its value becomes obvious when more things to maintain, such as animals, are unlocked.
Harvestella appears to be a game that has made the most of its funding. The villages in the game have distinct layouts and themes, so they don’t seem familiar. It never feels like we’re traveling through the same dungeon layout since the art style and aesthetics are beautifully used to give them a unique position in this world. There are many recipes to discover throughout the game, and they are essential for success. They not only improve the flow of combat, but they may also improve the farm. It is so enjoyable to search for and unlock these recipes around the world.
As in Harvest Moon, the player will have limited energy to accomplish duties, which implies that going out and roaming around will be impossible. When the clock strikes midnight, it is usually time to return home and sleep to begin over. Knowing recipes and cooking dishes may boost stamina. Similarly, jobs allow for dynamic combat since they may be switched on the fly. Some jobs are effective against specific enemies, thus discovering what they are is rewarding and lends their inclusion value.
Harvestella has been a surprising hit for me. I never anticipated coming across a game that is so enjoyable to play and so nicely combines its genres. Its disadvantage is the slow pace, and the game asks you to invest some time before it opens up. But if you have what it takes, this is an easy game to recommend, especially if you enjoy this genre.
Harvestella Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Live Wire
- Platform: PC (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher