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Ushi No Tane

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The Ushi No Tane websites specialize in information, FAQs, and guides about the Nintendo console versions of the Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Legend of the River King video games. These game genres are created and published in Japan by Marvelous. In other regions, you'll find Natsume, XSeed Games, Marvelous AQL of Europe, and Rising Star involved in the series' release.

The latest version of the mainstream farming series in various regions of the world are:

The latest version of River King, in all regions of the world, is River King: Mystic Valley (NA 2008, EU 2009).

Since 2000, Ushi no Tane has been run by a grouchy old lady who happens to be fond of video game agriculture along with two feline interns. The website is not officially affiliated, sponsored, endorsed, or employed by the developers of Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, or River King. This is simply a fan site.

Latest Harvest Moon News

December '18 Mobage events and Harvest Life | Posted at 12:52 AM on 08 December 2018
Happy Farm'n Friday! The neighborhood is getting into the Christmas light spirit, with a few more houses with new strings of lights hanging from their roof rafters. The older neighbors are staying unlit (safety and all), but the younger folks are decorating with inflatable snowmen, the laser-dot projectors, and even color-changing bulbs. Mr.Fogu still insists that my flood of 11,000 lights turn off at 10:00 pm. Something about sleep, yadda yadda...

December Mobage Events

It's a new month and a new schedule of community events for Bokujou Monogatari on Mobage, the farming series online social version of Bokumono in Japan (and outside of Japan too!):

Harvest Life Review

A new farming game was released for Nintendo Switch last week. Harvest Life is an eShop digital game priced at $29.99 (USD), developed by Bumblebee Games and published by Roka Publish. The premise of the game is you receive a letter from your Grandpa, who writes he needs help with his farm. Turns out he wanted to get out of the business and sold off enough inventory to move to neighboring Lohwald town. Surprise, you get the leftover farm!

At the beginning you start out by picking your gender and then choosing if you preferred interest is with a male candidate or a female candidate. There appears to only be one marriage partner option in the game: the local mail carriers. Both a male and female postal worker will deliver the mail to your farm (some days it's the guy, some days it's the gal), which is a good time to hand over a gift. The only gift you can give is Chocolate. You can buy it from the warehouse store (expensive) or randomly win from the daily Wheel of Fortune in town (free!).

You have an unlimited number of seeds but a limited number of crops: Cabbage, Carrot, Beet, Pumpkin, and Tomato. There's two cows and two chickens at the start of the game, with additional animals buyable from the farm edit menu inside the farm house. That's also where you can add more field plots, fences, and so on. If it gets to be too much for one person to handle, you can hire up to two employees for 500 G per week.

Earning money is by putting items into the Shop barn on your farm. There's a limited number of items you can sell. Besides crops there's milk, eggs, fish, wild apples, lumber, wood, and the all-important Chocolate. Villagers will walk over from Lohwald and make purchases from your shop. If you have pigs on your farm, the local kids will come by to interact/ride them and pay you money for that privilege.

You've to fill up the animals' water trough and feed trough to keep them happy. Feed is an interesting commodity in this game. You first have to generate electricity for the fodder-production machine by playing a mini game, and then hand over carrots to the machine. If there's enough power and carrots, it makes fodder for your animals. Turning wood into lumber is also a mini game where you slice through the wood as it is tossed into the air.

Fishing is in the game, which works similarly to Stardew Valley's fishing mechanic. Once the fish bites the line, hold down the A Button to keep the fish within catch gauge. There's only one type of fish in the game. Another way to earn money is by completing Grandpa's tasks. You'll be randomly assigned things to do such as harvesting, milking your cows, and so on. When he stops by to sit on his bench, just talk to him to get a new task.

There's a battle mechanic too. The crypt in town and the forest outside of town both have baddies you can fight. There doesn't seem to be much skill needed for combat, as you just swing your sword until the monster is destroyed. Upgrading the sword at the town smithy will help take things down faster.

In general it is an okay farming game. The need for electricity is an interesting addition. If you're looking for something simple where you can just grow some crops, then the game is fine for that. The time on the in-game clock in the upper-right corner is difficult to read when playing the Switch in handheld mode, since the game was originally a Steam game. You can purchase the Steam version for $15 (USD), and it even recently receive a gameplay update containing bug fixes and having shops close on certain days of the week. Originally the publisher sent me a Steam key to try the PC game, but it didn't seem to run very well on my older computer. Seems to run much better on the Swith, though not without a few oddities. Supposedly to rescue the dog from the crypt you just locate and talk to it, but in the Switch version nothing happens. Likewise every so often the day of the week will appear in the morning, but most of the time there's no weekday indication.

Then there's Grandpa's notes of wisdom...

Ah Grandpa, thanks for the tip!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Last night Mr.Fogu was fishing in Red Dead 2, while I was fishing in Harvest Life. Ah, so romantic...)
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