Ushi No Tane | PHP-Update HM: Anthos Preview #4 (Marriage System!) and a few Indie Farm'n Game Updates Happy Farm'n Friday! With summer dissolving away, it was time to harvest the two watermelons growing in the front yard. These were the only two plants that sprouted from the hybridizing experiment the other year when I cross-pollinated a yellow-flesh watermelon with a small personal-size watermelon.I hoped to get a small watermelon with yellow flesh, and that is technically what I got. They were small, all right! Bigger than a tomatillo, yet smaller than a peach or an apple. I'm unsure if it was the ongoing soil quality issue this time since one plant grew in the front yard flower bed while the other somehow made its way into a flower pot (probably a dang tree rat moved the seed). Both vines produced the same size of fruit.
Mr.Fogu described his one spoonful of yellow watermelon per half as tasty, but there was for sure some disappointment in the size. It is so much easier to grow delicious watermelons in video games.
I also harvested our potatoes last week, which had been stunted when the temperature got really hot mid-summer. Even though the plants died before they could flower, we got about a pound of potatoes. Enough for a side dish of potatoes for two meals. It's better than nothing.
As for those straggly carrots from this spring, they're still in the raised garden bed. Some plants had a short growth spurt when the temperature began to cool at the start of the month, but that didn't last very long.
There's always next year, right?

HM: Anthos Preview #4
With Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos being released next Tuesday, the 26th, in North America (October 6 in Europe), let's talk about the marriage system. The marriage candidates are unlocked through the story.
The candidates' woo-ing capabilities unlock in a specific order:
Judy and Neil in LectenburyAolani and Kaimana in LilikalaArnold and Ella in HerbstburgLina and Nikolai in ZimagradVivi and Westley in Providence
Friendship in the game is noted by music notes next to the character's name on the conversation dialog box. Marriage candidates have closed flower buds beside their names, while normal villagers (and Doc Jr., sadness...) have no flowers.

Gaining friendship on these music notes is quite easy. Talking, completing their villager requests, and giving gifts increase the affection levels. Each candidate has 3 super-special gifts that give a good boost of affection. These gifts are documented in the DocPad if you need to reference who likes what.
The music notes act as affection locks. Once you complete a note, you must trigger an event with the candidate to unlock the next music note of their affection meter. Likewise, you have to solve that town's problem before romantic events happen for that town's marriage candidates in the first place. For example, while you might meet Westley and Vivi early in the game's story, you can only move past 1 music note of affection with them once you clear the issues surrounding Providence Village near the end of the main story, which then unlocks the ability for their romance events to trigger. That's why they're last on the list above.
In general, you'll gain a note of affection, see an event, gain another note of affection, see an event, and then repeat this process until you have seen 5 romantic events for the 5 music notes. The 2nd event has an option response you pick that will vary the dialog a little, while the 5th event is the resolution of their personality quirk that you've helped them overcome (e.g., Ella is shy about showing her art, Judy spoils her animals too much, Arnold needs to learn to relax, etc.)

Once you have seen the 5th romantic event with any marriage candidate, the Tiny Harvest Goddess will guide you to the next stage - going steady. You can give the marriage candidates a Token of Love or a Token of Friendship. There's no limit to the number of candidates you can give a token to. These tokens are crafted at the workshop inside the farmhouse and can't be shipped via the shipping bin or sold to a town merchant.
The Token of Love is used to unlock the 6th music note of a marriage candidate's affection. During the handover event, the marriage candidate will give you their own Token of Love, which is kept in the key items section of your inventory. The flower bud next to the candidate's name will bloom into a red rose, indicating you're going steady.
If you've no interest in seeing the romance events of a specific person, but you still want some sort of item to carry around in the key items section of your bag, you can give a Token of Friendship instead. A different event with the marriage candidate will happen, whereby they give you a Token of Friendship in exchange with the promise the two of you will be friends foreeeveeerrr. The flower bud next to their name will turn into a yellow sunflower. The former candidate will then be locked to a maximum of 5 music notes, just like the normal villagers.
It's up to you whether you want to give a Token of Love or a Token of Friendship, but you can only give 1 token to a person, and there are no do-overs. For example, if you give a Token of Friendship to someone and then change your mind, you won't be prompted to give a Token of Love, even if you have one sitting in your bag inventory waiting to be given to someone. The same goes for becoming sweethearts and wanting to become just friends later, so choose wisely.
You can give Tokens of Love to every person available to marry, though I do not know what happens if you give Tokens of Friendship to everyone! It might be interesting to see what happens now that I understand how it works better. However, I need to start a new game to give it a try because I've given a few Love Tokens to document their events. Two more marriage candidates are being released as DLC on October 17, Charlotte and Jaques, so there's an option in case everyone is just friends. Or maybe the game stops you from handing over 10 Tokens of Friendship? No idea, sorry.
Anyhoooow, the 6th music note will be available to earn after you've given a Token of Love. You'll see a romantic event at the end of that note, then continue on to the 7th music note.
To actually get married you need to:
Fill the 7th music note. Tiny HG doesn't pop up with her wedding explanation until the last note is full.Upgrade your house to its largest size, which comes with two beds, not one large bed. But the two beds are side-by-side, so they look like a large bed. It's similar to Friends of Mineral Town and its two beds. You don't have to craft the second bed; it's just there as part of the house upgrade.Get the Blue Feather. This happens when visiting the Harvest Goddess Spring on a clear night.

After meeting those requirements, you can talk to your future spouse and propose marriage. They'll accept the Blue Feather, talk to their family about the engagement, and tell you the wedding will take place 7 days later. The date of your wedding will appear on the calendar in the DocPad if you need a reminder.
You'll be dressed in wedding attire on the morning of the wedding - no need to collect materials to make the clothes this time. A short conversation with your future spouse will take place in the farmhouse, and then you'll go to Providence for the wedding. It's not a long ceremony, and there's a fade-out "kiss" like in other farming games we're familiar with, and then you'll return to the farmhouse at 10:00 am to finish the rest of the day: feeding animals, crop chores, and so on. This wedding day will also be celebrated yearly with a special dinner, which can take place that same night of your wedding date if you walk inside the farmhouse at night.
SPOILER: Click here to see a picture of the wedding attire
After the wedding, the flower on the conversation dialog box of the former marriage candidate you gave Tokens of Love to will change from a red rose to a yellow sunflower, as now you're just good friends. Any remaining candidate who didn't receive any token will continue to have a closed flower bud. Your spouse will continue on their schedule from before their marriage, returning home in the evening. They'll sleep on their side of the two beds, wake up, walk around the house, and then head out for the day. The wedding attire is not a wearable outfit in the clothing closet, though if it was, we'd rock that dress while collecting compost in the livestock barn.
With the game coming out soon, hopefully these summaries helped you get to know the game better! I know there are some EU folks out there with review copies of the game (as they've asked me questions about the game's story), and I plan to have the full story walkthrough available on the guide later this weekend. I have a week off from office work in two weeks, which I plan to use for more guide writing, both for AWL and for Anthos.
Anyhow, here is some super spoil-y post-game information if you're curious to know what happens after reconnecting the villages:

Super Duper Post-Story Spoil Stuff!After the game's story is completed, interacting with the Harvest Goddess at her spring will unlock special crop-processing abilities. Basically, she becomes an all-important seed maker machine, a greatly needed function for dealing with the great number of crop mutations in the Natsume Harvest Moon games. You can give her 1 bag of seeds to transform into 3 bags of seeds. She'll also take 1 crop/flower to process into 1 bag of seeds, which you can flip into 3 bags of seeds using her first option. Processing time is involved, with rarer crops/flowers taking more time to complete the conversion, and she can only handle one request at a time.
The adult-size HG will also keep track of the number of Power Wisps located so far, though she won't tell you where they all are. There are a whopping 160 Power Wisps hidden throughout Anthos. You can continue to exchange 3 Harvest Wisp Fruits for your choice of 1 stamina heart or 3 bag inventory slots.
On nights when there's a full moon, the powers of the Harvest Goddess will strengthen, bringing benefits for that evening and spreading fireflies around Anthos. During this Harvest Moon night, the normal pink-hat Harvest Wisps will multiply: 4 wisps floating around instead of a solitary wisp. The blue-hat rare Harvest Wisps will not run away when you run to them and give more seeds than on a normal day. Likewise, you won't need to sneak up to pet any wild animal, AND both daytime and nighttime wild animals will be around for snuggling at the same time. This global experience will last until the moon sets around 6:00 am. The Tiny Harvest Goddess will tell you when you awake in the morning if it's a Harvest Moon night.
The dinosaur wild animal is on the volcano's summit. It's a long walk to get there, but at the top is a warp statue, so you can teleport back later.
There are a LOT of ongoing festivals that take place. The Fish Faceoff, Anthos Expo, Mining Meet, Equestrian Challenge, and Critter Crawl happen every season. The season-specific festivals are date festivals where you earn a full music note of affection with whoever you choose to spend the time with. I haven't unlocked the Harvest Goddess Festival yet, but I believe that's an annual festival, too.
There are 28 in-game achievements to complete. Some will unlock as you go through the story, while others are more difficult, such as finding all Power Wisps or earning $1 million G. These 28 achievements are the same for the PlayStation version and quite possibly on other platforms.

And of course, if you have any questions while going through Anthos, you can contact me directly or write a post on the UNoT message board (guest posting permitted).

Indie Game Updates
Witchy farming game Critter Crops had its estimated release date pushed back. Originally planned for a Quarter 4 2023 release, developer Skyreach Studio moved their release date to early 2024 to allow for more bug testing and polishing.
Another indie farming game with a release date shift is The Ranchers. While this open-world farming game has been in alpha access for about 11 months, developer RedPilzStudio needs more time to implement changes based on alpha player feedback before making it available to the general public. The game's public Early Access is now planned for sometime in 2024.
Fluffnest announced today via Discord/Twitch that the alpha access period for Puffpals: Island Skies will be October 31, 2023. The game will be playable in a test-this-out format for those who crowdfunded the game at the support tier that included alpha access. Fluffnest stated they decided to do one more game revision before making it available for alpha backers. This is why the alpha access period starts in October instead of this month.

Until next time!

- Cher(The rainy season begins next week... bye bye sunshine...) Fri, 22 Sep 2023 22:56:14 +0000
HM: Anthos Preview #3, SoS:AWL Patch, and Eastward Farming-themed DLC Happy Farm'n Friday! The replacement control stick from last week's broken Joycon has successfully been installed. While I've opened my Switch before to replace its battery pack, I had yet to delve into a Joycon. The connections in there are so tiny, in a cute way.
The plastic case on my left Joycon has a piece broken off (I've no idea how that happened), so now I'm tempted to see if I can get a replacement part of that, too.
The next Marvelous dungeon-crawler game with a small BokuMono crossover, Silent Hope, now has a free demo available on Steam and on Nintendo Switch. At the player's basecamp, the archer playable character is responsible for bubble-cow and chicken care, which are designed after the farm animals from Story of Seasons.

HM: Anthos Preview #3
I'm still going through the story of Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos. I'm getting close to the conclusion, maybe? I'm about 85 hours into the game so far, but I'm also going very slow with the story as I document stuff. Hopefully, by the next Farm'n Friday, I'll better understand the marriage system since candidates are quite tied to the story.
A fellow farmer asked about how animals are in Anthos, so let's cover that this week.
There are a wide variety of animals you can care for in this game. Much more than just a typical cow or chicken. The distinction between them tends to be:
animals that give products (milk, wool, etc.), and
animals that give benefits.

In any case, animals must live on your farm to give anything. You won't start with any animals, but the first part of the story guides you through repairing the old barn in Lectenbury and receiving a free chicken. The basic barn can hold up to 10 animals - 5 large animals and 5 poultry. Even if you had 5 large animals and wanted a new cow, you can't take a space reserved for a chicken. It's 5-and-5.
The next barn upgrade brings those limits up to 10 and 10. Its interior space is larger and easier to navigate around. Walking space can get tight in the small barn when there are 5 large animals in the way!
Barns have feeding boxes for animals to eat from. All animals eat the same Animal Feed; the chickens do not need special food. You can manually put the food in the feed troughs or utilize the auto-feeder machine to do it for you. This contraption catapults food into every empty feed box when activated. Pew pew pew pew! The feeder does not automatically trigger every day (you have to interact with it), and it fills every empty box even if you don't have enough animals to eat the food. Any uneaten food will remain in the feed troughs until consumed.
A tip about feeding - the animals don't eat at a particular time. I've experienced that they eat at different times throughout the day.

Besides barn animals, you can have house pets live with you. You don't have a choice whether an animal lives in the house or the barn. By default, any large animal goes in the barn, and small animals live inside the farmhouse. While there are bird pets, such as owls, budgies, and lovebirds, they live inside the house with you and not in the barn with the chickens.
The number of house pets you can keep is determined by your house size. The starting house gets you 1 pet, and the second-level house gets you 3 pets. I assume there's another house upgrade in my future, as the bed is too small for one person and the future child.
House pets also eat Animal Feed. The barn's auto-feeder doesn't shoot food through the windows, so you must fill these dishes with food daily.

A farm bell inside the barn will herd all your animals outside to spend time in the sunny weather; the game won't allow you to put them outside on rainy or stormy weather days. Outside time helps with their mood, but I haven't seen it help with feeding. When 9:00 pm rolls around, the animals automatically return to the barn or the farmhouse and fall asleep. But if they don't eat before going outside that day, then they go to bed hungry. An animal can be manually fed by holding Animal Feed in your hands and talking to the animal.
Not eating that day will lower an animal's music notes of friendship. Animals' products and benefits can't be triggered when they aren't at maximum affection or close to maximum affection.

You can collect an item from an animal that gives products by interacting with the creature when there's a collect icon above its head, for most animals. With chickens, you can simply pick up the egg from the nesting box. Cows will have a milk bottle icon, and sheep have a ball of wool icon. Simply interact with the animal to automatically collect the products.
Some pets also can give products. From what I've seen, anything other than a cow, sheep, chicken, or ridable mount has a skill. The animal won't reward you with its skill until its affection is close to the maximum 10 music notes or maxed out. When that happens, you can see the animal's skill in the animal ledger; otherwise, the skill is listed as "?????" even if you've already had the animal at maximum affection before.
Skills that reward you with a collectible item can be picked up from an animal when an item bag icon appears above their head. So far, I've found that small pets have a skill that rewards you with a random item. For example, the kitsune fox will give you a random mushroom when you interact with it, such as shiitake mushroom (6 G) or white truffle (2530 G). The desert meerkat will give a random raw gemstone, the lovebird will give random seed bags, and the owl will give random flowers. There may be more types, but that's what I know so far.
For animals that give a benefit, this can be triggered passively or actively depending on the skill. For a passive example, large cats (tiger and leopard) will automatically boost the temperature protection effects of certain foods when you eat that meal; the only interaction you must do to trigger this benefit is to keep the cat at maximum affection. For an active example, you can restore 2 hearts of stamina by petting a small cat once per day. Like the large cats, you need to have the animal at super-high affection to receive this benefit.
There will be times when you want to interact with an animal to raise its affection, but you don't want to trigger the benefit quite yet. In those cases, you can still raise affection by giving the animal a gift. Animals will have preferred gifts that really boost their appreciation for you, but you can give them other types to raise a little bit of affection as well. If I want to use my little kitty's stamina restoration powers, I'll give them milk to ensure they're at max affection and then return later to pat their head to receive the stamina recovery effect. It's the same way with the llama; give it an apple in the morning, then return later to pat its head to receive the 12 hours of cold protection benefit. Animals of the same species can have different gift preferences.

As for obtaining animals, you can buy them from the animal shops in the town or you can tame them from the wild. While I haven't found any wild bovine or chickens yet, I have found wild sheep, horses, camels, reindeer, bears, and many other creatures. To tame a wild animal, stealth-crawl until you're close enough to interact, then press the A Button to give it pets. If you run right up to a wild animal, it will run away before you can do anything. You can also give a wild animal a gift to help boost its affection. Once the animal has roughly 8 music notes, a prompt will trigger asking if you want to tame and add it to the barn or farmhouse.
When you don't want an animal anymore, interact with the animal ledger and choose to let the animal go free. A wild animal will then return to its old location and retain its max affection in case you want to tame and bring it back later. A store-bought animal will disappear forever into the void of Anthos.

SoS:AWL Game Update

Marvelous released a small patch on Wednesday for Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life. Changes made to the game are:
Fixed an issue where some unintentional words were included in the banned words list. The notes didn't specify the exact words removed from Marv's over-reaching list of naughty terms. Still, observant farmers noticed that they could now name hybrid crops "Crop 14" and "Crop 18" without omitting the space. Previously prohibited "Coral," "Cassie," and "Lemon" are now acceptable names for an animal. However, other innocent-like words, such as "Corn," "Donkey," and "Pie," still result in an "unacceptable word or character" message. It looks as though the word filter check now searches for full words rather than partial matches.Fixed a bug where sometimes eggs would appear/disappear when the player repeatedly lifts the chicken up and down. Fixed a bug with Rock's eyes where they would appear out of shape or distorted in some events.Other minor bugs correctedText typos were corrected in the PlayStation and XBox versions in Japan.
On the other hand, the animals in the farm pasture now seem to coast around like they're sliding on ice, at least in the Steam version.

Sept 14 Nintendo Direct
While we didn't get any new Story of Seasons, Harvest Moon, or other farming game updates, we did learn about a DLC that will bring farming aspects to an existing game.

Eastward is an adventure game in a decaying world, with the dwindling population living in underground cities to escape the miasma that infects the above world. This new download content for the game called Eastward: Octopia places the protagonists in a new miasma-free farming adventure. They'll work to revitalize an old farm near the town of Seagull, raising crops and caring for strange animals while at the same time rebuilding an old theme park into a city center.
This is a game DLC, so purchasing the main game is required; the base game will be on sale soon, according to the DLC announcement notice posted on Steam. The new farming adventure will be accessible from the main menu of Eastward, so you don't have to play through the base game to access the DLC content. The Eastward farming DLC will be released later this winter on Nintendo Switch and Steam platforms.

Until next time!

- Cher(Hmm... may have to pick up Eastward...) Fri, 15 Sep 2023 22:39:02 +0000
HM:Anthos Preview #2; RF3S, Shepherd's Crossing, Fae Farm, and Sprout Valley Released; and Indie Game Updates Sat, 09 Sep 2023 00:05:24 +0000 HM:Anthos Gameplay Preview 1, Anthos DLC and Candidate, and Indie Game Update Happy Farm'n Friday! Copies of Rune Factory 3 Special began shipping this week from XSeed's distributor. Looks like it'll be showing up sometime on Tuesday next week. Though with both SoS:AWL and HM:Anthos to play, it may end up on a backlog shelf... oh dear rainbow, please wait for me...
This week's update is a lot, so let's get started!

HM: Anthos Preview
Natsume was kind enough to offer an early copy of their upcoming game, so I've had the luxury of playing the Nintendo Switch version of Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos for about two weeks. So far, I've got a few animals in my barn, my refrigerator is full of veggies (because who doesn't hoard stuff in a farming game), and my highest friendship villager is the wondrous Doc Jr. (He loves Iron!)

The story of Anthos begins 10 years earlier when a volcanic eruption threatened the small towns near the volcano's shadow. The Harvest Goddess used her abilities to try and calm the volcano, while her four Harvest Sprite helpers used their powers to erect massive walls in various places to shield the towns from the debris. Their combined efforts saved everyone, but they also exhausted their strength. The deities fell asleep - the sprites within their walls and the goddess by her shrine - but not before sending an SOS call-for-help letter in a bottle. This message eventually falls into a stream and washes out to the ocean.
That's where the protagonist makes their appearance. Behind the wall erected around the town of Lectenbury, they've been living comfortably with their fellow villages and their best friend, Doc Jr. While chasing a mischievous chicken, the protagonist finds the bottle containing the goddess' help request washed up on the shore. Reading the letter inspires them to try and find a way beyond their safety wall, eventually taking them out into the wide land of Anthos.
Anthos takes a mix of features included in Natsume-style Harvest Moon games, merges them into one mega-game, and then improves upon even that. There are crop mutations from The Lost Valley and Skytree Village, collectible special fruit like the 100+ memories in Seeds of Memories, biome-based fields like in Light of Hope, and an expansive world and cultural villages like in One World.
On the topic of the world, the land map is quite large, with over 50 sectioned areas. Some areas are blocked by Harvest Sprite walls until you complete that portion of the story. Other areas require you to repair a bridge to access, while some areas have environmental hazards, such as eating something cold to withstand hot temperatures. There's a little bit of everything.

You won't have to run worldwide on foot, though. There is a statue of the Tiny Harvest Goddess in each sectioned area, in each town, and wherever the farm space is currently located. Once the mini statue has been awakened, you can teleport to its location using the world map inside the DocPad. It doesn't cost stamina, money, or time to warp from one location to another, though you must wait through a game loading screen. The loading screens display reminder notes about how to play the game and can also be found in the Tips section of the DocPad for reference.
You will first have to walk everywhere, but you can buy your first horse after repairing the farm barn. Instead of spending 3000 G on a horse, you can tame one from the wild for free! A small herd of brown horses just to the east of Providence can be enticed to live on the farm. There are other rideable mounts too, such as the chestnut horse in the highland areas and the zebra on the beach by Lilikala. Content creators who attended Natsume's media event last week (I wasn't invited... sniffle...) noted that there is also a raptor mount. Josh from Josh's Gaming Garden has a preview of Anthos on his channel that contains Natsume-supplied footage of the dinosaur mount.
The mounts aren't all the same, either. Different mounts are good for different terrain. For example, my trusty zebra steed is super speedy around the grassland areas by Providence but gets stuck at walking speed when venturing into the hot desert. Using a camel in that sandy area would be better, but I don't have one yet!
Yes, you do lose a little stamina when doing day-to-day things like walking everywhere. Doc will install a kitchen in the house for cooking meals, so I've been picking the coffee beans from the trees throughout the Providence area and cooking them into coffee. Besides an easy dish for stamina recovery, it's a good drink for exploring the desert at night or checking out the snowy mountain area, as it has a 1-minute warming effect. Once you get a horse, which you can call from anywhere outside by pressing the down button on the directional pad, the walking stamina loss is no longer a pressing issue. You can also switch out to another mount by assigning it as the mount of choice when using the animal notebook inside the barn

A huge improvement over past versions of Harvest Moon is the new Item Search functionality. Locating a specific Harvest Wisp, wild item, fish, or tame-able animal can be done directly from the world map located within the DocPad. You'll need to first find the item or creature on your own, but after that, you can track it from anywhere in the world, including when the item or creature is in areas you haven't visited yet. All the icons that mark tracked items on the expansive DocPad world map will also appear in the game's on-screen mini-map.
For example, when all the crop seeds for the Lectenbury area are enabled in the Item Search feature of the DocPad, the map looks like this:

There are three types of Harvest Wisps that I've found so far. The general Harvest Wisps wear purple outfits and will float around until you interact and receive their bag of seeds, usually 1 to 2 bags at a time. The rare Harvest Wisps wear blue outfits and will flee if you run up to them too quickly. Like with wild animals, slowly walking or using the right-trigger button to squat-crawl until you reach them will help to ensure they don't scare away. Rare Harvest wisps have between 3 and 5 bags of seeds. The last type of Harvest Sprites are the Power Wisps. These guys carry Harvest Wisp Fruit instead of bags of crop seeds. Once you collect their fruit, the Power Wisp doesn't appear at that location again, and a golden acorn icon will appear on the world map to indicate you found the Harvest Wisp Fruit from that spot. In the above screenshot, you can see a gold acorn icon on the west side of the Lectenbury map that shows I found the Power Sprite for that location, plus another golden acorn icon in the middle of the town. The fruit can be exchanged for stamina hearts and bag slot upgrades at the goddess' statue north of Providence. Think of them like the Korok in Zelda: Breath of the Wild - they're out there for you to uncover.
Harvest Wisps aren't always just obviously floating around. They can also pop out when chopping down a tree, smashing a rock, or cutting wild grass. Many of the Power Wisps I've run across are hidden in large boulders at the top of hills that look just out of place enough to imply that the rock needs a good whacking with the hammer. Alas, the Item Search function doesn't locate Power Wisps.
So that's a good, general overview of Anthos. I'm about 25 hours into the game, working on fixing up the third town, and have just reached Autumn of year 1. I haven't reached the marriage portion yet, but I have had two events with Judy that felt romantic-y. The marriage proposal isn't available until the story is complete, presumably when the Harvest Goddess and her four little buddies have restored their powers. This was the case in One World too, so there is nothing different here.
If you've something specific that you'd like to know about, let me know!

Anthos DLC Detailed
Natsume also revealed the four planned DLC packs that will be released for Anthos. These are optional bonus content that adds a bit more oomph to the base game for those of us who are completionists:
Animal Avalanche Pack: Unlocks extra wild animals wandering around the world, including the round-puffball-with-legs sasquash from One World. Costs $2.99 and releases on September 26 (the game's NA release date. Not sure if EU folks have to wait until October 6 or if it releases worldwide on Sept 26.)
Visitors from Afar: Two extra marriage candidates who are NOT Doc Jr. Bah. This extra story chapter is about a trading company establishing a business in Athos. The company CEO, Charlotte, and her assistant, Jaques, will be romanceable. This optional pack costs $12.99 and will be released on October 17.
Tool Upgrades and New Interior Designs: Upgrade your tools to the ultimate level beyond what's available in-game. Also includes three more interior designs for the farmhouse. You'll be crafting sprinklers from Doc Jr. to automatically water your fields, so an upgraded watering can won't be terribly useful. The hammer upgrade could be handy for hunting down Power Wisps hidden in stones worldwide, but you won't miss much if you don't have this DLC tool upgrade. This pack costs $2.99 and will be released on November 7.
Lastly, the New Crops/Fish/Recipes pack will unlock extra gotta-get-them-all for those who may have already collected everything in the game. This pack brings in 4 crops, 8 flowers, 6 fish, and 15 cooking recipes, costs $2.99, and will be released on November 28.
Rather than buying each DLC separately, a four-pack pass will be available for $14.99.

Anthos Candidate #5

The fifth of eight marriage candidates in Anthos was revealed this week. Nikolai is an apothecary from the town of Zimagrad in the mountains. While I've been outside the Harvest Sprite wall in that snowy mountainous area (mainly due to my constant coffee consumption), I haven't been into the town yet to meet this fellow. That dang wall is in the way. Maybe soon it'll be gone!

Indie Game Updates
Improvements are still being developed for caveman farming game Roots of Pacha. Developer (and now publisher) Soda Den has been working on the console release of this Steam game, which is planned for a release later this year. The improvements made to the console release will also be added to the Steam edition. Version 1.1 will add Voda as a marriage candidate, more friendship events with non-marriage candidates, the option to break your marriage, more savanna wild animals, NPC gifts via smoke signals, quality-of-life changes, and more bug fixes. After version 1.1, Soda Den plans to continue development with Pacha, possibly adding two more regions to the game.
The Fall Update is still in the works for early this month in Coral Island. Besides adding the merfolk kingdom, this big content addition will bring adoptable pets from the pet shelter, super-smart auto chests that can be placed next to processing machines to move materials from one machine to another, new farmhouse designs, new farm building designs, an item exchange that'll give you goodies for spending merit points, new scarecrow designs (there's a Santa one!), and updates to the game's cooking system. Coral Island is currently in early access on Steam.
The crowdfunding campaign for Loftia ended this week, with over 16,500 supporters pledging over $1,270,000 to bring this sustainable farming game to life. Qloud Games initially requested $150,000 but received enough public financial support to beat every stretch goal.

Until next time!

- Cher(Enjoy the Labor Day weekend!) Fri, 01 Sep 2023 23:00:12 +0000
Anthos Candidate #4, Sandrock Delay, Indie Updates, and Fae Farm DLC Happy Farm'n Friday! We had a thunderstorm roll through last night. While it's great that the rain watered all the vegetables, I'm not too keen on waking up in the wee hours of the morning. Intern Captain wasn't a fan of the thunder, especially when it was close and quite loud. The little dude hid under a table until the storm passed.
The outside smelled nice, though! Now it's back to smelling like wildfire smoke.
Things were a bit slow this week. Wada's latest produced game, Natsumon: 20th Century Summer Vacation, is still selling well, and we have the localization of Rune Factory 3 Special coming out in a few weeks. Maybe I can get something more exciting in here next Friday...

HM:WoA #4
Natsume formally revealed the fourth marriage candidate for Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos. News flash - it's not Doc.

While marriage candidate Kaimana is a crafter of fishing tackle, fellow Lilikala villager Aolani is a master angler with a vast knowledge of all things fishy.
Anthos is scheduled to be published digitally (globally) and physically (in NA and EU) on September 26.

Sandrock Delay
Pathea announced this week that their upcoming crafting and desert farming game, My Time at Sandrock, will have its release date pushed back by five weeks. The game is now scheduled to be released in digital and physical formats on November 2 instead of September 26.

The highly anticipated sequel to My Time at Portia, MTAS takes place in the same world as Portia. While the previous entry in the series mentions the city-state periodically throughout the game, you don't have to play MTAP to be familiar with the going-ons in this sequel. MTAS improves on Portia's gameplay while adding new mini-games, marriage candidates, farm animals and crops, and more. The game will eventually include a multiplayer system supporting up to 4 players cooperating to rebuild the town of Sandrock.
Sandrock is scheduled to be released on Epic Game Store, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Steam, and Xbox One/S.

Indie Farm'n Updates
MMO sustainable farming game Loftia has reached another stretch goal in its crowdfunding campaign, receiving enough funding to pay the costs associated with adding bug catching to the game. The campaign has less than 1 week left and has received almost $800,000 from supporters.
Loftia - A Cozy Online Game in a Warm, Solarpunk World | Kickstarter

Alien world farming game One Lonely Outpost released a development roadmap this week. Developer and publisher Freedom Games released the 0.4 summer update that brought controller support, an in-game calendar for tracking alien weather and events and payday, and player customization via the wardrobe in the player's planet lander. The next major content updates are:
Galactic Tides (Fall 2023) - Updates to the fishing system, better NPC relationships, and UI improvements to the Omninac, which is the game's encyclopedia and task tracker.Seasons and Sweethearts (Winter 2023) - Adding romance options (not gender specific), season changes, and quality-of-life improvementsNatural Wonders (Early 2024) - Drone options and new wildlife and livestock optionsMultiplayer (2024): Gene splicing functionality, Act II and Act III of the story, mini-games, and multiplayer options.
One Lonely Outpost has been in Early Access on Steam since the end of June. This game has had a few bumps, as initially, it was more 2D pixel-style graphics and then switched art styles to 3D mid-development. Developer Aurorian Studios then bowed out of the game and handed it to their publishing partner, Freedom Games. All game development updates since last September have been through Freedom Games.
The early access build of One Lonely Outpost is on sale for 20% off until August 31:
One Lonely Outpost | Steam Store

Fae Farm DLC

Phoenix Labs announced this week at Gamescom that two DLC packs for the upcoming magical farming sim game Fae Farm will be free for farmers who preorder the game on Nintendo Switch and for farmers who preorder the deluxe edition on Steam or Epic Game Store (i.e., the standard edition PC game will not receive the extra DLC for free). These post-launch DLC packs are scheduled to be released in December 2023 and June 2024.
A new pre-launch trailer was also revealed at Gamescom (see above), showing the types of farms and magical adventures players can experience in the land of Azoria.
The game will be released on Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Epic Game Store on September 8. Those who preorder the Nintendo Switch edition will receive the Cozy Cabin Variety Pack, containing a wearable costume and crafting recipes. This game can be played as a single-player experience or with up to 4 players either online or local co-op.
Fae Farm | Offical Website
Fae Farm will be playable at PAX West next weekend in Seattle, Washington.

Until next time!

- Cher(Time to start ordering more lights for this year's Christmas extravaganza!) Fri, 25 Aug 2023 21:22:12 +0000
Discontinued Plushies Return, Anthos Candidate #3, Indie Game Updates, and 2 New Kickstarters Happy Farm'n Friday! This spring, I planted some orange cosmos seeds collected from a plant that grew from a packet of "wild flower" seeds. Beside the pretty orange flowers, the local bees have shown they love sleeping in the spent blooms overnight. As the sun lowers every day, the bees gather around the orange cosmos plant to hunker down for the night. Some will be in the plant's blooms, and some like to nestle between the seeds. Then in the morning, the wild bees wait until the sun warms them up before they fly off for the day to do bee things.
This is the only plant I've seen them use as their nightly rest stop. Next year I may have to go on a mass spreading spree with orange cosmos seeds to entice the bees to stay close by. Maybe I won't have to manually pollinate the watermelons when the native critters are in the area.
Natsumon: 20th Century Summer Vacation is still selling well according to Famitsu. The video game and entertainment review site even sent Wada's Toybox Inc. a bottle of champagne to celebrate the game's high review scores. Let's hope these perks entice the team to consider an English localization!

Plushie Parade
Natsume has harvested a batch of previously-retired plushies from Harvest Moon and other Natsume games and made them available on their online web store, including both special edition plushies and preorder bonus plushies. Did you miss the horse preorder bonus from Grand Bazaar back in 2010? Maybe the alpaca preorder from 2011? Or did you get the blue ember dragon plushie from Hometown Story and wanted the yellow one? Maybe the totally-random panda from 10 years ago is what you're looking for. Now's your chance to fill in the holes in your farming game plushie collection while supplies last:
Plushies and Figures | Natsume Games

Anthos Digital Preorders
Preorders on the Nintendo eShop for Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos went live this week. The game retails for $49.99/£44.99/€49.99. Digital versions from the eShop require 1.8 G to 2 G, depending on the region of release. The eShop also notes that the game will be released in English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese.
The catalog entries on the Nintendo websites in Europe contain a header image of all 10 marriage candidates grouped together by village. As expected, there are 5 pairs of marriage candidates, none of which are Doc. Bah.

This week, we were introduced to Kaimana, an angler from the village of Lilikala. His character description mentions he's the son of Makoa, yet there was a Makoa from Halo Halo in Harvest Moon: One World. Connection or coincidence? /shurg
The ESRB website says that the game is rated E (for everybody) while noting that the game has optional in-game purchases. The Sony PlayStation store mentions the same description. Sounds like there may be optional content announced in the future.

Indie Game Updates
The developers of the farming MMO Loftia, after careful consideration, have announced that they have no current plans to bring romance options into their online game. The reason is that the game is about building a sustainable world and not about marriage, along with the fact that multiple players would most likely be marrying the same non-playable character who couldn't move in with a player to start a family. That's something Qloud Games feels would not benefit their game. They may consider having some way for players to mark other players as their partners, but it must align with the development team's safety considerations.
Development of Cloudscape is progressing. The latest update from Konitama explains the seasonal islands, which are small areas that appear when a player unlocks a major island through the story. Nobody lives on the seasonal islands, but they contain an all-year biome of their defined season. Players can forage for wild items, catch season-specific bugs and fish, and grow seasonal crops on these islands year-round. These seasonal islands won't be as vast as the player's farm island, but they'll help with not waiting a whole year to collect something out of season. Konitama has also been busy designing one of the major islands, Gravelston, and building a calendar to document when the island festivities occur, the tool upgrade process, water transportation upgrades, and bug fixes.
Early access farming game Song of the Prarie upgraded to version 0.6 this week. Besides the typical bug fixes and optimizations, developer The Droplet Studio added a second character design option when a player picks their career; more careers will be added later. They also implemented more side quests, a bulletin board where commission requests are posted, more crop options (e.g., peas, water lilies, chives, and aster), special king-sized fish, a new item exchange shop, new wearable accessories, and expanded the number of objects a player can interact with in town.

New Kickstarter Campaigns
Some new indie-developed games are looking for public financial support.
First off, we have Mobberville, a farming, village redevelopment, and friendship-building game being developed by Septagram Games.

Players control a clay golem living on an island of monsters (i.e., mobs). The villages are in ruins, rumored to be caused by so-called heroes invading the island. You'll rebuild bridges and monster villages, explore the island, and uncover the little monster towns' histories.
Mobberville | Kickstarter

The second is Chronomon, a game with monster taming as its core, but also contains foraging, fishing, cooking, and farming aspects that usually come along with life sim types of games.

Take your team of monsters out to battle and capture wild creatures, then bring them back to the farm to release them in the pasture. Taking care of monster livestock on the farm will result in collectible materials like fur, claws, scales, and milk.
What's interesting about this project is developer Stone Golem Studios intends to make this game playable on smartwatches, and the studio has already released several smartwatch games. Besides smartwatches, the one-person studio plans to release this game on PC and mobile devices.
The campaign has already reached its initial funding goal and is working towards stretch goals such as more monsters, house customization, and an online leaderboard.
Chronomon - Monster Taming FPG Farm Sim | Kickstarter

Until next time!

- Cher(Maybe Doc can be a DLC marriage candidate in Anthos if I pester them some more...) Fri, 18 Aug 2023 22:09:01 +0000
HM:Anthos Candidate #2 Reveal, Indie Farm'n Game Updates, and Jell-O Happy Farm'n Friday! Since we finished the cherry cobbler, it was time to try the lemon crumb dessert from the Joys of Jell-O cookbook. I followed the directions and left it in the refrigerator overnight, but the result was a soupy mess. I assumed boiling the water in the microwave to melt the gelatin powder would be okay, but I was sooooo wrong. Only the base of the bowl got hot enough in the microwave, so the gelatin was only coagulated at the bottom. It didn't have enough oomph to firm up after the evaporated milk was whipped into the gelatin. Bah, a dessert disaster! Mr.Fogu encouraged me to try the recipe again (as he likes lemon), so he returned to the grocery store to resupply the ingredients.
On the second attempt, I used the stovetop to boil the water hot enough to melt the lemon gelatin. This time, the 1962 lemon crumb recipe turned out a-okay!

How was it? It's mousse-like but with a hint of lemon. The dessert looks large, but it's mostly air because of the whipped evaporated milk mixed in with the lemon gelatin. It is certainly different. And this was using half of the ingredients the recipe called for! A larger pan would have worked better, but it was pretty good overall!
I know, it looks like a delicious cheesecake, yet it's just Jell-O with a vanilla cookie bottom crust. They were definitely creative with their gelatin food art back in the '60s.
On another note, Wada's latest game Natsumon! 20th Century Summer Vacation is selling a-okay in Japan, with over 30,000 physical copies purchased since its release on July 28. Wada's game studio, Toybox Games, recently started a Twitter account to promote their published games. If you still have a Twitter account, give 'em a follow to stay up-to-date with the Bokujou Monogatari creator's latest projects.

HM:WoA Candidate #2
This week, Natsume revealed the official artwork for the second of ten available marriage candidates in their upcoming game, Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos, scheduled to be released on multiple platforms on September 26.

Judy helps her dad, Mathis, with his animal shop in Lectenbury. She's described as good-natured with a hint of mischief. Neil and his stylish man-bun are also from Lectenbury. We know from already-revealed content that there are three other villages (Providence, Lilikala, and Zimagrad), possibly with two candidates per village (e.g., Westly and Vivi are from Providence). There may be hope for Doc to be one of the remaining two candidates. Oooh gosh golly!
(It's most likely a fifth village and its two candidates that haven't been revealed yet, but you never know... fingers crossed!)

Indie Game Updates
The crowdfunding campaign for Chill Town ends tomorrow. The developer has already received enough funding to include a collection museum in the game, but they need more support to include seasons and festivals in Chill Town. You can give support to the campaign on their Kickstarter page:
Chill Town - A unique blend of Soothing Simulation and Idle Game | Kickstarter

The campaign for Loftia is also going well, receiving over $500,000 in its second week. Qloud Games is hoping to receive additional funding to support the development of club housing (Up to 20 friends can decorate a club/guild house together), collectible music tracks, an insect system that can help boost plant growth, and an endangered species rescue-and-release system.

To celebrate the half-million milestone, Qloud Games is holding a Loftia fanart contest. Winners will receive a Whale Wind Turbine plushie, their art featured in the Loftia digital artbook, a copy of the game, and a digital original soundtrack. To enter, post your Loftia-themed art (drawing, sculpture, mixed-media, etc.) to social media (Twitter, TikTok, Instagram) using the "#loftiafanartcontest" tag. Thirty winners will be chosen for the public grand prize voting, which will take place on August 22-26 on Lofia's Discord channel. You can learn more about the contest on the Loftia Updates page on their Kickstarter page.
Loftia - A Cozy MMO in a Steampunk World | Kickstarter

Development of farming skyship game Sally is sailing along. Lucid Dreams recently revealed that they've been working on adding sounds to the user interface (UI), willow trees to the floating islands players can explore, and a fountain on the ship where players can collect water and carry it to other parts of the ship. Sally is planned for a release in Jan/Feb/March 2025.
Sally - A Cozy Lifesim about Community | Steam Store Page

Rainy Games released a new promotional trailer for their Japan-themed social sim and farming game, SunnySide. This video introduces players to some of the villagers who live in the town.

The five residents highlighted in the new trailer can become friends or potentially romanced. While this game has relationship-building options, it does not contain a marriage aspect. Instead, players can build a relationship with a person, getting to know them and their life challenges, with a love confession at the end of their storyline. The resident interactions in this game are more about the player's social simulation aspects with the SunnySide residents rather than an end-game marriage. Players could also simply become best friends with the 25 romance characters instead of taking a courtship path. SunnySide is planned for a release sometime this year.
SunnySide - Build Your Farm in the Japanese Countryside | Steam Store Page

Until next time!

- Cher(100° F forecasted for next week. The poor zucchini... yay watermelons!) Fri, 11 Aug 2023 22:51:04 +0000
A Chicken Backpack from Natsume, Upcoming Claire Figurine, Indie Farm'n Game News, and Steam Discounts/Demos Happy Farm'n Friday! I still need to try that strange lemon gelatin dessert. Instead, we had a bag of red cherries that needed to be dealt with before they rotted (fruit is so expensive!), so I whipped up a sour cherry cobbler. You can't go wrong with fruit and dough!

HM:Anthos Chicken Bag
Chicken. On a bag. With the handle fastener acting as eyes. Oh gosh!

This leather backpack from Natsume is available to preorder on their online store. Large enough to carry an 11-inch tablet (e.g., an IPad Air is about that size), fans of poultry purses can purchase this synthetic-leather backpack in a couple of ways:

Preorder the Harvest Moon: Winds of Anthos Ultimate Edition. This bundle includes a physical copy of the game (your choice of PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, or XBox), the special sleepytime cow plush, a Tiny Harvest Goddess card, and the chicken backpack. This edition of Anthos costs $124.99 USD.
Preorder just the backpack without a physical copy of Anthos from the Natsume store for a price of $124.99, but is currently on sale for $99.99 (20% off).
Besides the above-mentioned Ultimate Edition and the NIS America bundle of Anthos, the Natsume store is offering three other editions:

The Standard Edition ($49.99) contains a physical copy of the game, the sleepytime cow plushie, and one of four random Harvest Sprite collectible cards.
The Premium Edition ($74.99) contains a copy of the game, the sleepytime cow plushie, the Tiny HG collectible card, and a 72-page artbook (which is also available as a separate purchase)
The Collectors Edition ($89.99) contains a copy of the game, the sleepytime cow plushie, all five collectible cards, and a metal letter-in-a-bottle keychain and Harvest Goddess charm.

Retailers such as and Gamestop have Standard Editions ($49.99) that include a physical copy of the game and the sleepytime cow plushie, but not a collectible Harvest Sprite card.
Also revealed this week was the official information for the first of the eight marriage candidates in the game. Neil is a chef-in-training at a restaurant in Lenctenbury. With his rolled-up shirt cuffs and snazzy man-bun, he gives off a dad-bod vibe, don't 'ya think? He's no Doc Junior; there's a universal appeal for the silver fox that they refuse to recognize. If I nag enough, maybe someday my dream will come true...
Harvest Moon: Winds of Anthos will be released next month on September 26.

Claire Nendori

Good Smile Company, the creator of the popular Nendoroid line of poseable and collectible action figures, announced at the Wonderful Hobby Life show that the company intends to produce a chibi Claire Nendori figure. The company does sell its line-up of collectible figures on their North American website, though we don't know yet whether Claire will be available outside of Japan.

Indie Game Updates
Multiplayer sustainable-farming game Loftia launched its Kickstarter campaign this week. Developer Qloud Games has already received over $400,000 in community support, well past its initial funding goal of $150,000. Additional funding will go towards stretch goals to improve aspects of the game, such as improving the aquaponics farming system and an in-game second-hand store where players can sell their unwanted clothing and house decorations to other players. The campaign will end on August 31.
Loftia - A cozy MMO game in a relaxing solarpunk world | Kickstarter

The July update from the Coral Island development team introduces the leader of the upcoming Merfolk Kingdom, King Krakatoa, and explains that players will soon see the aftereffect of the above-water oil spill on the underground realm. There will also be enhancements to the farming functionality, such as new animal sleeping animations. Steam achievements are also coming in the upcoming August release.
Coral Island | Steam Store Page

Blob farming game Ova Magica has had its release window move to 2024 by publisher Top Hat Studio to allow more time for the developer to craft her blobby goodness.
Ova Magica | Steam Store Page

Developer Phoenix Labs announced that their upcoming fairy-themed multiplayer farming sim, Fae Farms, will support cross-play across all supported platforms: Switch, Steam, and Epic GS. To lead up to the game's September 8 release date, the dev team will be hosting a live stream of the game every Friday on their Twitch channel.
Fae Farms | Twitch

Mixed 2D/3D farming game, Cornucopia, launched on Steam Early Access on Monday. Developed and published by Subconscious Games, this 2.5D stylized game has players farming, fishing, battling, dating and marrying, composting, partaking in animal/item auctions, and more. The game is full of things for completionist-style players to partake in, such as 150 types of fish to catch, 200+ cooking recipes, over 300 collectible in-game cards, 97 Steam achievements, and much more. There are over 50 characters in the game, of which 31 are potential partners and family members. There's also a free demo available!
Cornucopia | Steam Store Page

Farm'n Games Discounts
INDIE Live Expo, Wholesome Games, and Tiny Teams are promoting indie-developed games published on Steam, including several farming games. These discounts and demos end August 7.

Coral Islands (10% off)
Cornucopia (10% off)
Dinkum (20% off)
Doraemon: Story of Seasons (45% off)
Drago Noka (20% off)
Garden of the Sea (VR) (50% off)
Garden Paws (30% off)
Gourdlets (free demo)
Grimoire Groves (free demo)
Harvest Island (free demo)
Hokko Life (66% off)
Kitaria Fables (60% off)
Littlewood (50% off)
Spirit of the Island (65% off)
Stardew Valley (20% off)
Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands (88% off)
Summer in Mara (60% off)
The Good Life (40% off)

Until next time!

- Cher(How the freak is it already August?! Only three months until Christmas light time!) Sat, 05 Aug 2023 00:51:33 +0000
Wada's Lates Game was Released in Japan, Free SoS:AWL Outfit Download, and Some Indie Game Updates Happy Farm'n Friday! Not every recipe in the Joys of Jell-O recipe book is weird (or includes celery). Some of the dessert recipes are pretty normal, somewhat. Yes, there are a few strange ones in here, like the Avocado Pie (lime gelatin, crushed pineapple, a mashed avocado, and cream cheese poured into a crumb pie crust). But the Lemon Crumb Dessert looks interesting enough to try. The recipe is simply lemon gelatin, lemon rind, evaporated milk, and lemon juice poured into a pan of crushed vanilla wafer cookies. Alas, I discovered my containers of evaporated milk are a little dated; I haven't been baking enough tasty treats to get through my supply. I'll whip this strange recipe up in a few days and let you know next week how it went.

Wada's Recent Game
The latest game produced by Bokujou Monogatari creator Yasuhiro Wada was released in Japan yesterday on Nintendo Switch. From Wada's Toybox Games Inc. and studio Millennium Kitchen, published by Spike Chunsoft, Natsumon - 20th Century Summer Vacation is the latest homage to the popular My Summer Vacation (Boku no Natsuyasumi) series of video games.

In this game, players take on the role of a 10-year-old boy whose family circus is visiting the rural town of Yomogi for a month in August 1999. There's no farming, but there is fishing, exploring, swimming, and bug catching; the boarding house the family is living in does have a tomato garden in the backyard, though! As the story progresses, the kid protagonist will be tasked with directing a circus performance and helping the pyrotechnic maker arrange a fireworks display. With the game's limited 31-day timeframe, players are challenged with catching all 200 insects, being on time for dinner every day, and solving mysteries with the local kids before the end of the summer month.
There are also in-game goals, such as climbing to the top of all the mountains or collecting 5 types of fish, which will reward you with increased stamina. More stamina means faster running, climbing higher, and so on.
The residents of Yomogi Town have their daily schedules. Befriending the villagers can lead to interesting backstories and quests to help them with their troubles.
A game demo is available on the Nintendo eShop in Japan. Whether this game will be released outside of Japan is still being determined. Though this new game is fully voiced in Japanese, let's hope that the publisher recognizes the popularity of the series outside of Japan and considers localizing this version.
(If you have a JP eShop account, check out the free demo because it is freak'n adorable.)
The last stylized version of the series that Millennium Kitchen produced, Shin-Chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation is currently 30% off on the Nintendo eShop until August 8. It's also the only My Summer Vacation game written and designed by Kaz Ayabe to be officially localized in English, besides the unofficial fan translations developed outside Japan.

Free SoSAWL Outfit

To celebrate the summer season, Marvelous released the formerly Japan-exclusive downloadable clothing option for Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life. The Red Happi Coat is now available as a free download on all North American and European platforms.
While it's also available for farmers playing the Japanese version of SoS:AWL on Steam, it is not on home console platforms in Japan. The DLC outfits were promotional goods for preordering the Nintendo Switch game at specific retailers in Japan and are not generally available for those who ordered elsewhere.

Indie Games Update
The development team behind multiplayer life simulation with eco-friendly farming techniques, Loftia, confirmed this week that their game will be released on Steam and Nintendo Switch; originally, the game was simply "planned" for a Switch release, but Qloud Games confirmed that it's a definite-go now. They've also expanded their team from 7 members to 20 and have been working on the character customization options, such as skin tone, clothes options, eye and mouth shape, and even mobility aids like prosthetics. House customization too! Besides farming using the standard dirt method, Loftia intends to make hydroponic farming an option for players, where water ph, temperature, and nutrients will affect the growth of players' crops. There will be wind, solar, and hydro energy generation devices; pets like cats, dogs, and ducks; world-building projects for players to collaborate; and combat-free puzzle-solving dungeons.
The crowdfunding campaign for Loftia will launch on August 1. Check it out if you want to support the game's development!
Loftia - A cozy MMO game in a relaxing solarpunk world | Kickstarter

Rougelike farming game Moondrop launched out of Steam Early Access this morning. In this game, players plant crops to ward away the mysterious mist, with each seed affecting nearby plants. Collect ingredients, explore the mountain when the mist is its weakest, and then return to town when the mist eventually takes over the farm. Then head back out to make another attempt at farming, using the knowledge and items collected from the last experience to progress further than before. It's definitely a different view of the standard farming game!
Moondrop | Steam Store Page
(While the Steam Store page might still say it's an early access game, developer Moonroof Studios has noted they're working with Valve to have the early-access status removed.)

Until next time!

- Cher(I don't care what he says, it's still "Twitter.") Fri, 28 Jul 2023 21:46:14 +0000
XSeed's Rune Factory 3 Bachelorette Intros, J-E-L-L-O, and the HM2GBC Comic Conclusion Happy Farm'n Friday! It's been pretty warm outside this week, which has kept me at home and indoors for most days. The heat has started to dry out some of the blueberries still left on the bushes. Even the potato plants have lost their leaves. On a positive note, the heat brought out one girl watermelon flower on the vine, but I missed pollinating on its bloom day because I was hiding inside and didn't know it was there. Hopefully, a local insect did the work for me. The watermelon plant was grown from a seed I saved a few years ago from a melon I had cross-pollinated with another variety of watermelon. I've no idea how this new plant will turn out! The seeds were incredibly stubborn to germinate.
It's been a quiet week farming-wise, which is a bit refreshing! I even managed to go treasure hunting at some nearby estate sales this morning. Found a wire-bound, 1960s second-edition copy of The Joys of Jell-O cookbook, full of all sorts of jiggly treat recipes. I had this book long ago but it was a hard-bound edition from the 1980s. The Smithsonian Libraries describes this instruction booklet for culinary artwork as, "this 1963 cookbook a shining example of the Baroque period of gelatin masterworks. Try the 'jewel-like' Ring-Around-the-Tuna or the Plum Pudding with prunes and Grape-Nuts for 'a make-ahead holiday dessert that's simple to prepare.'"
The prior owner of this book had drawn a checkmark next to the "Hawaiian Eyeful" recipe, a concoction of orange-flavored gelatin, pieces of pineapple, a touch of vinegar, diced oranges, and chopped celery. Mmmm, delicious!

Indie Updates
The developers of the indie farming game Meetlight and the Secrets of the Universe revealed a rough timeline for their game release, with a single-player beta at the end of this year and a Steam Early Access launch in mid-2024. After that, the multi-player version of Meetlight will start alpha testing, with its early access launch in Quarter 3 2024. The game was initially going to be a single-player game but received enough crowdfunding support to add on a multi-player feature.
In another quick update, Chill Town has reached its second stretch goal in its Kickstarter campaign. Game developer Lo-Hi Tech now plans to add the ability to merge player-grown plant pals to create hybrid versions.

New RF3 Promo
XSeed Games (Marvelous USA) released a new introduction-to-the-bachelorettes video for the upcoming remake of Rune Factory 3 Special, scheduled to be released on September 5 for Nintendo Switch and PC/Steam.

In the latest video, we see the graphic glam-up of all the marriage candidates (and Micah too). New event dialog also gives each special lady more depth than their Nintendo DS version. Though, we all know who the best marriage candidate is anyway. Even if you don't marry Daria, you can still experience what you would have been missing by looking through the Newlywed Mode function added to the DS remake.
Preorders for the game are still available on XSeed's online game store. The Switch version costs $39.99, and you can add the golden wooly keychain to your preorder to bump the price to $44.99. For the ultimate Rune Factory 3 fan, a Golden Memories edition comes with a copy of the game; CD soundtrack; an acrylic standee of RF3, RF4, and RF5 protagonists; the swimsuit mode DLC, and a day planner for $79.99. Adding the golden wooly keychain brings the Golden Memories version to $84.99.

HM2 Comic
Here's a freshly-translated page from the Harvest Moon GB 2 guidebook, illustrated by Igusa Matsuyama in 1999. "Peat," Sakura Maru the horse, and Momono Suke the dog have successfully guided Sara on the ways of farming and helped her save Flower Bud Village from becoming a theme park.

Happy endings are super swell!

Until next time!

- Cher(Okay, it can cool down outside any day now... whew...) Fri, 21 Jul 2023 23:25:24 +0000