Harvest Moon: Friends Mineral Town (Nintendo Game Boy Advance, 2003)
|Natsume's unusual series of farming games comes to Game Boy Advance with the release of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. As in previous titles, players can go about their day as they see fit, with the overall goal being to become profitable while planting and harvesting various crops or raising livestock. After a hard day's work overseeing the day-to-day operations of the farm, players can visit the city to talk with the locals, spend some time fishing in a nearby pond, or embark on various other side-quests and mini-games. Romance is also part of the series, and characters can eventually marry, have children, and own pets. Friends of Mineral Town also interfaces with the GameCube version of Harvest Moon: It's a Wonderful Life, allowing players access to specific events and other bonuses.
The main character in the game has no default name. In the opening sequences, the player is shown as a young boy living in the city, whose parents take him to see the country. During their trip the player becomes lost, and finds himself on the farm of an old man in Mineral Town. The old man helps the player contact his parents, and offers to let him and his family stay for a few days, as he has no family of his own. The player's parents agree, and the player stays on the farm for a while. On the farm, the player plays with a girl who then becomes friends with him. After the player leaves Mineral Town, he continues to write letters to the old man. One day, when he has grown up, the letters from the old man suddenly stop. The player travels to Mineral Town, finding the farm neglected, and discovers the old man had died around half a year ago. The mayor of Mineral Town informs the player that in the farmer's will, he left the player the farm. The player decides to restore the farm, beginning the game.
The player starts with five tools, and must earn money by clearing the large field on the farm and planting crops, mining, or foraging. This money may be used to buy other things, such as livestock, and to expand the farm.
The social aspect of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is a large part of the game. There are many villagers to befriend, and six bachelorettes available to marry. Befriending villagers allows the player to learn recipes and discover villager's histories, and marriage allows the player to have a son.
The game offers connectivity with the Nintendo GameCube game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life using a link cable between the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube.
IGN rated the game at 8.9, or "great", saying that it was "deceptively engrossing", and that the graphical presentation of the day to night cycles was very well done. GameRankings has an aggregate score of 82% from 30 reviews.
|Game||Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town|
|Platform||Nintendo Game Boy Advance|
|Genre||Role Playing Game|
|Number of Players||1|
|ESRB Rating||E - Everyone|
|ESRB Descriptor||Use of Alcohol|
|Game Series||Harvest Moon Series|
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