Work in progress
A guide to Harvest Moon / Bokujō Monogatari== There are so many games in this series that it's easy to get lost. I tried describing them shortly.
First of all: Fuck all of the games listed below and go play Stardew Valley instead.
1996: Harvest Moon - SNES
The very first game that started it all. Has aged alright, the biggest thing to get used to is having no rucksack. The night lasts forever so if you want to marry Eve who works at the bar, you can woo here in one single night. Any Harvest Moon fan should play this at least once. Ellen from this game appears in 64.
- 1997: Harvest Moon GB/GBC
The second release ever, got a color re-release the next year. It's quite primitive, there's no town map or much to do at all, not nesseracly recommended but try it if you want to play every HM that ever came out.
- 1999: Harvest Moon 64
Considered the very best of the series by many, partly because it's fucking awesome and partly because of the nostalgia factor, either way, you really owe yourself to play this one. The characters in this one really feel alive. The graphics weren't really demanding even for the 64, but it works and still looks great. There's no shortcut for taking things out of the rucksack (as far as I know) so that's annoying when coming back from BTN and on, but really, play this. Mainly the same cast as BTN/FOMT but with different families/relationships.
- Harvest Moon 2 GBC
Let's you play as a girl but doesn't have marriage. Interesting features for the time, like unlocking new fields and such. There's not much interacting or relationships to be had with the villagers, but it's an interesting game worth trying.
- Back to Nature/For Girl/Boys and Girl - PSX
Another one that's possibly the very best of Harvest Moon, takes the cast of 64 and a few new faces to Mineral Town with graphics that were arguably more beautiful than 64 and more camera angles. Has loading times though. Introduced the Harvest Sprites and real cooking unlike 64's recipe collecting. It also had a lot of fun festivals with mini-games that felt more exciting than many in the newer games. For Girl was a Japan only release for many years, but it finally got translated and released on PSP and PS Network in 2005 and 2009 respectively. However, the game ends if you get married as a girl.
- 2000: Harvest Moon 3 GBC
This one is weird, you either pick a guy or a girl, but the gameplay will be different. The guy focuses on the crops while the girl takes care of the animals. You can give some orders to your partner but it will mostly be just them doing their respective work. You can have a lot of animals of different colors, including more than 1 horse which you can race, breed and resell. You travel to the main island to go shopping and it also had rice paddies years before they got re-introduced in the series. You can get married to your partner but the game will end if you are the girl.
- 2001: Save the Homeland - PS2
Haven't played this one, it has it's fans but many people disliked it a lot. YOU NEED TO SAVE THE HOMELAND. First HM in non-isometric 3D so that was exciting, but I don't think it aged too well.
- '2003: Friends of Mineral Town/More Friends of Mineral Town' - GBA
Amazing port of BTN. More Friends is the girl version. It adds new stuff to BTN like the 255 floors in the mine and a bunch of stuff for when you get really rich. One of the, if not the best portable Harvest Moon you can play.
- A Wonderful Life/Another Wonderful Life/Special Edition - Gamecube/PS2
Main game and Another are on Gamecube and SE is on PS2. This HM is pretty strange and relaxed. The graphics are nice too. First game to have 1 seed=1 tile (unless STH had that?). Time actually moves forward over many chapters and villagers as well as yourself will age. You child will age to adulthood too. Girl version has a few additions like new clothes and SE let's you marry
lolilumina and have a daughter.
- Magical Melody - Gamecube
Really cute graphics and buyable land and stuff, has 100+ musical notes to collect by doing certain tasks. I couldn't get into this one because of the atrociously low stamina the game makes you begin with. Lot's of characters, 10 candidates for both the male and female player including your rival which is a trap and can be married with both. I couldn't tell you if their personalities are well developped or not though.
Harvest Moon DS/Cute
Same settings as A Wonderful Life but with FOMT's graphics. Interesting but apparently some cards are nearly-unplayable buggy. I don't remember much about this one, I guess it was unremarkable. Cute is the girl version and let's you play as both the chick from MFOMT and AWL
- Island of Happiness - DS
- Sunshine Islands
- Tree of Tranquility
- Animal Parade
- Grand Bazaar
- Hero of Leaf Valley
- Futago No Mura
- Innocent Life
- Puzzle de HM (lol)
- My Little Shop (lol)
- Frantic Farming (lol)
- Rune Factory 1-2-3/Frontier