Friends of Mineral Town remake on the way!

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town will make its way to the West this Summer. Already released in Japan, this full remake of the beloved Harvest Moon title will debut as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons games are the original farming simulators that were the inspiration for Stardew Valley and other similar titles. The gameplay loop focuses on farming, selling crops, exploration, mining, fishing, upgrading your buildings and equipment, raising livestock, befriending local townsfolk, and searching for your one true love.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a full modern remake featuring a multitude of improvements. The game features fully overhauled audio and HD visuals and allows the player to choose from one four playable characters (2 male and 2 female). The score is familiar, tweaked just enough to put a new spin on some adored melodies. Details from the trailer reveal there will be new characters, over 20 varieties of crops and new animals, including an alpaca! Fishing, tilling, mining, shopping, horse racing, festivals, and dating all make their return, as well.

The game (and series) has a convoluted yet fascinating history. Interestingly enough, this will be the fourth iteration of the fan-favorite. The original game, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, was a PlayStation One exclusive back in 1999. Back to Nature was well-reviewed by critics and a favorite among fans. In 2003, the title was essentially remade and “demastered” to a 16-bit, SNES style game when ported to the Game Boy Advance. It was given a new name, Friends of Mineral Town, and promoted as a fully new installment despite a story, characters, map, and gameplay that were nearly identical to the original. The Friends of Mineral Town art style was as gorgeous as it was charming for that era and the game actually ran much smoother than the PS1 original. Just two years later, the “remaster,” More Friends of Mineral Town, was released, offering the player the opportunity to play as a female main character and a few minor quality of life improvements.

The developer’s announcement of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town also comes several years after their split with publisher Natsume, of whom retains the original name and continues to publish games under the franchise name “Harvest Moon.” So for those keeping score, that makes the current Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town a full remake, of a remaster, of a demaster, of the original.. from a new publisher, but with the original developers.. with a new franchise name, but the same title.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is set to release on July 10th, 2020 in the West. A fun quote from Nintendo Power back in 2004 stated of the GBA game, “It’s incredible that a game about farming could be so enthralling.” If they only knew just how many farming games the Harvest Moon series would inspire. Here’s hoping that this remake finally opens the floodgates to the backlog of Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons games being ported to the Switch. I know I am personally rooting for a Harvest Moon 64 remake, as well!