What happens when a farming sim and a JRPG have a baby? Well, you have Harvstella, which will be released on Nintendo Switch and Steam on 4 November 2022.
Much like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon, it won’t be a life sim without offering a peaceful farming experience. Players will have to do the standard fare of tilling the land, sowing seeds, watering crops, and gathering harvests. You’ll get to explore a gorgeous world while collecting items for cooking and crafting, and getting to know people who live in neighbouring towns and villages, like the seaside town of Shatolla or the snowy Capital of Argene.
Aside from taking care of your farm, you can also care for adorable critters, such as rotund birds called “cluffowls” and a rabbit-like creature you can pet called a “totokaku”.
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) July 1, 2022
There’s also a cycle of seasons, as governed by the Seaslights, four giant crystals located across the land that can cause the overworld to be filled with lush greenery during summer or covered in frost in winter.
And of course, the Square Enix twist on this farming sim is the fact that Harvestella also boasts action-adventure JRPG gameplay. Players can choose to battle monsters as a Fighter, Mage, or Shadow Walker, and switch between these jobs seamlessly during combat.
But there’s always a catch to games like Harvestella. Besides the usual four seasons, there is a fifth season that causes crops to wither and a cloud of deadly dust to envelop the land. The protagonist awakens during the height of this abnormal phenomenon, dubbed “Quietus”, the season of death. It’s probably up to you to get to the bottom of this mystery, assuming it’s not just climate change.
Along the way, players will get to team up with allies, again in typical Square Enix fashion. The Steam page lists four characters that players will get to know along their journey, such as Heine, a “pompous gentleman mechanic”, and Aria, “a mysterious girl who claims to have come from the future”. The most important question here is: can they be romanced? Though there is no confirmed answer, we can only hope that this life sim offers the typical life sim gameplay experience of cozying up to your ideal 2D partner.
Harvestella made its grand reveal during the Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase, which also showed off games like Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, and fellow Square Enix game NieR: Automata The End Of YoRHa Edition. It is set to be released on 4 November 2022 on the Nintendo Switch and Steam.