The inspiration for Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon is the first game to come to mind when players think of farm simulators. With your father absent, the player has to take charge of a farm fallen into disrepair. Balancing their time between foraging, fishing, farming, and raising livestock, the player faces numerous challenges.
The players begin with basic tools but can buy more. Income is made by selling items such as crops or whatever they’ve gathered. The player can also buy animals and attend festivals. Players have the option to court townspeople and can take a spouse. The game features the four seasons and randomly occurring natural disasters can also happen.
A classic of the farm simulation genre, everyone needs to play Harvest Moon at least once. For those of you looking for more games like Harvest Moon, feel free to browse below.
9 Best Games Similar To Harvest Moon
Rune Factory 4
The sixth game in the popular Rune Factory series, Rune Factory 4 continues with the same mix of simulation and roleplay that the games are known for. A multitude of tasks are available with players required to farm, craft items, fight through dungeons, and woo potential brides.
The player plays as the crown prince or princess of Selphia and is thus responsible for the town’s development. Players use Orders to manage this, using them to do things such as push a storm back from ruining the harvest or to call for a town festival.
Stardew Valley is a farm simulation game where the player abandons their humdrum office job to take over their grandfather’s dilapidated farm. The player must balance their time and energy levels to ensure efficient work. They can plant crops, craft items, raise livestock, mine for ores, and enjoy social minigames such as wooing prospective spouses.
The player can also interact with NPCs in Pelican Town or explore nearby caves and fight monsters. The open-ended nature of the game allows the player to work towards any goal they see fit.
World’s Dawn is set in the quiet little seaside village of Sugar Blossom. Here players will explore and grow to love both the quaint surroundings and quirky inhabitants as they help them with their daily tasks and to improve their community.
There is always work to be done and players will find themselves busy with their multitude of tasks and minigames. There is also a romance to be had. The numerous lines of unique dialogue help to bring each character to life, ensuring this is a game that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The fourth title in the successful Animal Crossing series, New Leaf begins with a case of mistaken identity where the player is mistook for the mayor of the town they’ve just moved into. From there they must explore the town, meet their citizens, and assist in various activities.
Players can customize their home and their character’s appearance. The player’s mayoral status allows them to manage the laws and buildings in the town. Public works let them construct new facilities and objects while Ordinances let them change opening hours or encourage citizens to take up new activities.
Shepherd’s Crossing 2
At first glance, Shepherd’s Crossing 2 seems like a simple farming simulation but it boasts surprisingly complex gameplay. The player lives in a small town and must tackle the challenges of raising livestock, harvesting crops, and building a farm. Cooperation with fellow villagers is essential. The player chooses how they wish to proceed in this sandbox simulator.
Farm for your Life
Farm for your Life is a farm simulation game with a twist. Set in the aftermath of an apocalyptic storm, you must rebuild your community and fend off zombie attacks. Combine the challenges of time management with tower defense and farming in this unique game.
Players can customize their farm as they wish but must also build defenses. Use your crops to supply your restaurant and feed those in your community. The game takes inspiration from such classics as Harvest Moon and Plants vs Zombies.
Investigate the mysterious events following the fall of Doomstones across the once peaceful world of Reveria. Fight monsters and explore the world. Choose from one of twelve Life classes, with the option to swap between them as you need, the game encourages diversity of skill. Unlock bonuses and new skills as you fulfill the king’s request to investigate the strange occurrences across the land.
River King: Mystic Valley
Your sister is caught in an unending slumber and only a potion made from a scale of the River King will awaken her. Quest to save her in this interactive fishing game where skill is more important than strength.
Easier than previous titles in the series, Mystic Valley still offers entertaining gameplay. Players gain points by catching and selling fish. These can be used to purchase new bait, rods, food, and special items.
Players can also tame three unique monsters, each with a special ability. Feeding them with fish grows them through distinct phases. The final form rewards the player, the kitsune will heal the player, the tanuki will break rocks blocking passageways, and the raven can fly the player to inaccessible points.
The story is a smooth and self-contained one that sees the player venture through eight distinct zones, competing against another brother and sister to catch the River King. The side stories interlink with the main tale to create an engaging story.
Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale
Recettear is an RPG set in a standard fantasy setting but one with a difference. The player takes the role of Recette Lemongrass, daughter of a shopkeeper who has recently disappeared. As a result of a debt owed to the fairy Tear, Recette must now run an item shop to repay it.
Players must balance their shop management with adventuring. Recette can contract adventurers from the local guild to explore dungeons and retrieve new items for sale. The aim is to repay the debt within one month. Failure will have Recette reduced to living in a cardboard box and restarting the whole game all over again.