Game: Harvest Days: My Dream Farm Early Access
Genre: Adventure, Indie. Simulation, RPG
System: Steam (Windows)
Developers | Publishers: Family Devs | Sundust, Family Devs & Toplitz Production
Controller Support: No
Price: US $14.99 | UK £13.99 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: May 12th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Vicarious PR.
Back in May 2021, I played a pre-alpha demo of Harvest Days. Back then the game was in the early stages of development, and here we are, a year later, and the game was released on Early Acess on Steam. It has also been renamed Harvest Days: My Dream Farm.
While the pre-alpha build was fun to play, it was pretty obvious that the game was under development. So how much has changed in a year since then? Is it a dream farm, as the title says? Read on and find out.
Harvest Days: My Dream Farm is developed by Family Devs, a father and son team from Spain. The game is an open-ended country-life RPG inspired by Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons. Previously a Kickstarter campaign launched for the game in July 2021, and 542 backers pledged €18,842 to help bring the game to life. This is what the game is about.
Years ago, you used to visit your grandparent’s farm in the village of Duba and have fond memories of your time there tending to the crops and livestock. The village of Duba was once a thriving community, but sadly, due to a rural exodus, the village is now in decline. To rectify the decline, the village mayor has offered free housing in exchange for some hard work on your part to help regenerate the village.
Customise Your Character; Oh, Wait, You Can’t!
After a very short customise screen where you can choose your farm’s name, character name, and whether you want to play as a male or female, the game begins. These days you can pick your character’s hairstyle and hair colour right down to the finer details like eye colour or shape in most simulation games. Harvest Days character customisation options are lacking, to say the least. I was disappointed that I didn’t have more options to choose from.
Once the game starts, you wake up in bed in your new house or standing on top of the bed, as my character did! You must sleep in the bed each night to regain energy, and the game has a night and day cycle. Then, you can decide how you develop your field of dreams and plant a dozen different fruit trees and crops on your farm.
Time-tested Farming Mechanic
Harvest Days features a time-tested farming mechanic in which you can purchase or forage seeds and begin to grow your farm. You start simply with a few seeds, and by raking and hoeing the ground, you can plant and water the seeds. Oddly enough, you have to be dead on centre in the patch of ground you are working on for the game to recognise that you want to work the soil.
The game is a time sink as there isn’t any pressure to do anything, no timers and such. You can wander off and go fishing if you like or work hard on the crops in the field. As the game progresses, you’ll own and take care of the farm animals. There are NPCs to chat with though they don’t seem that interesting, nor do they have a lot to say. The map is quite big at this stage in the early access release; unfortunately, it’s also pretty much an empty map.
Visuals and Controls
When I first started to play the game for this review, the in-game days flew by in a flash. That has now been changed as the devs’ updated the game. The map is so big that it takes a while to get anywhere. Thankfully, you ride an electric scooter, and while it takes a bit of getting used to, you have access to it right away.
I like the low-poly cartoonish look of the game. However, the game doesn’t have much of a tutorial, which some players will need. In addition, the game is controlled by a keyboard and mouse, so if you like using a controller, you’re out of luck at the moment.
Conclusion – Wait a While
I’ve played plenty of Early Access games, and they have all been released in various stages of development. Some Early Access games are practically ready to be fully released. They perform well and have all their content. Others have a few bugs but are playable and enjoyable.
Unfortunately, this game is littered with bugs. My character has got stuck in the scenery, and the game has crashed a few times. At one stage, my character got stuck running beside a crate; while it was hilarious to see, it is not what I would expect to happen in a game.
Harvest Days: My Dream Farm could have done with more cooking time in the development oven before it was released on Early Access; I’d wait a while before I would purchase the game.
Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure