Harvestella takes place in a world where four giant crystals known as Seaslights affect the change of seasons. At the end of each season, which only lasts 30 days, the Quietus arrives. This is a disastrous event, also known as the season of death, in which all crops and the people who stay outside die. Starting the game, you will be asked to choose your name and make your own character between male, female and non-binary. Despite these differences, there isn’t much else to do in the editor and you can only change the skin, hair and eyes’ color tone, so your character will look mostly the same, which defeats the purpose of having a character editor. The story beings when you awake during the Quietus. For some reason, you are able to survive the season of death despite being outside and you are found by the doctor of a small village. Since you have lost your memories, you are given a house to recover, with your own private land to farm. Soon after, you encounter a girl who claims to be coming from the future and the plot finally takes you into a more open day-to-day routine, in which you can help your fellow villagers with their tasks while still being focused on the girl’s story and the potential threats connected to the Quietus.

In a good way, Harvestella reminded me of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, so you can expect it to be a traditional story-driven JRPG with the addition of life-sim soft mechanics. As a matter of fact, your time is limited; each day starts at 6.00am and ends at midnight. Keep an eye on the clock, if you don’t go back to bed by that time, you will immediately jump to the next day and receive a pricy medical bill from the doctor (the same happens if you are defeated in battle). During the day you can get into different kinds of activities, such as exploring dungeons, completing quests and, of course, farming. There are four towns in the world, each one including new companions, side quests, activities and dungeons. Moving through the world map consumes time, so you always need to plan ahead where you want to go and what you want to do. Farming is a key element and the only way for you to get money initially is by selling your crops. Since you have your own farm, you can plant and water crops every day so they can grow faster. It may take some time, but there are plenty of activities in the world so you will likely find something to do while you wait for your crops to grow. The changing of seasons adds great variety to the farming and the money collected can then be used to purchase new upgrades for your farm and weapons. Through a faerie recipe book you can even craft different kinds of food dishes, which can be useful to restore the energy during your daily work and when exploring dungeons.

Combat is based on a classic “jobs” system, which can be swapped on the go. Defeating enemies grants you points that can be used to purchase new abilities and upgrades for each job. Unfortunately, the combat itself is somewhat mediocre, it relies too much on button smashing and lacks any strategy other than exploiting enemies’ elemental weaknesses. You can bring with you up to two companions that unfortunately are led by a disappointing AI, as they only attack enemies when you attack them, but most of the time they will just watch you being attacked or doing the heavy work.

Graphically the game looks quite dated, especially when looking at the flat and sometimes blurred textures in the background or the simple character models. The atmosphere is still great though, thanks to beautifully drawn 2D artworks and pleasant lighting effects. For some reason, there are no voice overs, but the soundtrack is really wonderful and very Uematsu-like (Final Fantasy’s original composer).

Overall, Harvestella is a traditional action RPG that tries to combine a story-driven experience with life sim mechanics. Unfortunately, it doesn’t shine on either side, but the end result is still satisfying thanks to its compelling story, great character design and world building, while the farming and combat systems are a bit too simplistic and probably best suited for those who are new to both genres. Just keep in mind that, despite the staggering price, this is obviously not an AAA game.

Review written by Sonic Punk for Zeepond.com

HARVESTELLA Steam Store Page


+ An interesting mix of two genres (life-sim and aRPG)
+ Fantastic story, characters and world building
+ Soundtrack is really awesome


- The character editor is very basic
- Combat is mediocre and too button-smashy
- Disappointing companions’AI
- Poor quality/price ratio

Review Summary

Harvestella is a traditional JRPG that combines a story-driven experience with simple life-sim mechanics, so it’s best suited for newcomers to both genres.

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10