Harvest Moon fans have been suffering from a lack of solid releases for some time. It seems like the series has suffered from constant rehashes of the same formula without really doing anything to improve or innovate in this niche genre. The last decent portable farm sim was Innocent Life which was not well received because of its relatively significant departure from the core concept.
Despite this lack of even decent games in the farm sim genre for some time, Fruit Farm Tycoon makes a solid attempt at filling this gap. While the game won’t wow you with anything new, if you’re a die-hard farm sim game fan it feels distinct enough to be its own game.
You play as Leo, a young boy who has no interest in following his father’s footsteps. After discovering the heavenly agriculture fairy Fruits and the Lime Orange Tree, they task you with cultivating a Heavenly Fruit in exchange for your dad’s soul. Your dad has to remain hospitalized through the course of the game while you learn to grow a heavenly fruit on your own. You only have 3 years to accomplish your task and you have to maintain a minimal harvest to keep up on your dad’s hospital bills. All the while you are given a variety of side activities ranging from fishing, raising pets, stealing, and having relationships with the women of the village.
Solid attempt at a story: Right off the bat it’s obvious the storywriter’s native language is not English. However, the story is still conveyed well enough despite the occasional language glitch. Having a proofreader who’s native tongue is English or at least fluent in the language would have made the story much smoother to interpret.
Sound: The music in the game is very light and fluffy. One thing I can’t stand is when music doesn’t fit the atmosphere. Fortunately the music is well organized and fits the light-hearted nature of the game to a Tee. Always in the background, you may find yourself humming along with some of the tunes. Very enjoyable.
Visuals: The in-game graphics are crisp, clean, and very vibrant. The art style takes its cue from Harvest Moon, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Although this doesn’t help the game define itself as unique, its still a charming art style that can easily be appreciated for what it is.
Screen Clutter: The control scheme/button layout works adequately, however it takes up a ton of screen real estate and feels just a little disorganized. There is an option to hide the skillbar on the side of the screen; I’m surprised there was not an option to hide more buttons that are not necessary to have at all times. I really don’t need to have access to hoorts at all times. At the very least this could have been a sub-menu somewhere else.
Long Tutorial: The tutorial seems to drag on forever and unless you’re truly a die-hard farm sim fan you’re probably going to get fed up with the tutorial before it’s over.
In the end, Fruit Farm Tycoon is a solid farm sim that makes a decent attempt at providing a story. However, because of the tedious nature of the game I can’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t a die-hard fan of the genre.