It was just a few short years ago that crop farmers around the world were concerned that their farms could be destroyed by monsters, but the monster harvest is here! Farmer’s Déjà vu, published by Self-Published Games, is a modern take on the classic monster-harvesting game: the farmer and the monster! You and your opponent will spend the game harvesting crops and building up your farms. The object of the game is to harvest the most crops by the time the monster arrives. The player with the most crops remaining wins!

Every year, the monster farming game genre becomes more and more popular. Players, especially in China, get tired of farming huge monsters, and instead choose to farm very small monsters. The reasons why are clear: the game becomes more fun, and the small monsters are easier to train.

Monster Harvest is a farming simulator that borrows heavily from Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, and like those games, it’s a game about working the land and taking care of an animal family. But where those games mostly focus on growing and harvesting crops, Monster Harvest is about harvesting and breeding monsters. There’s a simple RPG element to the game as well, as you level up your monsters and unlock new abilities and perks.

Monster Harvest

I was one of those gamers who sank a lot of hours into Stardew Valley, the breakthrough agricultural sim that revived the genre, like so many others. I was on the lookout for additional games that struck the perfect spot between farming chores, meeting friends, and exploring dungeons after spending approximately 100 hours in that lovely environment.

You can imagine my delight when I saw Monster Harvest at the time. Farming, dungeon exploration, and Pokemon-like animals that you may bring along for turn-based fights are all part of this game. On paper, it’s a great mix, but can it be turned into the ultimate monster mash? Let’s have a look.

With a Slow Start, a Familiar Set of Ideas

While the concept of Monster Harvest combines many excellent ideas, it also significantly draws from the games that inspired it. When you initially start the game, you have a few character options to pick from, but there isn’t much room for personalization.

You come to your Uncle’s farm after getting a letter from him (sound familiar? ), but your Uncle is still alive and well in Monster Harvest. He’s been experimenting with slime, which is a big deal around town, and he doesn’t have time to manage his farm anymore.

After a brief tutorial, you’ll be sent out to begin the process of breaking boulders, chopping logs, felling trees, and other basic agricultural tasks. It’s all pretty identical, but as you explore your farms, you may get a peek of future possibilities. You may get a peek of what’s to come by looking at the specific placements for different buildings.

Of course, since you have a finite amount of stamina, the early stages of the game will be brief and repetitive. When you retire to sleep, you have the choice of sleeping until dark and regaining some of your energy, or sleeping until dawn and regaining the whole of your stamina.

The rationale for this decision is due to the game’s second half. As part of the plot, you’ll discover that the local slime, which may be utilized for a variety of purposes, can also turn your crops into “Planimals.” Slime is available in three different colors: red, green, and blue.

Depending on the plant, red slime will transform your crops into Planimals when they reach full maturity. Green slime will hasten the development of your crops so you don’t have to wait, while blue slime will transform your crops into livestock or a mount, depending on whether it’s the upgraded version.

There are a decent amount of Planimals to mutuate and harvest, but things become a little sluggish at first. You’ll eventually be able to take six of them into the dungeon with you, but you can only enter it once per day and at night, which is why you may sleep during the day.

 

Planimals, interestingly, die forever when killed in battle, but they do leave an essence that may be used to improve your soil, and your progress is carried over to new forms you mutate, but it’s definitely a darker twist on the Pokemon idea. Of course, if they never died, agriculture would become less important over time.

The turn-based fighting and dungeon exploration are simple, but they work, and they distinguish the game from its other features, which are eerily identical to Stardew Valley, even down to the dropbox on your farm where you may put goods to sell.

The social element of Monster Harvest is where the game falls short the most. The townspeople are there, and you can get to know them while earning perks like in-game discounts, but they lack the depth and charm that you’d expect from a game of this kind.

A Day-1 Patch Corrects Presentation Issues

Monster Harvest

Due to a known problem that has already been addressed in a day-1 patch, Monster Harvest didn’t create the greatest first impression on me. The game’s HDR blows out the colors and contrast in a manner that makes it extremely unpleasant to play visually without this fix.

I was getting a headache, so I had to postpone much of my fun until closer to the launch, which is never ideal. Having said that, the game looked a lot better after the patch. The final launch code makes excellent use of color and has just the right amount of vibrancy to make the pixel art jump off the screen. The music is also suitable for extended play sessions, yet not too distracting.

Monster Harvest is one of those games that borrows a bit too much from its inspirations, and although the mix is unique, it’s difficult not to feel like you’ve seen it all before. Those in search of a fresh farming sim may find Monster Harvest to be a welcome addition to their life.

Score: 7 out of 10

Microsoft supplied a copy of Monster Harvest for evaluation purposes.

Bradley Ramsey is the author of this article. Insert date – August 31, 2021

While Monster Harvest is based off another freemium game, it does have quite a different feel to the original. Its main draw are the three unique monster designs, with each having its own unique abilities that can be helpful or harmful to you. You can then use these special abilities to harvest the monsters to earn more coins for upgrades, to then use those coins to buy upgrades for your farm.. Read more about phoenix point ps4 and let us know what you think.

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