E3 '07: Harvest Moon Wii Hands-On

We break out our spades and plant some crops in the first Harvest Moon game for the Nintendo Wii.

In celebration of Harvest Moon's 10th anniversary (it's been that long?), developer Natsume is breaking out the big guns. The franchise makes its way to the Wii for the first time in the guise of Harvest Moon Wii and is coming in the second quarter of 2008. And it makes perfect sense. After all, what better use of the Wii Remote is there than simulating farming activities? We got some hands-on time with the game and are pleased to report it should bring fans plenty of harvesting happiness.

In Harvest Moon, you move to an island to discover a population in deep despair. The mother tree that provides bountiful crops has withered away, and the harvest goddess has gone missing. What can you do but establish relationships with the residents and restore abundance to the arid land? Like with any Harvest Moon, you establish a home and plough the fields. However, the everyday activities that mark the core of the game have the added benefit of motion controls.

Click to enlarge!

In the time we spent with the game, we got to explore various ways of using the remote. Our garden already had a selection of harvestable turnips, but we wanted to tamp down some soil and plant more. To prepare soil for planting, we equipped a trowel and flung the remote downward. Then, we equipped seeds and planted them by flinging the remote upward, which flung the seed into the air and then into the soil. But seeds need to be watered if you want crops, so we equipped a watering can, which was as easy as pressing the C button on the Nunchuk and cycling to the item. Then, we tilted our wrists in the same motion you would use to water a real plant. Voila! Our seeds were watered, and in time would become fully grown turnips. Yum.

We also had a chance to fish. We wandered up to a pond, where a fishing boy spouted a few lines in Japanese and walked away in a huff. But at least that left us room to fish, so we equipped a pole and cast our line by flinging the remote forward. When we got a bite, the remote rumbled, and we flung it backward to pull in our catch. It proved to be tastier than the turnip we had for lunch.

Of course, there is more to do than grow crops. The island is huge, and Natsume promises that this will be the deepest Harvest Moon yet. You can establish your home and farms almost anywhere you want, and if you don't like veggies, there are always animals to take care of. You can make friends with animals in the wild or raise your own, including ostriches if you're feeling particularly exotic. You also need to establish relationships with other residents, and if so inclined, you can also meet the girl (or boy) of your dreams.

And if you get tired of that, there are part-time jobs to take, where you can run errands for the local merchant or perform other tasks. And if you're good at it, you'll get a raise, which helps supplement your income from selling crops and other items. And yet we've only touched on a game that offers fans and newcomers alike loads of stuff to do. As any Harvest Moon enthusiast can tell you, maintaining a farm is more fun than it sounds, and it looks like the Wii version will be no exception. Natsume is busy localizing the Japanese text, but in the meanwhile, we'll bring you more information from the world of cow milking and pumpkin planting as it becomes available.

Written By

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

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Discussion

37 comments
lilbrenda
lilbrenda

I sure hope it is released on this new date. I have paid for it and hope my seller doesn't run off with my money. Would hate to ask for a refund because of something out of his control, but ebay only gives you 60 days to respond to a FB

Peach100
Peach100

I'm definitely getting this game. I was never a true Harvest Moon fan because there were so many problems with the DS versions that I was kinda turned off to the series. However, this game looks awesome so I'm getting it.

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

And after E3 '08, the game is still unreleased.

KingJohn03
KingJohn03

i thought a wonderful was good but this one seems like its going to be the best harvest moon yet cant wait to get my copy

lynncj
lynncj

they reaaally need to release this game for the ps3..........i love all of the HM games and unfortunately i do not have a wii...damnit

GamerBoy53
GamerBoy53

Ive never played a game in the series so I hope this one'll draw me toward the rest of the series as well

Vegeta51502
Vegeta51502

The game looks good. I hope it has a lot more things to keep you busy because the old games could get a little boring at times. The Wii controls should make it a lot more fun.

Violetto
Violetto

I'm really looking forward to this game, but I'm gonna bet it never gets released over here in the UK. After all I'm still waiting for HM Magical Melody for the gamecube, I had my amazon pre-order going for nearly 2 years... LOL

Majura
Majura

If they keep the promises made here, this will even beat A Wonderfull Life. Consider it SOLD!

onlineps2player
onlineps2player

I'm a fan of the series... I think this game will make me buy a Wii.

gmrndlze
gmrndlze

I can't wait to get this game! It sucks that they postponed it until Q2 2008 :(

dekasuperlink
dekasuperlink

I just started playing the N64 version again. A wonderful life lost the charm that it had in the N64 version.

greater_bird
greater_bird

Looks cute. If real cows were that adorable we'd have more vegetarians in the world... All it really needs to be a success is to not muck anything up (after all, Harvest Moon has an established audience, but is also perfectly suited to the new casual gamers the Wii is attracting in droves), but with luck the new controls will work ideally with the game too. Glad to see they'll be giving players the boy/girl option in one game. Doing the 'Friends of Mineral Town' gender separation thing would have been a hard pill to swallow in these days of multi-family member playing. I wonder what age group they're targeting - will we get marriage and the pitter patter of little farmer feet, or hand holding and going to the end-of-year dance?

mergirox
mergirox

HARVEST MOON............. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK i think im good

Timothy56
Timothy56

I can't wait it :D its going to be one of the best!

peterlala2002
peterlala2002

Man the graphics are Fugly :'( shoud still be good tho!

EchoEcho
EchoEcho

I still have fond memories of the original Harvest Moon back no the SNES, and I played the N64 game to death. I never picked up the versions for the PS2 or GCN, but there's no way I can resist this -- it sounds like it's the best of everything Harvest Moon thus far.

jesus_knight
jesus_knight

i have a game boy version of harvest moon and i loved the game i will buy this one too

msudude211
msudude211

I never really liked Harvest Moon.

magicmo
magicmo

I think this series would make me get a Wii.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

looks fun..I still remember the orignal Harvest moon though

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

My wife loves these sort of games. Hmm... lots of things for her to play this year.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Well I don't play these kinds of games

HylianHeart
HylianHeart

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

It sounds like it could be very enjoyable.

SecretInBlack
SecretInBlack

I can't wait! Harvest Moon has a way of sucking you in, and this one is looking great.

Dark_Link142
Dark_Link142

Yay Harvest Moon. This is one of my most anticipated titles for Wii yet after the big 3 and BWii.