Harvest Days is an open-ended country-life RPG inspired by Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, and Story of Seasons. Create the farm of your dreams, build relationships with villagers, explore an open world full of places to discover, gather resources… and much more! When I read this description, I had to try out the demo that’s currently available on Steam (portrayed under the name ‘playtest’, in which you can still participate until the end of the week). Harvest Days is currently being developed by Family Devs, a Spanish studio consisting of a father and son developing indie video games. How great is that?! A Kickstarter campaign for Harvest Days is launching soon, so let me walk you through what the pre-alpha version offered so far!
Let me paint you a picture
Being a big Stardew Valley fan myself, Harvest Days caught my attention right away. The story is quite simple and straightforward: your character spent her childhood summers with her grandparents in Duda’s village, a wonderful village surrounded by nature, where (s)he learned to grow vegetables, nurture animals, take care of the planet, etc. Living in the city yourself, you bump into an article about Duda’s village one day. Your beloved town is suffering the consequences of the rural exodus, and the population has dropped by 90%! To bring back people, the mayor offers free housing in exchange for working for the resurgence of the village! Of course, your character jumps on this opportunity, and your story begins.
A beautiful experience
I’m quite fond of what I found when I started my new life at the farm in Duda’s village. A beautiful country town, with graphics that look nothing like those in Stardew Valley, but have their own unique charm. Where Stardew Valley has some gorgeous pixel art style, Harvest Days takes a different approach with low-poly graphics. I’m not always a fan of this style, but when executed well, I can definitely enjoy it. On the one hand, Harvest Days uses bright colors, which I enjoyed, but on the other hand, the whole village seemed a bit dull. However, keeping in mind that this village is kind of ‘dying’, maybe that’s intentional, and that puts everything in a new perspective, of course. Right now, I think it’s too soon to really provide a full opinion on the graphics, but I can definitely say I’m enthusiastic to see what’s in store regarding further development! The sound aspect is quite soothing as well, since you hear appropriate sound effects in the background like birds singing or a pig oinking.
It’s up to you!
As I mentioned in my intro, Harvest Days is an open-world game, meaning you can choose your own path. You do start by planting some seeds and using the basic tools. I ended up going to the pigs and chickens first because I love me some animals! Unfortunately, this meant I did not have enough time/energy to go to the supermarket and buy food. You see, you have three basic needs that are important to keep an eye on: hunger, thirst, and going to the toilet. You’ll be meeting a bunch of NPCs who will offer you quests, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the full game.
I was a little lost at the start, not going to lie here! I did not really know what to do, how to use my tools, or where everything was. I know this is a demo, so I hope a little more guidance or a small tutorial will provide some extra help here in the final release. I’m also hoping for control settings in the future since I could not remap keys right now, and I usually play with an AZERTY keyboard, rather than a QWERTY one.
When starting the game, you pick a male or female farmer. I read that customization will be possible in the full game, so I’m definitely hoping that’s the case. But more interesting: there will be various sceneries to discover! Not only the village, but caves, dungeons, a swamp, and much more. Bring it on! I feel like Harvest Days is going to be a big-ass game, some I’m for sure keeping an eye on it, and will be (im)patiently waiting for its full release!
Seeing as this game is developed by just two people, I’m sure development will still take a while. It’s definitely not an easy task that father and son have bestowed upon themselves, but if they manage to fully release Harvest Days, I’m definitely going to be there to try out the whole thing! If you also want to experience Harvest Days, the Playtest is available until June 6th on Steam, so you better act quickly!