Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos from Natsume and Appci is the new release in the long-running franchise. This time, you’ll have to save the people from Anthos after a terrible incident. Check our Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos review!
The land of Anthos was a peaceful and harmonious land watched over by the Harvest Goddess and the Harvest Sprites, who protected the inhabitants of Anthos from natural disasters such as storms, earthquakes, and the like.
However, one day many years ago, Anthos experienced a severe volcanic eruption that threatened life on Anthos itself, and the Harvest Goddess and Harvest Sprites had to use all of their remaining power to keep the people and animals of Anthos safe. This left the different villages across the land blocked off from each other. Some unfortunate souls even got trapped outside their villages, and were unable to return…
Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos from Natsume and Appci is the latest relase in the long-running Harvest Moon franchise, which began way back in 1997, with the first game releasing on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – a.k.a. the Super NES. This one is a farm simulation role-playing game in which you’ll have to farm crops, raise and take care of animals, collect materials, and forge alliances with residents of the various villages you’ll encounter in the huge Anthos region.
As a nearby volcano erupts in Anthos, the world is plunged into chaos, and life is theatened. The Harvest Goddess used her mighty power to stop the eruption and built a giant wall to protect vulnerable towns. Since she exhausted her powers, she fell into a deep sleep after such a big feat. Ten years have passed now.
Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos begins with the creation of your avatar. As you get control of your character, you’ll get right down to business and will immediately have to till a patch of soil right in front of your house. Once tilled you’ll plant the seeds you already have with you and can then water them. Since each type of seed takes a few days to sprout, then a few more before being harvestable, you can let them be and move on to other projects for the remainder of the day.
As you play the time passes without delay. The in-game year is split into four months, each representing a corresponding season. Every morning, you’ll likely take care of your field, then go help the villagers with their various requests, chop wood, mine rare minerals, or take care of your animals. Speaking of which, the freedom to do whatever you want is one of the aspects that I liked the most while playing this game. You’re free to plan how each day will go as you please… that is, as long as you have enough stamina for it! Stamina is represented by hearts, and they will drain with every action you take. How much stamina you have for each day is the thing that will limit how fast you can progress in the game.
Your time in Anthos is of the easy and relaxing country life variety, but you’ll also be busy doing a lot of stuff. The further you progress in this one, the more elements will be added. You’ll eventually unlock fast travel, which will speed things up on your end as you start to explore further away from your starting location. You have to make every second count!
I liked how the quest system was clear and easily accessible by pressing the Touchpad on the DualSense. After a few hours you’ll likely have dozens of fetch quests to accomplish, so selecting the one you want to work on and following the pointers on the map was a huge help to keep me focused on them. The world map is also surprisingly huge and exploring the whole continent is not something you’ll be able to take care of in a single afternoon.
As you find larger towns and bigger lands to harvest, you’ll also want to improve your gear, which is something your friend Doc back in your hometown can help you with. Bring her the materials and enough money to improve your gear, and you can be more efficient while farming or taking care of your animals – thus conserving stamina for other projects later in the day. You’ll also be able to get closer to one of the different potential love interests across the continent.
On the calendar, a few days have fixed events you are encouraged to attend, with objectives such as contests and festivals – along with the birthdays of a few of the most important characters in the game. Once again you’re free to attend or skip, and doing so will affect your relation with the character or even the whole town.
This game also has a great presentation, with its colorful environments, nice locations and impressive dynamic shadows effects that follows the sun orientation. Since you can design your character as the game starts, you’ll also like how it’s presented in the different story cutscenes. The different animations are great, although the main character has a tendency to overreact to mundane events. The soundtrack for Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos is soothing and relaxing, which is needed for games such as this one.
This one is Cross-Buy between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions. I played on the PlayStation 5 and didn’t notice any DualSense-specific features, and there are some loading times each time you enter and exit a house or cave, which felt a bit long considering the game is running off the PS5’s SSD. At least the loading screens are filled with tips so they feel shorter – although it was slightly annoying later in the game when each day you’d go out of your house (loading), into your barn (loading), exit the barn (loading), then move to another area (loading).
There’s a lot to do in this one, and trophy hunters will need to work on a full trophy list with 14 Bronze trophies, 15 Silver trophies, and 8 Gold trophies that will eventually lead up to unlocking a new Platinum trophy. What objectives will you need to complete? There are trophies for harvesting the first crop grown by yourself, getting your first animal, completing the different story arcs, harvesting a giant crop, participating in a festival, winning a contest, harvesting every type of crop, collecting all gems and ore, acquiring all animals and pets, and making all dishes, to name some examples.
Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos is a great farm/friendship simulation game that will keep you busy with its impressive amount of content. I liked the freedom you have in taking each assignment, the colorful locales you’ll visit- and the impressive dynamic shadows. If you’re looking for a game that can keep you entertained for a good while, then this one is easy to recommend. Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos is available as a Cross-Buy title, so your $49.99 purchase will allow you to download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost.
This Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Natsume.