Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct showcase taught me many things, such as there are many upcoming farming games and people like playing farming games. I am so overwhelmed with the power of this knowledge—the power of the big farming sim in the sky running on children’s imaginations and a Nintendo DS Lite—that I am putting together a slideshow of every upcoming farming game announced yesterday.
I’ve included summaries of gameplay and plot, expected release dates, and information about the crop or animal I think appeared most delectable in the game’s trailer. Delicious crops and animals are integral to what I imagine is Nintendo’s plan to swap out our ailing Earth’s ozone layer for a Harvest Moon cartridge.
This latest trailer for Harvestella, Square Enix’s molten farming sim and role-playing game, elaborates on the sap-sucking disease called the “Quietus” that plagues your glowing land, the game’s farming mechanics, and its combat. It appears more like a farming epic than a farming sim, and you can currently download a demo for free from the Nintendo Switch e-shop.
Release date: The full game will be released November 4, 2022
Carrots: This was the only crop in the trailer I felt I could identify with confidence. Europeans brought wild carrots (or Queen Anne’s Lace) to the U.S. during colonization, and we’ve been weeding them ever since.
Poreless and elfin, the characters in Faefarm glide around standard farming sim activities like fishing, mining, and resource collection in this drippingly cute trailer. But there also seem to be some platforming and role-playing game combat elements, since fairies in the trailer bounce from seashell-lined beaches to battles with, ostensibly, possessed string instruments. Your niece is going to love this.
Release date: Spring 2023
Pumpkin: The pumpkins in this trailer were remarkably rotund. You can eat every part of a pumpkin, even the stem, though you might not want to.
Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life
The Harvest Moon series is here to defend its title as the original farming game champion with a remastered version of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life. The remaster appears like a jelly-smooth update to the original, released on GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2003, with crisp, crystal rivers to fish from, happy, grape-sized harvest sprites, and plenty of land to till. Characters will now age alongside their children, it appears, and there seem to be added storylines.
Release date: Summer 2023
Chicken: I think the chickens in this trailer are delicious and kind. Chickens can run up to 9 mph.
Rune Factory 3 Special
Another remaster and spinoff of the Harvest Moon series—the monster-oriented original Rune Factory 3 was released over a decade ago, Special updates its role-playing sim history to include fresh story elements and more spousal one-on-one time. The protagonist can turn into a monster, which looks wooly and squishable and not like it was conceived in 2009. The trailer also teases that “a new Rune Factory series will launch in the future.”
Release date: 2023
Lettuce: This trailer’s lettuce looked healthy and crunchy. Lettuce tends to be a good source of vitamin A.
Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key
The latest title in Japanese role-playing game Atelier series, Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key (try saying that three times fast), is out in time for the series’ 25th anniversary. Though the game was announced at Direct, its extended first look trailer just released today. In it, you’ll find an emphasis on elemental adventure—you can dive underwater, ride horses and dolphins, and though it’s not explicitly a farming game, collect resources and perform leisurely exploration. As a true JRPG, Atelier Ryza 3 is more of a live-wire than a traditional farming sim, but many of its aspects might feel familiar to farming sim fans.
Release date: February 24, 2023
Grass: It’s not a crop or a creature, but I can assure you that there is grass in this game. There are around 10,000 grass species (this figure does not take grass-like species into consideration).
OddBallers is a dodgeball party game, but one of its levels occurs on a farm. Its slack jawed characters seem to be made of taffy, and gameplay involves throwing hard objects at them. Some of those objects will be found on a farm. Play this if you wish Stardew Valley was homicidal.
Release date: Early 2023
Hay: I spotted some hay in the trailer for this—hay is integral to feeding farm animals. That’s my best hay fact, sorry.
Hm, I really thought that this slideshow would be longer, given how much people were remarking on the number of farming games during the event. I guess when you’re spending 40 minutes at Nintendo’s whim, four bonafide farming sims feel like a lifetime’s worth. Maybe they will be—what are you most looking forward to playing?