Harvest Moon: One World - Switch Review
"A good way to introduce someone to the series."
Harvest Moon: One World is the latest entry in the long-standing farming based series. Diverging from the “Inherited Farm” storyline, you must set out to find new vegetables for your home village in which only potatoes grow. As the global pandemic stretches into its second year, does this low intensity experience have the potential to have the same impact that Animal Crossing New Horizon did last March? Sadly, probably not.
Harvest Moon: One World plays a lot like a series of side quests and grinding. The bulk of the game consists of trading food and supplies to random NPCs for more food and supplies. That being said, the agriculture mechanics are fun and addictive. Cultivating your crops and tending to your animals is rewarding and kept me playing for hours on end just for the sake of grinding out new materials and selling my crops.
The mobile farm is a really convenient addition to the Harvest Moon formula: instead of having to return to the beginning location each time you need to collect eggs or tend crops, each town has a plot of land for you to move your farm onto at will. The addition of a mobile farm cuts out what could have been an annoying amount of backtracking, but that doesn't make the endless fetch questing less repetitive.
The controls also lack intuitive design: interacting with your animals can be frustrating as the A button controls all the possible actions, but which action it performs depends on how you face the animal. For example, when I was trying to learn to shear sheep, I spent half of my time petting the sheep instead because the critter kept moving around. With so many buttons (or even button combinations) left unused, it feels lazy to have the controls set up this way.
There is also a combined hunger/stamina mechanic that dictates how much you can do within a given day. This, like every hunger mechanic I've ever encountered, feels like an unnecessary hindrance in a game that has a day/season structure. This one is actually worse than most hunger mechanics because it depletes so quickly. It feels like a greedy developer’s mobile game would convince people to spend money on extra lives.