What is Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley?Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is a game about a valley that's stuck in the season of winter. After a chance encounter with a harvest goddess, it's up to you to complete tasks for the various residents of the valley in order to bring spring, summer and autumn back to the land.
What do you do in Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley?Harvest Moon is a game with many hates. Mixing a light farming game with the ability to make friends with villagers, like on Animal Crossing, you can play Harvest Moon however you want to. Whether you'd prefer to grow plants, and raise livestock, cook, or simply explore the world, there are no time limits or boundaries here to play by, so you're free to do what you want. Luckily, however, there is a main storyline guiding you forwards, with objectives to complete for each of the villagers, so you aren't just dropped in at the deep end without a clue what to do.
You can play as either a male or a female, and name your character. It's also worth mentioning that although there is the option to cook in the game, meat is not used, none of the livestock are killed for food, but fish can be caught and cooked.
A lot of your time will be spent making friends with the characters in the game. Making friends with them usually simply involves talking to them, with a press of the A Button, before reading how they're feeling, and what task they have for you today.
The game can be paused at any time, and unlike similar games like Animal Crossing, time does not pass whilst your child is not playing, so there's no need to go back on the game at certain times of day to do certain tasks.
How easy is Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley to pick up and play?With a lot of instructions, conversations and quests to read and understand, Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is aimed at those with a strong reading ability. In order to perform a task such as buying seeds your child would need to be able to read through the list of options and select "yes" or "no" to buy them. To progress in the game your child will have to complete requests from the characters in the village, which involves reading the instructions on which items they need to collect, and understanding where to find them.
Here are a few sample sentences that give you a feel of the complexity of the language used:
"Are you all right? It appears you lost your way in the snowstorm."
"Even if the heat saps your appetite, you need to eat to keep your strength up."
The majority of the text in this game consists of short sentences, so things aren't too complex. Your child can take their time with the reading in this game, as the text will not disappear from the screen until they press the button to continue. Beyond reading, though, there's little that younger children or inexperienced players may struggle with here.
There is, however, the option to get married and have a child. The game goes into no detail of how the player's character (if playing as a female) or their wife (if playing as a male) becomes pregnant, but once the baby is born (again, it doesn't go into any of the grizzly details) they will have the responsibility of feeding it every day. If they forget to feed the baby then it will cry in the night and the player's character will feel tired the next day - but you can't kill it by forgetting to feed it.
The livestock that you can raise in this can get distressed if you don't feed them and clean them, but they will only die of old age.