Story of Seasons, formally known as Harvest Moon, is a franchise I often enjoyed playing but fell out of when the title changed. I was curious how the games had done since the 3DS era, though. When I got the chance to review the newest addition to the series, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, I was both excited and nervous to see if it still had the charm I remembered. I would say that it does!

As the title suggests, your main goal is to pioneer Olive Town, which involves collecting materials for the mayor’s latest idea of attracting tourists. While you can buy the materials you need, you will likely get the free materials from your farm. Speaking of your farm, you can decorate, upgrade, and even find livestock wandering your property to tame. There are so many animals for free to tame that you don’t even need to buy any. Unless you want to have an all-cow farm or something. Pets are also available when you upgrade your house, which you can walk and give treats to. A bug I noticed was that the game would lag, at times, when you are walking on your property, but I can see this being patched out in future updates.

One of the interesting features is an experience system that goes up in various completed categories to make your tasks lose less stamina or add extra to harvested items. For example, suppose you level up in collecting eggs. In that case, you will get an additional egg added along with the one you collected. Or if you chop down a tree for logs, it will take less stamina as it would if you didn’t level up. There are also achievements with rewards you can collect at the Town Hall.

Another interesting feature is the camera tool, which lets you walk around the world in first person. With the picture-sharing feature online, I can see people having a ton of fun with it. You can share a picture you take and see pictures from others on the loading screen when you walk into buildings making a fun community touch to the game. So far, Linh has been a popular subject to capture for some reason. Is this an upcoming meme?

I often found myself too busy with collecting materials for various upgrades of tools and building to spend much time interacting with the residents of Olive Town. Still, once I took the time to do so, I found them not completely forgettable, just a little vanilla. The bachelor I was drawn to was Iori, a noble young man with a love for fishing and mushrooms. I also liked Lars since he works with motorcycles, but he isn’t a bachelor.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is a game that will definitely keep you busy. I was seldom ever bored while playing as there was always a task I was working towards and a lot to do. I’m pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed playing it. It’s priced at $49.99 and while there are some nitpicks I have, I feel like this will become one of the favorites in the Story of Seasons series.