Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness - DS/DSi

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Viewed: 2D Combination Genre:
Strategy: Management
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Natsume Soft. Co.: Rising Star
Publishers: Rising Star (GB/US)
Released: Sept 2008 (US)
12 Dec 2008 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Wireless DS multi-card play


Island of Happiness does what you'd expect of a Harvest Moon game - provides a niche blend of farming simulation and RPG elements - but it does it on a deserted island following a disaster at sea Such are the perils of ocean travel!

To start with, players need to choose a bachelor or bachelorette to play with, picking from 10 different characters. Joining them on the island will be the elderly Tarou, his daughter Felena and her two children, Natalie and Eric. Players will be forced to start their farm from scratch, growing their crops and taking care of animals. Once they've got a functioning farm up and running, they go on to help a growing community (yes, breeding people - rude, eh?) interact with other townsfolk and find love. Just like in life.

Island of Happiness makes use of a simple stylus and touch screen control scheme, so that even the newest, most inexperienced farmer will be able to jump straight in - using the stylus for activities such as seeding, digging and watering.

The game comes with a multi-player option via Wi-Fi, along with world rankings for farms. The game's out in the US and they have much cheaper land, so Euro types can expect an uphill struggle. It's unclear at this stage whether EU subsidies will be available to help out!