Release: June 8
When it comes to light-hearted, adorable games that make us want to smile, the Harvest Moon games top the list. The formula is relatively simple: grow and harvest crops, woo boy/girl, forge friendships, lather, rinse, repeat. Yet, if playing Harvest Moon doesn't tug at your heartstrings even a tiny bit, you're probably the kind of person that eats babies for a living. Not that there's anything wrong with that (in fact, we have an excellent barbecue sauce recipe, if you're interested).
In case you need even more evidence that the Harvest Moon series is full of feel-good games, the two upcoming entries for the DS are subtitled Cute and Island of Happiness. How much sweeter can you get without dying from an immediate sugar coma?
Borrowing a page from Lost in Blue, Island of Happiness kicks off with your character and a handful of friends stranded on a deserted island. As the game world changes and the number of buildings increases, more and more people start settling there. The game features 100 different NPCs, some of whom are bachelors (or bachelorettes, depending on whether you start the game as a girl or boy) that you can woo and marry. The game also features 3D graphics and utilizes stylus controls, thereby making full use of the handheld's capabilities.
We only wish more games could be as relaxing and refreshing as those in the Harvest Moon series. As far as we're concerned, all games could use a good dose of Harvest Moon in them. To prove our point, we've made a few suggestions of game mash-ups that we'd like to see happen.
1. Harvest Moon meets Contra in Super Seed
2. Harvest Moon meets Resident Evil in Mansion of Magical Itchy ... Tasty
3. Harvest Moon meets Metroid in Metroid Prime: Gatherers
4. Harvest Moon meets Castlevania in Dawn of Happiness
5. Harvest Moon meets Dementium in A Wonderful Ward
Gallery: Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness
Come the revolution