The Cambridge Geek


Ever read The Little Prince? Ever wondered what he had to do in order to provide a sustainable source of food on a relatively small living area? No, me neither. Luckily, it seems the creators of Deiland have, with this game which is effectively a cross-over between Harvest Moon and that book series.

That's no moon...It's a planet!

So, mechanics first. You'll spend the majority of your time either planting or harvesting crops, crafting a range of different items (in the typical crafting tree - use 10 cotton to make 5 thread to make 1 fabric and so on), fulfilling quests and fighting off enemies. And digging up raw resources. You need a lot of those.

This gif should really be repeated a lot of times throughout this article.

You're all alone on your little planet (at least until you get to the pastoral stage of agriculture), so luckily you get company in the form of visitors, who offer you new recipes, designs for tools, the ability to buy foodstuffs and a selection of quests.

Now I will confess I've not spent much time in the Harvest Moon franchise, finding them a bit too repetitive, but I'm unexpectedly compelled to keep playing this. The desire to build a shinier tool, or unlock a mine, or discover if there are other planets you can travel to is surprisingly strong. Compare it to the recent Raft, which also had a monopoly on my playing time.

Hey, this planet's bigger than mine!

There is also something else going on below the traditional farming setup, with strange dreams and a curious legend about the Prince and his tiny world. You slowly collect pages of a book of myths that might tell you where you came from. Not completed that yet, so will be interesting to see what develops. I'm hoping for something like the crystal cluster in Steven Universe. Be nice to have a bit of horror suddenly drop in.

I'm hoping for a page with something eating his face off.

The game has some weaknesses, and I don't really want to gloss over these. Repetition is a severe problem. The advancement structure is mostly reasonable, with the amount of effort being needed to unlock the next stage of tools or similar being challenging but rewarding, but certain aspects are annoying.

The worst of these is the collection of metal. For most of the time you can source this only by trading or by doing a painful amount of mining. I've never liked grinding as a mechanic, and here it weirdly feels more like a mistake than an intention, which really doesn't help.

So many things to unlock.

The other oddity is the combat. Sometimes, a troublesome alien, insect, plant monster or pirate will show up on your planet and attempt to murder you. You stop them by whacking them in the face with a hammer. Or an axe. Or magic, which also happens to be part of the game. But you don't actually need to hit them, just wave a weapon in their vague direction. And they don't need to hit you either.

You'll eventually learn the effective ranges of your tools, but you'll struggle to ever use any sort of tactic other than trying to maintain a precise distance from your opponent. It feels very unsatisfying.

I think it might be struggling slightly from being one of several minigame-like features that are in the game, all of which do different things, and all at a mostly shallow level. There's fishing, spinning the planet to avoid incoming meteorites and sneaky devils who steal your food.

Still, for all those problems, I can't deny that it's already stolen a couple of days of my life, and is likely to steal more, at least until I complete the book and discover what the secret is at the core of the tiny planet. With the limited area of farmable land, I think it would struggle to extend into an "endless" mode, but they've spread out the story and the adventure well enough that it's a reasonably paced game. No one feature stands out, but in the whole it is somewhat addictive.

Score 3

Tagged: Game Farming 3D Easy difficulty PC