Everything you need to know about Harvestella, Square Enix’s fantasy farming sim
If you ever thought that Final Fantasy was missing a Stardew Valley element, then Square Enix has the game for you. At the June 2022 Nintendo Direct Mini, the new game Harvestella was revealed. The game looks to meld JRPG mechanics and story with the relaxing joys of farming sims, and it’s coming sooner than you might think. Here is everything we know about your soon-to-be obsession.
When is the Harvestella release date?
At the end of the Direct Mini announcement trailer for Harvestella, it was announced the game will be released at the end of this year! The official release date is November 4, 2022.
Is there a Harvestella trailer?
Yes! Here is the announcement trailer that was shown off during the June Nintendo Direct Mini:
Look how pretty it looks! Harvestella is giving some heavy Final Fantasy vibes both in-game and with its beautiful artwork which you can see at the end of the trailer.
What are the Harvestella platforms?
As the game was revealed during a Nintendo Direct, it's no surprise that it is coming to Nintendo Switch.
In addition, Harvestella is also coming to PC via Steam. At this moment there is no word on if PlayStation and Xbox will receive Harvestella.
What is the Harvestella story?
At the core of Harvestella’s story are four giant crystals (in case you weren’t sure this was a Square Enix game) known as the Seaslight. Unlike crystals in Final Fantasy that typically govern elemental powers, the crystals in Harvestella govern the seasons.
But there is another season in Harvestella: Quietus. This is a time when the seasons shift, causing the death of crops and deadly dust that forces people to shelter inside at all times.
This is the state in which the game opens, as a Square Enix blog details:
One day, the Seaslight start behaving abnormally. Quietus begins to visit in the interim between seasons - and quickly establishes itself as the season of death. The Seaslight glow with a strange light, emitting a dust formed of light that threatens all it touches — crops die, and people are trapped inside.
During one particular Quietus, your character - a traveler - collapses in an isolated village. You meet a girl called Aria, who claims to have come from the future and is researching the mysteries of this new, unwelcome season.
Thus you and she take the first step on a journey that will reveal the very truth of the world.
It will be up to the player to farm, fight, and socialize to discover how to combat the oncoming Quietus and discover their own history.
Can I date people in Harvestella?
Unclear at the moment, but not unlikely! One gameplay aspect that was touched on in the announcement trailer was the social system. The player will be able to increase their “Closeness” with characters, which is tracked by a menu with a striking resemblance to the friendship system in Stardew Valley which can lead to relationships with romanceable characters.
So, keep your fingers crossed for smooching!
What is Harvestella farming gameplay like?
If you have ever dabbled in Stardew Valley, then you will be familiar with Harvestella’s farming mechanics. The importance of seasons isn’t just for the story, as farming will be dependent on each season. Different seasons will allow the player to grow different crops.
Seeds can be purchased from shop owners as well as scavenged across the world. Killing enemies has a chance of dropping new seeds also.
Water and look after crops well enough and you can harvest them. Harvested crops can be put in a “shipping box” and sold or you can keep them to cook with!
In addition to farming, Harvestella will have a cooking, fishing, and a crafting system that will help the player in their adventures out in the world. Like other life-sims, it is safe to assume you will be able to upgrade your house later in the game once you have enough resources and money. Let’s hope there is no overbearing landlord who puts us in debt like some other games.
You don’t have all the time in the world to farm and adventure. Days will begin at 6 AM and from then on, it’s up to you to choose how to pass the time. The latest Nintendo Treehouse stream showed off what a day in Harvestella can look like. Shops don’t open until 8 so the early morning is a good time to get some watering and harvesting of your crops done.
Every task you undertake will also run out the clock. Repairing ladders was shown to take an hour in the Treehouse stream. But much like Stardew Valley, you can’t party all night. In fact, Harvestella has a strict curfew it will force on you, 9 PM! That’s so early, I’m not a child and I can determine my own bedtime, Harvestella.
What JRPG elements are in Harvestella?
Combat is an integral part of Harvestella, with the world holding various dungeons as well as monsters who roam the world. There is also a job system that sounds like it takes some cues from the job system of Final Fantasy XIV. Square blog post states, “Each Job has a unique weapon and characteristic skills. For example, the Fighter is a physical attacker who can unleash swift sword techniques.”
If Harvestella follows FFXIV’s example, then the protagonist will be able to equip different weapons and freely change between jobs depending on the situation.
In addition to maybe being smoochable (fingers crossed) characters you meet in the game will also serve as traditional party members. The August 2022 Nintendo Treehouse introduced new characters Dianthus (a tall lady in a sci-fi suit of armor) and a talking Unicorn. While party members can assist in combat, they will also be able to aid you in your exploration.
There is also an overworld! Before open-world games, Final Fantasy and other JRPGs had an overworld the player could traverse. Harvestella’s overworld has a beautiful diorama aesthetic to it, much like Fantasian’s look.
Harvestella is coming to PC and Nintendo Switch on November 4, 2022.
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