Codex Gamicus

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, (Often called HM: BTN online) is the first PlayStation entry of the popular Harvest Moon franchise, first found on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom) Harvest Moon is a farming sim where you grow crops, raise animals, mine and even marry.

This entry of the series starts you out inheriting the farm of your grandfather who recently passed away. Your goal is to rebuild his run-down farm, along the way making friends with the local people, raising animals such as chickens, cows, a dog, and even a horse, and eventually meeting the long lost female friend you met the summer you spent on the farm and marrying her.

You start the game with a few basic tools, 500G, and a dog, which you name yourself. The gameplay is not hard to pick up and soon you're extremely busy watering and harvesting crops. Soon, after you make enough money to afford them, you buy chickens, sheep and cows. They all give produce which can be sold, eaten or cooked. Yes, this game has a highly innovative cooking system that includes over 100 recipes to discover and try.

With all this going on you may need to take a break. The local harvest sprites are more than willing to help, but first you must befriend them. After you make friends with them, they will water/harvest your crops and feed your animals, but if you rely too heavily on them, they may start to dislike you, and then they will refuse to work for you.

With all the time saved through the harvest sprites, you can explore the town and surrounding country side. In the town, there are many unique characters to meet, including the 6 lucky ladies who you have the chance to marry with a little wooing. The local towns people don't trust you much at first, but bring them a few gifts and they will quickly like you. The girls all take a little more work, but you could get lucky and raise their heart meters.

There are plenty more things to enjoy in this wonderful game. There are mini-games, house upgrades, festivals, dog races and horse races. After three years, you either lose, or can play for however long you wish. The game has massive re-playability as no two games are ever the same.