Before Farmville and its myriad of copycats, there was Harvest Moon, a Japanese RPG series that challenges players to transform a poor farm into a profitable one.
The franchise has found a home on almost every format imaginable, but its natural home is currently the DS, with Rising Star handling the release of each new entry in the UK.
The latest instalment is Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar and the publisher is confident it will perform just as well as its predecessors, especially considering the popularity of Zynga’s foray into farming.
“Harvest Moon has always been our flagship series and this shows no signs of slowing down,” says product manager Yen Hau.
“Farming games are gaining popularity recently with the success of Farmville, but it was Harvest Moon that made farming acceptable as a social gaming experience and Grand Bazaar brings that back in full force. The mother of all farming games is ready to show what a real farming game can do.”
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The new game takes place in Zephyr Town, which was once home to a world famous bazaar that would attract shoppers from distant lands with its unique goods. Over the years, the bazaar has fallen into disrepair and its up to DS owners to rejuvenate it by earning money from their farm.
They can even call on friends via online multiplayer to help with their farming, spend money at the local shops or go fishing in nearby streams.
“For Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar, we’re targeting all farming game fans, be they on traditional consoles or the web,” adds Hau. “This is the mother of all farming games and we will be shouting as loud as we can to these players to get that message across.”