The Harvest Moon series — rather, Story of Seasons as it’s called now — was probably my first dip into the simulation video game genre. While I’ve definitely turned my attention more towards Stardew Valley than this series, plenty of Harvest Moon games still hold a special place in my heart.
I honestly haven’t played this game too much, as I prefer my Harvest Moon games on a handheld rather than a bigger console, but I did enjoy what I did play of it. The style of the game is cute and the cast of characters were great. My favorite part of this game? Your marriage and children actually have a bit of substance. Your spouse can help out on the farm or with other chores, and the children actually grow and have some personality.
Island of Happiness/Sunshine Islands
While technically two games, I feel like Sunshine Islands was developed to right all the issues that Island of Happiness had. These games have my favorite cast of characters, and Island of Happiness would have been on this list alone had its controls not been the horrendous touch-screen things. Sunshine Islands wasn’t too bad either, but the plot of raising all the islands was a bit annoying.
Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning
This installment in the series deserves a place on this list due to how much time I sunk into it. It was addicting trying to revive the whole town while also being given free reign as to how the town was designed. Being able to move buildings wherever you want, both for the town and the farm, was a great mechanic. This game also had a good online mode as well — it was simple and enabled players to help each other with quality animal products and gifts.
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town
While Friends of Mineral Town was my first foray into the Harvest Moon series, I enjoyed the female version of the game. This game was just fun in its simplistic way. The only goal was to create a thriving farm and, if you wished, to make friends with the rest of the townsfolk. It was the perfect, no-stress, chill game.
What are your favorite Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
We love the simulation genre so much that we decided to dedicate a month to it. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to simulation games and, for some reason, there’s just something so special about them.
What exactly is the simulation genre?
Simulation games mimic activities from real life. You can create your own person and have them live their own virtual life, such as in The Sims. You can take care of virtual pets, have virtual jobs, go on a virtual vacation… the possibilities are endless. There’s just something so exciting about a simulation game. You can do everything in the game that you can do in real life but it’s faster and cheaper. We all want an alternate reality where we can do the things we normally do but at an in-game price.
The simulation genre is pretty vast too. There are plenty of subgenres such as dating sims, life sims, business simulations, medical simulations, vehicle simulations, and so many more.
For me, I personally tend to gravitate toward life or dating simulation games. That is until I get jealous of my character and stop playing for a little while. Either way, I love pretty much all simulation games for a couple of different reasons.
I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I’m not great at video games. There are certain games I love but I’m just bad at them. Platformers, especially. Simulation games allow me to go at my own pace and do what I want. Sure, there are some simulation games that you can “lose” or get a “bad ending” but the journey is relaxing anyway… for the most part.
They’re the kinds of games that you can pick and play as you go. There’s no heavy story you need to pay attention to. There are no deadlines. I mean, there are some games that have deadlines or have stories, but for the most part, most simulation games are pretty chill.
I can collect things
I love collecting things. I don’t know why. I have no clue where this fascination came from to collect everything. Maybe I can blame Pokemon for this, but if I have one thing of something, I have to get them all. There are a lot of simulation games that have things for you to collect.
I think this is why I love Animal Crossing so much. Between the fish, bugs, fossils, furniture, clothes, and everything in between, there are a lot of things to collect to grow your catalog. It’s relaxing to spend a day fishing and it’s also a bit of a challenge. Animal Crossing, for example, is based in real-life time so there are certain bugs and fish you can’t get in certain seasons or weather. It keeps you busy for a long time.
I can keep going and going and going
You don’t normally play a simulation game once and never go back to it. No, you’re always going to keep playing the game and each time you play, you’ll play a different way. Or maybe you’ll do what you did before but still somehow get a different outcome as slight as it may be.
I can play Animal Crossing for years and still be collecting things, trying to get new villagers to move in. I can play The Sims for the rest of my life and build all the houses I want, create all the families, kill off those families, what have you. I can play Game Dev Tycoon and have a different outcome every single time based on the cards I’m dealt with.
Overall, simulation games never get boring. There’s always something to do. There are some simulation games I’ve played that just isn’t good – and I mean they’re pretty bad. For the most part though, most simulation games I fall in love with and will go back to all the time. It’s a well-rounded genre that will never get old.
Do you love simulation games? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
It’s a new month in the year, and this March we’re thinking of celebrating one of our favorite genres of video games. Simulation games have become some of our most played games recently, with games like Stardew Valley and the Sims franchise. The new Animal Crossing game is coming out this month, Rune Factory 4 was just recently released, and there are plenty of dating sim games to explore.
Simulation games are so much fun. Especially since you can have the kind of life you think you deserve. The possibilities are always endless in what you can do in a simulation game and you can spend hours and hours playing one specific game.
I enjoy trying to reach my own goals, be they specific to the game like a business management simulation or character-driven goals for your avatars in life simulation games. Simulation games have been getting a bit of a boost with virtual reality these past couple of years as well, such as games like Job Simulator and the Iron Man VR.
Right, you feel like you’re accomplishing something even though, in real life, it’s not doing much for you. Still, they’re fun nonetheless and we’ve decided to talk about it all month including a new challenge.
The new challenge has to do with one of our favorite games, Game Dev Tycoon. As a refresher, Game Dev Tycoon puts you in the position of CEO of a budding video game company. Throughout the game’s years, consoles will come and go, gaming trends will happen, and you’ll do your best to make your company a success. I believe we’re mainly just going to see who can have the most money by the time the game’s years are up, right Rachel? Or is there any other criteria that you want us to judge?
Yes, more Game Dev Tycoon! I believe we’re going to see which company comes out on top, yeah. I think the game runs for 35 years so by the end of that, whoever has the most money wins. I plan on keeping a list of my games so we can compare ridiculousness as well.
Keeping a list of games will be good too, yes! I know the game, at the end of the 35 years or so, gives you a list of stats of your company over the course of the game. We should try to screenshot and print those for the heck of it. Did we want to do the standard game length or adjust it for the shorter or longer game?
Might as well do the standard game length. Go big or go home! In the meantime, while we build our virtual gaming companies, we’ll be playing and talking about some other simulation games, so stay tuned!
Do you enjoy simulation games? What are some of your favorites? If you liked this post, please share it around!
The Sims is a game I’ve played and loved for years. While I skipped over The Sims 1 and 3, I had a lot of fun in The Sims 2 and still have fun in The Sims 4. I could never get sick of these games and, even though I do the same things over and over again, there are just some things I love doing in The Sims.
Build a house
Aside from creating myself and giving my Sim a life, I think I deserve in the real world, I enjoy building houses. When I played The Sims 2, I think I built houses more so than actually playing with the sims. I would spend hours building a single house. They all looked the same. They were all mansions. I never improved my craft, but I had fun with it anyway.
The Sims 4 makes building houses so much easier. I still haven’t improved that much, but I still have fun with it and can spend hours on a single house. My houses are always massive and I usually have only a single sim – maybe two – living there. But it’s cool regardless.
Begin from scratch
In The Sims 2, I knew all the cheat codes. I’d create a family, use “motherlode” a bunch of times, move them into a ginormous house, and keep cheating. I’d fast-forward so my sims could max out their skills quickly all the while being able to simply “max motives” so they wouldn’t have to eat or sleep during it.
I did this because in The Sims 2 having friends and maintaining those relationships were required to get a job promotion. This was so I could focus on having friends while working. We can’t work, socialize, and build our skills in 24 hours. That’s crazy!
When The Sims 4 came out, I vowed not to do that. I wanted to play and build my characters from scratch. Of course, friendships aren’t required to getting job promotions (thankfully!) in The Sims 4. I still try to do it legitimately though. And, I have to say, I have a lot more fun with it.
Create an entire town (sometimes using one family)
Unfortunately, I can’t really do this in The Sims 4. Not unless I evict NPC families, there aren’t too many empty lots or empty neighborhoods for me to have creative control. In The Sims 2, I used to start in an empty neighborhood and create a family. They’d have kids and when their kids moved out, I’d build them a house in the same neighborhood. Before I knew it, I created an entire town using the same family tree. That was a lot of fun and something I’d love to try to recreate in The Sims 4 somehow at some point.
Try a challenge and make a story out of it
The Sims doesn’t have any story to the games. Of course, that’s kind of the point. You create sims and make your own story using those characters. Tell them what to do or sit back and watch them make their own decisions and mistakes. It’s a lot of fun and challenges help out a lot with that.
I had always wanted to try a challenge or two in The Sims 2 but never did. I was too busy building houses. In The Sims 4, I started the 100 Baby Challenge which is… proving to be more difficult than I originally thought. It’s stressful, but I’m having a lot of fun with it.
Overall, there are so many things to do in The Sims. I have hours of fun doing the same things I always do or try something new once in a while. It’s a time sucker, but it’s fun.
What are some of your favorite things to do in The Sims? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I finally got Pokemon Home and gave it a whirl over this weekend. My first main experiment was to see how many Pokemon from some of my old favorite teams could go to the Galar region!
Right before the weekend, I finally got Pokemon Home. It’s been out for about three weeks now — February 11 — and I honestly kind of kept forgetting about it until recently. The successor to Pokemon Bank, Home is both a mobile and Nintendo Switch app for Pokemon storage. While there is a basic, free plan for Home, there are so many more options and storage for your Pokemon with the paid plan. Considering the paid plan is only 15 or so bucks a year, it’s not too bad. If you’re an avid Pokemon collector, it’s well worth it.
When I turned on Pokemon Home, I gave it a test run to see how it works and was greeted with this dude:
After doing all the updates that were necessary for my original 3DS, I booted up Pokemon Bank to see if I even still had Pokemon in there. I had about half a box of legendary Pokemon that I received throughout special events during past years, so I figured they would be the first residents for Home.
The process was simple enough, although it was interesting trying to juggle both my 3DS and my Switch Lite on my desk. During the move from Bank to Home, you need to input a Moving Key and have a limited amount of time to do so. Once the key is accepted, it takes a few good minutes for the Pokemon to move from Bank to Home, a progress during which you cannot use the software. It was nice to see the Pokemon in Home, and once you connect your Sword/Shield game to Home, the software allows you to easily move the Pokemon from Home to the boxes in Sword/Shield.
If Sword/Shield allows the Pokemon, that is. Conveniently, Home has icons that indicate whether or not a Pokemon can move from Home to Sword/Shield. Hopefully, there will eventually be DLC or a patch that allows more Pokemon in Sword/Shield, but for now it’ll be interesting to see which Pokemon from my past teams will be able to join my Rillaboom and company in Galar.
So I grabbed my Y version and got to work.
As a bit of background, my Y version is probably my Pokemon game with the most time sunk into it. I have a little over 210 hours on my Y version — first started on December 25, 2013 and I entered the Hall of Fame for the first time a mere three days later — compared to the almost 80 hours on my Sword version. While I don’t have my Y Pokedex complete, I have spent the majority of those hours collecting my favorite Pokemon to recreate my preferred teams from generations 1 through 5 to go alongside my generation 6 team from Kalos:
Including my main Kalos team on the right, all these Pokemon were raised up to level 100 with the help of a plethora of Elite Four runs as well as challenges from the Battle Chateau.
It’s a bit bittersweet to think about, actually. Pokemon Bank, which came out in 2014 for the Americas, was first used to allow me to gather all of these Pokemon for the then-current Pokemon game so I could have all my favorites together. Now, Pokemon Bank will help me move all of these guys to Pokemon Home where we’ll see just how many of them I can bring to Galar.
Considering how much of a soft spot I have for my Y version, I was honestly considering breeding and hatching eggs of these guys to then move into Home. However, I realized that it’s been literally a year and a half since I last turned on Y. Case in point was a poor Eevee that was apparently stuck in an egg since July 2018. Instead, I spent a little time to get said eggs, but decided that the baby-versions of my favorites will remain behind in Y while the adults will travel to Home.
If and when I decide to return to Pokemon Y, I’ll have a grand time hatching and raising my favorite Pokemon again, which is one of the best parts of these games.
With all the eggs created, it was time to actually move my teams to Pokemon Bank then to Home. I decided to just move my teams from generations 1 through 5 first; I haven’t quite figured out if I will leave my original Kalos team in Y and create eggs of them for Home and Galar, or if I will eventually also move my original Kalos team over as well. My Alola team will be for another time and day.
It didn’t take long at all for a box of 30 Pokemon to move from Pokemon Bank to Home. In fact, I’m sure it took a few minutes longer for Bank to actually just load up on my 3DS. It was rather exciting to see most of my favorites with updated sprites in Home!
Now the big test was to see just how many of them could be moved into Sword. I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the results:
It was disheartening to see all of the glaring, red, “do not transport” symbols amid all of my favorites, particularly with the starter Pokemon (I want my Grovyle!). After separating the Pokemon that could go to Sword from the ones who are staying in Home, 13 out of 30 — almost half — of my trained Pokemon can visit Galar. Yet, the only true new Pokemon that can join me is my Venusaur (unless you count the pink Gastrodon, since I’ve only seen the blue version of the Pokemon in Sword); considering my Galar pokedex is complete, I have all the other Pokemon in my box already, albeit not as trained as the ones from Y.
Not only are the majority of my teams unable to come to Galar, some of the ones who can join me don’t have all of their moves available. The Pokemon with an exclamation point beside them indicate that at least one of their moves cannot be used in Sword/Shield, which I didn’t even think about but in hindsight wasn’t surprising. I expected the moves that weren’t available in Sword/Shield to just disappear from my Pokemon’s move pools, but apparently you need to do that yourself, if you read the moves’ descriptions:
I was initially hesitant to do this move with my teams generations 1 through 5 because I was afraid most of my favorite Pokemon would be forced to retire, so to speak, in Pokemon Home. I can’t move the rest of my teams back to Bank to bring them back in Y. All those Pokemon that I spent over 200 hours raising for battles are now stuck in Home.
To be honest, it’s okay that these Pokemon are retired. It was a startling realization that I hadn’t visited my Y game in well over a year, and at least I now have my favorites with me on my Switch Lite. With that said, Nintendo, I would love a feature in Pokemon Home reminiscent of My Pokemon Ranch — give me a mode where I can see all of my Pokemon milling about together, maybe even give me the ability to pat them or give them little treats here and there, please!
This move from Y to Bank to Home to Sword answered some questions, but also brought up new ones. Do I need to wait until the expansion pass in June for the pokedex to fully expand to bring over more of my teams? Or, considering this is a mere 30 Pokemon out of almost-900, are my particular favorites unlucky enough to be left out of the additional 200 Pokemon that are joining the Galar region? I know the Alolan starter Pokemon are invited to Galar — are the majority of the 200 additional Pokemon from Alola as well? Perhaps we’ll see when I decide to go through my Pokemon from my Moon games along with other Pokemon from Kalos.
In the meantime, I’ll be back in Pokemon Sword where I will be hard at work leveling up my Sword team to level 100 to match some of their veteran teammates.
What do you think of Pokemon Home?Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
February is pretty much done. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind of a month with all sorts of life stuff happening to disrupt our regular routines. We’re looking forward to the next month and seeing what it brings!
Wii Sports was bundled along with the Wii console way back in 2006, being a collection of sports-orientated games to show off the capabilities of the Wii remotes (this is totally what 1-2 Switch should have been for the Switch console instead of an extra 60 bucks, but I digress). With the main characters of the games being your own personal Miis, it was a good move on Nintendo’s part, especially since it is the bestselling single-platform game of all time.
(I’m not sure how much of that is due to the game being bundled with the console but, hey, it’s also available on its own and it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.)
Wii Sports itself has been acclaimed for its role in bonding experiences between family members as well as being used regularly for physical therapy, particularly in elderly gamers. With the motion-controls of the Wii remotes and the fact that you need to be up and moving for Wii Sports, the game has been credited to paving the way for gamers to be more physical. Since then, we’ve seen more motion-controls being used in games to virtual reality to augmented reality on mobile to encourage people to walk more.
I remember when we first got the Wii and Wii Sports. Our console was set up in the cellar and connected to the house’s largest television (which is basically my father’s TV — hi, Dad!). The games were fun, with Rachel tending to win because she’s better at the sports games — I remember not being able to play the baseball one for the life of me. I did really well with the boxing, though!
My favorite part of this game, though? We were able to rope both Mom and Dad into playing with us once in a while. Despite Dad being able to win fairly easily in real bowling, it was hilarious to see him trying to figure out the mechanics of the game so he could beat Rachel. With all her practice, Rachel knew the precise angle to toss the bowling ball down the aisle to ensure strikes every time.
Have you played Wii Sports? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
It’s time for another throwback and for some reason, I decided to talk about a game I haven’t thought about in ages.
I have Catwoman for the Game Boy Color. Why? I don’t know. This game released in 1999 and was developed by KEMCO. It’s a game that exists and I don’t really know why.
Catwoman is a side-scrolling platform-type game. I’m trying to remember but it’s hard and there’s very little information on this game – surprise, surprise.
Part of the reason I don’t remember this game that well is, despite my being young when I played it, is the fact that I never made it out of the first level. According to the game’s Wikipedia page, which is pretty bare-bones, this game has nine stages. That’s it. I couldn’t get past the first. Maybe this is because I was young and couldn’t play games well or maybe it’s because the game is just as ridiculous as I remember it being.
All I remember from the game is that you play as Catwoman, of course, and you’re in this museum-type place. I never knew where I was. I just walked back and forth, jumping, clawing at bad guys and whipping them all trying to find the way out and onto the next level – or whatever it was I was supposed to do.
According to Wiki, this game has a story. Catwoman was hired to steal a weapon of some sort by an evil organization and then she decides to keep it for herself. Now, these evil guys are out to get her.
So… that was something I didn’t know when I played the game. The first level must be in a museum or something because she’s going to steal the weapon… or maybe she has it and is trying to escape. I have no idea since I never made it that far.
I think about this game once in a while. I still have it and my Game Boy Color still works. Maybe I’ll pick it up again sometime soon and see if I can actually get back the first level. That would be interesting.
Did you ever play this game? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Kirby is a beloved pink ball of fluff well known by everyone. Yet, I feel like he doesn’t get enough time in the spotlight.
Kirby first appeared in his own game, Kirby’s Dream Land for the Game Boy in 1992. He has appeared in 33 titles within his own series, the latest being Super Kirby Clash for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. Kirby has also appeared in other games such as Super Smash Brothers.
My first Kirby game was Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land for the Game Boy Advance. I can’t recall if I ever beat the game or not. I no longer have it though because I let the kid I used to babysit at the time borrow it. He turns 18 in a couple of months and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never see that game ever again.
As much as I enjoy Kirby and his kinds of games, I don’t play them that often. Kirby was always one of those series that “got away” and took a back seat to Pokemon and Mario. I’ve played a small handful of Kirby games here and there though I haven’t made a dent in the 33 altogether… I didn’t realize there were 33 until writing this post.
I don’t know what Kirby is but he’s adorable in his own right and he’s got cool powers. It’s a bit scary how he eats people and spits them back out and absorbs a few their powers or weapons… I wonder if he’s related to Yoshi in any way. Maybe Kirby is a long-lost dinosaur no one has ever heard of.
Kirby is a franchise that I’m hoping to play more of in the future. However, with 33 games… where do I start?
Do you love Kirby? How many of his games have you played? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
While I really didn’t need an excuse to get back into playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Cindered Shadows DLC was a great reason to turn the game on again. And, honestly, I wouldn’t mind more DLC like this for the game!
The Cindered Shadows DLC came out for Fire Emblem: Three Houses about a week and a half ago. Being only 7 chapters long, it took me between 8 and 9 hours to complete, especially when one considers that Cindered Shadows is mostly battles with a touch of exploration here and there. In fact, Cindered Shadows reminded me much of the earlier Fire Emblem games, where it would mostly be battles with bits of story in between fights.
I enjoyed the battles in Cindered Shadows, each battle offering a new challenge and seeing me use the Divine Pulse to edit my moves more times than I have in the regular routes I’ve played. I did miss the more involved aspects of the exploration parts, though. No support conversations or skill increases were a bit odd, as the character growth is one of my favorite parts of Fire Emblem games.
I was also intrigued by some things in the Abyss that really didn’t play much of a part in Cindered Shadows. Who was that mysterious woman by the pagan altar? What was up with the empty wayseer’s room? Are they the same person? Once I spend enough renown in the Abyss during the main story, I presume these questions will be answered, and it gives me more incentive to continue the main story to try to figure out the answers.
The four Abyssian characters are lots of fun, although I was confused as to Constance’s split personality with the sun and Hapi’s random sighing ability. They were interesting, brought a little more flavor to the characters, but I did not find them necessary. I also did find Balthus to seem very similar to Raphael from the Golden Deer house, especially if one considers that Balthus was originally from the Alliance territory as well. Still, he was a great big brother figure to the other characters, and I loved his war monk class. A brawler and a healer? Yes, please!
I really liked all four of the character classes from Abyss, actually. Yuri, I think, was the character I utilized the least in battle despite his high avoidance rate, but his personality was delightful. His past was interesting, especially since I’ve heard he has a couple of connections with the characters from the main story and I’m looking forward to unlocking his support conversations with everyone.
Speaking of pasts, it was nice to also learn more about Byleth. Her mother finally has a name! She’s no longer just the catalyst for Byleth’s mysterious past! While the main bad guy of the Cindered Shadows DLC was fairly obvious from the beginning, as was the plot, it was still a fun a side story.
Originally, I was hoping Cindered Shadows would be more of a full-fledged route rather than just a side story when I first heard of it. I was selfishly hoping that Cindered Shadows would involve a Golden Ending, one where all of the characters no matter what house could stay alive, especially since the three house leaders were with Byleth as a team when exploring the Abyss. I liked the interactions between them all and wished there were supports between the house leaders for you to unlock during that time.
I just want all the characters to be happy at the end, dammit.
With that said, I did enjoy the DLC overall. The new mechanics and aspects it brought to the main game are fun to explore and discover, and it brought along just the right amount of new characters without it getting overwhelming.
What did you think of Cindered Shadows?Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Bug-type Pokemon are few and far in between on my teams throughout the eight generations of the series. However, the Galar region did reignite my interest in this type!
When I discovered Ninjask in the third Pokemon generation, I pretty much added it to my team because it was classified as the “ninja Pokemon.” It’s high speed stat quickly made it one of my favorites on the team, and I’ve always found it interesting how unique it’s evolution method was to receive Shedinja.
Who doesn’t love this adorable, tiny Pokemon? It’s evolution can definitely be scary, but a Joltik is a cute addition to your team, not to mention the electric moves it can learn to bolster your team’s special moves.
Dewpider, the pre-evolution, was adorable and despite how I would probably avoid Araquanid Pokemon at all costs if I ever encountered one in real life, my Araquanid in my Moon game was a fantastic teammate. Its bug typing negated some of the weaknesses of a typical water type Pokemon, and vice-versa, making the Pokemon fairly versatile.
A little Blipbug was one of my first encounters in Pokemon Sword and it became one of my best team members, especially when it fully evolved into Orbeetle. The dual psychic and bug type Pokemon, Orbeetle was one of my strongest battlers during the endgame.
This Pokemon is so pretty! It’s one of my favorite designed Pokemon from the Galar region, and its pre-evolution Snom has developed quite the fan following. Frosmoth is a late addition to the Sword and Shield games, but it was fun and challenging raising one at that point.
What are your favorite Bug-type Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.