When people hear spin off they tend to think of negative things. They often forget things like Persona are spin offs and instead remember things Shadow the Hedgehog. So when Harvest Moon revealed it would attempt to make the traditionally slow game and make it a fast paced cooperative puzzle game, I was cautiously optimistic. Having now played it, it might’ve been the most run I had at E3.
Harvest Moon: Mad Dash is designed to be accessible and easy to understand. Players work together by picking up resources and combining them together to help them develop. Basically, pick up water, put it next to more water to create a river and then add more water to make a lake, followed by collecting the fish to earn points. This is an over simplification of basically matching the same parts to make larger versions of it that will yield some kind of resource.
What stood out wasn’t just the concept but how it applies to Harvest Moon as a whole. It wasn’t random things as much as water gave fish, there were crops like pumpkins, hay was given to cows so they’ll produce milk and so forth. Regardless of what you need, every item has some kind of quota.
Getting 100 pumpkins means nothing if you don’t collect five fish and vice versa. As you continue to improve, there will be a currently unnamed mode we basically just took to calling fever, where all crops grew instantly and you can just collect them for points.
In addition to being a lot of fun to play, later stages continue to increase the difficulty, so more skilled players won’t need to worry about it being too easy, just like newcomers will always have a place to start. It will be exciting to see how this one develops but right now I’m really excited to check it out and play with my friends.