Imagine if, in Stardew Valley, you could add some goo to your crops, which would turn them into monsters.
Got that image in your head? You’re basically picturing Monster Harvest. Coming to PC and consoles on 19th August this year, it’s a farming simulator-meets-action RPG where you mutate your crops into monsters that you can take into battle. If it sounds weird, that’s because it is – but it’s also endlessly charming.
I’ve only spent a small amount of time with an early build of Monster Harvest, but it’s immediately clear to see the potential that the game has. If you enjoy Stardew Valley then Monster Harvest should be a no-brainer; there are a lot of similarities. As always, you’ve inherited a run-down farm from an uncle – that old story. For a few days, you’ll spend time chopping trees and clearing stones from your vegetable patch in order to plant some crops.
But Planimal Point – the town where your farm lies – isn’t your ordinary town. A sinister corporation called SlimeCo recently moved in, and is pumping slime underground in order to power the town. The slime also has some bizarre effects – like mutating your crops. But you’ll be able to use that to your advantage. Known as Planimals, the mutated monsters will stick by your side, fighting against your foes and doing their best to protect you as you try to figure out what SlimeCo is up to.
You’ll spend your time equally between farming and exploring Planimal Point’s dungeon-like caves. You can’t visit those caves unless you have a Planimal (or multiple Planimals) by your side, but when you do, you’ll engage in simple turn-based battles against the array of weird monsters that live in them. The caves are a good place to find treasures – some of which you can simply sell for money (which you’ll need to keep your farm going), and others will be useful on your journey.
Like all good farming simulator games, Monster Harvest lets you take the game at your own pace, focusing on whatever elements you want. Perhaps you’re more interested in fighting and growing Planimals – that’s fine; head to the caves. Or maybe you’d rather focus on getting your farm in tip-top shape first. Of course, to get the most out of the game you’ll need to do a healthy amount of both, but the freedom you’re given right off the bat is refreshing.
Monster Harvest offers an interesting twist on the classic farming simulator formula, and we’re intrigued by what we’ve seen so far. It’s coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch on 19th August, and we’re looking forward to digging into it more.