Upon dropping by the Natsume suite to see what was going on in the "Serious Fun" neck of the woods, it was brought to my personal attention that it is Harvest Moon's 10 year anniversary. Imagine that! A whole decade of virtual corn picking and cow herding to celebrate! Joy!
To commemorate this occasion, Natsume has two new games to add to the Harvest Moon franchise, the first being Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility for the Wii. While this addition to the franchise retains and enhances almost all of the gameplay qualities signature to the series, Tree of Tranquility has a story-line to accompany your harvesting adventures. Players start the game on Waffle Island, an island that has had the unfortunate circumstance of losing all fertility due to the death of an ancient 'Mother Tree'. Since you're a newcomer, the mayor of Waffle Island assigns you the task of restoring the life by nurturing plants and animals to fruition. But traditionalists fear not! You can still progress through the game in a non-linear fashion and save the island at the same time. Rapture!
This iteration of the game will include all other classic characteristics of the series, with chores such as gardening and tending the farm enhanced by use of the Wiimote. As the most expansive Harvest Moon adventure yet, the game will include more animals to tend to (like Ostriches!), property to purchase, and part-time jobs to try out. Players will also enjoy a few chore-related mini-games such as stone-skipping and horse racing to play. The game looks truly lovely in pure Harvest Moon fashion, and will be released this summer on August 26.