Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness
|Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness|
|Series||Story of Seasons|
Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness (牧場物語 キミと育つ島 Bokujō Monogatari: Kimi to Sodatsu Shima, lit. Farm Story: The Island Grows With You) is a farm simulation video game published and developed by Marvelous Interactive Inc. in Japan, and released in North America by Natsume exclusively for the Nintendo DS. It is the third installment of the Harvest Moon series on the DS. It is the first entry without series creator Yasuhiro Wada involved.
Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness is the second time that the series has branched a protagonist in an ongoing story, as the game no longer taking place in the previous continuity. Alongside its sequel, Harvest Moon DS: Sunshine Islands, they both follow the new protagonists Mark and Chelsea. Prior entries before Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness were all interconnected to a central story of descendants that all carried over the family farm.
Livestock includes cows, chickens, and sheep, which produce milk, eggs, and wool respectively. Work animals include a dog and horse, which can be acquired after meeting certain criteria. The dog protects livestock, and the horse can be ridden and used for farm work.
As in other games in the Harvest Moon series, Island of Happiness offers players a chance to marry. Marriage is only possible once you have met everyone in the game. If playing as a boy, there are six bachelorettes to choose from: Natalie, Witch Princess, Julia, Lanna, Sabrina, and Chelsea. Playing as a girl, there are also six eligible bachelors: Vaughn, Denny, Shea, Pierre, Elliot, and Mark. The couple can also have a child, after a month of marriage. This child progresses only so far as to begin to crawl, toddle, and speak.
In the beginning, the player (playing either as the male character, Mark, or the female character, Chelsea) is shipwrecked with a family of four and end up on a deserted island. There seems to be signs of past life on the island, but no one knows what happened. By farming, the player will attract new villagers (much like Harvest Moon: Magical Melody), who provide ranching or agricultural services.
The American pre-order bonus was a limited edition plush chicken that was included with the game when ordered from participating retailers.
Nintendo Power gave Island of Happiness a score of 7.0/10.0, which is higher than Harvest Moon DS's score of 6.0. They said that the use of the stylus was not very innovative and that traveling was slow. Earlier in the review they mentioned how much work and trouble it is for the simplest of tasks. GameSpot's average critic score is 7.0/10.0 as well. Hyper's Tracey Lien commends the game for bringing "back the addictive elements from previous games". But she criticises the "clumsy control system that makes even the most basic of tasks feel like a chore".