Harvest Moon DS is a simulation game that tasks players with managing and running a farm. Players must raise farm animals, grow crops, establish relationships with neighbors, upgrade their houses, and even explore mysterious caverns! Like its predecessors and unlike most other games, Harvest Moon DS does not have a defined ending, although there are particular goals that the player is encouraged to work towards, such as finding the Harvest Sprites, rescuing the Harvest Goddess, and getting married. There is no graphic or violent content in Harvest Moon DS, but there is a very high volume of reading. This game is recommended for children ages 9 and up because of the reading required and the complexity of some game mechanics.
In Harvest Moon DS, players must face one important fact of farm life -- it’s busy! Players need to create schedules to complete daily chores, as the day passes quickly and there is always something that needs to be done. From feeding the animals and harvesting crops, to maintaining relationships with friends and family, time is of the essence in Harvest Moon DS. Running around town aimlessly or walking back and forth unnecessarily will only waste the game's most precious commodity, time. If players do not finish certain chores each day, it may take a toll on their character’s quality of life. By organizing the layout of their farm logically, players can quickly find and get to everything they need.
Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
There's a great deal to do each day in Harvest Moon DS, and in order to ensure daily chores are tended to, players need to plan out how to accomplish everything that must be done. Planning skills will help players keep on top of simple tasks, like watering and harvesting crops before they wilt, tending to livestock, and saving up money for big-ticket purchases. By thinking ahead about the day's responsibilities, players can ascertain how long tasks will take, when they should be done, and whether or not certain activities should be prioritized in case there isn't enough time to do everything, adjusting their schedule accordingly. Without thinking ahead about schedules or big purchases, the player will find it very hard to complete her goals.
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