39 people found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 8.2 hrs on record
Posted: Dec 23, 2019 @ 12:26pm
Product received for free

Early Access Review
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Fantasy Farming: Orange Season is an indie farming-simulation RPG much in the same spirit of the Harvest Moon games and also Stardew Valley. Similarities would certainly group these games together in many of the same categories of comparison, whereas the differences would allow the player to enjoy each for its own game.

Similar in style, art direction, and gameplay, these games all offer a start-up farm after a quick introductory story. I haven't played Harvest Moon Since the Wii and it's been about 2 years since I fiddled around in Stardew Valley, so my recollection of those games are only from memory. Thus I am not going to be offering any kind of significant comparison, but rather talk about this game alone. In addition, Please keep in mind that 8 hours is a really (and I mean, reeeeally) short time period to offer proper judgement of a game of this type, so this is a mere first-impressions review.

Gameplay/Game Content
So you want to know what you can do in this game? To lay it out in numbers, there are 25 other people to meet and to interact with in town, 14 different types of animals to own, 43 areas to explore (the buildings in town all count separately), 50 cooking recipes, 271 different items you can ship to sell, and currently 25 available tasks as of right now in Early Access. The recipes list is being developed and you cannot look at it from your menu yet. And I believe that there will be significant addenda to the actual tasks/quests, because 25 really seems like a fairly low number. (Although depending on how long you are planning to spend playing the game, I have completed 9/25 tasks so far in my time playing.)

As expected, you are going to be cleaning off areas of your farm, farming vegetables, fruits, etc. You will have to take good care to water your plants otherwise you will lose part of your crop. Before your first crops are harvested, you can explore around the local areas to forage for items to sell, so that you are able to make some money. Exploring also opens your own abilities because several of the essential farming tools are only found scattered around the map, and having them would mean the ability to gradually improve your own farming methods.

This game has plenty of fruit trees that will ripen allowing you to pick the fruits right off of them when you can see the fruit. The Orange Season subtitle of the game is no joke, as it seems that oranges are always in season, whereas other fruits will come and go depending on the seasons themselves. You will also often find random fruits and other valuables littering the local nature scape, so you can be pretty sure that you will never go hungry--even though hunger is not a problem for the protagonist in this game. It is for your animals, but all you ever need is sleep. Eating foods will remove your fatigue and restore stamina, but you can also do that just by hitting your pillow anywhere, any time.

Raising animals can be a big part of your farming instead of the traditional style of tilling land, sowing seeds, and watering them until fruition. You can raise chickens, ducks, cows, etc. You can use them as renewable resources and sell the eggs, milk, etc. that are produced. How you ultimately run your farm is up to you, although the game will definitely give you plenty of tasks to keep you more or less having the capability of maintain all styles of farming available within. A point of note is that the hens need a rooster in order to lay viable eggs for hatching. So getting that rooster is going to be important, lest you wish to keep paying $1000 gold for each little chicklet that you purchase. (I have raised 3 chickens from baby chicks so far, all of them egg-laying female. I have no idea if you can get lucky and buy a chick that turns into a rooster. I will probably keep trying, because the rooster was too pricey the first (and only) opportunity I had seen it come on sale.)

Or should you wish, you can opt for a more adventurous career and still maintain a flower garden. The flowers don't need much care, and AFAIK, they will just grow on their own once the seeds are sown. All you need to do is look at them until they are ready to harvest. Flowers can certainly generate a decent income if you have a steady supply of them to sell.

Live as a hermit or social butterfly, or just an animal lover and a people hater? I suppose all of these options are available. And you can practically gift anything to anyone, though if you are looking through your inventory in the pause menu, it does tell you if people will dislike an item. After all, it's right around Christmas time right now, who would want a lump of coal? Building up a relationship takes plenty of time, as the game's relationship hearts look almost infinite wells that will only slowly build up with lots of interactions and plenty of gifts.

When you have enough money and resources through your hard work and scavenging, you will be able to expand your house and fence things inside. I do wish you can just pick up and rearrange your fencing, because I kind of made a couple of mistakes in creating the fence around my chicken coop, and now it looks like a cat walked over my keyboard when I was putting it together. Hmm... That's my story and I will stick to it!

The different seasons will bring different items to plant or find. You will be able to attend the various festivals that occur to participate in the mini-games that are built in in hopes of winning a special prize or two.

Overall there's just a lot of stuff to do, and so far 8 hours in, I am just scratching at the surface.

Controls
I am playing with a controller, it plays decently well with one. I think there are definitely times when I think a mouse pointer would make things a little smoother, but I prefer the controller here. KB+M of course work perfectly as well.

Graphics
Pixel-art farming pleasantries. The whole game code is available for people to freely modify it with whatever custom designs should that be a desire.

Music & Sounds
Nothing spectactular, not bad. Mostly just background stuff that you can opt to ignore. I think the dog barks a little too loud, but that's just me probably.

Audience
I think taking one glance at this game, if you have played other similar games, would tell you whether you are the targeted audience.

Pricing
Base price of $13.99 is fair in its Early Access state right now. The price may increase with more content. Currently the Winter Sale price at 30% off is pretty good, in my opinion.

First-Look Video
https://youtu.be/CIpdrjZpgBU

Conclusion
Fantasy Farming: Orange Season will offer you plenty of hours of farming simulation goodness with its variety of adaptive styles to the farming idea in that as long as you make money you can keep moving forward with making things bigger and better for yourself. This is clearly a game not for everyone, just like some people think that these farming-sim/RPG style games are just too tedious and too much like real work. To me, I think it's really nice from time to time to sit down with a casual and relaxing game, more or less thoughtless and effortless...

Umm... What do you mean I sat around thoughtless for too long! Wait, did I lose a whole crop of cabbages when I typed this review? NOOOOoooooooo!!!!!

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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6 Comments
YQMaoski Dec 25, 2019 @ 8:41am 
Haha, thanks Punkster!
Punkster Dec 25, 2019 @ 2:55am 
This is the greatest review I have ever read.
YQMaoski Dec 23, 2019 @ 6:26pm 
You are welcome! :D Hope you like it too!
missiloon Dec 23, 2019 @ 4:34pm 
Thank you for this review, Sounds great!
YQMaoski Dec 23, 2019 @ 3:35pm 
Thank you very much!
janner66 Dec 23, 2019 @ 3:06pm 
Nice review.