Even if you didn’t grow up on games like Harvest Moon to feel nostalgic enough about farm simulation RPGs, there are so many reasons to give them a spin. For starters, there is a certain charm to being able to fantasize awhile about a simple life where your goals are less serious than getting a good grade or earning a raise at work. This is probably why Harvest Moon games have inspired countless similar sims that let you spend time tending to crops, harvesting fruits, looking after cattle and taking care of a farm in general. We’ve gathered the best among them to give you a comprehensive list of offerings that throw you into various simulations from a simple agrarian life to a farm which you’ll be forced to manage while keeping zombies at bay to living in a hut in a swamp where you’ll need to summon helper spirits and much more. That being said, here goes the list of farming sims you came looking for.
Best sim games like Harvest Moon in 2021
You will find most of these simulator games on Steam, but there are options available on other platforms like Nintendo consoles. The list we’ve posted below will give you a quick look at all the games included in this compilation. You can click on any of them to get an overview of what they have on offer.
- Stardew Valley
- Summer in Mara
- Voodoo Garden
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
- Hay Day
- My Time at Portia
- Farm For Your Life
- World’s Dawn
- Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
- Funky Barn
- Verdant Skies
1 – Stardew Valley
Like you and me, Eric Barone was a massive Harvest Moon enthusiast, and one day, he just decided to create a modern version of the game that also addressed some of his grievances with those classic games. After four years of hard work, Stardew Valley came into existence and subsequently, created history by selling more than a million copies in just two months.
This farming simulator takes place in Pelican Town, where you inherit a small farm from your grandfather. It’s up to you now to slowly develop this rundown plot of land for farming, raising livestock, crafting goods, mining ores, and more. Stardew Valley is a full-fledged Harvest Moon experience packaged in a modern theme. It also has a multiplayer component that allows you to team up with three others to play together online.
Download : ($14.99)
2 – Summer in Mara
This is one Harvest Moon alternative you wouldn’t want to miss. Described by its makers as “a summer adventure with farming, crafting, and exploring mechanics set in a tropical archipelago,” Summer in Mara is distinguished by its rich 3D visuals that are quite different from other similar games on this list.
You play as a young adventurer named Koa who is tasked with taking care of an entire island. You will need to do everything from planting trees to getting wood and crafting tools and buildings with the different materials available. Apart from all this, you will also need to rear chicken and pigs – so there’s that element to look forward to as well. Summer in Mara is available not just on the Nintendo Switch, but also on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Download : ($14.99)
3 – Plantera
If you’re looking for browser games similar to Harvest Moon, we’ve got something for you as well. Plantera is free if you’re playing on a browser and extremely cheap if you’re playing on other platforms like the Wii U and the 3DS, though there’s no Nintendo DS version available out there. Plantera is more about gardening than farming, which gives it a little novelty factor.
As you progress with growing your own garden and watching new plants, bushes, trees, and animals throng it, you can ask the game’s round blue creatures to harvest and tend to everything. Plantera is one of those video games that have surprisingly huge amounts of fun packed into them.
Download : ($1.34)
4 – Ooblets
Ooblets is a very different game. Don’t get us wrong; it is still worthy of being included in this list, but there are plenty of other things that distinguish it from the titles on this list. Prime among them is the fact that it features creature collecting and battling mechanics of Pokémon games, apart from all its farm simulation elements.
Ooblets also lets you style your characters by changing their hairstyles, clothes, and general looks. And you can have dance battles with other characters as you level up your ooblets and unlock new dance moves. Ooblets is available for the Xbox One and for PC via the Epic Games Store under an early access program.
Download : ($24.99)
5 – Voodoo Garden
Here’s a farming sim with some outlandish visuals that will immediately grab your attention. Developer M. Hanka has equipped this game with a visual signature that’s unique to it. It’s got all the gameplay elements of a regular farming simulator, as it allows you to plant trees, shrubs, and herbs in order to grow various fruits, leaves, mushrooms, and more.
But in this game, you also catch wild swamp animals as you gather ingredients for your production of occult accessories. It allows you to keep cute pets that you need to feed and raise in order to use them for summoning helper spirits or even make a sacrifice. Yes, things can get a bit dark in this title and that makes the game all the more peculiar. It’s available to download via Steam for your Windows computers.
Download : ($2.99)
6 – Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has much more to it than just farming. It’s a life simulation game that puts you in the shoes of a customizable character that has just moved to a deserted island. Available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, it moves forward in an open-ended fashion as you explore the island, and develop its community of anthropomorphic animals. The island is replete with different items that can be used as decorations.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is among the most beloved video games in the world right now, having sold more than 31 million copies since its release last year. The life sim also happens to be the 15th best-selling video game in history, with its popularity having received a huge boost due to the stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.
Download : ($59.99)
7 – Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
Another addition to this list of games similar to Harvest Moon is Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin. This game is made unique by the fact that it combines its farming simulation elements with straight-up hack and slash platforming. And this makes for an exceptional amalgam that’s hard not to fall in love with.
The main premise of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is also pretty captivating. It follows the titular character who is banished to the Isle of Demons along with a small band of humans. There, she is tasked by a goddess to look after them while also clearing the island of demonic beasts. The game was released in November last year and was well-received by critics and players alike. It’s available now for the Switch, PS4 and PC.
Download : ($39.99)
8 – Kynseed
If you’re a PC gamer and are only looking for games like Harvest Moon on Steam, Kynseed is an ideal choice for you. Kynseed is an addictive life simulator with RPG and farming elements packed into it. It revolves around the mystical Kynseed that can be used for growing your family legacy over generations and passing down your skills and powers to your kin.
It’s a sandbox game; so there are plenty of other things to do if you’re not indulging in the main story. You can run your own business, go exploring dangerous locations across the map, develop relationships with NPCs, and much more. Kynseed is part of the Steam Early Access program and can be played only on PC.
Download : ($9.99)
9 – Moonlighter
Moonlighter is yet another Harvest Moon alternative that marries two genres. It’s primarily an RPG but also features business simulation elements. You can manage your shop during the day and go exploring dungeons at night. While the shop-keeping allows you to upgrade your town and add services like those of a potion-maker and a blacksmith, the dungeon crawling portions enable the collection of precious loot.
Moonlighter is also known for its unique retro visuals that are pleasing to the eyes. It’s the kind of game that gets you in the groove as soon as you start playing it. And it doesn’t have a steep learning curve as well. It’s available on PC, Mac, Linux, Switch and is also one of the few games similar to Harvest Moon for Xbox One. That’s not all; a special mobile version is available for Apple iOS devices.
Download : ($19.99)
10 – Staxel
Staxel is inspired not just by Harvest Moon, but also by Minecraft, and so espouses enjoyable aspects from both games. It has you building a farmhouse in its voxel-based world as you manage your village life and interact with quirky characters. One of the things that stands out about Staxel is that it lays a lot of focus on socialization. You can help other villagers in their tasks, or invite them to hang out with you.
Another great aspect about Staxel is its multiplayer element, which allows you to get together with your friends to perform your day-to-day tasks. There is just so much to do in this game that you’ll never get bored. Don’t believe us? Try it out yourself. Staxel is available for PC via Steam.
Download : $19.99
11 – Hay Day
As we promised you at the start, here’s a farming game that you can play on your Android phone for free. It is one of the games like Harvest Moon for Android that actually has substance to it. Developed by the same folks who gave us Clash of Clans, Hay Day will immediately immerse you in its addictive farming brilliance.
You are needed to tend to a farm you inherited from your uncle by selling crops and other products and earning coins that can be used to buy production buildings, pets, and decoration items. Hay Day also has a nifty XP system, apart from various NPCs that help you move forward within the game. Apart from Android, you can play Hay Day on iOS.
Download : (Free)
12 – My Time at Portia
Released in 2019, My Time at Portia is a life simulation offering that identifies with a number of Harvest Moon elements. The life sim begins with you starting to restore your Pa’s neglected workshop to its former glory. You do this by fulfilling commissions, growing crops, raising animals, and befriending others inhabiting the world around you.
It starts off after an apocalyptic event of sorts, so there’s not much to work with initially. However, as you progress, it gets more rewarding and this makes you want to keep going back to it again. My Time at Portia also impresses with its RPG elements that add another layer of sparkle to the whole experience. It is available now for PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Download : ($29.99)
13 – Terraria
Terraria is a 2D sandbox game featuring procedurally generated worlds, but it does have a number of elements in common with Harvest Moon. Terraria encourages you to explore its environments, while you mine precious resources and try to survive the wrath of dangerous creatures. This extremely popular offering features both single-player and multiplayer gameplay.
Terraria is easily recognizable for its 2D sprite tile-based graphical style that reminds you of games from the 16-bit era. It is the kind of game that rewards adventurists and provides them with unending content to sink their teeth into. It’s also very widely available, as you can play it on any platform you can think of. Moreover, a Google Stadia version is on the cards for later this year.
Download : ($9.99)
14 – Farm For Your Life
A strange storm has resulted in an apocalypse and unleashed zombies into the world. Your job now is to band together with other survivors and get life back to normal, while fending off the undead. That’s the plot of Farm For Your Life, so we assume you know what to expect from it. It’s farming and zombies if you haven’t figured it out yet.
As its name suggests, the farming simulator lays a lot of its focus on farming, asking you to cultivate your farm and manage your restaurant to provide food. While the farming aspect will keep you enthralled, the time management element added by the zombies is what differentiates Farm For Your Life from other Harvest Moon alternatives. Hours and hours of fun is packed into this offering, which you can play on your PC, Mac or Linux machines.
Download : ($9.99)
15 – World’s Dawn
The setting of World’s Dawn is a sleepy seaside village with a huge cast of quirky characters to meet and develop relationships with. It is directly inspired by Harvest Moon, so it’s no surprise that it includes activities such as harvesting crops, tending to livestock, customizing your farmhouse, competing in festivals, fishing, foraging, mining, cooking, and much more.
But what gets you hooked more than anything else is the kind of atmosphere its brilliant visuals and music create. World’s Dawn is easily the most soothing title to play on this list. It can be grabbed for PC via Steam.
Download : ($9.99)
16 – Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is essentially an adventure game that adds Harvest Moon feels with its farming, fishing, and crafting systems. It takes place in an open world environment and tasks you with seeking and collecting magical creatures, known as sprites in order to get rid of a threatening shroud known as the Murk.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a game that takes place on an island featuring eight distinct biomes that include tropical beaches and snowy mountains. The life sim even features a season system and a dynamic weather system. It was released for the first time on PC and PS4 in 2017, following which, it was launched for the Switch and the Xbox One. A PS5 release is also on the cards for the game.
Download : ($24.99)
17 – Funky Barn
Funky Barn places you right in the countryside and challenges you to create farmland that’s filled with animals, crops, trees, and more. This game may have a few things in common with Harvest Moon, but it differs from the said game thanks to its strategy elements. It’s a pretty old game, yet has plenty of fun moments packed inside it.
It gives you the freedom to build your own agricultural dreamland. You can earn money by taking care of animals, growing crops, and protecting your property from thunderstorms, foxes, and UFO attacks. Funky Barn is a highly enjoyable offering that promises great fun for any Harvest Moon fan. However, it is available only for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles through the eShop.
Download : ($14.99)
18 – Verdant Skies
Verdant Skies is described by its own makers as a game meant for those who love Harvest Moon and have a “desire to create something unique with modern gameplay and deep storytelling.” It takes place on an alien planet called Viridis Primus and asks you to ensure the success of the colony while making friends and pursuing romances with a diverse cast of characters.
The game’s rich and varied farming system encourages you to create the perfect crop hybrid using the genetic splicing machine. If that is something that doesn’t interest you, you can also spend days upon days pursuing hobbies like painting and pottery. Verdant Skies can be downloaded right now through Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux machines.
Download : ($19.99)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What kind of game is Harvest Moon?
Harvest Moon is the name of a series of games that have been getting released since the 1990s. A Harvest Moon game would usually start with the player inheriting a rundown farm and being challenged to restore and maintain it by managing its resources and animals.
Q. Is Animal Crossing similar to Harvest Moon?
Animal Crossing is basically Harvest Moon without the events, marriage, farming, etc. It’s a social simulation game that focuses more on interactions with NPCs. It is also more open-ended in nature compared to Harvest Moon.
Q. When was Harvest Moon’s name changed?
Story of Seasons is what Harvest Moon games are called in Western regions now, since the official name change in 2014. The latest game from the series is called Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town.
Q. Why did the name change happen?
To cut a long story short, its publishers for different regions had a dispute over its distribution, leading to both of them parting ways. This led to Harvest Moon being renamed Story of Seasons in Western markets.
Q. Is Stardew Valley a good Harvest Moon alternative?
Definitely! Stardew Valley has been created by a person who happens to be a huge fan of Harvest Moon games. It has plenty of elements in common with the much-loved game series, yet has a lot of fresh experiences to offer as well. It’s the number one alternative to Harvest Moon that you can indulge in right now.
Plenty of Harvest Moon type games to choose from:
With the options listed above, we hope to have fulfilled your wish of playing more beautiful games like Harvest Moon. Pick any one of the offerings we’ve mentioned and you’re in for some fun-filled farming and simulation gameplay.