Of all the cute farming games on the market, Nintendo has given me some of my favorites. Story of Seasons, which many have played under the name of Harvest Moon, has always been pretty much perfect, and so far, the series’ new entry, Pioneers of Olive Town, is no exception.
Pioneers of Olive Town follows up on 2019’s re-release of Friends of Mineral Town. That game very much set the tone for Pioneers, both visually and gameplay-wise, and the game follows all the traditional mechanics you would expect to find. Growing crops, chopping wood, feeding animals, making friends — everything you would want to see from a Story of Seasons title is here.
What’s also here is a precious gift from developers Marvelous Interactive Inc. in the form of Seedling Mode. The mode has appeared in other Story of Seasons games and boils to being a little bit easier than the standard mode. Items cost less to buy and sell for more, and generally, life on the farm is a little bit easier to manage.
While not everybody will play the game this way, you can be assured that I will have a Seedling Mode save file that I will play alongside my normal mode games. Why? Because games are meant to be fun, and sometimes we all just want to stare at the screen and live a life that is somewhat easier than our own.
There are some other important changes to the overall game as well, no matter what mode you’re playing in. You start the story this time living in a tent, without even a rundown house to save you from the elements. You can find livestock and plants growing in the wild, giving you a leg up when it comes to getting your farm up and running. There is even more of an emphasis on having a good schedule and sticking to it, or knowing what you need to do when you wake up every morning.
Seedling Mode simply allows players to walk a fine line between being busy and being too busy. It reduces the cost of making a mistake and planting the wrong crop or spending a day in the mines when you should have been making friends with those magical Sprites. While I am sure there will be plenty of challenges ahead in my normal playthrough, Seedling Mode is a much-needed place to relax after a long day, and to just enjoy life on the farm.