Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town has launched globally at long last, into the waiting arms of many eager fans of the farming life simulator. The game boasts even more freedom than ever before, as you set ablaze your pioneering spirit to explore tangled jungles, rearing animals, growing new crops and of course, expanding your farm. Don’t forget about decorating your new abode and find romance in Olive Town, a sleepy little place looking to boost its local tourism!
For the unfamiliar, here are the game’s key features:
- A Wild World of Discovery: Tame the wilderness of the peninsula, discover the flora and fauna that make it their home and unearth the secrets of the world around you. Work with the land to build the farm of your dreams from the ground up. Build facilities wherever you see fit, level up your farming skills and craft everything from fences to sprinklers for crops!
- Cultivate Your Farm, Cultivate Your Town: Gather and process materials to fulfil requests and improve Olive Town’s infrastructure, upgrade tools, or commission new outfits and accessories
- Simple Mechanics, Deep Gameplay: Fledgling farmers can rest easy with the return of Seedling Mode and Normal Mode, with a new request system highlighting the fresh features while you lend a hand to the locals! Veteran players ready to create a bustling farm of their own will find all the core elements of the STORY OF SEASONS series, with new twists on classic gameplay.
- There’s Always Something Going on in Olive Town! Participate in local festivals as the town comes to life with over 200 unique events! Get to know your neighbours better and you may even find love with a special someone among them.
AND SO BEGINS THE PIONEERING
The start of your journey is pretty much the standard kind of “grandpappy left you a farm so off you go, chop chop”. What’s important is customizing your avatar, and you’ll have quite a few options to play around with. The option of being referred to as a boy or girl doesn’t happen until after you’ve finished customizing your character, so feel free to choose however you want your character to present. You’ll also get to fiddle with your trusty motorcycle’s colours, which breaks down once you arrive at Olive Town, necessitating repairs. Luckily for you, it doesn’t matter much, and the game can begin proper.
Pioneers of Olive Town has made some changes and popularly requested features to recapture fans. In the latest title, you are given more freedom to decorate your farm, be it setting paths, fixing fences or interior decoration for your cabins. For those with the decorating bug, you can have a whale of a time mixing and matching pieces as you do your farming and getting that cash money along the side.
With all the materials you’ll be gathering over time, the processing can make it feel similar to some mobile games, as raw materials get magically turned into actually usable stuff. If it were this convenient, maybe you won’t need tractors someday. The processing is definitely important no matter how you wanna spin it, so planning their placements and your item distribution will be important lest you actually end up overcomplicating things.
What’s not complicated is the fact that tools are now in a separate bag in Pioneers of Olive Town! You can toss all of your nine tools into the tool bag, so the perennial early game issue of lacking bag space gets slightly alleviated. Your animals also require less intensive interactions, requiring just an A press to do the needful. They’re also now more intelligent, feeding themselves when you ring the bell, and they’ll see themselves home when it’s time, removing the need to micromanage. It extends to your farming too, with tools like automatic sprinklers to save even more hassle.
That’s a good thing too, as there’s quite a few areas that are locked away to start, requiring a variety of materials you’ll have to process to access the new foraging areas. When you toss your harvested stuff into the selling bin, the shop will then sell the seeds from those plants, which also means you can simply restock on the seeds you need the most without worrying about any additional respawn timers.
Contribute some of your spoils from your fishing catches or mining expeditions to the museum. The various treasures you get are precisely for museum donations, so just hand em over. On your first visit to the museum, you’ll also obtain a camera to take photos of the various creatures, and you can get dolls of them when you submit them. These dolls are purchasable and can be used as decor, which you could place on your farm and show off your style to friends online.
Nonetheless, the characters in Olive Town should persuade you to stay. Whether or not they can be romanced, their personalities and backstories are reflected in their dialogue and their choice in decor, dropping many tidbits about this world you’ve decided to be part of. You can also see photos from other players in cutscenes should you be online.
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is available globally from 23 March 2021 for the Nintendo Switch.