Year In Farming 2023

Al, Kevin, and Micah go through the games of the year and crown their winner for 2023.


00:00:00: Theme Tune
00:00:30: Intro
00:01:42: What Have We Been Up To
00:27:56: 2023 Releases
00:34:54: Previous Winners
00:36:30: Our Nominations
01:53:00: GOTY Debate
02:08:06: Decision
02:15:50: Outro

Games Mentioned

Games released this year

EA released in a previous year, 1.0 this year

EA released this year

Previous Winners


Al on Twitter:
Al on Mastodon:
Email Us:


(0:00:30) Al: Hello farmers and welcome to another episode of The Harvest Season. My name is Al.
(0:00:39) Micah: I’m waiting, I’m waiting for you.
(0:00:41) Kevin: Oh, I was waiting for you, too. I’m Micah.
(0:00:44) Al: And we are here today to confuse you a lot.
(0:00:46) Micah: And I’m Kev.
(0:00:48) Kevin: There we go.
(0:00:52) Al: It says, “We’re to talk about cottage core games.”
(0:00:52) Kevin: Well, I mean, that goes without saying.
(0:00:56) Al: Whoo!
(0:00:57) Kevin: Whoo-hoo!
(0:00:57) Al: Just, just in case people don’t know who they are, the names were the wrong way around there.
(0:01:03) Al: So you know, they’re good luck.
(0:01:06) Al: This is the fun episode of the year where I get two people on and we argue about which
(0:01:14) Al: is the best game.
(0:01:16) Al: And most of the time we come to a conclusion where we’re all accepting that that is our combined game of the year.
(0:01:22) Kevin: Not this year. I refuse already.
(0:01:26) Al: We will see where this year goes.
(0:01:29) Al: But oh boy, oh boy, do I have some opinions.
(0:01:34) Al: We’ll get to that when we get to that.
(0:01:37) Al: Obviously transcripts are available for the episode and the show in general in the show notes and on the website.
(0:01:44) Al: The game of the year stuff, Micah, what have you been up to?
(0:01:46) Micah: I have been playing Dragon Quest Monsters 3 and I have also been playing Starfield quite a bit.
(0:01:48) Al: Shock, shock harder.
(0:01:52) Kevin: Good stuff. How many slimes are on your teeth?
(0:01:59) Al: Interesting. What do you think?
(0:02:01) Micah: I…
(0:02:03) Micah: Okay.
(0:02:04) Kevin: This, this is the response I hear every time I ask about it.
(0:02:08) Micah: I very much understand two things.
(0:02:14) Micah: I am a fan.
(0:02:17) Micah: I am a fan of Bethesda game design and have been for many years.
(0:02:22) Micah: So there is a level of comfort that comes with it.
(0:02:27) Micah: I also understand that it is kind of dated game design.
(0:02:33) Micah: And it all sort of feels the same as far as Bethesda goes.
(0:02:40) Micah: But because I like that, I appreciate it.
(0:02:44) Kevin: Yeah, no, that makes sense. I’m a Tetris fan, and Tetris hasn’t changed once in the 40 years it’s been out.
(0:02:52) Al: That’s not true! That’s not true, Kevin.
(0:02:54) Kevin: Yeah, I know that’s not true.
(0:02:56) Al: We know, you know, you know that Tetris has changed.
(0:02:58) Al: It has improved. It has moved with the times.
(0:02:59) Kevin: Yeah, it is.
(0:03:01) Micah: Tetris Effect is one of the greatest Tetris games of all time. Tetris 99. I would say,
(0:03:04) Al: Exactly. Exactly.
(0:03:06) Micah: I would actually argue that Tetris has done more changing than most franchises do. It’s kind of impressive. I don’t know, it’s kids. It can be cozy, right? Tetris can be a cozy
(0:03:14) Kevin: You’re right, especially one we’re a fan of in particular.
(0:03:19) Al: You don’t come, we don’t come for Tetris here, Kevin.
(0:03:22) Kevin: I mean, we could.
(0:03:28) Kevin: We could argue which one’s the best shaped piece.
(0:03:31) Al: They also have their scam game that Cody’s playing.
(0:03:31) Micah: Their scam game? No.
(0:03:34) Kevin: Ah, well.
(0:03:35) Al: Oh, have you not heard this, Micah? She’s playing a game that, like, you get points and then apparently once you hit a million or two million points you can win a free cruise,
(0:03:45) Al: and I’m convinced it’s a scam. I’m waiting for the day that she gets to the right number of points and then, like, we never hear from her again because she’s, like, shipped off to have our organs harvested or something.
(0:03:45) Micah: What? That does sound kinda scary.
(0:03:49) Kevin: It does.
(0:03:57) Micah: Dear God, all because of Tetris.
(0:04:03) Kevin: Well, at least she had fun getting there.
(0:04:05) Al: Anyway, so Starfield.
(0:04:06) Kevin: That sounds like the game of the year to me.
(0:04:10) Al: So what you’re saying is, if you like Starfield, you’ll like Starfield.
(0:04:13) Al: That’s what you’re saying.
(0:04:14) Micah: Yeah, if you like Bethesda games, Bethesda RPGs,
(0:04:20) Micah: then you’ll probably like Starfield.
(0:04:22) Micah: I think that there’s a lot of really neat things that they do with the.
(0:04:27) Micah: Like space travel portions of it, there’s there’s a lot of really cool the like ship combat, space combat and stuff like that is very, very interesting.
(0:04:37) Micah: It’s fun and the more that you kind of get comfortable with the how things function in the world, the you know, the more comfy of a game it is to.
(0:04:49) Kevin: Okay, serious question. Have you played No Man’s Sky?
(0:04:52) Micah: I have.
(0:04:53) Kevin: to that
(0:04:55) Micah: It is like if no man’s sky.
(0:04:57) Micah: I had way more polished and was much more fleshed out and had much more like story elements to it.
(0:05:09) Micah: I think that like primarily my enjoyment of Bethesda games comes from their writing.
(0:05:17) Micah: And because there are just as an example, there’s a quest that I stumbled on by…
(0:05:27) Micah: killing a space pirate and when I looked in his inventory there was a note and when I read the note that it unlocked this huge side quest that was like hours long.
(0:05:40) Micah: Which is like I could have very easily missed that.
(0:05:44) Micah: And I love that there’s such depth to like how stories play, like side stories even play out in Bethesda games like that.
(0:05:57) Micah: So many times in Elder Scrolls games and things, you know, I’ll just stumble onto a cave and there’s a really deep story that’s written into this group that moved into this cave or whatever and it’s something that you could very easily miss.
(0:06:16) Micah: It really makes me appreciate how much effort they put into writing things that people could never play in their, you know…
(0:06:27) Micah: They’ll play through the game but there’s plenty of that in Starfield.
(0:06:36) Al: Yeah, I think that’s fair. I’ve have enjoyed seeing a lot of the stuff online about all the kind of like side stuff, which has been for me, probably more fun than actually playing the game would be. So like, I totally get if you enjoy the game, then it makes it so much more fun, right? Because you’re finding all these things and just kind of stumble across this. But yeah, for me, it’s like, yeah, I enjoy watching someone post about it online or post a video or something like that. I think I know the side story you’re talking about, because that’s that’s the one that most people tend to go to.
(0:06:42) Micah: Mm hmm. Yeah.
(0:06:48) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:07:12) Micah: Yeah, it’s a pretty important one because it, especially early on it, it gives you access to things that you would not have otherwise, that are pretty important.
(0:07:22) Al: Yeah, you just confirmed it’s the one I’m thinking of.
(0:07:28) Al: OK, well, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. That’s the important thing. That’s what we play games for.
(0:07:30) Kevin: Yeah, well, we, we actually could do greenhouse.
(0:07:32) Micah: And you know, I could talk about Dragon Quest monsters endlessly, but I’ll save everybody’s.
(0:07:37) Micah: I’ll save everyone’s ears for…
(0:07:40) Kevin: I didn’t all gladly listen to Dragon Quest talk for.
(0:07:42) Al: Let’s discuss that later.
(0:07:44) Micah: Yeah, I think that’s probably what I’m gonna be hanging on to that for is the the later
(0:07:52) Al: Awesome. Kevin, what have you been up to?
(0:07:55) Kevin: So it’s been a hot mince I’ve been on I think and the biggest life update for people who haven’t heard I have kittens now
(0:08:05) Micah: kittens? No. When you okay, when you say kittens, obviously plural, how many are we talking here?
(0:08:06) Kevin: Have I not showing you the mic oh I will text you a picture right now
(0:08:11) Kevin: Yes
(0:08:15) Kevin: We’re talking too so We started off with one
(0:08:20) Kevin: So we’re looking for a new place to move into and at one of the places we’ve kittens they were giving
(0:08:25) Kevin: away and so we took one home and then after some discussions we said you know what I bet this kitten could use a companion so we went back and got one got one of her brothers and so we now went from no kittens to two kittens pretty much out of the blue their names are teddy and daisy
(0:08:52) Kevin: They are about seven, eight weeks.
(0:08:55) Kevin: They are about eight weeks old.
(0:08:57) Kevin: This is my first time owning cats. I’ve had a dog before, but never cats.
(0:09:02) Kevin: It’s been enjoyable there.
(0:09:04) Kevin: Fun, energetic, Daisy in particular is a little gremlin who loves to run around.
(0:09:08) Kevin: Teddy, the brother, he’s a lot more chill.
(0:09:11) Kevin: He is, yeah, I’m loving them so far. I love animals, right?
(0:09:15) Kevin: And they were so little when we got them.
(0:09:17) Kevin: They were only like four weeks old when we got them.
(0:09:20) Kevin: So they were really little. They were like tripled in size.
(0:09:23) Kevin: I took them to the vet for the first time.
(0:09:25) Kevin: Yesterday, and aren’t they precious I I will have to find of us an alpix so he can post it with the show
(0:09:26) Micah: Oh my god.
(0:09:33) Micah: Who who’s the which one is the white and gray one?
(0:09:37) Kevin: That’s Daisy
(0:09:38) Micah: That’s Daisy.
(0:09:39) Kevin: Mm-hmm and then
(0:09:40) Micah: Daisy looks very much like my brother’s cat, zero, who is 18 years old.
(0:09:43) Kevin: Oh really, huh Wow Wow, that’s strong
(0:09:48) Micah: But the like identical like pattern and facial structure and.
(0:09:51) Kevin: Yeah, yeah, Teddy’s really cute. He’s got a tuxedo
(0:09:55) Kevin: pattern. He’s got gray fur, but like little white paws and, um, and Daisy’s black or black gray spots. Yeah, they’re adorable. Um, so yeah, they can be a handful at times as I’m sure cat owners know they can get all over the place.
(0:10:10) Kevin: But, um, but I’ve been enjoying. Um, so, uh, yeah, that’s the big thing really. But, uh,
(0:10:16) Kevin: other than that, probably the biggest things I’ve been playing lately. Um, I’ve really been getting through Tears of the Kingdom finally. I’ve pretty much
(0:10:25) Kevin: at the finish line I’ve done all the big quests I’m just kind of going around hitting up all the shrines and filling out the map and so on and so forth but I could go take on Ganon anytime. That game is phenomenal it’s great I mean I don’t have to go in-depth about it I’m sure everyone knows how good it is right right but yeah very good game I yeah not much I probably could add and then the The other one is a…
(0:10:42) Al: Speaking of games that have secrets.
(0:10:55) Kevin: Street Fighter 6
(0:10:58) Kevin: So I am a fighting game fan. I am bad at them, but I love them
(0:11:03) Micah: Hey, me too.
(0:11:04) Kevin: I picked it up. Yeah, yeah, you got right. I’ve only played two weeks
(0:11:07) Micah: On both fronts.
(0:11:10) Kevin: Have you picked up Street Fighter 6?
(0:11:11) Micah: I have not.
(0:11:12) Kevin: Micah, okay
(0:11:12) Micah: I have some friends that I have watched play.
(0:11:14) Kevin: Okay
(0:11:18) Micah: And I have some friends that are extremely good at Street Fighter.
(0:11:23) Kevin: Yeah, yeah good. Oh man, hats off to them.
(0:11:24) Micah: So I’ve seen some, you know, stuff that I’ve seen gameplay that I don’t fully understand because it’s too…
(0:11:33) Micah: high level for my small brain to comprehend, but…
(0:11:40) Kevin: That’s fine, I’m playing it and it happens to me.
(0:11:45) Kevin: So yeah, the two big things, I mean Street Fighter, right?
(0:11:47) Kevin: It’s the iconic series,
(0:11:48) Kevin: so I’m sure people know what it’s all about, it’s fighting.
(0:11:51) Kevin: But the two big things that it brings,
(0:11:54) Kevin: the first is called modern controls.
(0:11:57) Kevin: They have a new control scheme
(0:12:02) Kevin: that simplifies basically playing the game.
(0:12:05) Kevin: So traditionally you’d have to do a motion on your control stick and a button and all sorts of crazy combinations to get moves out.
(0:12:15) Kevin: But they simplified it,
(0:12:16) Kevin: where you can get moves out with just the press of a button.
(0:12:20) Kevin: It’s very beginner friendly.
(0:12:23) Kevin: Because of the convenience of that,
(0:12:25) Kevin: they balanced it by reducing the strength of the moves and things like that.
(0:12:32) Kevin: I think it’s great.
(0:12:33) Kevin: I don’t play it much myself, I like the classic stuff,
(0:12:36) Kevin: but it’s fun to see people use it and be able to play,
(0:12:41) Kevin: get in without having to worry about not being able to do the moves.
(0:12:44) Kevin: I say that as someone who is not always able to do the moves.
(0:12:50) Kevin: And the second big thing that they have is called world tour mode.
(0:12:53) Kevin: Have you guys heard of this at all?
(0:12:56) Kevin: Yeah, oh man.
(0:12:58) Kevin: So World Tour Mode is their single player campaign.
(0:13:02) Kevin: The real kicker is that it’s a create a character mode.
(0:13:08) Kevin: So you create your own fighter, but they’re sliders to your physical attributes.
(0:13:16) Kevin: So you can be as tall, skinny, short, whatever you want.
(0:13:19) Kevin: You can make monstrosity looking characters and it will affect your gameplay.
(0:13:24) Kevin: If you have long arms, you will be able to punch farther or whatever.
(0:13:29) Kevin: It’s pretty fun making your own character.
(0:13:32) Kevin: I love it. You can hang out with the cast, which are filled with fun dumb moments.
(0:13:46) Kevin: You can text all the street fighters. It’s really funny.
(0:13:48) Micah: I am a big fan of a really ridiculous character.
(0:13:48) Kevin: It’s so good. It’s probably the most ridiculous one. Just today I saw somebody look like a spaghetti with arms.
(0:14:02) Kevin: It’s so good. There’s an online mode where you can bring your creative characters. You can have your freak matches. It’s great.
(0:14:10) Kevin: Everything about that game is fantastic. The presentation, the music, the online play works great. I rarely have any bad connections for matches.
(0:14:22) Kevin: I’m the character I picked up. Her name is Manon. She is a French supermodel.
(0:14:32) Kevin: She is also a judo wrestler. She throws all of that in her move. She does struts, she does pirouettes, and she’ll grow you around.
(0:14:40) Kevin: She’s very fun to play. That’s what I’ve been up to.
(0:14:44) Kevin: Alright, Senor Al, what about you?
(0:14:48) Al: Not a huge amount. It’s been a weird week, but I’ve been playing a bit of a Highland song. So for Micah, probably, who isn’t aware, it’s a platforming game based in the Scottish Highlands, and part of it is rhythm based. And it’s absolutely gorgeous. It has great music. The story is really good, and I don’t play games with the sound on, but I…
(0:15:18) Al: can’t play this game with the sound off. Like, it’s just even outside of the rhythm, but it’s just so good. Yeah. Like, a Highland song. And it’s fantastic. So, okay, yeah,
(0:15:30) Kevin: Okay, what are the rhythm portions like, because I know it was the Scottish game, but I don’t know what it’s like.
(0:15:36) Al: okay. That’s a fair question. That’s a fair question. So, to preamble to that, the idea is that you’ve got all these mountains, and you’re climbing over them, and you’re trying
(0:15:48) Al: to get to specific points. And there are places in the game where, as you are walking,
(0:15:54) Al: it will tell you to press B to run. And then as you’re running across a terrain, there are things in the way, and the rhythm bit is you have to press it in time to the music to keep going and jump over the rhythm.
(0:16:08) Kevin: Okay, that’s fascinating. Huh. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rhythm platformer in the
(0:16:19) Micah: This is beautiful.
(0:16:20) Al: Right. Right. And the best thing is, so when you’re standing on, when you’re standing on a hill in the game and you can see all of the hills around you, all of those hills are hills you can go to in the game.
(0:16:32) Kevin: Oh wow, that’s nice.
(0:16:34) Micah: Wow. Yeah, this is a really pretty game. I’ve never heard of this.
(0:16:38) Al: Yeah, it’s really I’m loving it. It’s great. Yeah, yeah, I came out a couple weeks ago.
(0:16:39) Micah: Is it new?
(0:16:44) Al: But it’s fantastic. And all the Scottish accents are legitimate. So no terrible Shrek voices.
(0:16:50) Kevin: But, I mean, come on, don’t you want at least one Shrek in there?
(0:16:52) Al: No, no, no. Definitely not. Never, never, never. Shrek is fine in Shrek. Not outside.
(0:16:56) Micah: No, that was a very immediate no.
(0:17:00) Micah: No, no, no, no, no, no.
(0:17:00) Kevin: Ah, fair enough.
(0:17:06) Al: We have enough fake Scottish.
(0:17:08) Al: Voices in the world, there are very few things where we actually get proper Scottish voices.
(0:17:13) Al: So it’s nice to actually hear some.
(0:17:14) Kevin: Fair enough.
(0:17:15) Kevin: Is David Tennant in it?
(0:17:17) Al: I don’t think so, no.
(0:17:18) Kevin: the- I’m sorry. That’s a missed
(0:17:21) Al: His voice, there was something, I can’t remember what it was I was watching the other day and I was like, “Oh, that’s David Tennant.” Like I always, anytime I hear him doing his normal voice,
(0:17:29) Al: it’s like such a distinctive voice for me that I’m like, “Oh.” It’s like,
(0:17:33) Al: Every so often, somebody learns that David Tennant is Scrooge McDuck.
(0:17:38) Al: And they’re like, “What? How’s David Tennant?” I’m like, “How could you not tell? His voice is just so distinctly his voice.”
(0:17:39) Kevin: Yeah, yeah.
(0:17:40) Kevin: - That’s…
(0:17:47) Kevin: I, I didn’t know, I mean, I, I watched, I’m a big fan of the reboot of DuckTales, but I didn’t know it was David Tennant till a little bit in.
(0:17:48) Al: Maybe that’s a Scottish thing, I don’t know.
(0:17:57) Kevin: Um, and I didn’t realize he was Scottish.
(0:17:59) Kevin: That’s, it’s really funny.
(0:18:00) Al: Yeah, he’s not putting on a voice. He’s slightly emphasizing it, but that’s basically just his voice.
(0:18:04) Kevin: Yeah, sure.
(0:18:06) Al: Yeah, don’t do that again, Kevin.
(0:18:06) Kevin: I like how he says “Gad-age” in the first episode.
(0:18:09) Kevin: I always remember that one.
(0:18:13) Kevin: That’s how he says it.
(0:18:17) Al: So yeah, I’ve mostly been playing that and also been playing Pokemon because of the Flubbebe outbreaks, as I said, in the show notes.
(0:18:27) Micah: Oh, that’s right
(0:18:30) Al: baby baby.
(0:18:31) Micah: Forgot that was going on. I forget it’s uh, well baby now and then
(0:18:39) Kevin: Milsory in the
(0:18:42) Al: So it’s current Flababy in Poldea. It is… no, it is not. It is Litwick in Kitakami.
(0:18:48) Kevin: 3 in Kitikami.
(0:18:52) Micah: Mmm. Yeah, because milsry is not in the game.
(0:18:53) Al: Milcery isn’t in the game yet. Milcery will be in the Blueberry Academy when it comes out. So that’s why it’s not Milcery yet. It’s because it’s in the new region in the DLC. I think it’s just called the Blueberry Academy. Yeah.
(0:19:01) Kevin: I haven’t gotten the DLC yet.
(0:19:05) Micah: So just the new region, do we know what the new region is called?
(0:19:07) Micah: Other than just, it’s the Blueberry Academy, is it just Blueberry Academy?
(0:19:10) Kevin: That’s it.
(0:19:11) Kevin: Yeah, it’s like an- it’s a- yeah, it’s part of- it’s Unovan territory, I guess, I know,
(0:19:16) Kevin: but it’s like an artificial island sort of thing.
(0:19:20) Al: Yeah, they call it like the.
(0:19:21) Kevin: Terrarium.
(0:19:24) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:19:26) Micah: means I almost fear honest I mean it’s the like vibe that I got from it when I yeah we’ll see it’s always we’ll see
(0:19:26) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:19:28) Al: Yeah, it is pretty much, hopefully less evil, but we’ll see.
(0:19:29) Kevin: now.
(0:19:31) Kevin: Yeah, [LAUGH] I might get the DLC finally, the trit look.
(0:19:40) Al: Oh, they are calling it the ceranium.
(0:19:42) Al: They are calling it.
(0:19:44) Micah: I was just recently finishing up my Pokedex, my like living decks in Violet in preparation for the DLC, but
(0:19:57) Micah: there’s a lot of just figuring out how to who I knew who had the other Sinnoh starters, because you only get the like one egg.
(0:20:11) Micah: And it’s dependent on, I guess, dependent on what starter you picked for.
(0:20:15) Micah: For scarlet or violet.
(0:20:16) Al: I think it was, or maybe it was random, I can’t-
(0:20:20) Micah: I feel like it was, yeah, it seemed like from trying to track down where I would find a Piplup, it was, it was through like deduction power, the power of deduction
(0:20:34) Micah: through who had what starter from the, from Paldea.
(0:20:38) Micah: So I don’t know if that’s actually the case or not, but that’s, that’s how I managed to figure out who had.
(0:20:44) Al: Yeah, I could probably find out if I cared enough.
(0:20:52) Al: I mean, I still like, I don’t, I’m still enjoying it and I’m really looking forward to the new DLC, but Kevin, you don’t need to play it.
(0:21:00) Al: You can just not.
(0:21:02) Micah: It’s true. It’s true. I will say that I felt.
(0:21:02) Kevin: Look, I’m–
(0:21:09) Micah: I think we talked about this the last time I was on, actually.
(0:21:10) Al: We did.
(0:21:12) Al: We had a whole greenhouse episode about it.
(0:21:14) Micah: I finally finished the DLC, the first DLC, because that was the right.
(0:21:18) Al: Oh, yes.
(0:21:19) Al: Yes.
(0:21:19) Al: Cause you hadn’t finished it when we did the greenhouse.
(0:21:21) Micah: And that is like rare for me, because I I go
(0:21:25) Micah: pretty hard into Pokemon stuff when it launches for the first time.
(0:21:28) Micah: So to not do that is kind of a new.
(0:21:32) Micah: New and weird thing for me, but I finally finished it and I did enjoy it, but I did feel that it was a very, I don’t know, I just, I’ve, I’m still feeling like I’ve kind of become disillusioned with modern Pokemon to some degree, but.
(0:21:49) Kevin: I mean and okay like to not I’m you know, I
(0:21:54) Kevin: Notoriously nag on the game, but to pull the veil down a little to be you the more genuine here. I
(0:22:00) Kevin: Do think the trailer for the upcoming one part looks good. I’m a bit excited for what I see
(0:22:07) Kevin: the only part that
(0:22:08) Al: Careful.
(0:22:10) Kevin: Yeah, I know the only part that really irritates me is the flying thing how it’s locked behind the DLC because
(0:22:18) Al: Yeah, I agree
(0:22:19) Kevin: It’s just with knowing how the development cycle works and the timing of everything. It feels very intentional. They put bad flying
(0:22:28) Al: Well, here’s the thing, I don’t care if it’s like, “Oh, we couldn’t get it done in time for release,” right?
(0:22:34) Al: You still don’t have to lock it behind the DLC.
(0:22:34) Kevin: Right. Exactly. Yeah. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yeah. Okay. But.
(0:22:36) Al: They have updates.
(0:22:37) Al: Every game has updates when there’s DLCs.
(0:22:40) Al: So you absolutely don’t need to.
(0:22:41) Al: It’s absolutely a very specific choice to lock that quality of life feature behind a purchase and that is bad and we should absolutely call that out.
(0:22:49) Al: It’s not going to stop me buying the game though.
(0:22:52) Micah: Yeah, I’m kind of in the same position.
(0:22:56) Micah: I think there’s a lot of stuff that could just generally as far as the development cycle goes could have been changed for the better.
(0:23:10) Micah: I had mentioned a little bit the like one time I’ve been on Twitter in the last like month after they talked about the they released.
(0:23:22) Micah: It’s the new trailer this last week, I think.
(0:23:24) Al: Yeah.
(0:23:25) Micah: And they showed off the the like Pokemon control mode.
(0:23:30) Micah: I forgot what they call it, but you can control the sync mode where you can control the Pokemon and run around as the Pokemon.
(0:23:32) Al: Oh, yes, yeah, synchronize. Yeah.
(0:23:32) Kevin: The sync mode thing.
(0:23:40) Micah: And it seemingly has not much of a like use case other than you can battle Pokemon, but you just run around as a Pokemon.
(0:23:50) Micah: And that to me, it.
(0:23:52) Micah: Immediately, like I’d think back to when the games first came out and how much like disgruntledness there was with certain elements of the design that the games design, like how you couldn’t go into any of the houses.
(0:24:09) Micah: But then they, you know, when they clipped out of bounds, then they found that there were like half designed internal locations like you could have gone into.
(0:24:20) Micah: but it was very clear that they ran.
(0:24:22) Micah: Out of time in the development cycle, just couldn’t, uh, so there are things like that where like I, it makes me feel like sync mode.
(0:24:29) Micah: It was something that they just ran out of time on.
(0:24:32) Al: So that’s possible, but I also think it could be along the lines of, like, let’s go Pikachu and Eevee to Legends, where we saw a clear direction they were moving.
(0:24:43) Al: And it’s not necessarily, like, I don’t think anyone would say that the catching in Let’s Go was the way it was because they didn’t have enough time to do what they ended up doing in Legends, but it was more like a kind of moving in that kind of direction.
(0:24:57) Al: And we see this with a lot of things in Pokémon where they do that, where it’s like, it’s It’s just a, it’s a.
(0:25:02) Al: You’re prerequisite and the kind of like the game, it’s not like here’s a game, let’s build a game. Here’s another game. Let’s build another game, right? Like they’re constantly doing all these different things in these different games and having these different ideas. And that’s true.
(0:25:04) Kevin: Yeah, baby steps.
(0:25:16) Kevin: These I don’t think these are mutually exclusive either like
(0:25:16) Micah: I think that I think that that I agree with that that makes sense.
(0:25:22) Micah: But I do feel like there is a level of like
(0:25:26) Micah: half baked development process for some of these things.
(0:25:30) Micah: And I I am willing to, you know, give
(0:25:30) Kevin: Oh, oh, they’re deaf at least.
(0:25:34) Micah: well, for like like you said, for let’s go.
(0:25:37) Micah: I think the the catch feature for let’s go was meant to more mimic Pokemon.
(0:25:41) Micah: Go like it was very clearly there, like
(0:25:46) Micah: the motion point between the main games and Pokemon go so that.
(0:25:51) Micah: You know, catching style was intended to feel like I mean, it does feel like especially the motion control portion feels like Pokemon go.
(0:25:52) Al: I mean, kind of, kind of, but I also like, with then we got only a few years later, legends,
(0:26:05) Al: like it feels like it was what they kind of wanted to move towards and they were trying different things and this is what they ended up with. I don’t think it was just like, oh,
(0:26:15) Al: let’s just make Pokemon go in a main series game. Like, I think it was, you know, they
(0:26:22) Al: had a game which was legends where you were actually running around and literally just throwing Pokeballs at Pokemon, right? But, look, it’s not, yeah, I mean, it does show a flaw in how they developed their games and that these were almost certainly developed in parallel and therefore you can’t know what’s going to be popular and what’s going to end up working really well before you do it the next one. Yeah, I don’t disagree with you.
(0:26:30) Kevin: And then they said, “Let’s go backwards at the next game.”
(0:26:52) Al: I want that again. But anyway, we don’t need to keep talking about Pokemon. Let’s move on, shall we? This happens every couple of months we end up on another Scarlet and Violet delve. It did, it did. It did, but, you know, I need to save some of my Pokemon talk for a different podcast. Anyway, it’s, wow. Wow.
(0:27:03) Kevin: But the trailer just came out. It was… it was gonna-
(0:27:16) Kevin: We’re doing a worst games of the year pocket.
(0:27:22) Al: Anyway, that’s what we’ve been up to. And I’m glad that we got a good half an hour out of that because there is no news because this is recorded out of time. Because I don’t know about you guys, but I did not want to record this on, you know, Hogman A. So we’re recording it a few weeks early.
(0:27:46) Kevin: Where’s your dedication out?
(0:27:49) Micah: What do you have things to do geez [laughs]
(0:27:52) Al: So yes, yes, I do. So we are here to discuss our favourite games of the year and hopefully come to a conclusion on what the podcast’s game of the year is. So begins the part of the podcast where I read a bunch of words. So I am going to go down all of the games that were released this year. And at what point does this become ridiculous? I don’t know is this the most
(0:28:22) Al: games we’ve had released in a year since we started the podcast?
(0:28:24) Al: Yes, it absolutely is.
(0:28:24) Kevin: Probably.
(0:28:26) Al: Absolutely insane.
(0:28:27) Al: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, nine.
(0:28:29) Kevin: More than three, I’ll tell you that.
(0:28:31) Kevin: I didn’t know Homestead Arcana-
(0:28:32) Al: So 30, 30, 30 games,
(0:28:36) Al: 31, 30, 35 games, and then one, two, three, four, five, six, seven released
(0:28:42) Al: into Early Access. So was that 42, 42 games in this list?
(0:28:47) Al: So this is the first list is the list of
(0:28:50) Al: that were released.
(0:28:52) Al: Not into early access and they previously weren’t in early access.
(0:28:56) Al: This is brand new games this year.
(0:28:58) Al: Brand new games not early access.
(0:29:00) Al: I don’t know why I overcomplicated this, but here this is what we’re doing.
(0:29:04) Al: So this is Above Snakes, Before the Green Moon, Everdream Valley, Fae Farm, Farming Simulator 23, Flutter Away, Garden Buddies, Garden Inn, Harvest Moon, The Winds of Anthos, Homestead Arcana, Enchanted, Loddle Knot,
(0:29:20) Al: Maneko’s Night Market.
(0:29:22) Al: And this is me just double-taking.
(0:29:48) Micah: Now if you thought that was it.
(0:29:52) Kevin: I’m gonna feel bad when one of the real games of the year is in here and the ones that I didn’t play.
(0:29:52) Al: Well, this is part of the problem.
(0:30:00) Al: So next we have five games that were released in 1.0 this year and early access a previous year.
(0:30:07) Al: OK, so they were already out, but they came to their 1.0.
(0:30:11) Al: They left early access this year.
(0:30:13) Al: That’s a better way of describing it.
(0:30:14) Al: These games left early access this year.
(0:30:16) Al: And we have Icone Island, Mindrop, Sunhaven, Coral–
(0:30:22) Al: Island, and Disney Dreamlight Valley.
(0:30:24) Al: And then we have the list of seven games that came into early access this year.
(0:30:28) Al: And that is Cornucopia, Fabledom, Moonlight in Garland, One Lonely Outpost,
(0:30:35) Al: Research Story, Song of the Prairie, and Snacko.
(0:30:39) Al: Hey, Micah, is this the first time you’re learning that Snacko’s in early access?
(0:30:42) Al: Or did you know that already?
(0:30:43) Micah: Uh, no, yesterday when I opened Notion was the first time I learned this neck wasn’t really
(0:30:50) Al: Well, surprise!
(0:30:52) Al: in early access now.
(0:30:55) Micah: I have I’ve played the betas or the alphas, sorry.
(0:31:01) Micah: And I have decided that I don’t want to do much more with the game until it
(0:31:10) Micah: they get a full release because I love it.
(0:31:13) Micah: love it so far and I don’t want to overdo it.
(0:31:16) Kevin: Yep, don’t burn yourself out on it. I know somebody who was a big fan of Hades, but they only played in the Early Access and they burned themselves out.
(0:31:23) Micah: I don’t think I could burn myself out on it really as much as it’s just that like, I don’t want to miss out like because I backed it. And I want to, I don’t know, experience the full experience I’ve experienced so much of it at this point.
(0:31:38) Al: I think that’s fair. I got to the same point with Coral Island last year where I was like,
(0:31:43) Al: “And now I’m going to put it down into 1.0.” But I mean, that was like 40 hours or 50 hours or something like that. It was more than I play a lot of games, you know? And I didn’t feel like playing that much ruined the experience for me when I came to the final version, because I’ve put in more than… I’m up to 100 hours now in that game. So I think it depends on the game.
(0:31:55) Micah: Mm-hmm.
(0:32:07) Al: Uhh.
(0:32:07) Al: Ah.
(0:32:08) Al: But that is a fair point.
(0:32:11) Al: I have not decided what I’m going to do with Snacko.
(0:32:14) Al: I’ve not decided yet.
(0:32:16) Kevin: Why did nobody tell me homestead arcana came out? I would have played it, I missed that.
(0:32:21) Al: Kevin!
(0:32:23) Kevin: I’ve been here.
(0:32:24) Micah: Have I got news for you.
(0:32:29) Al: Kevin, you literally, we literally have a shared list of all of these games and when they coming out, you can look at it all the time and I’m constantly updating it just to let you know that is a thing.
(0:32:31) Kevin: Well, hey.
(0:32:42) Kevin: You assume I read these even when we’re recording.
(0:32:43) Al: Nope, I don’t assume that at all, but I will complain about it.
(0:32:49) Al: So any thoughts before we get into listing our favorite games, any thoughts on the list as a whole?
(0:32:56) Al: Here we go.
(0:32:56) Kevin: Umm…
(0:32:57) Kevin: Ugh…
(0:32:58) Micah: It’s a good list
(0:32:59) Kevin: It’s a very good list. It’s too good.
(0:33:01) Micah: It’s a strong list that I
(0:33:06) Micah: when I opened this this document and looked at it I was a
(0:33:11) Micah: Surprised that so many games had come out this year and be a little bit
(0:33:17) Micah: Concerned about how few of these games I actually played
(0:33:20) Kevin: Exactly!
(0:33:22) Kevin: Alright, time to strike out all the ones none of us have played.
(0:33:26) Al: Yeah, no, that’s fair. And I think it is interesting, right? Because like, I’ve now been tracking these games. I think I have all of the farming games that have released ever now in my list.
(0:33:36) Al: And so that’s 47 this year. Last year, there were 24. In 2021, there were 15. In 2020,
(0:33:46) Al: there were nine. In 2019, there were 13. And then we’ve got like, between 2016 and 2018,
(0:33:54) Al: were 16.
(0:33:56) Al: So that’s like a three-year span, and they were the same number as they were in 2021.
(0:34:03) Al: And then 2010 to 2015, there were 12 of them, half of which were just farming simulator,
(0:34:10) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:34:10) Al: and the other half were just harvest moon.
(0:34:13) Al: That’s not true.
(0:34:16) Al: There were three harvest moons, two rune factories in one story of seasons, and an animal crossing.
(0:34:21) Al: So the rest were farming simulator.
(0:34:23) Al: And then the five years before that, there were 17.
(0:34:26) Al: It is wild that Stardew Valley is eight years old in February, just saying.
(0:34:36) Kevin: Yup, thanks Stardew Valley.
(0:34:43) Kevin: You changed the whole landscape of the genre of gaming, thanks.
(0:34:50) Kevin: I thought it was older, to be honest.
(0:34:53) Al: No, 2016.
(0:34:56) Al: Right.
(0:34:56) Al: Well, I mean, shall we get right into it then?
(0:34:59) Al: Let’s go for one each around, what should we do around the table?
(0:35:04) Al: One each.
(0:35:04) Kevin: All right.
(0:35:05) Al: And we can tell, say what the game is and tell me why you’ve got it in the list.
(0:35:12) Al: And we’re not doing, no, it’s a terrible game.
(0:35:15) Al: So Micah, would you like to go with your first one?
(0:35:18) Micah: Uhhh… Can I go with my wildcard first?
(0:35:20) Al: You can, you can go in whatever order you want.
(0:35:22) Al: If you want to leave your strongest for last, go for it.
(0:35:25) Al: if you want to start with your strong.
(0:35:26) Al: Go for it if you want to do your crazy one first, do what you want.
(0:35:29) Micah: I’m going to get my wild card out of the way because I know that it’s not going to go very far so.
(0:35:31) Al: Let’s go for it.
(0:35:34) Al: Never assume these things, you have no idea what’s going to happen.
(0:35:37) Micah: OK, that’s true. You’re right. My my.
(0:35:37) Kevin: I, I, yep, I.
(0:35:39) Al: Oh wait, before we get into that, let me just quickly.
(0:35:45) Al: I want to go through what we have had as our games of the year in the past.
(0:35:51) Al: Last year, Ooblets won.
(0:35:54) Al: 2022, Ooblets won.
(0:35:57) Al: But it did.
(0:35:58) Al: 2021 was Spiritfarer.
(0:36:01) Al: 2020 was Summer in Mara.
(0:36:04) Al: And 2019 was the Raymon Story of Seasons.
(0:36:07) Kevin: Wildflower was robbed.
(0:36:09) Micah: What year was Wildflowers?
(0:36:11) Kevin: I don’t I
(0:36:11) Micah: Oh. I mean.
(0:36:11) Al: Yeah, Wildflowers last year.
(0:36:13) Micah: Ooblitz though.
(0:36:16) Al: None of the three of us had played it.
(0:36:18) Al: And Kevin, you hadn’t played it by that point either.
(0:36:20) Al: So…
(0:36:21) Micah: Also- Also Ooblitz is-
(0:36:21) Kevin: That is correct.
(0:36:26) Al: Ooblets was the only…
(0:36:27) Al: Well, you hadn’t played Ooblets, but me and Bev had.
(0:36:30) Micah: Yes.
(0:36:31) Al: And you had a wild card last year as well.
(0:36:33) Al: So what’s your wild card this year?
(0:36:35) Micah: What was my wildcard last year?
(0:36:37) Al: Shinshan Summer Vacation.
(0:36:38) Micah: Oh, I mean, that is actually I still stand by that.
(0:36:44) Al: Look, I’m not saying it’s a bat, I’m just saying.
(0:36:46) Al: Like it was a little bit out of life field,
(0:36:47) Al: neither of us had heard of that game before you brought it up.
(0:36:50) Micah: Well, let me tell you about my wildcard for this year, which I guarantee you have heard of.
(0:36:55) Micah: There is absolutely no scenario where you have not heard of this game.
(0:37:00) Micah: Are you ready?
(0:37:02) Kevin: Is it the princess game?
(0:37:03) Micah: It is Fortnite.
(0:37:07) Al: OK, why?
(0:37:08) Al: OK, so you– wait, no, no, right.
(0:37:10) Al: OK, so, Micah, you’re telling me that over the past three days,
(0:37:12) Micah: Uh-huh. Yeah.
(0:37:16) Micah: Yes.
(0:37:17) Al: you have played this game enough to consider it one of your favourite games of the year?
(0:37:20) Micah: I would say that there’s a reason that it’s a wild card.
(0:37:27) Micah: And I would say that it is probably the reason that it’s in my list is not because I would
(0:37:33) Micah: personally consider it one of my favorite games of the year.
(0:37:36) Micah: But I think that it is a very important bridge
(0:37:42) Micah: for the wider Fortnite audience, which is massive, into the world of farming sims.
(0:37:50) Al: Well, we will have talked about it in a previous episode, so.
(0:37:50) Kevin: And hey, if we let them win…
(0:37:52) Micah: For anybody that is confused by this and doesn’t understand why Fortnite is part of this conversation,
(0:37:59) Micah: they just released…
(0:38:02) Micah: Yes, the Fortnite, the LEGO Fortnite mode has been released as of three days ago. So…
(0:38:10) Al: And for some reason, it’s basically Minecraft, but with more farming. It’s wild!
(0:38:10) Kevin: Minecraft for tonight.
(0:38:12) Micah: Yes, and also as Legos, and it’s in Fortnite.
(0:38:15) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:38:18) Micah: I don’t really know if there’s aside from skins and characters, there’s not.
(0:38:21) Kevin: Wait, is it actually Lego brand? Lego? What? Holy moly.
(0:38:24) Al: It is, it is.
(0:38:25) Micah: Yes, it’s actually Lego brand.
(0:38:28) Micah: And it’s you are just building Lego,
(0:38:30) Micah: like a Lego like homestead basically of a village in the wild.
(0:38:36) Kevin: That’s…
(0:38:37) Micah: It’s essentially a survival, it’s more of a survival game than it is like
(0:38:42) Kevin: Mm-hmm.
(0:38:42) Micah: a farming sim.
(0:38:43) Micah: So it’s more like you gotta eat and you gotta, there is,
(0:38:44) Kevin: It’s all Minecraft.
(0:38:44) Al: Yeah, but there does seem to be a decent amount of farming in it.
(0:38:49) Micah: there is a decent amount of farming in it.
(0:38:51) Micah: And I’ll say that I have played quite a bit of it because the team that I work with has been very into it.
(0:38:59) Micah: So, and prior to that coming out, we had all been playing Ark,
(0:39:06) Al: » Okay. Yeah.
(0:39:06) Micah: the dinosaur survival game.
(0:39:09) Micah: So we had a server that we were playing that on.
(0:39:11) Micah: So when a new survive.
(0:39:12) Micah: Survival type game released and it’s Fortnite and it’s free and it’s Lego then we were like, okay, well, let’s play this instead so we have been playing quite a bit of it and it’s I was a little bit shocked at how good of an experience it is because it’s it it’s just odd because it’s got other than the skins and the characters there’s and I guess the the game that it that you access it from there’s nothing related to Fortnite really it’s super obvious.
(0:39:19) Al: suck
(0:39:44) Al: No. Well, I think your character is in the beginning based on the main, the base Fortnite playable character, right? Yeah. It’s not Fortnite. It’s not Fortnite at all. So a couple of things I found interesting about this. So first of all, it made me realize that Fortnite is not just Fortnite anymore, right? Like Fortnite was just a battle royale, but that is just one of eight different game modes, right? Absolutely wild to me.
(0:39:52) Micah: Yes. Yeah. So aside from the characters, I mean, it’s it’s really there’s not a lot of no, it’s not a
(0:40:06) Kevin: Oh, it hasn’t been for a while.
(0:40:08) Micah: Yeah. Right.
(0:40:14) Al: That’s the point now. And second of all, not only is this, it’s like, it’s not just Fortnite, but Lego. It’s Fortnite, but Lego, if they made it Minecraft, but with more farming.
(0:40:30) Al: And I am just, it’s just so fascinating. So I haven’t played a huge amount of it. I’ve downloaded it and I’ve started playing it and I’ve kind of done the first couple of things. And it’s not really grabbing me. I don’t think I’m going to spend a huge amount of time on it, but I think
(0:40:44) Al: so. Minecraft, when we covered Minecraft on the podcast, it was, it was a bit of a stretch,
(0:40:48) Al: right? There is farming, but it’s very limited. It’s like, it was four crops or something. There might be more now. Minecraft has done a lot since then, but it felt like a bit of a stretch.
(0:40:58) Micah: Yeah, there is a significant differences between, you know, yeah, there’s quite a bit to do in Fortnite now, or in Minecraft, I mean.
(0:41:05) Al: Yeah, but this feels like a legit farming game, but it’s not cottagecore. It’s survival farming game.
(0:41:06) Kevin: Minecraft has not stopped growing, they do annual updates.
(0:41:16) Micah: Mm hmm.
(0:41:19) Micah: Yeah, so I guess it kind of it also is a little bit of like how you play it.
(0:41:24) Micah: So like, granted, there is a survival aspect that needs to be taken care of.
(0:41:29) Micah: But depending on who you’re playing with or the the you know,
(0:41:32) Micah: there is a like peaceful mode that you can do similar to what Minecraft had,
(0:41:36) Al: That’s a good point.
(0:41:36) Micah: where it’s not really you don’t have to play the survival mode.
(0:41:40) Micah: You can play it just for the sake of like, you know,
(0:41:43) Micah: the kind of like sandbox aspect of it.
(0:41:46) Micah: Where you’re building stuff and doing whatever you want.
(0:41:46) Kevin: farming and whatnot.
(0:41:48) Micah: Yeah.
(0:41:49) Micah: But, you know, like with my group, I’m not as big into the survival aspects of it.
(0:41:54) Micah: Like I don’t particularly care about, you know, min maxing food and water and so on and so forth.
(0:42:01) Micah: I’m more into the like building and designing and, you know, farming and that stuff.
(0:42:07) Micah: So I kind of take on that role while everybody else takes on the survival portion of it.
(0:42:14) Micah: So there are different ways.
(0:42:16) Micah: Is to be able to play it that make it a little bit more of like a comfortable experience.
(0:42:22) Micah: I mean, I literally built a cottage, so I don’t know, you know.
(0:42:25) Al: Yeah, that’s, I think that’s totally fair. I guess my point of what I was saying was,
(0:42:26) Kevin: Nice. Well, there you go.
(0:42:31) Al: was like, I think this is much more legitimate as a farming game than Minecraft was when,
(0:42:38) Al: when we covered it. So I think it’s, it’s totally fair to count this as a farming game.
(0:42:39) Micah: Right.
(0:42:40) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:42:42) Al: So maybe I should add it into the list as Lego Fortnite. Um, but here’s a question for you. Does this make Fortnite the most downloaded farming game ever?
(0:42:44) Kevin: Oh, there you go.
(0:42:54) Micah: That’s why I I’ve included it because I think it is important touchstone in the history of farming games where it
(0:42:54) Kevin: Absolutely.
(0:43:05) Micah: There’s a possibility I can see a world in which people who play this
(0:43:10) Micah: Enjoy it enjoy the like farming aspects of it want more of that and branch out into other farming type games
(0:43:17) Micah: because there is such a broad audience for fortnight that
(0:43:21) Micah: You know and it’s there’s such a broad
(0:43:24) Micah: Audience for Lego - that there is a good
(0:43:30) Micah: Possibility that it creates more farming game fans, which I’m all for
(0:43:35) Al: I’ve added it into the list and also I need to add one more that I forgot, which was Hello Kitty Island Adventure.
(0:43:42) Kevin: Oh, yeah, well
(0:43:42) Micah: I did see that that was missing from the list and I didn’t know if that was intentional or not so it just…
(0:43:46) Al: Oh, you should have brought it up. Come on.
(0:43:46) Kevin: Glaring a bit omission this entire show is a sham
(0:43:51) Al: Look, look, we’re now up to 49 games, right? I’m sorry, I can’t keep track of the ball.
(0:43:56) Kevin: It’s quick Somebody find one more quick Um one well, you know though what we have to do is we have to let fortnite win
(0:44:03) Kevin: So we can get that sponsorship money. Welcome to the harvest season of fortnite podcast
(0:44:06) Micah: - It’s true.
(0:44:09) Micah: Of Fortnite, but I never, I just did not ever foresee
(0:44:15) Micah: there being a scenario where in the farming game of the year discussion or just in general on a harvest season episode that I would be bringing up Fortnite in a like semi-serious way.
(0:44:26) Kevin: Yeah, one thing I will I haven’t played Fortnite ever, but from what I understand, every time they bring in these new distinct modes or gameplay elements, it’s always very polished and good quality.
(0:44:44) Kevin: Like they brought in Spider-Man swinging and Attack on Titan, so I’m not surprised that this is high quality and that’s a lot of money being thrown at this Lego money, Fortnite money.
(0:44:57) Al: Alright, well, you’re probably right, it’s probably not going to win, but it’s there,
(0:45:02) Al: it’s in the list, not many games get into the list. So, there we go. No, into the list of the two, there’s only nine. It’s only nine. Alright, Kevin, what’s your first?
(0:45:06) Kevin: Nope just 48 others. Oh
(0:45:10) Kevin: Our list, okay
(0:45:15) Kevin: My first one I’m going to go with
(0:45:19) Kevin: Manekos night market a shocker to everyone the game I’ve been pining for for how many years now. Oh
(0:45:27) Kevin: gosh
(0:45:28) Al: Like five, like maybe six.
(0:45:31) Kevin: Yeah, I don’t know something like
(0:45:32) Al: I think it was six years ago it was first.
(0:45:33) Kevin: well
(0:45:36) Kevin: Yeah, I think it’s I’ve the fact that I waited that long and still was happy with what came out I think is a testament to how good the game is
(0:45:48) Kevin: Obviously, I haven’t played all these other games and it probably not even the ones on your guys list but I
(0:45:54) Kevin: Out of the ones I see here. I probably I would argue it has the most personality and charm
(0:46:02) Kevin: the art, the sort of craft book art.
(0:46:06) Kevin: It has gone very, very enjoyable.
(0:46:10) Kevin: I haven’t beaten it myself, right?
(0:46:12) Kevin: It loses some points because it came out with a handful of bugs and rough edges.
(0:46:18) Kevin: But it’s still a game that makes me smile every time.
(0:46:24) Kevin: So yeah, I gotta give a shout out to Maneko because I think it actually did deliver.
(0:46:30) Kevin: Um, obviously, you know, it’s not the scale of tears that–
(0:46:36) Kevin: Kingdom waiting six years for that or whatever, but for the get what it set out to be from all the trailers and whatnot, I think it delivered. It’s very cute, which I appreciate now. I have cats myself. Yeah.
(0:46:48) Al: Yeah, totally fair, and it is still the wallpaper on my phone and has been for like seven months,
(0:46:57) Kevin: Yeah, there you go. Also actually one thing I
(0:47:01) Kevin: Yeah, that’s the good stuff
(0:47:04) Kevin: one thing I do want to add
(0:47:06) Kevin: Go on as we talked about in the episode. We talked about it. Um, the
(0:47:11) Kevin: titular night market part of it is very fun
(0:47:15) Kevin: Auctioning going into little bid war with customers to sell who and make profits and whatnot
(0:47:20) Kevin: I don’t think a lot of these other games are focused on that like making money
(0:47:26) Kevin: So that was
(0:47:27) Kevin: a refreshing angle approaching the whole cottagecore thing.
(0:47:32) Kevin: And again, just very fun points for that.
(0:47:36) Al: Awesome.
(0:47:36) Micah: Uh, I, are, are we just for the sake of the structure?
(0:47:43) Micah: Are we just going through our picks and then discussing them or are we?
(0:47:48) Al: If you have more to talk about that game just now, then feel free.
(0:47:53) Al: We don’t need to discuss whether it’s the winner yet or not.
(0:47:55) Micah: Sure, uh, oh
(0:47:55) Al: And don’t say whether it’s on your list yet or not.
(0:47:56) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:47:58) Al: We’ll get to that.
(0:47:59) Micah: Okay, I
(0:48:00) Kevin: Alright.
(0:48:03) Kevin: Michael, what’s next on your list?
(0:48:03) Al: Right, we don’t want to look, Micah, we have a collapsed list for the suspense.
(0:48:05) Micah: Didn’t didn’t say one way or another
(0:48:05) Kevin: I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Ow, ow.
(0:48:11) Al: We’re keeping the suspense, even if it might really be obvious now.
(0:48:12) Micah: Okay, you’re right you’re right you’re right
(0:48:14) Kevin: Alright.
(0:48:16) Micah: It’s not though cuz I’m changing it at the moment I’m typing no, I’m just kidding [laughing]
(0:48:18) Al: All right. I’ll go with my wild card. No, no, come on. I’m going with my wild card,
(0:48:24) Kevin: Alright, ow.
(0:48:26) Kevin: Coral Island? Or is that later?
(0:48:32) Al: right? Mike has started with his wild card. Let me go with my wild card. And that is
(0:48:37) Al: the game that I’d forgotten about until five minutes ago. Hello Kitty Island adventure.
(0:48:43) Al: Look, if you, if you told me five years ago,
(0:48:44) Micah: All right, all right.
(0:48:46) Kevin: the
(0:48:48) Al: when I started this podcast, that I would be saying that Hello Kitty, a Hello Kitty game was one of the best farming games. Well, it’s not farming game, best cottage core games of the year.
(0:48:59) Al: I would be very confused as to what on earth you’re talking about. How did they manage to make a Hello Kitty game good? I do not know. It should not be, it should not win. It will not win because it’s not the best game of the year. Mainly because, come on, release it on Nintendo Switch. Don’t like that Apple Arcade exclusive is very frustrating.
(0:49:18) Al: I’m.
(0:49:20) Micah: I am crying in Fantasian right now because that game has been tied to Apple Arcade for maybe two years now, I think.
(0:49:32) Micah: So I’ve given up hope as far as games leaving Apple Arcade and going to other things that are…
(0:49:38) Al: They do, they do generally, eventually, there have been a few that have like, they need their initial agreement to lapse.
(0:49:44) Al: And I guess the smaller the game is, the more likely that it’s worth their while continuing with the exclusivity because Apple pays them a lot of money for that.
(0:49:54) Micah: Yeah, I, okay, I guess I got a question that because I feel like the two games that are that have maybe like the biggest poll that are stuck in Apple arcade are companies that have a lot of money already.
(0:49:54) Kevin: Wildflowers came out.
(0:50:13) Micah: So I almost wonder if because Apple knows that they threw more money at them to stay on the platform than they would at small because there’s a lot of smaller games.
(0:50:22) Al: Well, that’s I think that’s I don’t think that disagrees. I don’t think that disagrees in my point. So like, if it takes a lot more for a bigger game to stay on, right? Whereas a smaller game, they have to get a lot of sales for it not to be worth it to stay on Apple Arcade.
(0:50:24) Micah: that do leave Apple Arcade.
(0:50:34) Micah: Right
(0:50:39) Micah: Mm-hmm. Yes
(0:50:42) Micah: Yeah, I I just it’s it’s odd to me that they that the the bit I I guess it makes sense in that like maybe If they’re throwing more money at them
(0:50:52) Micah: To keep them there. That’s one thing but I I don’t know. I I just want I just want them to leave at work
(0:50:56) Al: Yeah, I mean, they also don’t have to be exclusive, because as Kevin pointed out,
(0:51:02) Al: Wildflowers is on Apple Arcade and it launched on everything.
(0:51:06) Micah: Right. Oh, there’s a ton of there are a ton of games that that are on Apple Arcade that later launched on like Switch and everything.
(0:51:06) Al: And Disney Dreamlight Valley is on Apple Arcade and it’s on other stuff as well.
(0:51:17) Al: Yeah, but that’s how they say Wildflowers came out at the same time.
(0:51:17) Micah: So there’s no. Yeah, yeah, there are there are a bunch of games that that have come out on Apple Arcade and other things, but there are also games that have come out on Apple Arcade like the ones that we’re talking about.
(0:51:28) Micah: It could eventually come out on other things.
(0:51:30) Micah: So there are there is precedent for games that have come out on Apple Arcade exclusively
(0:51:30) Al: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
(0:51:34) Micah: and then later have come out.
(0:51:36) Micah: I don’t know the things, but I feel like the two year mark for Fantasia, it’s like, we’re getting to a point where it’s, it’s almost unreasonable that it’s, it’s going to come out on anything else anytime soon, especially because the discussion about it has died off, I think, which makes me sad, because it.
(0:51:58) Kevin: Great Ace Attorney came out in English. Don’t give up hope, Micah.
(0:52:02) Micah: That’s true.
(0:52:04) Micah: We’ll see.
(0:52:06) Micah: Uh, you know, the mist Walker is not known for, um, continuing things beyond their initial launch, IE lost Odyssey, uh, blue dragon, um, you know, all of the.
(0:52:18) Kevin: Oh, blue dragon.
(0:52:20) Kevin: Oh.
(0:52:21) Micah: So we’ll see, we’ll see what happens, but I’m not holding out hope at this point,
(0:52:25) Micah: which makes me disillusioned with the idea that Hello Kitty Island adventure will leave apple arcade.
(0:52:32) Micah: However, I am very hopeful that it will at some point, because.
(0:52:32) Al: I think it would be silly for them not to.
(0:52:36) Micah: Oreo money is also big money, so.
(0:52:38) Kevin: I’m
(0:52:41) Kevin: You’re right that’s that’s what I think gives it hope because
(0:52:45) Kevin: They’re not stupid when it comes to making money, and I think they’ll be able to sense. There’s money
(0:52:50) Al: Well, and I think the advantage to them of Apple Arcade exclusivity is they can build the game for Apple Arcade, focus on one platform, get that exclusivity money, and while the exclusivity period is on, they can be developing their other ports, right?
(0:53:12) Al: The exclusivity doesn’t stop them developing the ports, it stops them releasing them.
(0:53:16) Al: So they may well have not written the switch port, but that’s what they’re doing now.
(0:53:20) Al: And that exclusivity gives them the time and the money to build out the other ports.
(0:53:27) Al: Because porting is a lot easier than building a game the first time.
(0:53:31) Al: And so if you can focus on building a game once for one platform, and then you can spend the next year or two porting it to everything else at the same time.
(0:53:41) Micah: Yeah, which makes sense and I hope that that’s the case but you know embrace
(0:53:46) Al: I hope so too.
(0:53:47) Al: Because this is the thing, right?
(0:53:48) Al: Let’s talk about the actual game.
(0:53:49) Al: I love this game.
(0:53:50) Al: It’s fantastic.
(0:53:52) Al: I don’t love it enough to play it on an iPad, right?
(0:53:54) Al: I’m not going to continue doing that, but I think it’s a fantastic game.
(0:53:58) Al: I don’t know how they managed to make a Hello Kitty game so fun.
(0:54:01) Al: I think it is great for both kids and adults, which is rare in games.
(0:54:06) Al: It’s hard to make a game actually fun for kids and adults.
(0:54:12) Al: It’s a really good exploration game somehow,
(0:54:16) Al: while also like making me care about some Hello Kitty character.
(0:54:20) Al: I don’t understand, and also there’s Gudetama with our top hat, so.
(0:54:31) Micah: Caropi
(0:54:34) Micah: They’re seemingly doing less and less of Caropi so I’m anything with a minute. I’m
(0:54:40) Kevin: Agrit suk…
(0:54:43) Al: So it’s not the best game of the year, but I think it is up there, and I think it deserved
(0:54:47) Al: to be in the list of nine.
(0:54:50) Al: Micah, go on. Tell us another one.
(0:54:54) Micah: I’ve got a surprise. Have I got a surprise for you?
(0:55:00) Micah: Also in my list of games of the year is Maneko’s night market. No way
(0:55:06) Al: What?
(0:55:06) Kevin: crying What? laughing
(0:55:10) Micah: I
(0:55:10) Al: I think I see where this is going.
(0:55:13) Micah: What I will say
(0:55:15) Micah: Though is that this is a little bit lower on my list of it. I would I would say that it is
(0:55:24) Micah: on my list of
(0:55:26) Micah: games of the year
(0:55:26) Al: It’s only number three, it’s only your third favourite game of the year.
(0:55:29) Micah: Yes, well, I mean Fortnite Lego Fortnite’s on there
(0:55:33) Micah: Lego Fortnite is on there is number four because it was the wild card and I knew it wasn’t it didn’t stand a chance
(0:55:39) Kevin: Wait, so there’s a number four on your list?
(0:55:40) Micah: so I
(0:55:40) Al: Have you got four games here?
(0:55:42) Micah: Yeah, but one of them is not a real choice. Let’s be honest
(0:55:46) Al: Are you cheating?
(0:55:47) Kevin: I mean, to be fair…
(0:55:47) Micah: so
(0:55:48) Al: My God, how many of these have you known?
(0:55:50) Al: You know you get three.
(0:55:52) Al: Do I need to start with the honourable mentions for next time?
(0:55:52) Kevin: I have a fourth one.
(0:55:54) Micah: So let
(0:55:55) Kevin: I had an honorable mention, but um…
(0:55:57) Micah: Let me I will say that Maneko’s night market is essentially in my honorable mention because I do
(0:56:02) Al: Fine, I’m going to add a fourth one then.
(0:56:04) Micah: Okay. All right. Look, you know
(0:56:07) Micah: Who’s making the rules here?
(0:56:08) Al: Me.
(0:56:09) Micah: Then then we can do whatever we want
(0:56:12) Al: Yeah, well, tell me about my necko.
(0:56:14) Micah: I
(0:56:16) Al: You like it, do you?
(0:56:17) Micah: Do like it and I played it when it was
(0:56:21) Micah: In like I played the the demo when it
(0:56:24) Micah: launched I was very excited for this game for a very long time I was patiently waiting and I was you know I kept saying oh you know it’s gonna be great when I’ll let them you know I’m more than happy to let them take their time to work on it and develop it and if it makes gonna make it a better game and everything I still love the game and they really did take their time but I I have had more bugs with it than I do.
(0:56:44) Kevin: Oh boy, did they take their time.
(0:56:54) Micah: I will say that last night I played a little bit more just to continue playing more.
(0:56:56) Kevin: Yeah
(0:57:02) Kevin: They’ve I haven’t played a minute, but they put patch after patch they’ve been they’ve been working hard on it
(0:57:24) Micah: I had two near full crashes last night and I am happy that I did because it was like a lot of people were like “oh god that game is so good” because the atmosphere, everything about the game is so good. It’s just the polish that I have.
(0:57:34) Kevin: Oh yeah!
(0:57:44) Kevin: - Yeah, sure.
(0:57:51) Kevin: Yeah.
(0:57:54) Micah: I had not remembered as much because I was so enamored with the world and the story and the art style and everything.
(0:58:08) Micah: So re-familiarizing myself with the slight detriment I think was an important thing to experience but it is, I would feel it.
(0:58:24) Micah: I would feel like I was not doing my due diligence by at least including it as an honorable mention.
(0:58:32) Kevin: Mm-hmm fair enough
(0:58:35) Kevin: Yeah, the bugs weigh it down like it’s
(0:58:38) Kevin: And I hope we still can get to a point because there’s still working on it I fully believe we’ll get to a point where it’s nice and polished, but I don’t but right now at the time recording or not
(0:58:45) Micah: Right, yeah, right [laughter]
(0:58:48) Al: We are going to have fun trying to figure out the winner, right Kevin, what’s your next one?
(0:58:51) Kevin: I Mean look to be fair all the other games on the list don’t have venom doing hitting the gritty So you know fortnight’s it’s up there [laughter]
(0:59:00) Al: We are not choosing Fortnite. It’s not happening, right?
(0:59:02) Micah: No-
(0:59:05) Micah: No gritty’s in the Lego mode though.
(0:59:08) Micah: I can’t- I can’t hit the gritty as uh, as Goku in- for in Lego mode yet, so.
(0:59:09) Kevin: Well– well, never mind then, throw it in the trash.
(0:59:12) Al: Look, I don’t care. I don’t care which of these games we have choose, but it’s not Fortnite.
(0:59:22) Micah: Okay, we’ll see. I mean, I think it’s the, you know, the one game that everyone owns, so…
(0:59:22) Al: It’s just not happening.
(0:59:24) Kevin: Yeah, it’s look there’s
(0:59:24) Al: Own. How does nobody owns Fortnite?
(0:59:29) Kevin: It’s and at least here it’s a two out of three vote Al. I’m just saying
(0:59:34) Al: No, it’s not. I own this podcast. This is my podcast.
(0:59:39) Kevin: He’s editing us out
(0:59:40) Al: I’m the one that releases it.
(0:59:42) Al: Yeah, I’m just going to change it.
(0:59:44) Al: So it’s like me putting on accents and pretending to be you.
(0:59:49) Kevin: I’d be down for that
(0:59:51) Al: Right, Kevin, what’s your number two or your next one?
(0:59:52) Kevin: All right
(0:59:54) Al: No, your number two, your next one.
(0:59:54) Kevin: Okay, I’ll bring up mine or honorable mention I was gonna say for last but I’ll do it now
(1:00:00) Kevin: Story of seasons a wonderful life
(1:00:03) Kevin: It’s well, yeah, I mean like we talked about this at length But it’s a very great remake of a game that holds a very special place in my heart
(1:00:14) Kevin: and as a remake like I didn’t see any big issues with it, I think it was done well, but
(1:00:21) Kevin: That also held it back because they.
(1:00:24) Kevin: There’s a lot of quality of life improvements in the genre as a whole that have happened in the 20 years years that have been since it originally released and I mean I’m not complaining necessarily that they weren’t in there but it’s tough to compete with you know some of the ones from today’s day and age because of that and it’s very much rose colored glasses for me like I know this is a heavy bias so I’m that’s why I wanted to bring it up.
(1:00:54) Kevin: A lot of objectively good things about it the characters are cute and charming I still hold that the actual farming mechanisms and the whole kind of schedule as one of the higher bars in the genre in my opinion at least in the 3D realm but yeah just a lot of fun.
(1:01:14) Al: It’s a hard one because, you know, remakes are difficult and, you know, if you, you know,
(1:01:24) Al: we, we love this discussion in the Pokemon community, right?
(1:01:27) Al: Like, you know, is it a faithful remake?
(1:01:27) Kevin: Faithful.
(1:01:30) Al: And what does that even mean?
(1:01:32) Al: And it’s like, do you just want the same game with better graphics?
(1:01:35) Al: Or do you want the same game with better graphics and also quality of life improvements that we’ve had over the last 20 years, or do you want a re-imagining of what the game could have been.
(1:01:44) Al: So it’s like, you know, we’ve had all of those in, in, in Pokemon, right?
(1:01:49) Al: And it’s like, people can’t agree on what they actually want out of those.
(1:01:52) Al: And so I think as game developers, they just have to make a decision and they made a decision and you can disagree with it or you can love it.
(1:02:02) Al: But I think, yeah, it’s totally fine to mention it, but yeah, I think you’re right.
(1:02:06) Al: Like just, you can’t, I don’t think you can legitimately say that a game that hasn’t improved on quality of life.
(1:02:14) Al: In, was it 25 years, 20 years, 20 years, can legitimately be the game of the year in 2023, just yeah, which is sad, but…
(1:02:22) Kevin: Yeah, I mean like yeah, I know I was I love it, but I I wasn’t at the very least in this
(1:02:30) Kevin: Multi-person decision. I’m not gonna fight for it. It’s not a fight. I’m gonna win. I
(1:02:34) Kevin: Will say I got to re romance my first video game relationship Cecilia again, and that was a very lovely
(1:02:42) Al: And remakes will always be amazing for people who have played them. I’m unlikely to ever actually truly enjoy a wonderful life, because I never played it at the time. But for people like both of you and lots of other people who it was essentially their first farming game, it was always going to be nice to come back to that in whatever form that is. And it’s probably one of these things where we’re going to get deep here, right? Like it reminds you of a different time.
(1:03:12) Al: At the same time of your life, which you both long for, and also I’m glad you’re not there at the same time. And it reminds you of all those things. It makes you sad for what you’ve lost.
(1:03:23) Al: It makes you happy for what you had. It makes you happy for where you are now in some ways,
(1:03:28) Al: but it can never truly take you back to what it was like back then.
(1:03:30) Micah: That’s nostalgia, baby.
(1:03:35) Kevin: Woof.
(1:03:36) Kevin: Woof.
(1:03:38) Al: You’re not the same person you were 20 years ago, and you can never be that big.
(1:03:38) Kevin: It was…
(1:03:40) Kevin: No, for…
(1:03:42) Al: You’re not the same person again.
(1:03:42) Kevin: No…
(1:03:43) Kevin: Oh, boy.
(1:03:44) Kevin: No.
(1:03:46) Al: Sorry.
(1:03:47) Kevin: It was our most downloaded episode of the year, so, you know, there you go.
(1:03:48) Micah: I’m really feeling it.
(1:03:52) Al: It was, well, on Spotify at least.
(1:03:52) Kevin: Oh, well, there you go, on Spotify.
(1:03:54) Al: It was the top episode on Spotify for the podcast.
(1:03:58) Al: So congratulations to Kevin and Micah for that one.
(1:04:00) Micah: Congratulations to Story of Seasons, a wonderful life.
(1:04:01) Kevin: - Yeah.
(1:04:06) Kevin: Best honorable mention of the year.
(1:04:10) Al: Hey now! I mean it definitely beat for-
(1:04:12) Al: Not tonight, but we can always just mike it for a crazy mention.
(1:04:16) Kevin: All right.
(1:04:19) Kevin: That was also the first Kevin and Mike episode.
(1:04:21) Kevin: Good times, good times.
(1:04:23) Kevin: All right, now hit us with whatever you’re gonna have.
(1:04:26) Al: OK, so this was originally my third one, was supplanted by Hello Kitty,
(1:04:31) Al: so became my honourable mention, which apparently I’m now bringing up,
(1:04:34) Al: because you both have an honourable mention, and that is Fae Farm.
(1:04:38) Al: I think this game…
(1:04:38) Kevin: Oh wow, I thought that was going to be in the room, well, you said it was third at first, but okay.
(1:04:42) Al: So I think this is a, I think this is a an interesting game. And I think if it had done slightly better, it could have been the best or not the best, the second best.
(1:04:56) Al: But I think it fell flat on a few cases. But what I think is really interesting is similar to
(1:05:04) Al: the Fortnite thing, it has opened up farming games to more people or more people who haven’t played one since Stardew, for example.
(1:05:12) Al: I saw so many people talking about this at every single Nintendo Direct or indie showcase,
(1:05:18) Al: and people were like, “Oh, it’s another farming game,” but they were actually interested in Fae Farm. They kept actually looking at it. It revolutionized traversal in farming games,
(1:05:29) Al: and I really hope other games use that going forward. That, on its own, makes it one of the best games of the year, because just the care and attention put into just…
(1:05:42) Al: Go crazy with movement. You don’t just have to be in this 2D plane moving backwards and forwards and up and down. We can play with that more. I really like what they did with that.
(1:05:56) Al: I’m just really disappointed that it fell flat a bit in its world building and its story and stuff like that, but… And I really want to like this game more. I really want to like this game more.
(1:06:09) Kevin: I haven’t played it yet, so…
(1:06:10) Micah: Interesting, I have a lot of feelings about Fae Farm as well.
(1:06:19) Micah: I have.
(1:06:22) Micah: I guess that is a good transition into one of my picks for Game of the Year, which is Fae Farm.
(1:06:30) Al: Amazing.
(1:06:32) Micah: I’m to be honest, I was not expecting to like this game as much as I did, and I
(1:06:40) Micah: really enjoyed it. I have been playing it quite a bit more recently too, and I just
(1:06:51) Micah: I don’t know if it’s that it’s just like the medieval fantasy, kind of like the high fantasy element of it makes it more of an enjoyable experience to me. Like
(1:07:05) Micah: having something that’s a like farming slash life sim that has a
(1:07:10) Micah: you know, kind of comfier, high fantasy element that’s not Rune Factory, I guess, makes it a good experience for me, I do think that there are a lot of while there are things that it’s missing as far as, you know, the relation, the way that they handle relationships is kind of strange. You know, birthday is not really having much of an effect on anything for, you
(1:07:40) Micah: know, acquaintance characters is sort of a weird design decision. But as far as the, like you said, the traversal,
(1:07:50) Micah: but also the, the way that it handles the smoothness of mechanics, I think is is really kind of refreshing to see. Yes.
(1:08:03) Al: Oh yeah, the tool selection is really good as well.
(1:08:10) Micah: I love when there is a like quest based element to farming slash life sims. And so I like that aspect of it as well. I wasn’t sure I was hesitant to like, discuss it in the moment while you were discussing it, because I didn’t want to reveal that it was one of my picks. But I guess if the if you if that opens it up to more of a discussion about Fae Farm then.
(1:08:34) Al: but you were next anyway. So I think, I think the thing for me is I just feel like nobody’s a person in the game. Like it just feels to me like everybody’s just a model. Like I don’t feel like the thing that starred you did really well is you felt like everybody had a life.
(1:08:40) Micah: I’m all for it, but–
(1:08:59) Al: Everybody had personality. Everybody had a story. And if you got to know them, you would find out.
(1:09:04) Al: Maybe there is that in Fae Farm, but I haven’t found it.
(1:09:07) Al: And that I feel like in and of itself is a failure.
(1:09:10) Al: The fact that I haven’t just found it by doing that, because you did in Stardew, like, even if you weren’t focusing on people, you would still find out that people existed and people had story.
(1:09:20) Al: They would, they would randomly come out with things because you had to do these things,
(1:09:24) Al: the quests and blah, blah, blah, right?
(1:09:26) Al: But Fae Farm, it just feels like everybody’s just a stick figure.
(1:09:29) Al: Like it just doesn’t feel, and like the, the, the model design probably doesn’t help.
(1:09:34) Al: Everything is like based on the, at least with the main characters, they’re all based on your character creator, right?
(1:09:45) Al: So it feels a little, but like everybody is just a doll with some a wig on and some clothes,
(1:09:51) Al: right?
(1:09:52) Al: So it doesn’t really feel like they’re all individually crafted.
(1:09:55) Al: Whereas that’s the thing about Stardew is they are all built from the ground up as a person.
(1:09:59) Al: They’re not like built on top of a character creator.
(1:10:01) Al: And that, to me, is like, what?
(1:10:04) Al: It really pulls me out of it, and I haven’t done a huge amount of the story, and maybe that would be better if I did, but I just don’t feel pulled into it as much, like, I want to like it because of how fun the traversal is, and because of how nice the farming mechanics are, but I just feel like there’s nothing actually pulling me to continue playing.
(1:10:22) Micah: Yeah, I think that there are, you know, there are like, there is character development that’s a little bit more like, under the surface. That’s, you know, the one of the first people that you meet or one of the first people that you get quests from is the mother who runs the inn and you know, her two kids are helping her run the inn and you kind of meet them and talk to them and they talk about, you know, their mom and stuff.
(1:10:52) Micah: Like that. And there’s the
(1:10:57) Micah: the fishermen who’s got family that lives in a different area of the town and they’re, you know, they run whatever.
(1:11:03) Micah: And there is there are like connections there and there is a little bit of a like
(1:11:10) Micah: there is a little bit of designed personality for the characters.
(1:11:14) Micah: But I will say that the relationship portion of a farm is by far the weakest portion of the game.
(1:11:23) Micah: Like the just the the how the characters
(1:11:28) Micah: the the NPC portion of it is is very low level compared to everything else.
(1:11:35) Micah: And I guess for me personally and why I like it so much is that I don’t mind that as much because I’m not playing the game as much for like what has drawn drawn me in about the game is not the relationship
(1:11:51) Micah: portion of it. It’s all of the
(1:11:52) Micah: other sim portions of the game. And that to me, the like sim portions greatly outweigh the negatives of the relationship portion, which not to, you know, it tries to say this in a way that makes it sound like I’m invalidating your point out. But Al, as someone who is infamously, I don’t want to talk to all these people. This is a perfect opportunity for you to not have to talk to all these people.
(1:12:16) Al: I mean, I mean, that is totally fair, but I think the thing is, right, there is a, so I am very much strongly like not all farming games need to include all the features that we have traditionally seen, like you don’t need to be stardew plus, right? You don’t need to be that. Um, and if you’re going to be that you need to make it good, right? I think if you’re going to be stardew plus, you need to make sure that every aspect that you’re doing is
(1:12:34) Micah: Right.
(1:12:36) Micah: Mm-hmm.
(1:12:46) Al: worth it. If you’re going to have relationships, you need to have good relationships. Don’t just put it in because stard you had it, which is a lot of the times that this happens. And I think that, for example, Monetko doesn’t have that sort of, doesn’t have romancing,
(1:13:04) Al: which obviously because it’s a kid, but it shouldn’t. And if it had it, it would make it a worse game. Actively would annoy me that it has that. And so I think that…
(1:13:12) Micah: Mm-hmm
(1:13:15) Micah: Yeah, I agree
(1:13:16) Al: This is an example of where they did not, they clearly didn’t want to do this, right?
(1:13:21) Al: They did it because you need to do that in these games. And my argument is, do not do that. It makes me like your game less because you didn’t really want to, but you did it anyway, you know? Like, that’s the thing. And I think that if you want to do all of these features, do them well.
(1:13:36) Kevin: Well, as someone who hasn’t played this just who has heard about I
(1:13:41) Kevin: Do think like just because it doesn’t have it’s I and much like Al I believe not every game has to have the every farming and has to have a relationship But that doesn’t mean in my opinion that they can get lazy or sloppy about their character again pointing to me Okay, right. There’s no real
(1:14:02) Kevin: Relationship or much of a social, but the cast is very charming
(1:14:06) Kevin: So and again just from what I’ve heard it doesn’t sound like they far
(1:14:16) Micah: Yeah, again, I think for me, at least it’s it’s not, you know,
(1:14:23) Micah: the game is much more about the sim portion than the relationship portion. And I do agree that like, that is no there. That doesn’t really mean that, you know, they can get lazy with it. I guess it’s just what the design, you know, what the game design focused on what their intention was with how design the game which really feels like it’s you know
(1:14:46) Micah: you know more of the making it a an accessible sim game.
(1:14:53) Kevin: Yeah, I mean, yeah farming simulator it does
(1:14:53) Al: Which is totally fine. It’s totally absolutely fine. I think my point is like don’t add the features if you don’t want to add the features
(1:14:58) Micah: Sure. Right.
(1:15:03) Micah: As far as the like the the world building portion of it,
(1:15:07) Micah: though, I I do feel like the
(1:15:10) Micah: the the the world, the story of the world and the the, you know,
(1:15:15) Micah: world elements are pretty interesting.
(1:15:17) Micah: Like, I like it.
(1:15:18) Micah: At least I enjoy the the magic portion of it.
(1:15:18) Al: that made yeah.
(1:15:22) Micah: I enjoy the like how the fairies or how the fae come into play,
(1:15:27) Micah: how the magic is, you know.
(1:15:28) Micah: You know, if for anybody who hasn’t played it, essentially you’re trapped in this this area because there is magic outside of of the the island that you’re on.
(1:15:40) Micah: Island quote unquote.
(1:15:41) Micah: I mean, it’s you know, it’s like a just a portion of the the world.
(1:15:45) Micah: But there’s a beach because it’s a farm, you know, a life sim.
(1:15:49) Micah: There’s got to be a beach.
(1:15:50) Al: We love a.
(1:15:50) Micah: So it’s kind of island ish.
(1:15:52) Micah: But you know, you you get there by boat and you’re trapped there by boat because there is, you know, there’s a lot of people that are like, “Oh, I’m not going to do this.”
(1:15:58) Micah: There’s magic through whirlpools and those whirlpools also have, you know, there’s like an exploration element to them and, you know, there’s there’s all kinds of the like combat,
(1:16:11) Micah: quote, unquote, is like there is combat as you go through the mines and stuff like that.
(1:16:18) Micah: But there’s also much like Dreamlight Valley, there’s big, viney thorns that block certain areas and you have to, you know, unlock those areas by…
(1:16:28) Micah: getting through them. So there’s things that are like confining you to certain areas. And that’s just their way of like making checkpoints, right? But you know, there’s like a story reason for those things.
(1:16:36) Al: I will totally accept that I think the world building aspect is probably just due to me not playing the game enough, and if I got more into it I would probably enjoy that more.
(1:16:55) Al: I guess it’s more a case of like I’m marking it down on that because I haven’t felt like it’s pulled me into it early on, and you know it’s one of these like oh it gets good
(1:17:02) Micah: Yeah, and that’s… makes total sense.
(1:17:06) Al: after the first season, I don’t care make a good first season please sort of thing you know like I totally get that and that’s a bit on me and it’s a bit on the game you know and it’s just I’m not saying like this is still one of my top four of the year you know and it’s just like it just doesn’t quite get there for me especially compared to my game.
(1:17:29) Al: Kevin you’re up next.
(1:17:32) Kevin: Okay, you mentioned it in the fey farm discussion. Let’s talk about a game that is just start due Valley plus
(1:17:39) Kevin: I’m gonna bring up roots of Pacha
(1:17:42) Al: Well, I would argue it’s Stardew Valley minus several thousand years.
(1:17:46) Kevin: Yeah, there you go, you know or stone due Valley
(1:17:57) Kevin: So first of all Mike are you familiar with this?
(1:18:00) Micah: I am. I haven’t played it, but I am familiar.
(1:18:02) Kevin: Okay, okay, all right, good, I just wanted to know the baseline here.
(1:18:07) Kevin: Okay, so for people who don’t know, this is Stardew Valley set in the Stone Age.
(1:18:12) Kevin: The visual style is the 2D pixel art style, very akin to Stardew Valley.
(1:18:19) Kevin: The farming mechanics are very similar.
(1:18:21) Kevin: It has romancing, which works very similar to Stardew.
(1:18:27) Kevin: Yeah, it’s obviously not as big only having come out this-
(1:18:32) Kevin: year but what it does copy or yeah I’m just gonna say copy because really that’s that’s what they’re going for from Stardew they do it well I play this game for many many hours and I think they were well aware what direction they wanted to go with and credited very carefully the characters for instance while
(1:19:02) Kevin: the game is not as memorable as the Stardew cast, but a lot of the interactions I had with them, the dates, and such are fun.
(1:19:14) Kevin: The parts where they tried to expand or change the formula was great. I brought it up a few times this year, but it’s one of the most innovative fishing minigames I’ve ever seen, where they try to do basically a spear fishing minigame where you’re trying to chase a fish.
(1:19:32) Kevin: While a minor, it was still a pre-
(1:19:41) Kevin: Um, there was also, oh, and updating the farming with the Stone Age setting, I think worked really well.
(1:19:52) Kevin: They did it really in line with that vision, because a lot of the crops you have to go out and forage first for yourself, right?
(1:20:01) Kevin: You’re literally inventing the wheel and all these other techniques for farming.
(1:20:07) Kevin: So it makes sense to how they lay it out and how you unlock things.
(1:20:12) Kevin: Someone literally has to come up with the idea for irrigation, for instance.
(1:20:17) Kevin: And there’s also… the farm animals are all stone age appropriate animals, right?
(1:20:25) Kevin: You can get like a baby saber-toothed cat for a pet.
(1:20:28) Kevin: You can get the stone age variety of cows and llamas and things like that.
(1:20:34) Kevin: There were a lot of fun minigames that they did throughout.
(1:20:46) Kevin: Um, so yeah, all in all, um, a very good stardew clone, um, they advertise what it is and it’s
(1:20:57) Kevin: delivered exactly as promised and very well done. Um, you know, I guess my biggest complaint about it is that it is just a stardew clone, right? It’s working off a great game and there’s nothing Nothing’s necessarily wrong with that, especially when they’re doing a great job like they are here, but just
(1:21:16) Kevin: like, you know, some of these other games are really trying to be out there, be really different.
(1:21:22) Kevin: But yeah, no, I mean, I still recommend it hardly to anyone.
(1:21:26) Micah: Hmm
(1:21:27) Al: This was definitely one of the casualties for me of too many games this year, especially as it came out right at the end of April, which was like, Kevin, you’ll remember just at the beginning of our crazy period where we were recording like 12 episodes over the course of a month to give me a time off in the summer.
(1:21:47) Kevin: Yep. Yep.
(1:21:51) Kevin: Yep.
(1:21:51) Al: So like that period of time was just not, like there was no time for me to be playing new games.
(1:21:57) Al: And yeah, there were too many games this year and I really should have played this game at some point and I’m a little bit sad that I didn’t because this is the thing, like the, I mean, obviously there’s a little bit overdone of like it’s stardew, but in this setting, right?
(1:22:12) Al: And a lot of things do that, but there is something quite fun about the idea of the Stone Age aspect of it.
(1:22:19) Al: Like obviously, as you say, like you’re actually coming up with new ideas throughout history.
(1:22:24) Al: that’s literally how like obviously it’s not done in exactly the same way that humans did, but that’s literally how these things worked. So that’s quite a fun aspect of things and it gives you different animals
(1:22:28) Kevin: - Yeah.
(1:22:37) Al: and it’s like yeah I’m a little bit sad that I never got the time this year to play it but
(1:22:42) Kevin: I think I think it probably flew under a lot of people’s radar even when we did an episode on it
(1:22:50) Kevin: just Again, it’s that’s a very bloated market right of stardew clones
(1:22:57) Kevin: So it’s understandable how might not get there how am I get looked over and it also just didn’t get quite as much
(1:23:05) Kevin: mainstream push or Attention from a lot of the like these other games like even even mineko’s night market made it on Nintendo direct or indie
(1:23:12) Kevin: director, whatever, right?
(1:23:13) Kevin: So that’s–
(1:23:17) Micah: Yeah, again, I think that’s just because it was such a like highly anticipated thing because it had
(1:23:23) Kevin: Yep. Yep.
(1:23:24) Micah: So much time behind it. But yeah, um, I
(1:23:29) Micah: Will admit I I
(1:23:31) Micah: Have not had a much of an interest to play roots of pacha. I’ve seen people play it. I’ve
(1:23:38) Micah: heard quite a bit about like I’ve seen you know trailers and stuff and I’ve heard it discussed on this podcast
(1:23:46) Micah: Previously, I just…
(1:23:47) Micah: …there isn’t, as far as, uh, like, settings go for games, Stone Age is not one that I’m, like, ever particularly drawn to, uh, so it, it already is, like, it’s got a, I don’t know, there’s like a barrier there for me, um, but I guess also the, like, Stardew Clone portion of it too, like, I, I, I love Stardew Clone.
(1:24:17) Micah: and there have been a lot of Stardew clones that I really liked,
(1:24:20) Micah: but it’s just I’m at the point now where I want something different and unique to, you know, beyond just being like, you know, a Stardew clone.
(1:24:27) Micah: And I guess the setting for me is just something that has made it difficult for me to want to play.
(1:24:33) Kevin: - Yeah, I made it.
(1:24:35) Micah: But again, that is a 100% personal issue.
(1:24:41) Micah: That’s not, you know, that’s like just my own personal interest in, you know, how my…
(1:24:42) Kevin: Yeah
(1:24:48) Micah: It’s a level of interest in Stone Age type settings, but from everything else I’ve understood about the game,
(1:24:57) Micah: for people who have played it and enjoy it, it’s a great game.
(1:25:02) Kevin: All right, well, fair enough.
(1:25:03) Al: My next one is Rebecca’s Night Market, so there’s probably not much to say about it, it’s on my list as well.
(1:25:04) Kevin: All right, I’ll give us your next one.
(1:25:09) Kevin: Ah! (laughing)
(1:25:12) Micah: No way.
(1:25:13) Kevin: Really?
(1:25:14) Kevin: I actually didn’t expect it to be on your list.
(1:25:16) Al: Luke, so you were expecting me to bring it up straight away if I did, I was leaving the suspense in there.
(1:25:16) Micah: I didn’t either, honestly.
(1:25:22) Al: No, I think it’s a fantastic game, like I agree with you guys, like the the bugginess of it makes it feel a little bit,
(1:25:30) Al: bit, which is going to make this whole discussion about what the.
(1:25:33) Al: Best game of the year is really annoying when we come to that, but I think it is a fantastic game. I really like it. It’s lovely world, a fun, silly story on so many levels. Not too silly, though, and the art style is great. I love it. The farming is obviously quite small and limited, but I mean, it’s just a really nice game.
(1:26:03) Al: Disappointing with the bugs. That’s about it. Like there’s nothing functionality wise about the game that I’m like, Oh, I hate that they didn’t do this or that they did this. And it’s literally just fix a bug. Sorry.
(1:26:16) Micah: Mm-hmm. Right.
(1:26:19) Kevin: There’s a character named Bobo’s mom in that game, literally Bobo’s mom.
(1:26:21) Al: Oh, I absolutely love that. There’s so many things about that. It’s like, “Yeah, this is Bobo’s mum.” It’s like you should literally just call Bobo’s mum. Isn’t it handy that I had a child called Bobo? It’s like, “What?” And then it’s like there’s the guy who runs one of the shops and he basically like, you hang the hunk and he’s like, “Oh, you definitely wouldn’t go to this place and take this tool to do this thing. You definitely wouldn’t do that. I couldn’t suggest you do. He’s just so… I love it. He’s great.
(1:26:30) Kevin: thing I had a son named Bobo.
(1:26:32) Kevin: Yep.
(1:26:34) Kevin: Hank the Hunk!
(1:26:51) Al: I need to go back and finish the game because I stopped when I got to a point when it was really buggy. So I need to go back and play at some point.
(1:26:58) Micah: There is a there’s an aesthetic in the game, a sense of humor in the game, too.
(1:27:06) Micah: That really reminds me of a developer that I’m a very big fan of called Onion Games,
(1:27:14) Micah: who has made such games as Chulip, which is in a PS2 game, a PS2 game that was about learning how to kiss
(1:27:25) Micah: and understanding the rules of like consent for.
(1:27:28) Micah: I’m sure maybe the the most like recognizable game if you’re going to recognize any onion games game. It’s probably going to be moon the like RPG that’s an a quote unquote anti RPG no nothing okay, then, you know.
(1:27:29) Kevin: Okay.
(1:27:30) Kevin: Okay.
(1:27:44) Micah: You know.
(1:27:54) Kevin: I know, I’m looking up images. There’s a guy in an asparagus suit.
(1:27:58) Micah: Yeah, yeah, it but the the the way that like characters are designed the way that their personalities are designed in like you know these really kind of like strange unique ways has and and how much of it is based in like.
(1:28:16) Micah: Japanese culture to like both modern and traditional Japanese culture really makes makes the the like connection.
(1:28:19) Kevin: right. Yeah, I can see that. That’s just a drag.
(1:28:28) Micah: Between the the feeling that I get playing Manako’s night market and onion games type games like tulip and moon and stuff like that that it creates a like an extra level of enjoyment for me that like if you played those games and I recommend that you play some onion games.
(1:28:50) Micah: Because I think they’re a criminally underrated development team.
(1:28:58) Micah: If you like Manako’s night market you’ll enjoy those as well and it will give you like maybe a little bit more extended appreciation for Manako’s night markets kind of world building and stuff.
(1:29:10) Micah: And tulip is it’s a it’s a complicated thing to get your hands on now because if it if you have a PS three I think that’s probably the easiest way to play it presently until they there’s some sort of like remake or port or whatever but because there’s such an underrated studio it’s it makes it you know hard.
(1:29:22) Kevin: Oh, yeah
(1:29:32) Kevin: They want a remake rule of Rose!
(1:29:34) Micah: Yeah they did make rule of rose it they have it they’ve they have a like such a wild catalog of games that they’ve made.
(1:29:41) Kevin: Yeah, that’s so different from what you’re describing. Holy moly.
(1:29:44) Micah: Dandy dungeon is a game that is on the shop and I think it’s a pretty cheap game. It’s a it’s kind of like a like a dungeon RPG light.
(1:29:58) Micah: Type game but that is probably the most accessible onion game that you can get that has the same kind of vibe that their other like tulip and you know stuff like that has that feels similar in.
(1:30:16) Micah: Approach and design to Manako’s night market so if there’s one that I can recommend to try it would be dandy dungeon probably.
(1:30:24) Kevin: All right, I’ll have to keep
(1:30:26) Al: Alright, Micah, give us your final one.
(1:30:28) Micah: This is again going to be tough I had some you know ups and downs about whether or not I wanted a wonderful life story of season the wonderful life to be in my top games which I do but I think that there are other games I would like to give that again that conversation was had about you know remakes and nostalgia and you know feeling like it’s it’s a really specific window in time where that has a you know like distinct feeling and it’s it’s got a you know like a really strong sense of this game is an incredible game and I still felt that with the remake but because it’s a remake I feel like it’s a little bit less of a it’s a little bit more of a like
(1:31:28) Micah: slight against some of the games that have come out that are I feel like.
(1:31:37) Kevin: But do those games have mookumuku?
(1:31:40) Micah: Uh, no, they don’t, but they do have dinosaurs and if I’m going to talk about anything close to Stone Age, uh, I feel like I need to talk about paleopines.
(1:31:46) Al: Oh, here we go.
(1:31:50) Al: Here we go.
(1:31:56) Micah: So just a very pleasant game.
(1:32:00) Micah: I think the like the uniqueness of having dinosaurs for travel and like using them as your partners in developing.
(1:32:10) Micah: Your your farm and your ranch is really neat.
(1:32:16) Micah: It’s got, you know, like a quote unquote monster collecting aspect to it
(1:32:23) Micah: and like raising aspect to it that makes it enjoyable.
(1:32:28) Micah: I like the.
(1:32:32) Micah: As much as I don’t love the character design as much,
(1:32:37) Micah: There’s like a almost like a wall.
(1:32:40) Micah: Wallace and Gromit type weirdness to them that like I nothing against Wallace and Gromit,
(1:32:45) Al: That is not how I thought you would describe it.
(1:32:45) Kevin: It’s their hands.
(1:32:46) Micah: but like not what I would expect for a you know. The the dinosaurs though are just the cutest thing. They’re just they really did. They’re such a it’s they did a really great job making those those dinosaurs look cute and watching like a
(1:32:50) Kevin: They don’t have fingers. That’s the part that always weirds me out.
(1:33:00) Kevin: They knocked them out of the park.
(1:33:10) Micah: triceratops like gallop through fields in a way that you would see like a horse gallop through like a horse that’s playing galloping through the fields is just I don’t know it’s so cute and it’s just a really well put together game it feels like there are things about it that you know like they’re like any game they’re negatives but you know the way that it presents
(1:33:40) Micah: like quest progression and stuff like that like how like what you should be doing next for like story stuff is a
(1:33:48) Micah: little bit weird to me like it was a little bit weird kind of like I
(1:33:52) Micah: Familiarized myself with it initially because it wasn’t super obvious when in areas where it felt like it should be super obvious
(1:33:58) Micah: but
(1:34:01) Micah: Other than that, I think it’s a I think it’s a really good game I think it’s well deserving of being on the list, but that’s my opinion
(1:34:08) Al: I, Kevin could get into his, cause in a minute, I just, I want to get out for, I’ve not played the game. I think it looks great. Um, I want to play at some point, but yeah, it’s not,
(1:34:09) Micah: Does anyone have any distinct opinions on paleopine?
(1:34:13) Micah: Okay.
(1:34:14) Kevin: - Yeah.
(1:34:22) Al: it’s not like, Oh, I must play this. And, but yeah, uh, Kevin probably has more thoughts on it than I do.
(1:34:24) Micah: Sure.
(1:34:26) Kevin: Okay, considering I did the episode. Well, I think my general opinion is that it’s the next game on my list, Paleo Pines.
(1:34:29) Al: Yeah, exactly.
(1:34:42) Al: What?
(1:34:43) Micah: No way.
(1:34:45) Al: Oh, my word is as well.
(1:34:47) Kevin: Yeah, it is.
(1:34:51) Kevin: So, okay, so this one.
(1:34:56) Kevin: And I’m… there’s… okay, so this is a very Kevin game because I am a very big dinosaur fan.
(1:35:06) Kevin: I have been since I was little.
(1:35:07) Kevin: I was one of the kids.
(1:35:08) Kevin: I watched Jurassic Park Ad Nauseam on the VHS and they were my Pokemon before Pokemon.
(1:35:15) Kevin: So pitching me a farming game with dinosaurs is, you know, A+ in my book.
(1:35:21) Kevin: But trying to put that to the side…
(1:35:22) Kevin: Well, actually, no, no, let’s talk about that for a second, because
(1:35:26) Kevin: that mission statement of let’s put dinosaurs into the farming, I think they did. It’s the best part of the game, hands down. And that’s not even my subjective opinion. Like, I think it just works great. Using the dinosaurs to, you know, till the land, using them to water crops instead of your just traditional upgrades of your tools and whatnot. It makes their your transport, they you do everything with your dinosaurs, they can even become your assistants and help you farm.
(1:35:54) Kevin: Um…
(1:35:56) Kevin: It’s all really well integrated, excuse me, um, like Micah said there’s a little bit of
(1:36:02) Kevin: creature collection, there’s little dino decks you can fill, and even like color variations,
(1:36:08) Kevin: so you know maybe you want to recruit a certain color dinosaur when you think that looks really cool.
(1:36:12) Kevin: Um…
(1:36:14) Kevin: The dinosaur designs are very cute, they’re well done, they they feel
(1:36:19) Kevin: kind of like pokemon somewhere between friends and pets or something like that. Um…
(1:36:26) Kevin: Full of rough edges, they worked on it a lot since release, they stomped out a lot of the bugs, but
(1:36:32) Kevin: yeah some of the quest things are a little obscure at times and things like that. I had to look up the internet for some help every now and then. Um…
(1:36:43) Kevin: The farming aspect of it is probably fairly traditional. The biggest thing is that you can grow any crop at any point in the year, it just affects your yield and things like that. But again,
(1:36:56) Kevin: just using a T-Rex to water your crops instead of just picking a bigger watering can is a lot of fun. Yeah, and the fact that it’s a… I give a lot of props to farming games in particular for going full 3D, right? Because it’s very easy to just go the starter route and do 2D pixel,
(1:37:20) Kevin: right? But they went full 3D and it’s not… you know, it’s not tiers of the…
(1:37:26) Kevin: Kingdom Hyrule or anything. But I still enjoyed it enough. They felt like this is where the dinosaurs live. You can see herds of them. It felt like wandering through a dinosaur land.
(1:37:38) Kevin: And I enjoyed that. There’s… at times, sometimes it almost was too much. Like you have to find certain items and they’re just little icons on a big field and whatnot. But overall, I think
(1:37:54) Kevin: They.
(1:37:56) Kevin: Well, except maybe Monetco, they put out of the games on my list, like the most work and being most original or different.
(1:38:03) Kevin: Um.
(1:38:05) Kevin: But yeah, no, I I’ve played Paleo Pines possibly the most out of all the games on my list.
(1:38:12) Kevin: It’s one of the few game.
(1:38:14) Kevin: It might be the only one I talked about an episode this year that I actually kept playing after because I was enjoying it so much.
(1:38:20) Kevin: Um, and I’m very close to finishing.
(1:38:22) Kevin: I pick it up every now and then.
(1:38:24) Kevin: I’ll probably finish it soon.
(1:38:25) Kevin: Um.
(1:38:26) Kevin: But yeah, I just I adore paleopines. I think it’s a fantastic game that does
(1:38:32) Kevin: Dinosaur with fine. Excuse me farming with dinosaurs very well
(1:38:37) Kevin: Yeah, that’s that’s
(1:38:40) Micah: Mm hmm. And I just a quick little addition on to like pigback on what you’re saying about the dinosaurs and how, you know, well, they integrated it and as someone yourself who was really into who’s always really been into dinosaurs and was in the dinosaurs as a kid and stuff and it’s got you know that I also was, you know, have enjoyed dinosaurs, Jurassic Park and stuff like that.
(1:39:10) Micah: And that’s definitely a lower, like interest point for me than I feel like most people who probably are playing this game, like Becky, my my partner Becky is picked up the game and this absolutely loves it.
(1:39:26) Micah: And she kind of got me into it in that way. Like I was, you know, not not as interested.
(1:39:30) Kevin: Very nice. Was she a dinosaur girl?
(1:39:32) Kevin: Did she know how to pronounce the names?
(1:39:34) Micah: But she loves dinosaurs, not like, you know, like knowledge level as far as she just has always been a.
(1:39:40) Kevin: Sure.
(1:39:40) Micah: Like dinosaur fan sheet. So when she saw that it was a farming sim with dinosaurs, she was immediately excited about it, like enamored with it and watching her play it got me kind of into playing it.
(1:39:54) Micah: And as someone who is not as interested in dinosaurs as other people who have who are probably playing it for that specific reason, it still has made it such an enjoyable experience.
(1:40:08) Micah: and the dinosaurs are such a like an enjoyable aspect.
(1:40:10) Micah: Of it that even not as like a huge dinosaur fanatic.
(1:40:16) Micah: It’s very cute very enjoyable part of the game that I think you know makes it again like you said.
(1:40:22) Micah: It makes it unique and I agree that it is very hard for a lot of these games to transition to the 3D style of farming game.
(1:40:34) Micah: I harvest moon winds of Anthos had a very you know kind of rough transition into.
(1:40:40) Micah: The the 3D part of the 3D style of farming game and I think for paleopine to do it as well as they did.
(1:40:41) Al: Rough is one word for it.
(1:40:50) Al: They had a rough transition into trying to be a game, to be honest.
(1:40:52) Micah: Yeah well.
(1:40:57) Al: It’s on nobody’s list, let’s put it that way.
(1:40:58) Micah: You’re just lucky it’s not on my list.
(1:41:01) Kevin: It’s on the worst games episode that we’re doing next!
(1:41:04) Micah: Okay let’s I’m.
(1:41:06) Al: I wouldn’t put it that. I’d put it in the most like meh list, right? Like…
(1:41:10) Al: Ah, man.
(1:41:12) Micah: I still stand by.
(1:41:14) Micah: It is the best thing that they have done in recent years and I hope that they keep it up and maybe one day that’s maybe one day you’ll be on the on the list for game of the year but.
(1:41:18) Al: Yeah.
(1:41:20) Kevin: Well, you’re not wrong there.
(1:41:24) Al: Still think.
(1:41:28) Al: And I still think you’re sleeping on Mad Dash, so.
(1:41:32) Micah: I wouldn’t be the only one sleeping on Mad Dash. Let’s be honest.
(1:41:36) Al: That’s true.
(1:41:36) Al: Look, I finished, I completed that game.
(1:41:38) Al: That was a great game.
(1:41:40) Al: I loved it.
(1:41:40) Al: Fantastic.
(1:41:42) Al: Highly recommend.
(1:41:42) Al: Not a farming game.
(1:41:44) Al: No idea why it’s a Harvest Moon game.
(1:41:46) Al: Whatever.
(1:41:46) Al: Loved it.
(1:41:48) Al: I’m going to this, gentlemen.
(1:41:50) Al: This game is the game of the year.
(1:41:52) Al: I promise you.
(1:41:54) Al: Right?
(1:41:56) Al: Not only is it the game of the year, this game, my final game in my list, is, in my opinion, hey, no, not my opinion, an objective fact.
(1:42:08) Al: This is the best farming game.
(1:42:10) Kevin: Are you playing it right now?
(1:42:12) Al: This is the best farming game.
(1:42:14) Al: Full stop.
(1:42:15) Kevin: Ohh, been there.
(1:42:16) Al: Bar none.
(1:42:18) Al: Coral Island.
(1:42:20) Kevin: Shocker.
(1:42:20) Al: The best farming game.
(1:42:20) Micah: I can’t say that I’m surprised that that is where this was going.
(1:42:26) Al: So.
(1:42:26) Kevin: The game has played for like 300 hours? What?
(1:42:26) Al: So, right.
(1:42:30) Al: It’s only a hundred so far, right?
(1:42:32) Al: But, like, I would be surprised if this time next year it wasn’t up to something like that.
(1:42:38) Al: Okay, so.
(1:42:40) Al: Let me, let me.
(1:42:40) Micah: Before you continue, can I ask you a question?
(1:42:42) Al: Let me.
(1:42:42) Al: Oh, yes.
(1:42:44) Al: You can ask me any question.
(1:42:46) Al: Doesn’t mean I’ll answer it.
(1:42:46) Micah: Last night, well last night for me this morning for you. Oh
(1:42:51) Micah: You know technically also this morning for me. It’s just as a matter of what time I went to bed. That’s really the not important
(1:42:56) Al: Not important, not important.
(1:42:57) Al: I didn’t.
(1:43:00) Micah: The we we talked briefly on discord and you had said no one will see one of my picks coming and
(1:43:08) Micah: I can’t tell now if that was sorry Could have been hellokitty island adventure, honestly That’s true, you’re right, you’re right Or if it was one of the other ones that were in your list And I just really didn’t see it coming
(1:43:18) Al: Well, let’s just say… I mean, let’s just say I can’t remember what I was thinking when I said it. So… No, because I’d forgotten it existed until an hour ago. So, who knows?
(1:43:26) Micah: Could have been hellokitty island adventure, honestly
(1:43:31) Micah: That’s true, you’re right, you’re right
(1:43:36) Al: Anyway, where was I? Yes, Carl Iam. So let me… Let me… Let me…
(1:43:38) Kevin: Wait, wait, I just also want to put a disclaimer, I haven’t played the game yet.
(1:43:41) Micah: I- I- Al?
(1:43:42) Kevin: That’s all, that’s all.
(1:43:50) Micah: I hate to do this to you because of how much I know that you love this game.
(1:43:56) Al: Look, that’s fine. You know, this is right. Can I just, can I just point out, can I just point out two years ago, spirit fair one, it was only recommended by one person and that was me. And I managed to convince the two people on the podcast that it was the game of the year or so. Are you? So I hope you’re ready for this. Look, right. Okay.
(1:43:58) Micah: I also have not played this game, so.
(1:44:00) Kevin: Fightin’ the uphill battle!
(1:44:11) Kevin: Well, I mean, yeah, once you edit us out, yeah, that’ll be easy.
(1:44:14) Micah: At what point do we just create the categories game of the year and also Al’s game of the year as the like secondary category?
(1:44:25) Al: I can.
(1:44:26) Al: I can’t help it if I’m a good convincer. Right. Right. Let me, let me lay the groundwork here. Okay. So you played Stardew. You love Stardew. Stardew was fantastic. Eight years ago it came out and it revolutionized revolutionized revolutionized farming games. And it got so many people into farming games that hadn’t been in farming games before. And it took what farming games were and it took the bits and pieces that people loved and it made them as good, if not better.
(1:44:56) Al: It took bits that people didn’t like, and it made them actually enjoyable.
(1:45:01) Al: Coral Island has done the same.
(1:45:03) Al: It has taken everything good about Stardew Valley and it has made it better.
(1:45:07) Al: And it has taken everything not great about Stardew and it has made it fun.
(1:45:12) Al: This game is amazing.
(1:45:14) Al: The farming, great, fantastic, pretty standard.
(1:45:19) Al: It doesn’t do anything revolutionary in the farming aspect, but let me tell you,
(1:45:24) Al: It has a five by five sprinkler.
(1:45:26) Al: Oh, five by five sprinklers.
(1:45:29) Al: We love them.
(1:45:30) Al: Not only does it have a five by five sprinkler, it has, oh, just you wait.
(1:45:32) Kevin: Do you know how many squares the T-Rex can water, Al?
(1:45:34) Kevin: Do you know?
(1:45:37) Al: Just you wait.
(1:45:38) Al: Not only does it have a five by five sprinkler, it has an attachment to that sprinkler that can sow the seeds.
(1:45:45) Al: It can water the seeds.
(1:45:47) Al: It can fertilize the seeds.
(1:45:48) Al: It can harvest the seeds.
(1:45:51) Al: This thing can do it all.
(1:45:53) Al: You can set up, I kid you not.
(1:45:56) Al: It’s no thousands.
(1:45:58) Al: I have over 1200 plots of farm in my farm just now.
(1:46:04) Al: They’re all automatically farming and I don’t need to do anything.
(1:46:08) Al: It’s fantastic.
(1:46:09) Kevin: Your game of the year is just a cry for help, Al. Good heavens!
(1:46:14) Al: Right.
(1:46:15) Al: It has more animals.
(1:46:17) Al: It has better animals.
(1:46:18) Al: It has a mind that actually has a story to it.
(1:46:21) Al: It’s not just a random mind.
(1:46:24) Al: It has a story and that is a fun story.
(1:46:26) Al: It has characters that you care about.
(1:46:29) Al: It has a story that is fine.
(1:46:32) Al: It has, it has, it has, I had to put it in there somewhere.
(1:46:34) Micah: That’s fine.
(1:46:36) Micah: Wait.
(1:46:39) Al: It has festivals that change as the years go on.
(1:46:42) Al: You have a tree planting festival that the next year you can see there’s more trees this time than there were this time last year because it’s fantastic.
(1:46:50) Al: It has a whole world underwater where not only can you re.
(1:46:57) Al: Plenish the seas.
(1:46:58) Al: You can fix the coral in the coral island.
(1:47:01) Al: You can meet mermaids and mer, mer, mer people, mer people.
(1:47:09) Al: You can meet mer people.
(1:47:11) Al: You can find their kingdom.
(1:47:12) Al: You can even turn into a mer person yourself.
(1:47:17) Al: Tell me why this game shouldn’t be game of the year because it has everything.
(1:47:21) Al: It is not perfect because no game is perfect, but it is.
(1:47:26) Kevin: She can’t ride a Utah Raptor.
(1:47:27) Al: As close to perfect as you can get so far.
(1:47:29) Micah: Well, I think the unfortunate part is that I can’t tell you why it’s not Game of the Year because I haven’t played it, so.
(1:47:40) Al: Exactly. You can’t tell me.
(1:47:49) Micah: I have heard a lot about this game, not just from Al, but I have heard a lot of good things about Coral Island.
(1:47:57) Micah: Again have not personally
(1:47:59) Micah: played it myself not for any specific reason other than that there were too many games I guess to to use Al’s term it was the the casualty of too many games this year and just was not on my list also not available on the switch so
(1:48:24) Al: Yeah, you know it’s coming next year. Yeah, that’s fair. But don’t you have a don’t you have a steam deck maker?
(1:48:27) Micah: I
(1:48:29) Micah: I do but I play games so much more on my switch especially cozy games
(1:48:31) Al: There you go
(1:48:35) Al: But the steam deck
(1:48:36) Kevin: Mm-hmm.
(1:48:37) Kevin: Disqualified.
(1:48:38) Al: But let me tell you maker the steam deck is the least buggy version of this game [laughs]
(1:48:40) Micah: Uh-huh
(1:48:44) Micah: So, oh, well that’s interesting that means probably that the switch version is gonna be a very bugless
(1:48:51) Al: Sure, whatever you say.
(1:48:56) Micah: But because I feel like it’s probably I I feel like
(1:48:59) Micah: the the best part about the Steam Deck being a thing is that it has given developers the ability to develop for handheld without having to release on the eShop first. They can release on a much more accessible Steam store and develop in the handheld version of the game so that it’s an easier transition
(1:49:29) Micah: switch, which let’s be honest, more people have switches than have Steam Decks.
(1:49:30) Al: It- it- it-
(1:49:35) Micah: I’ll say though that my Steam Deck my Steam Deck has primarily just become the thing that I play games that are much too powerful to play on my Switch.
(1:49:44) Al: All I’m going to say is, I, all I’m going to say is, Carl Island on my steam deck, like it’s a, it’s another heat source. It’s fantastic. Look, I love this game. It is fantastic. I,
(1:49:46) Kevin: So, there’s a handful of Switch games on there, you say.
(1:49:46) Micah: I.e. Armored Core or Starfield or Starfield does in fact play on the Steam Deck which
(1:50:12) Al: And I say it is my favorite farming game.
(1:50:14) Al: Bar none. I am not joking. Like, I think Stardew is amazing and will continue to have a place in my heart and I will continue to play it.
(1:50:23) Al: Like, I’m going to pop that game open when the new update comes out and I’m going to love it.
(1:50:27) Al: But this game does so much to improve on what Stardew already improved on eight years later.
(1:50:35) Al: That I think that finally we have a game that I can consider better than Stardew Valley.
(1:50:42) Micah: Hmm
(1:50:42) Al: It’s wild that it took this long, but there were-
(1:50:44) Kevin: What are you talking about? Wildflowers came out last year!
(1:50:44) Al: We are.
(1:50:51) Micah: Just just give fey farm a little bit more time to bake okay
(1:50:55) Al: Look, Kevin, one of the things we loved about wildflowers was jumping over the fence, right?
(1:51:01) Kevin: Yeah, it’s yeah, yeah, yeah, but they did it first [laughter]
(1:51:03) Al: You can do that in Coral Island as well.
(1:51:06) Al: Well, actually, I’m not sure about that because when did wildflowers come out and when did Coral Island early on?
(1:51:14) Kevin: Yeah, I am that’s actually that’s a point I want to bring how long was it in early access?
(1:51:22) Kevin: The year I I’m always torn on early access. Yes, but at least
(1:51:28) Al: Oh yeah, we know you’re fundamentally biased against games that are early access.
(1:51:33) Al: We know this.
(1:51:34) Kevin: Yes, yes, I know but even aside from that in the specific to this discussion, right?
(1:51:39) Kevin: Like it had a year advantage over these other games at least in the eye in terms of
(1:51:45) Micah: Yeah, I guess as far as like, some of them, right, like, uh, was Roots of Pacha in Early Access before it was?
(1:51:54) Al: it was not. Look, I don’t think they were not, they didn’t have an early access. Look,
(1:51:55) Micah: I guess the games that I’m not sure of, like, Paleopines, Roots of Pacha, like, I don’t know.
(1:52:03) Micah: Okay.
(1:52:06) Al: we’re not judging a game based on whether it had early access or not. We’re judging a game now based on how it is now, and I think this game is fantastic.
(1:52:09) Kevin: Well, I’m just saying like, that gives it a leg up, right?
(1:52:15) Kevin: Like, you know, to pointing at the other one Baldur’s Gate, like the actual game of the year that everyone’s talking about.
(1:52:22) Kevin: It’s so good because it had so much early access, like a couple of years.
(1:52:26) Micah: Mm hmm. Oh, it’s true.
(1:52:27) Al: Other games can do it too.
(1:52:28) Kevin: I know, I know, but…
(1:52:29) Al: That’s all I’m saying.
(1:52:30) Micah: And I think, you know, Moneko being on all three of our lists is and a game that was in development for such a long time had a,
(1:52:38) Micah: you know, demo for a while.
(1:52:40) Micah: And, you know, it’s still all playable portions of it contained within this year.
(1:52:43) Al: Yeah, so here’s.
(1:52:47) Micah: But I think that, you know, having that like
(1:52:51) Micah: development time for such a long time.
(1:52:54) Micah: I mean, really, when did, when did, Meneko’s…
(1:52:56) Micah: get announced?
(1:52:58) Micah: Wasn’t it like, yeah, it was a long time ago, so…
(1:52:58) Al: Six years ago. So here’s, here’s where we come into our problem, Micah, right? Because in any other year, if all three of us had a game, we would just, it would just be crowned,
(1:53:09) Al: right? No problem. It’s going to be the game. Can the three of us legitimately say the Maneko’s night market was the game of the year when it was so buggy? Legitimate question.
(1:53:22) Micah: No, I I agree that it is it does not it it’s not
(1:53:28) Kevin: But I don’t know who else to hand the crown to.
(1:53:30) Al: Oh, I know, I know who to hand the crane to, don’t worry.
(1:53:31) Kevin: Um, yeah.
(1:53:33) Kevin: No, you know. Okay.
(1:53:35) Kevin: No, that’s fair. I feel similar, right?
(1:53:38) Kevin: Like, I waited for that Monetko so long, and I enjoy it.
(1:53:42) Kevin: It made me smile so much, but it’s like, I can’t.
(1:53:45) Kevin: Yeah, like, I couldn’t recommend it at least the time when it’s probably better now.
(1:53:49) Kevin: Like I said, it probably still has some…
(1:53:51) Kevin: But yeah, no, it’s, it’s, yeah. Yeah, it’s…
(1:53:52) Micah: It does. Not probably it does, but.
(1:53:55) Kevin: Okay.
(1:53:57) Micah: I think that, you know, doesn’t necessarily I.
(1:54:03) Micah: It’s hard, like thinking about, I guess, like thinking about context of,
(1:54:08) Micah: like development for the games to write, like, what is the size of of
(1:54:15) Micah: the team that worked on an echos night market, right?
(1:54:18) Micah: like it’s almost like the same kind of feeling.
(1:54:22) Micah: Not the same feeling in that, you know, how the development process is going or anything like that, but like for Snacko as an example, like I know that that development team is not like it’s not a huge development team, right? Like it’s a small, small team and the game has been in development for a good amount of time and I they are doing amazing things.
(1:54:46) Micah: I think that like that game is has already shown way more polish than.
(1:54:52) Micah: Manetko’s Night Market did.
(1:54:54) Al: Game of the Year 2024.
(1:54:56) Micah: Yes, I’m calling it out, but I I think that, you know, like that context is if there there was, you know, because it took it because it’s been six years since Manetko’s was released.
(1:55:10) Micah: I don’t know the size of the development team, but I would guess that that is probably a small team, a very small team.
(1:55:16) Micah: And I wonder what level of the, you know, like.
(1:55:21) Micah: how it.
(1:55:22) Micah: The how the development cycle went is based on how big that team is.
(1:55:27) Micah: I don’t necessarily think that that should be a factor in whether or not it makes it game of the year or not, but I think it’s.
(1:55:28) Al: I think, yeah, that’s what I was going to say. I don’t think we can judge it based on that.
(1:55:35) Al: Like, I think we need to look at the game and look at the game as it is just now,
(1:55:39) Al: and which of these games do we think deserves to be the game of the year based on our experience with them, not based on how big the team is, whether they had early access, how long they’ve been in development, et cetera, et cetera, you know.
(1:55:55) Micah: Well, of the games that I’ve played this year, Fae Farm is certainly
(1:56:03) Micah: I have no doubts that if we had both played Coral Island,
(1:56:07) Micah: it probably would have been in our lists, but based on what I know of it and what I’ve heard about it, but I personally can’t say one way or another.
(1:56:19) Kevin: I will say, yeah, likewise here, but I will say, even with all I’ve heard about it, like,
(1:56:19) Micah: How good of a game it is, but.
(1:56:29) Kevin: I’m sure it’s a good game, it hasn’t really pulled my interest, per se. There is, there’s still a very much a sense of a stardew base, if you will, right? And…
(1:56:42) Al: Oh, definitely, in so much as the same way that Stardew was based on Harvest Moon, you know, like, I think, and that’s neither a good or a bad thing, and we’re not here to decide what’s the best Stardew clone each year. That’s not what we’re doing, absolutely.
(1:56:42) Micah: And I think that’s… sorry.
(1:56:54) Kevin: Well, I mean, yeah, but I mean, for me, it is kind of a fact, just again, as someone who hasn’t played it, right? Like, hearing about stard- well, what feels like a stardew clone to some degree, um, lessens my interest in it, per se, uh, like, looking at paleopines, that’s something very different, and I really enjoyed it.
(1:57:19) Kevin: But, you know, this is the big asterisk, I haven’t played it.
(1:57:24) Kevin: I haven’t made enough upgrades and updates to feel like the huge leap in bounds.
(1:57:28) Kevin: I mean, yeah, I mean like wildflowers.
(1:57:32) Al: A double check, by the way, February of 2022, wildflowers came out.
(1:57:36) Al: I don’t think we can justify that being the game of the year in any shape or imagination.
(1:57:42) Al: February 2022.
(1:57:44) Al: It’s nearly two years old, Kevin.
(1:57:49) Kevin: I’m just saying, well okay, but alright, so if we’re not going to go with Manekos, then like, I’m going to cast my vote for Paleo Pines because at least out of all the games we talked about, that’s the one that I’ve played the most, it makes me smile the most.
(1:58:06) Kevin: I think it does the most fun things.
(1:58:11) Kevin: Yeah.
(1:58:11) Micah: is where this gets difficult, right? Because I also of the the games that like, I understand the frustrations with Fae Farm, I stand by that I feel like that is one of the the best games in terms of like what it can do for farming games. Or for you know, like, life sims going forward, especially with how much backing it’s got how much you know, support it’s had and and stuff like that.
(1:58:41) Micah: How new it is as a as a franchise that there is opportunity for it to be something really big later on.
(1:58:55) Micah: I personally loved the game as it is now, but I know that I understand where the frustration lies for some of that.
(1:59:03) Micah: I like that and I like paleo pines and I like Manekos, I think primarily.
(1:59:11) Micah: Because there wasn’t as much of a like, this is a Stardew type game.
(1:59:17) Micah: And I think, you know, like Kevin said, there is a part of me now that is kind of exhausted by Stardew type farming sims where I just.
(1:59:36) Micah: It’s not that it’s like a detriment, but there is a little bit of like a
(1:59:41) Micah: Hesitancy when I hear oh, it’s like Stardew Valley. I’m immediately like, okay, I’ve played 8,000 games that are like Stardew Valley I don’t really need to play another game. That’s like Stardew Valley like give me something more
(1:59:55) Micah: For it like give me more than it’s just
(1:59:59) Micah: It’s Stardew Valley But you do x y and z like in the same way that you know like I’m playing story of seasons games because their story of seasons games and I
(2:00:01) Al: Well, I think that’s, yeah, yeah.
(2:00:06) Al: Yeah.
(2:00:08) Micah: understand that there are so many games like Stardew Valley.
(2:00:11) Micah: That, you know, kind of just took the story of seasons/harvest moon formula and have recreated it for the sake of, you know, it’s the foundation for whatever the game is that they’re doing.
(2:00:24) Micah: doing.
(2:00:26) Al: I think this is the point, right? I mean, I know I’m not going to convince you to that Coral Island is the game of the year, right? I’m accepting that. But I do think that this is one of the things that I like about Coral Island is it isn’t just Stardew Plus. It feels to me like, yes, it takes a lot of what Stardew does, but I think in the same way that Stardew wasn’t just Harvest Moon Plus. It was a reimagining in lots of ways. I feel like Coral Island as that. Like yes, it is very clearly something that they started to build.
(2:00:56) Al: After they play Stardew and they went, “Oh, I like this. Let’s do different.” Right?
(2:01:00) Al: But I feel like it is that. It is not Stardew Plus. It is Stardew different.
(2:01:07) Al: And that’s what I really like about it.
(2:01:08) Kevin: and you could be right and you know I wouldn’t be able to tell until we play right like maybe you know I’m I’m just going by what I’ve seen and heard right it still feels like it gives the vibes right some of the stuff you’ve described the stuff that you love the huge tools and the festivals that’s still something that could very well be in Stardew um so uh yeah you know like I
(2:01:34) Kevin: like Stardew cannot become paleopines right like I don’t think a paleo-
(2:01:38) Kevin: pines as inspired by Stardew per se like there’s farming they show that mechanic and maybe there was some inspiration there but overall like it’s it is a very different beast so we go to Manekos because we can’t agree on anything else
(2:01:52) Al: Okay, I have a suggestion.
(2:01:58) Al: Yes and no. So I think it’s Monneko.
(2:02:02) Al: And I don’t think, like, if we came out of this conversation and we didn’t choose Monneko, I think we would all be disappointed.
(2:02:08) Al: I think we would all be like, “I can’t believe we didn’t choose Monneko.”
(2:02:11) Al: And I think that, yes, it is buggy.
(2:02:15) Al: But can you say you didn’t have so much fun playing that game, even with the bugs?
(2:02:22) Al: I think you’re not going to go back to that and play it multiple times because it is such a good game.
(2:02:28) Kevin: I mean, I certainly intend to finish that game, um, yeah, like, I didn’t, I didn’t want to push for it because I feel bad about the bugs and I know it’s going to bother a lot of people.
(2:02:39) Kevin: It bothered, a lot of them bothered me and like, it’s, it’s so rough around the edges.
(2:02:44) Kevin: It hurts, but I still smile every time.
(2:02:48) Micah: And you know what, to be fair and to further put the game’s bugs into context,
(2:02:58) Micah: I do feel like we are at a point where there are a lot of games that launch
(2:03:04) Micah: earlier than they should with bugs that they, you know, don’t have.
(2:03:08) Micah: I think that Maneco’s Night Market was in a unique position where probably because of the size of the team or, you know, they, they had taken so long
(2:03:18) Micah: running the risk of causing harm to the future of the game by continuing to not release it.
(2:03:24) Kevin: Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, there were points they they almost called it quick
(2:03:28) Micah: And I think that that has a factor in why it released in the state that it did and how they’ve been trying to, you know, fix it and patch it and make,
(2:03:42) Micah: you know, adjust, make it a more polished experience.
(2:03:46) Micah: to bring things full circle.
(2:03:48) Micah: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet released to great acclaim and many sales in one of the buggiest experiences in a Pokemon game I’ve ever played by a franchise that has billions of dollars.
(2:03:50) Kevin: Yes, I was about to go there!
(2:03:57) Kevin: In quotes.
(2:04:11) Al: But nobody, nobody, yet last year was suggesting that that was Game of the Year though. This is like, I’m not trying to convince you off Maneko now. I still think that’s a decision. I’ve written it down. But like, even me who was enjoying Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, and I think it is overall a good game, there’s no way I would suggest it was the best any game like.
(2:04:22) Kevin: But that’s… I think that’s…
(2:04:33) Micah: Yes, sure.
(2:04:35) Micah: I mean, I think that it is the best selling.
(2:04:38) Micah: I think the fact that it’s one of the best selling Pokemon games of all time is like kind of says something in its own way.
(2:04:47) Micah: I don’t think there has been a Pokemon game that has reached like game of the year contendership.
(2:04:48) Kevin: Does it?
(2:04:55) Micah: In I can’t even think of the last time that Pokemon was like up for game of the year for anything, you know, like.
(2:05:01) Al: Yeah, I wouldn’t even say that the Scarlet and Violet was the best Pokemon game last year.
(2:05:03) Micah: » Yeah, I mean, I would have, did it come out the same year?
(2:05:06) Kevin: Legends did come out the same year, didn’t it?
(2:05:12) Kevin: Yeah, it did in January.
(2:05:13) Al: Wait, what was that?
(2:05:14) Kevin: Legends, yeah.
(2:05:14) Al: Oh, yeah.
(2:05:14) Micah: Yeah, it did, yes.
(2:05:15) Al: Yeah.
(2:05:17) Micah: Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s, yeah, I think that it is still the best sell.
(2:05:23) Micah: It sold better than Legends did.
(2:05:25) Micah: And.
(2:05:26) Al: But I don’t think we can’t pull a huge amount from that, because there’s so many things that affect sales, like the fact that– Oh, absolutely.
(2:05:33) Micah: - Sure, yes.
(2:05:34) Kevin: If you threw Pikachu in Minako, oh man would it sell.
(2:05:39) Al: But like, you know…
(2:05:39) Micah: Before we go too far down this road though,
(2:05:42) Micah: let me just say the reason that I’m saying this is that how many bugs that game had and how little they fixed versus how hard the Maneko’s team has been working to correct the issues that the game does have,
(2:06:00) Micah: I think says something in its own right.
(2:06:00) Kevin: Yep. That is very true.
(2:06:02) Micah: Um.
(2:06:03) Micah: And it’s still, I, I, I personally feel like, you know, I, I said when I was talking about the game earlier and I was arguing my, my points about it, that I had to go back to re familiar, refamiliarize myself with the idea that it had as many bugs as it did because I had mostly forgotten that part of the experience because I had enjoyed it so much.
(2:06:33) Micah: I think that there is a, you know, significant, um, like offset for how, how many issues the game has had or might still have versus how.
(2:06:46) Al: Absolutely. I mean, I put the game down because it was a bit buggy, but I can’t remember tell you what it was that caused me to put it down. But I can tell you how much fun I had chasing cats around. I can tell you how much fun I had. I can tell you all about these things that I love about the game. And yes, I can tell you that I put it down because of bugs,
(2:06:53) Micah: Yeah, too many games.
(2:06:56) Kevin: There’s a death of a million things.
(2:07:00) Kevin: The cat race.
(2:07:09) Al: but I couldn’t tell you what those bugs were.
(2:07:11) Micah: And that’s, you know, the point that the the cats
(2:07:15) Micah: we didn’t even talk about the cats really, you know, it’s like the biggest.
(2:07:18) Kevin: No? You- you race on cats. That’s- that’s one of the first things you do in that game. It’s amazing.
(2:07:22) Micah: The the point that I played the that I got to
(2:07:28) Micah: as I was playing the game and I was like, oh, this is like
(2:07:31) Micah: feels buggy and whatever when I first played it.
(2:07:34) Micah: And you get to the point where you’re in the garden and the cats are following you around.
(2:07:41) Micah: That was the point that I was like, you know what?
(2:07:43) Micah: Maybe this is a good game.
(2:07:46) Micah: Maybe this is the best game of all time.
(2:07:49) Micah: They’re just, they’re just following me.
(2:07:51) Micah: You know, I just a pedum to scratch their chin.
(2:07:51) Kevin: It’s yep, they didn’t do anything except you can pet them
(2:07:55) Micah: They follow me around.
(2:07:57) Micah: Perfect game.
(2:07:58) Micah: No notes, only a couple notes, but you know.
(2:08:00) Kevin: And
(2:08:03) Kevin: I mean I certainly won’t feel bad if we call Maneko game of the year
(2:08:07) Al: I know it’s done. I’ve written it down. It’s done.
(2:08:09) Kevin: All right, there we go Maneko
(2:08:10) Al: Mineko’s Night Market, The Harvest Seasons, 2023, Game of the Year.
(2:08:16) Micah: I also see that you have written a sad face next to Coral Island and I’m very sorry.
(2:08:20) Micah: I feel bad knowing how much you care about that game.
(2:08:20) Al: I mean, it is my game of the year. It is my game, my farming game of, you know,
(2:08:29) Al: the last eight years. Because, well, yeah, ever a bit like I’ve only been playing them for eight years, right? Like it is the best farm.
(2:08:30) Kevin: Ever.
(2:08:32) Kevin: Eternity.
(2:08:37) Al: I don’t even like cats!
(2:08:40) Kevin: Because you didn’t finish wildflowers [laughs]
(2:08:52) Kevin: Is cats a theme here?
(2:08:54) Micah: In the spirit of cozy games to having a cozy game of the year where it doesn’t, you know, that is the game of the year for the podcast, but there are other games of the year that we’ve discussed here that are games of the year in their own way.
(2:09:12) Micah: I think that are also make them great games that I feel like I feel very good about recommending to people who may not have played them or may not have been interested in them previous like paleopines and fafar.
(2:09:24) Micah: I would say fafarm when it’s, you know, they’re not a $60 game would definitely be the yeah yeah give it a little bit of time, let it reduce in price a little bit, but it, I do stand by that I think that game is a great game, I think that paleopines is a great game.
(2:09:29) Kevin: Give it a minute.
(2:09:30) Kevin: Let it cook.
(2:09:34) Al: It’s not that expensive on Steam.
(2:09:42) Micah: Obviously, Al is very adamant about coral island being an incredible game. Kevin agrees about paleopines I think these are all games that like very easily can be.
(2:09:54) Micah: Recommended and have their own level of game of the year in their own right.
(2:09:58) Al: Yeah, I need to go back to Fae Farm. Are you buying the DLC?
(2:10:03) Micah: I probably, I let’s be honest probably, but I, I would like to.
(2:10:10) Al: Did you get the Switch version? I think the DLC is included in the Switch version.
(2:10:11) Micah: I did.
(2:10:14) Micah: Oh it is, is it.
(2:10:15) Al: Because yeah, I’m pretty sure because so on Steam you can, yeah it is, because on Steam you can buy the game for either $40 or $60, and the $60 one is the deluxe edition.
(2:10:17) Micah: Is that what makes the price suit?
(2:10:28) Al: Which gives the DLC, and I’m pretty sure in Switch it was just the $60 one they did.
(2:10:32) Al: I don’t think they did the $40 one, so I’m pretty sure they did.
(2:10:38) Micah: And you know, I I feel like I should add that like I was not
(2:10:44) Micah: Fay farm was obviously I was interested in it because I had seen so much about there was you know Like Nintendo Direct coverage and stuff there was it had a lot more coverage than we’re used to for
(2:10:54) Micah: life Sims, I guess farm Sims
(2:10:55) Al: While they were they were pushing it so hard Nintendo were pushing this game so hard
(2:10:56) Kevin: Yup.
(2:10:57) Micah: they were
(2:11:00) Kevin: Yeah, they were.
(2:11:00) Micah: They were and I Still wasn’t didn’t have like too much of a I was like, I’ll probably play it
(2:11:08) Micah: eventually, right? Like it wasn’t really on my radar. They did recently a game trial for it, which if you don’t know on the switch, they’ll occasionally do this where they give you access to play the game in its entirety for a certain amount of days. I think it’s like typically three to four days or something like that. If yes, if you have the Switch online service and I played it from that and after playing it in the game trial.
(2:11:24) Al: if you’re paying for an Nintendo Switch online.
(2:11:27) Kevin: Sometimes a week depends.
(2:11:38) Micah: After the game trial had ended, I was wanting to play it so much that I went out and just bought it because it was such a such a good experience for me. But there are opportunities for you to
(2:11:52) Micah: try it. I feel like there will be more opportunities in the future to for you to try it without that $40 or $60 price tag. Oh, cool. I didn’t even know that. That’s good to know.
(2:11:56) Al: I’ve double checked. I can confirm the switch version does include the DLC, so.
(2:12:03) Al: So I guess I answered your question for you.
(2:12:05) Al: You will get the DLC.
(2:12:07) Micah: Okay, there we go.
(2:12:08) Kevin: There you go.
(2:12:09) Micah: Guess what? I’m getting the DLC.
(2:12:12) Al: Awesome. Well, I mean,
(2:12:16) Al: I kind of knew this is where it was going to go when
(2:12:20) Al: when it was very clear that Mike had it on his list as well.
(2:12:24) Al: So we got there in the end.
(2:12:24) Kevin: Yeah. So.
(2:12:26) Al: We took a very long meandering journey to Meneco’s Nightmar.
(2:12:30) Al: Oh yeah, well, I think this has been an incredible year for farming games.
(2:12:30) Kevin: I mean, it wasn’t easy.
(2:12:32) Kevin: There was tough competition.
(2:12:37) Al: I think there are too many.
(2:12:39) Al: I think we need to dial it back a little bit, but I think that the number of good games is high as well.
(2:12:40) Kevin: No.
(2:12:46) Al: It’s not like there’s 50 games and 45 of them are bad.
(2:12:46) Kevin: Yes, that it is.
(2:12:52) Kevin: Which has been the case in other years.
(2:12:53) Al: It’s like there’s 50 games.
(2:12:55) Al: Absolutely.
(2:12:56) Al: 50 games and like 10 of them are excellent.
(2:13:01) Al: 10 of them are depending on who you are, whether you’d like them or not.
(2:13:04) Kevin: Mm-hmm
(2:13:06) Al: It just depends on these things.
(2:13:07) Kevin: Yeah, I mean like smooshies on that list and I it’s great. It’s a great recommend. I hardly recommend it I didn’t put into this consideration because it’s kind of short and I don’t want to talk about these But yeah, there’s plenty of other great games on that list
(2:13:09) Al: Every single game, oh yeah, well, that’s the thing.
(2:13:22) Micah: are definitely. I played it. I have to question why Silent Hope is on the list. Just in that it is such a not a cozy game experience might how much I’ve played it but a great game.
(2:13:24) Al: There are many games on that list that would have hit our list.
(2:13:40) Al: Okay, so I [laughter]
(2:13:45) Micah: I will say being that it’s on the list. I will take that as an opportunity to say you You should play Silent Hope because it is–
(2:13:52) Micah: doing justice to our fallen comrade Dragalia Lost, but–
(2:13:58) Al: So, what, okay, right. Well, let me put it this way. Let me put it this way, Micah. I have not played the game. I have hardly looked into it and I saw that it was marvelous. But that is farming in it.
(2:14:04) Micah: Okay.
(2:14:09) Micah: Yes.
(2:14:11) Micah: Understandable. It is– it is very much an action-adventure dungeon crawl.
(2:14:18) Micah: That it is an action-adventure done to go [laughing]
(2:14:22) Kevin: I
(2:14:23) Al: But there’s farming in it.
(2:14:24) Micah: Very high energy, very intense, uh…
(2:14:27) Kevin: Mean there’s farming cult of the lamp, but you know that’s the most minimal person
(2:14:31) Micah: Actually, I am a little bit shocked that Cult of the Lamb was not on here.
(2:14:36) Micah: I haven’t played it so I have no like…
(2:14:38) Al: That’s because it was last year.
(2:14:39) Kevin: - Yeah, that was last year.
(2:14:39) Micah: Oh.
(2:14:41) Micah: Well.
(2:14:44) Micah: It just goes to show.
(2:14:45) Al: Micah, did we not discuss it?
(2:14:46) Micah: We did discuss Cult of the Lamb!
(2:14:48) Micah: You know, my memory is just…
(2:14:49) Al: We had a discussion about it!
(2:14:50) Al: It wasn’t far off getting under…
(2:14:55) Micah: You’re right. You’re right. I do remember that now. My memory is very bad.
(2:14:56) Kevin: Yeah
(2:14:58) Micah: It was called the Lamb was very like very end of last year, though, right?
(2:15:02) Kevin: It was Halloween, yeah, it was right before they came out the Halloween event so it’s right before that
(2:15:02) Al: I think it was like October. Yeah. It wasn’t ridiculously late.
(2:15:04) Micah: Yeah. Yeah.
(2:15:09) Kevin: So to cap it off
(2:15:10) Micah: Well, Sprout Valley, I have played Rune Factory three special.
(2:15:15) Al: We don’t need to go through every single one you’ve played, Micah! Thank you!
(2:15:15) Micah: Good games. They’re good. They’re good games.
(2:15:17) Kevin: I think. Actually on that note on on that note. Well I just want to say one thing I think I think to crown Maneko we need to reach out to the art team over there at meows again and have them get get a little animation of her hitting the gritty and it’ll be official.
(2:15:18) Micah: I’m saying these are games that you can you can play and enjoy.
(2:15:22) Micah: Fortnite LEGO, the actual game of the year.
(2:15:22) Al: Yes.
(2:15:25) Al: So, oh my word, we are two hours…
(2:15:25) Micah: Because you’ll see. You’ll all see next year.
(2:15:32) Al: Just 20 minutes into this. Can we? I want to go to bed!
(2:15:45) Al: Thank you, thank you, Micah, and thank you, Kevin, for joining me on this podcast, Micah,
(2:15:46) Micah: And then put it in Fortnite.
(2:15:47) Kevin: There you go. There you go. Gee geez Maneko.
(2:15:50) Micah: That’s it.
(2:15:52) Micah: It’s the compromise.
(2:15:58) Al: Where Can People Find You on the Internet?
(2:15:59) Micah: Uh, that’s a great question. Uh, I have been more on like Instagram, I guess recently than
(2:16:08) Micah: Twitter I’m still kind of refusing to call it X
(2:16:12) Kevin: Oh, I behemoth-ly.
(2:16:13) Al: It’s all right. Elon doesn’t even call it X. He called it Twitter.
(2:16:15) Micah: Yeah, it’s
(2:16:17) Kevin: Do URLs still say Twitter?
(2:16:19) Al: Well, it’s not just that. He’s not just that. He, in a press conference,
(2:16:21) Al: was talking about it and calling it Twitter. He did not once call it X.
(2:16:24) Kevin: Yeah.
(2:16:25) Micah: That’s incredible
(2:16:27) Micah: So I am there but
(2:16:29) Micah: You know, I’m more on Instagram and I’m, that’s probably where you are more likely to find me pretty much anywhere though as @mikeofthebrave M-I-C-A-H, cause a lot of people don’t know how to spell my name
(2:16:44) Kevin: and
(2:16:48) Al: I find wild every time you mention that.
(2:16:50) Al: Kevin, where can people find you?
(2:16:50) Kevin: Well, they should Well, i’m just saying I was just gonna say they should know how to spell mica because he’s the artist who made the corn microphone
(2:16:56) Kevin: And he’s an incredible artist. So go check his workout. Um
(2:17:00) Al: I do have to correct like the transcript for this podcast every time went the outro, because the outro says Michael the Brave and every time it’s wrong.
(2:17:00) Kevin: but
(2:17:07) Micah: Yep, that sounds right.
(2:17:08) Kevin: Oh, that’s great Where can people find me excellent question you can find me at Koopa prez on the tweeters if you want my person You can find me at Spritor Squared if you want to see some art I make on occasion or more probably most prominently you can find me at
(2:17:23) Kevin: Rainbow Road radio the name of the show I do with our mutual friend Alex where we talk all things Mario
(2:17:31) Kevin: That is at Rainbow Mario pod on the on Twitter or Rainbow Road radio on other platforms
(2:17:37) Al: Are you guys doing a game of the year podcast this year?
(2:17:40) Kevin: No actually no and I know.
(2:17:42) Al: The Mario game of the year is Mario wonder [Laughter]
(2:17:43) Micah: It’s wonder. (laughs)
(2:17:45) Kevin: Yeah, I mean, yeah, I do.
(2:17:49) Kevin: But the real, oh my gosh, it’s a good time to be a Mario fan.
(2:17:53) Kevin: For people who haven’t, don’t know or listen to that, you should check out some, especially the last episode we did where we talk about some weird official merchandise.
(2:18:00) Kevin: Did you guys know there’s a officially licensed Mario shower head that came out in the eighties?
(2:18:06) Micah: Uh, no, but I can’t say that I’m surprised.
(2:18:10) Al: Oh, the WAP each stuff was good.
(2:18:12) Kevin: It’s amazing.
(2:18:14) Kevin: I don’t know about who Wah Peach is, but oh, it’s so good.
(2:18:19) Kevin: And she’s, I’m telling Alex, she’s right there, she’s free.
(2:18:22) Kevin: We can take her.
(2:18:23) Al: A little bit weird to say she’s free, moving on.
(2:18:29) Kevin: Anyways, what we, behind the scenes at the time, actually, by the time this product cast drops the episode probably out.
(2:18:35) Kevin: We just did a huge episode on Super Mario Galaxy, so go check that out.
(2:18:39) Kevin: Alright, what about you, Al?
(2:18:42) Al: Yeah, well, obviously this episode is coming out in three and a half weeks, so I think there’ll be multiple episodes before then.
(2:18:48) Kevin: Oh yeah, forgot about that.
(2:18:49) Al: No, two and a half weeks, two and a half weeks, not three and a half weeks.
(2:18:54) Al: This is the game of the year episode.
(2:18:57) Al: The other one I’m recording on Thursday.
(2:18:58) Al: This is a busy couple of weeks.
(2:19:00) Al: That’s all I’m saying.
(2:19:02) Al: That’s all I’m saying.
(2:19:03) Al: I’ve been talking for two and a half hours.
(2:19:05) Al: You can find me on Twitter and on as thescotbot, probably on…
(2:19:12) Al: Most other things as well, but, you know, so whatever.
(2:19:15) Al: I don’t really post a huge amount now, like, nobody cares about my thoughts anyway.
(2:19:20) Al: He says doing a podcast.
(2:19:21) Micah: I was going to say, wait, now hold on, they don’t care about your thoughts, they definitely don’t care about our thoughts.
(2:19:22) Kevin: But how you–
(2:19:25) Kevin: Yep.
(2:19:32) Al: You can find the podcast on Tumblr and on Twitter @thspod.
(2:19:37) Al: Go find us there.
(2:19:39) Al: You can get links to everything we’ve talked about.
(2:19:42) Al: Although, I’ll be honest with you, this episode, I’m not linking anything.
(2:19:46) Al: I’ll probably copy and paste the list of games from the year,
(2:19:49) Al: but I am not linking to each of them individually.
(2:19:51) Al: You can Google them.
(2:19:54) Al: But most episodes, I link everything we talk about.
(2:19:57) Al: There’s also a feedback form on our website.
(2:20:00) Al:
(2:20:02) Al: But it also does have links to other things,
(2:20:03) Al: including our Patreon, where you can support the podcast,
(2:20:07) Al: get access to our special Slack and get access to…
(2:20:12) Al: To our bonus podcast episodes, including hopefully assuming that people still have time considering how long we spent recording this, we will soon be releasing a greenhouse episode on our game of the not farming year, as in no, no.
(2:20:26) Kevin: It’s Baldur’s Gate 3! Jeff Keeley proclaimed it so. You must listen to the Dorito Pope.
(2:20:33) Al: Look forward to that, probably, probably the Saturday after you’re listening to this, maybe Sunday, because the Sunday is Hockney. Yeah, it is. Maybe I’ll do it on the Sunday.
(2:20:42) Al: I’ll see how I feel at the time. It will come out that weekend.
(2:20:46) Al: I think that’s everything then. Thank you listeners for listening.
(2:20:50) Al: Thank you, Kevin and Micah, for joining me again.
(2:20:52) Micah: Hey, thank you. And I’m sure that we will be having deeper discussion about
(2:20:56) Micah: Coral Island next year once it launches on the switch, so.
(2:20:58) Al: Look, it’s snako next year, right?
(2:21:00) Micah: Don’t give up hope yet.
(2:21:04) Micah: Although snackos, though. Yeah.
(2:21:06) Al: It’s not like I don’t, I’m not really, nobody else is snako.
(2:21:10) Al: It’s obviously snako.
(2:21:12) Al: Awesome, well, until next time, have a good harvest.
(2:21:12) Kevin: Shouldn’t have one of my cats, man.
(2:21:17) Kevin: Have a good harvest.
(2:21:18) Theme Tune: The harvest season is created by Al McHenry, with support from our patrons, including our pro farmers, Kevin, Stuart and Alisa.
(2:21:33) Theme Tune: Our art is done by Micah the Brave, and our music is done by Nick Burgess.
(2:21:37) Theme Tune: Feel free to visit our website,, for show notes and links to things we discussed in this episode.
(2:21:52) Al: Moonlight in Garland. One lonely outpost. Research for… Research factory? That’s not right.
(2:21:59) Al: It’s called something else.
(2:22:02) Al: Research story is research story. Research story.
(2:22:03) Kevin: Go get this.
(2:22:04) Micah: Research Factory.
(2:22:06) Al: Research factory. Wayfactory research. No, research story, song of the prairie, and snacko.