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Games like Harvest Moon we think you should play

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

If you're searching around for games like Harvest Moon, you've likely run out of crops to farm, people to woo, and livestock to tend to, but thankfully there are plenty of similar games to keep you busy during these weird times.

Whether you're looking for a spiritual successor to Harvest Moon or something a little different that scratches the same itch, we've hand-picked the best games like Harvest Moon we know about. We'll also let you know which platforms the games are available so you don't wind up with a game you can't play.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the games like Harvest Moon we think you should play.

Graveyard Keeper

(Image credit: tinyBuild)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, iOS, Android

If you like your management sims with a side of morbidity, you can go ahead and stop scrolling now and pick up Graveyard Keeper. You can immediately see the Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley inspirations in the 16-bit visuals (just ignore the witches and headstones), but Graveyard Keeper is unique for its clever take on the simulator genre, tasking players with maintaining a dilapidated medieval burial ground. Instead of keeping up a farm and getting married, you dig up graves and participate in witch burnings. Had enough with the cutesy stuff? Graveyard Keeper's your game.

Travellers Rest

(Image credit: Metaboli Publishing)

Available on: PC

Take the classic Harvest Moon games, wind them back a few hundred years to the medieval ages, and put the player in charge of a tavern full of patrons thirsty for ale, and you've got a rough idea of Travellers Rest. In addition to brewing drinks and cooking food, you'll customize and build up your tavern, run a farm, develop relationships with villagers, and level up your character. It's set to release in Steam Early Access any day now, but for now you can download the free demo, which I've found to be quite generous.

Valheim

(Image credit: Coffee Stain Publishing)

OK, here us out here. You might not expect to see a survival game on a list of games like Harvest Moon, but Valheim is an excellent game with enough similar qualities to justify a recommendation. 

For example, farming is crucial to surviving long-term in Valheim, as you need food to avoid starving. The farming is a little more complex than it is in Harvest Moon, as it involves crafting a tool and cultivating land, actually building your farm to plant the seeds, and protecting your crops from animals. But if the farming is what you enjoy about Harvest Moon, then there's a good chance you'll find a lot to love in Valheim. There's also the aspect of taming and looking after animals, which could appeal to Harvest Moon fans who enjoy tending to livestock.

Staxel

Available on: PC

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for assuming Staxel is a Minecraft farming mod. Visuals aside, you literally build and make changes to your farm using a voxel-based editing tool. But Staxel carves its own niche by focusing solely on farming and role-playing, offering a relaxing, combat-free alternative to Minecraft's survival-based gameplay. When you aren't laboriously restoring an old farm to prosperity, you can get your chill on by interacting with your new neighbors, taking on quests, and going fishing. And like the best games in the genre, Staxel lets you share farming responsibilities or become neighbors with real-life friends online.

The Sims 4

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4

It would seem blasphemous to speak of life simulation games without invoking the genre's most prolific franchise, The Sims. And fortunately, the latest entry in the series, The Sims 4, is a faithful evolution of the foundation laid down by the nearly 20-year-old first game, sure to please fans of the franchise and newcomers in search of a new, less chaotic world.

The Sims 4 tells you that you can do anything, and in this world you actually can. You can take to space as an astronaut, climb the ranks in a criminal enterprise, or take matters of the planet into your own hands as a conservationist. In the meantime, you'll build the house of your dreams, find your soulmate, and build a family. And speaking on the latter, same-sex couples can adopt and even have biological children together. It's virtually impossible to cover everything The Sims 4 has to offer here, but if you're on the hunt for a life simulator in the truest sense, you mustn't skip The Sims 4.

Garden Paws

Available on: PC

The story and basic setup of Garden Paws might sound familiar - it's blatantly inspired by genre classics Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon - but this charming life sim takes care executing its core features and adds its own twist with animal taming, shopkeeping, a surprisingly deep crafting system, and seamless Twitch streaming integration. Visuals and sound are fine-tuned to provide the most settling, dreamlike experience possible and with no shortage of aww-inducing cuteness. Quests can demand an exceptional level of time and energy to complete, which only makes it more perfect for mindlessly losing hours of time in the bleak real-world to the magical Garden Paws.

Farming Simulator 19

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4 

If your favorite part of Harvest Moon is running a farm, and you could do without the cuteness of its town and romance elements, Farming Sim 19 should sort you out. You won't find a turtle mayor or leaves that transform into living room furniture here - this is as realistic a farming experience as you'll find in a video game.

For those in search of calm though, Farming Simulator 19 is as effective as any game. Here you'll ride around on big tractors, tend to realistic-looking farm animals, ride your horses through Farming Simulator 19's vast explorable environments, and enjoy a rich catalog of community-made mods. If romance, magic, and talking cows make your stomach turn, Farming Simulator 19 offers a true-to-life farming experience sure to help you wind down after a long day.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch

One of the more visually enchanting entries on this list, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is about as cute, breezy, and innocent as the name implies. Weather changes from illuminating daylight to blazing orange twilight and star-lit nighttime, and the vast, expansive landscapes glimmer against light sources in way comparable to Breath of the Wild.

There's a big focus on exploration here, and it's just as well because everything you see is eye candy. And don't expect that to change, as like most games on this list, there's no fighting or killing in Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. There is a conflict of sorts, however, as your number one goal is to rid the mysterious island where you're stranded of "murk," a colorful fog that's making everyone stressed out. Your goal here is to literally chill, and make everyone on the island chill. And thankfully the game's pacing asks nothing more from you than to move at your own pace, which is best done leisurely and with a sense of wonder.

My Time at Portia

Fancy your farming sims with a mix of RPG and crafting mechanics? My Time at Portia must not be overlooked by fans of the genre, as easily the most eclectic entry on this list. You do everything you do in any other life-sim/farming game as well as fight monsters, explore, build stuff, mine for resources, attend festivals, and learn to cook. And going well beyond the usual romance system, Portia lets you actually have kids by way of pregnancy or adoption.

My Time at Portia takes elements from genre staples like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, and injects its formula with workable mechanics borrowed from other popular genres such as exploration, dungeon-crawling, crafting, and management simulation. The best part is it works each component into the experience with a sense of personality that pervades throughout your entire adventure.

Stardew Valley

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android 

Stardew Valley just might be today's foremost farming sim phenomenon, perfectly trapping the visual and spiritual essence of 16-bit era Harvest Moon, except with its own active modding community. But modding aside, at its core Stardew Valley is the ideal reprieve from busy lives and games.

Unlike Harvest Moon though, Stardew Valley starts you out in a small, overgrown plot of land inherited from your late grandfather that you'll slowly transform into a lush, bountiful farm brimming with colorful crops and happy animals. Stardew Valley also improves upon Harvest Moon's romance system, breaking ground for the genre by allowing same-sex marriage. If Harvest Moon is near-and-dear to your heart and you're looking for a similar vibe in a premium package, Stardew Valley is your answer.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Available on: Nintendo Switch

If you're looking for a game like Harvest Moon and haven't played Animal Crossing, you have my express permission to bookmark this list for later and check out any one of the series' mainline games. The most recent, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is currently dominating the discussion and alluring fans new and old with its playful, expressive palette of life-sim qualities and customization options.

While New Horizons is by far the most expansive of the series, the core concept remains the same as it was two decades ago. You'll spend your time fishing for rare and valuable catches, upgrading and decorating your cozy nook and home island, and celebrating holidays in an enchanting little world full of lovable and often downright hilarious characters. Animal Crossing is the ultimate vacation and a welcoming companion to the farming-focused Harvest Moon, not directly competing but offering something entirely different from anything else on the market.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

Available on: Switch

If you're wondering whatever became of your favorite farming simulator franchise, fear not - Harvest Moon is now called Story of Seasons, and the latest entry on Switch is called Friends of Mineral Town. Harvest Moon first became Story of Seasons in 2014 on 3DS, a game that successfully evolves the 3D formula introduced to the franchise with Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland. The latest worldwide release has seen glowing reviews from critics and players alike, making it the perfect game to play if you simply want more Harvest Moon.

If you're looking for more farming adventures, check out our list of the best farming games

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked in - *shudders* - content management while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG. Now, as GamesRadar's Arizona-based Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.