Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns Review
In a long line of farm life games, Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, tries to continue the series by maintaining the core gameplay of owning a farm and by introducing a new way to interact with the village (or in this case villages) that your farm is a part of. You start off as a young adult, rebelling against your father’s wishes and taking over an old farm. It’s a pretty similar story to many of the other games in the Harvest Moon series, so nothing too groundbreaking there, but the land you move into is adjacent to three distinct villages, hence the Trio of Towns. Each acts as a separate village that you will need to build relationships with by participating in their individual festivals, befriending the locals, and by helping out with certain tasks.
You begin this journey by creating your character from a limited selection of hairstyles and faces, along with a personality that gives you a bit of a headstart in certain categories of farm life. The idea of getting a small boost of your choosing at the start of the game is a nice feature to see in the series. I chose the tycoon personality and started with a whopping 50,000 G, freeing me of any monetary worries for the first few months. That may seem pretty imbalanced but keep in mind your starting stamina is dreadfully low, so having the ability to buy enough seeds to last the season doesn’t do much if you can’t water more than a couple squares a day. The perk choice effectively allows you to focus on one less aspect of day-to-day activities making it a little easier to start your thriving farm life.
“The idea of getting a small boost of your choosing at the start of the game is a nice feature to see in the series.”
While on the subject of starting out, you’ll find yourself looking for ways to maximize daylight after you water a couple plants and chop a log. Previous games in the series didn’t offer much in the way of productive tasks that didn’t require stamina, but Trio of Towns offers part time jobs that you can do for a little extra cash. These jobs can be broken down to two categories: shipping or mini game. The shipping jobs, as the name implies, require you to ship a specific crop or animal product by the end of the day you accept the job. The mini games consist of “Press A” an arbitrary number of times. There is no challenge or any way that you can fail (that I can tell), but it does pay a little for no effort. Completing jobs for the corresponding village that posts the job will also raise your town link with said village.
The town links are essentially your progress meter for the game. Your ultimate goal of creating a glorious farm can only be achieved if you have access to a wide swath of crops to grow and animals to raise. By raising the town link with a particular village, you unlock more crops and other goods that can be purchased for that town’s vendors. I actually like this mechanic a lot because it give you a concrete goal to work towards and displays your progress, something previous games would have hid behind the scenes. You can raise town links simply by going through the motions of the core game loop, but if you want to specifically focus on one town the best way is to ship crops exclusively to the town you want to focus on.
Not all upgrade systems in Trio of Towns are quite discrete. Aside from upgrading your stamina through farm work, you can be more efficient with you energy by upgrading your tools. Once you gain access to a hammer, you can extract ores and minerals from one of two designated mining spots, once per day. I have a bit of issue here because the payout from mining these nodes is random and the pool of possible minerals is too big. It took me an in-game week to get lucky enough to find one piece of iron from the mining nodes. This severely limited my progression since I could not upgrade any of my tools, thereby keeping me from having enough stamina to complete more farming jobs, etc. Without upgrades, you can’t expand your daily cycle which was the main source of frustration for me in this game.
“Despite the simplistic part-time job mini games and the randomization of being able to upgrade tools, Trio of Towns hits all of the main points to have a successful daily game loop.”
Despite the simplistic part-time job mini games and the randomization of being able to upgrade tools, Trio of Towns hits all of the main points to have a successful daily game loop. Through the first season while you are being introduced to the different facets of the game it can seem pretty slow, especially for veterans of these games; however, halfway through the summer months I didn’t want to stop. I had found a good routine for my farm that maximized my stamina usage and managed to raise the town link for two of the three towns, opening up many more options for my farm. I strongly recommend this game for fans of the farm life genre.
***A 3DS code was provided by the publisher***
- Fans will love the traditional farm life
- Town link mechanic
- Three different villages adds diversity
- Very limited stamina
- Mining an afterthought
- Part time jobs a too simple