Doraemon – the 22nd-century Japanese robot – is a viral animation in Japan and Southeast Asia. More than 1,700 episodes of animation, 30 movies, and 45 manga have been released about the adventure of the robot and its friends to help Noby – a 20th-century Japanese boy – to be wiser and more diligent. The success of the animation and manga brought this cat robot to the game industry; however, 63 video games revolving around Doraemon have not been released outside Japan. Doraemon: Story of Seasons is the first Doraemon game offshore launched to let all players play in 2019.
The game was released on Windows, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 in 2019 and 2020, respectively. It’s a simulation and management game developed by Brownies and Marvelous – the same team as Harvest Moon. The game’s main mechanic is similar to farming games such as Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Stardew Valley to harvest things. The most exciting aspect is not, unfortunately, the farming mechanics. The farming mechanic is a routine task for Noby to become an owner of the farm – raising animals, planting vegetables, fishing, and mining. It’s quite similar to an existing farming game with no exclusive mechanics because the unique selling part is the story in the game. Narrative-based as the game’s main story is the thing I have spent hours immersed myself as a big fan of Doraemon!
The main story personally is very similar to a Doraemon-The-Movie where Doraemon and friends – Noby, Sue, Big G, and Sneech – get into mysterious situations, create friendships, and fix those problems with a high-tech gadget from the 22nd century. The story starts by letting players watch a short animation knowing how and why Doraemon and his friends were dragged into the storm and lived in an alternative dimension. It’s an excellent start for telling players that the game is not just a harvesting simulation game with its characters. This part attracted me – a fan of the franchise – because it’s the same approach when most of its movies start.
Players, as Noby, need to follow the narrative to find the way back home aside from the routine harvesting gameplay. They control Noby to do harvest and find the clue to achieve the game goal. Every new character, storyline, and secret Noby interacts with has the senses of its original movie. The scent of the movie also comes from the following quest by quest with short animation scenes every time players progress the plot. It seems watching a film that the player does actions and sees consequences. The game would finish when the narrative travels to the end – like a movie – to return home.
In addition, this game brought almost all elements of original anime to the game, for instance, Doraemon’s gadgets, Noby’s furniture, and the scent of certain movie characters. This is not just putting items on the game for fans. These elements bring nostalgic memory to fans to not only play with gadgets instead of only watching like in anime but also include a game narrative to the use of those items to complete the story. Using them in the game, it feels that I do not only play the game. I would say it made me scaffold my adventure with those characters.
For me, this game is not the best in the genre of harvesting simulation. However, the scent of the characters I love invited me to play and enjoy with them. Therefore, I shall invite my readers to play once if you are a fan of this blue cat robot. Otherwise, watching streamers play this game is enjoyable as watching its original movie.
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Developers: Marvelous Inc., Brownies Inc.
Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, Play Station 4
Release Date: 11 Oct 2019
Genre: Casual, Simulation
Pictures: promo pictures from the game,
Picture: promo picture from the game,
You might also like
More from Game Reviews
Rock encyclopedia wrapped in a simple tabletop game. Roll the die, choose the difficulty and make your way around the …