For those keeping track, Yasuhiro Wada’s latest title makes its way onto retail shelves today. If that name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, then perhaps throwing out Yasuhiro’s credentials as being the father of Harvest Moon will jog your memory. Nevertheless, if that still isn’t doing the trick, then let me just get right down to it: Hometown Story is Wada’s newest game, and like his coveted farming-RPG franchise, is a simulator of sorts. However, this time around there are no cows to milk, nor are there crops to harvest. Instead, players are tasked with taking over their grandmother’s local shop and must run the day to day operations to keep the store financially afloat. And like any good Wada creation, there are of course roleplaying elements aplenty here, with maidens to woo and relationships to cultivate.
So while the game launches today on 3DS, it will also be available on iOS in 2014 interestingly enough. Naturally, the development team’s decision to release the title in both forms has produced some trepidation among hardcore fans. Yasuhiro wanted to address these worries up front, though, and offered a statement today on the differences between the two versions:
The iOS version does not have episodes with other villagers, players just run a shop. You get new items, you can save money, you can sell rare items on iOS too. Eventually, you will get new customers, but that’s pretty much all you can do. The core system of running the shop is the same on 3DS, but you will get to interact with the villagers and involved with their story.
Regardless, many loyalists have been concerned with how the final product would turn out, particularly the 3DS iteration. After all, hearing of a game’s simultaneous release on mobile platforms doesn’t exactly spell good news or inspire hope for the overall quality of said game. That being said, in the case of Hometown Story, it actually looks like players are going to be given a full fledged handheld experience, with a sort of mobile supplement to round out the proverbial package.
This type of complementary endeavor should be looked at as an effective means of giving “core” fans a fully featured game, while still managing to present them with a companion piece to provide merely another way to experience the game’s setting and universe. That latter half also serves to appease the mobile gamers who are just looking for something pick-up-and-play. Essentially, Hometown Story’s approach bridges the gap between the two platforms without ever having either audience lose out on something.
Meaning to say, if folks are looking for a shop-simulator with an adorable anime presentation and gameplay elements in the vein of Harvest Moon, then maybe it’s time to give Hometown Story a looksee. The game is now available on 3DS for $39.99, and will launch on iOS sometime next year.