top of page
  • Writer's pictureStormieDae

Harvest Island Review - Haunting My Dreams

Updated: Oct 11

Harvest Island Review by StormieDae



Yobob Games

Harvest Island is a horror farming simulator that gave me nightmares but not for the reasons you may think. In this seemingly cozy world, you'll pray to the gods and never ask questions as you enjoy your blissful farming days. However, don't wander off too far from the comfort of your home because there's a lot of creepy stuff going on around here...maybe.

You follow of the story of Will and Samantha, a brother sister duo who behave very much as brothers and sisters do. The in-game dialogue has the duo doing everything from bickering and fighting to sharing genuinely sweet moments. Will and Samantha are tasked with taking care of the farm and performing offerings to the Gods. Only Will and Samantha can do these offerings because they were blessed with magic. So basically, we are helping dad do the things he can't.

chickens and farm
The scariest part of Harvest Island is all of the bugs!

Your day-to-day tasks revolve mostly around finding items to offer the Gods. The Gods have statues all throughout the island, and you have different sets of items needed for each statue. In turn you receive bless, which is the games form of currency.

You use this bless to upgrade your equipment, build and craft items. There are many wild animals on the island such as goats, rabbits, cows and so on. You can befriend them, pet them, or even feed them. Sometimes they give you items they find in the wild or show you an undiscovered passage that can be explored.

The game is vibrant in color and has a very engaging sound design. Different music plays depending on the areas you are in and the time of the day, so that's a nice little touch. You also have standard farming sim mechanics with a lot of similarities to Stardew Valley such as searching in caves, fishing, harvesting and catching bugs.

Unfortunately, the little worms and termites are not the only bugs in Harvest Island. I really wanted to like this game and I put a lot of effort into trying to work around the obvious flaws scattered throughout. I even put my mental sanity on the line in the spirit of trying to make this game work, as it has everything I could possibly want conceptually. I love cozy games and I love horror games, so this was a dream combination.

Harvest Island does feature lovely pixel art

Despite my best efforts, it was not meant to be. The stability of the game is questionable. I encountered about 4-5 locations where Harvest Island froze up on me to the point where I had to control alt delete out of it and reboot. Because of this, I was panic saving every single time I did anything of value just in case it crashed again.

I wish I could say that this was the worst of my problems, but unfortunately there's more. I found glitches happening all throughout the course of the game where for example, I could not build a smelter because the game was telling me I needed a furnace first, but I had already found a furnace long ago. I was never able to get through this section.

Another instance was my in-game dad randomly showing me how to use a well about 10 hours into the game. The well is something that dad shows you right at the beginning, so I had no idea why this quest randomly popped back up after I had been using a well the entire game.

While Harvest Island is pretty visually, another strange aspect is that some of the hidden areas you can explore are found by walking around under trees. Sadly, you can't see yourself under these trees, nor can you see a path. I found myself scaling the borders of the map trying to find any possible hidden paths that I could have missed which is beyond annoying. Even now, I still don't know what I missed. I really wish there was a way that you could pave paths that you discover by cutting down trees or something like that, because I am still not 100% sure how to get back to certain areas due to the hidden pathway system.

Even still, I would be willing to put everything I just said aside if I were getting a really intense, captivating horror farming sim experience, but this is going to now lead me into my biggest frustration and disappointment with Harvest Island.

nighttime with a cow
Expect frustration

The developers mentioned that this game is about 20 hours long depending on your play style. At 12 hours in, I had not experienced any horror. Yes, there are spooky themes instilled throughout but I wouldn't exactly call them horrific. As an example, you'll find some dead animals here or there and there's an overarching story of “Something is wrong with this island and it's our job to uncover the mystery”. Outside of that and some spooky music, you won't find much else.

Maybe I couldn't reach the main horror portion of the game because the quest lines make no sense at all. You have two different types of quests, “to do” and “for fun”. The "for fun" quests are meant to be your side quests. The “to do” quests are your story progression. I noticed a major issue with the quests early on when you are tasked with getting 10 coconuts for dad. The only thing your quest log mentions is to get 10 coconuts and bring them back to dad. When I brought them to dad, he would not take a single coconut. I thought this was a bug, but it turns out you have to go find something totally random to get this quest to progress. I suppose this wouldn't be as much of an issue if I ran directly into that next missing piece but that usually isn't the case. The items I needed to find were often hidden and not at all obvious. Thus, I was sent running around like an idiot wondering why dad wouldn't take my damn coconuts, and that's just one example.

This theme continued throughout my entire playthrough of Harvest Island. The quests are not black and white. It's not, “do this and get that,” it's more like, “do this and then wander aimlessly until you randomly stumble across the next thing needed.” The game is counterintuitive and led me to a point where I could not progress forward. I often had no indication of what to do next, I had no for fun quests left and I had no dialog options. I was doomed into the Harvest Island void for eternity. I searched high and low for a way to progress the game, and nothing worked.

This is all obviously a huge bummer because in theory the idea behind Harvest Island is truly awesome, but the execution was really disorganized. I wish that I liked this game and there weren't so many issues with it, but between the frustrating progression, bugs and hidden pathways, there just isn't that much nice to say about Harvest Island. While I love the art, the style and the concept, Harvest Island gave me nightmares for all of the wrong reasons.


+ Visually well done

+ Loveable characters

+ Fun farming



- Quest progressions that make no sense

- Hidden paths causing you to walk around blindly

- No real game direction even in story mode

11 views0 comments
bottom of page