The upcoming farming simulator Ova Magica has hit a groundbreaking start on Kickstarter. In a matter of just 3 hours, the game was fully funded, and just a little over a week later, Ova Magica has been funded by nearly 700%. The campaign breaches new milestones by the day, and sole developer ClaudiaTheDev is constantly searching for new goal ideas to keep the momentum churning for the little fish.
But on the other side of the big pond, Harvest Moon: One World is less than a month away from a full release, and many fans are unimpressed on the direction the series has taken. Ova Magica is inspired by old Harvest Moon games, as well as a number of other popular titles including Pokemon and Slime Rancher. At the base funding level, Ova Magica would already include a number of mechanics not already present in Harvest Moon, but with each milestone surpassed, ClaudiaTheDev will add more and more elements.
After Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons became two separate franchises deriving from the same original name, the new Harvest Moon games have been nothing short of disappointing to veteran fans. The graphics are a great example of how Natsume simply isn’t keeping up with the standards of modern gaming. The franchise has turned into a hollow shell of what it used to be, being used as a cash grab with the beloved Harvest Moon name, while Story of Seasons continues to win the races between the two series.
Still, the old Harvest Moon games inspired a number of titles, including the major hit Stardew Valley, which was created to spark the joy of the oldest installments such as Friends of Mineral Town and A Wonderful Life. And now, the farming sim genre is booming with new additions, such as Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, which flew under the radar as a big success, and the upcoming Garden Story, which has been recently added to Kowloon Night’s lineup of supported projects. Oftentimes, farming sim fans are inspired to recreate a brand that will never return to its former glory.
Enter: Ova Magica, yet another addition to the genre. But rather than only recreating the same mechanics—farming and marriage—that so many Stardew Valley-styled games have done, Ova Magica pulls from other titles as well. From Slime Rancher, players will get to raise creatures known as Blobs, and from Pokemon, players will get to fight Blobs belonging to NPCs in battles.
On top of the slew of activities coming with Ova Magica, the art style is more appealing and graphics are more impressive than what’s been shown in the Harvest Moon: One World trailer. More marriage candidates are available than in One World, and Ova Magica supports same-sex marriage, which Natsume has chosen to opt out of in its upcoming title.
Though Ova Magica won’t release until next year, it’s even more impressive knowing that the farming sim is being developed mostly by one person, ClaudiaTheDev, in addition to the composer, artist, and Top Hat Studios, which will bring Ova Magica to consoles.
But not only does Ova Magica look promising and will seemingly include dozens upon dozens of hours of content with all of its bells and whistles, it’s important to take the price of the two games into consideration. If players choose to back Ova Magica on Kickstarter before the campaign ends, they can pick up the farming sim for approximately $25. One the other hand, Harvest Moon: One World is $49.99, the price of many major titles produced by a corporate company.
Ova Magica is slated for a 2022 release for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.