• Publisher: Natsume
  • Release Date: Aug 26, 2008
Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
Buy On
  1. Nintendo Gamer
    86
    This is a labour of love rather than carefree gaming enjoyment, but it's one of the best "Moons" in a while. A very happy tenth birthday for the series. [Dec 2008, p.69]
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    80
    The same old agricultural experience once again. Old means in this case comfortable, familiar and entertaining instead of boredom and repetition. If you love the series or have never tried any Harvest Moon game go get this and start farming asap. Others may be happier elsewhere. [Mar 2009]
  3. 75
    The paper-thin storyline (you're shipwrecked on a remote island and decide to put down roots there) may be an inconsequential excuse for you to repeat the same core game of the past 11 years, but some small lessons learned along the way manage to shine through.
  4. Nintendo Power
    70
    The near-exclusive use of the touch screen to control every aspect of farm life is a questionable decision--it doesn't feel very accurate or intutitive. [Aug 2008, p.87]
  5. It's another decent farming adventure but it's pretty much the same game that Marvelous have been churning out for ten years.
  6. Harvest Moon’s open-ended goals and non-violent gameplay were always well ahead of their time, but the problem has always been one of repetitiveness.
  7. Unfortunately, bad mechanics and ho-hum gameplay progression bring things down.
  8. Overall, I was pretty happy with all the improvements that Island of Happiness made to the traditional Harvest Moon formula. However, I had serious issues controlling the game, and it was always a battle to get my character to do what I wanted.
  9. Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness has a lot of potential to be good, if you are willing to put in the time to have it pay off.
  10. 58
    They just don't make them like they used to.
  11. Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness is not an unplayable game by any means but the horrible controls simply keep it from being a fun game.
  12. Island of Happiness is way too slow for a game on the Nintendo DS. Entering the world of Harvest Moon and staying there for hours can be very unrewarding and not useful at all, while handheld-games should be playable in short intervals. Also, the fun of casual farming is spoiled by the clunky controls.
  13. 55
    Island of Happiness has some depth, but you'll have to get past the painful controls and lazy design to find it.
  14. Island of Happiness offers plenty of satisfying farming gameplay, but the controls will leave you decidedly unhappy.
  15. A considerable improvement on the first DS iteration, but still not the definitive Harvest Moon.

Awards & Rankings

84
44
#44 Most Discussed DS Game of 2008
49
#49 Most Shared DS Game of 2008
User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 6 out of 23
  1. Mar 24, 2018
    9
    By building up your farm, you build up an entire island, in a way that organically makes sense. I know I'm in the minority, but one of myBy building up your farm, you build up an entire island, in a way that organically makes sense. I know I'm in the minority, but one of my favorite Harvest Moon titles. The controls do take getting used to. Full (pen) sized stylus helps a lot. After that though, you have a great title to get lost in.

    The island grows based not only upon what upgrades you buy (roads and such) but what you do. If you spend a lot of time in the mines and ship a bunch of valuable rocks, miners start to show up. Ship a lot of fish and fisherman flock to the rivers. Enough people come and a hotel opens for them. And so on and so on until you have a thriving island filled with villager and visitors.

    You have the festivals, and the marriage candidates, and all the things you'd expect in a HM game. You can make money farming, or ranching, or mining, or foraging, or any combination of the above, so the gameplay doesn't get stale. Wonderfuls are nice change to the tool upgrade system, and there are plenty of house and island upgrades for you to spend your money on.

    Overall, I give it an 8.5, rounded up to 9. It's not perfect, but to me, personally, it's a great game that captures the spirit of Harvest Moon.
    Full Review »
  2. BudB.
    Sep 1, 2008
    8
    It's not bad... it's just not unique enough from the other games. The stylus controls take some getting used too.
  3. JeanO.
    Aug 31, 2008
    0
    Using the stylus feels awkward and difficult, especially when farming. In any other game that isn't time sensitive, it may be ok but in Using the stylus feels awkward and difficult, especially when farming. In any other game that isn't time sensitive, it may be ok but in this game, you can't afford to spend hours just watering because the control isn't accurate. I have all previous Harvest Moons for all systems including the last one for the DS. This one isn't worth the money. No option for using the pad instead of the stylus? No way!! Full Review »