• Publisher: Natsume
  • Release Date: Mar 16, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 80
    The more you play it, the more it grows on you. It's quite easy to fall in love with the world Natsume created.
  2. Doesn't fix what's not broken, and it delivers the same addictive gameplay the series is known for in a prettier package.
  3. We would have liked to have seen more optional tasks and interactivity between characters, but the game is still great fun to play.
  4. Overall the game has that "good vibe" feeling to it that is missing from the majority of videogames.
  5. Where the previous games felt like work, A Wonderful Life feels curiously satisfying. [Apr 2004, p.100]
  6. It's a life you'd want to live, and it's a truly refreshing escape from the pressures of reality into an imaginary utopia poised on the edge of an ocean.
  7. 70
    Although HM: AWL has a mind-boggling array of options, it offers no relief from the monotony of the daily chores. In setting out to create the ultimate farming game, it seems Natsume has simulated the drudgery of farming in real life as well. [Apr 2004, p.99]
  8. 60
    It's too bad that an underdeveloped social scene and tedious chores that require frustrating precision keep farm life from being more fun.
  9. The harmony between deep gameplay mechanics and the freedom of choice is a powerful and wonderful thing. The Harvest Moon series has always been know for balancing these two, and A Wonderful Life carries on this proud tradition with addictive gameplay that never leaves you feeling forced into anything.
  10. Much of the enjoyment comes from the awe and wonder at discovering the simple things in the world. Where previous Harvest Moon titles encouraged workaholic tendencies … the thrill here is in experimentation. [Apr 2004, p.105]
  11. The game has made an incredibly successful transition into glorious 3D. This lavish graphical overhaul brings the quaint village of Forget-Me-Not and its quirky residents to life superbly and exudes a hypnotically tranquil ambience that epitomises the ideology of the series. [May 2004, p.120]
  12. The most calming game I've played...The downside to this pastoral pleasantness is that it requires Zen-like patience. Chances are, you don't have it. [Apr 2004, p.130]
  13. It's easily the best-looking of all the HM games, but it's plagued with some unfortunate problems: somewhat spotty control, not enough characters and days that movie by just a little too quickly. [Apr 2004, p.84]
  14. A pleasant experience that can become frighteningly addictive. There’s nothing quite like the joy of seeing your hen lay a golden egg after months of pampering, and a hundred other little events are similarly fulfilling.
  15. The town is massive and the whole style of the game just brings a huge smile to the face.
  16. Sure, the game has flaws. But they're transcended by its ability to put us in awe of our own lives. We see our daily tedium through fresh eyes, feel it through newly excited thumbs.
  17. Just know that it’s very different from every Harvest Moon before it; It’s less busy and paced moanre slowly, it emphasizes the livestock business more than the crop-growing one, and it's not about accumulating a fortune so much as it's about building a family and watching it grow.
  18. Old fans will certainly appreciate it, and it has enough charm to compel those looking for something new, but newcomers should certainly be warned that it’s an unusual taste. It is time-consuming, repetitive and dull, yet it is also relaxing and vaguely satisfying.
  19. A magical experience you're never likely to forget, and the best game in a series that's never been less than excellent. An essential Cube buy. [NGC]
  20. 80
    With the inclusion of the chapter system and the longer days, there is an absolute guarantee that A Wonderful Life will keep gamers captivated for countless hours.
  21. While the repetition of farm life is soothing, the repetition in the human interactions is just annoying...Still, with all the chores, you'll probably spend little time carousing about town, anyhow. [Apr 2004, p.81]
  22. 90
    An endearing and rewarding experience for those who seek the solace and freedom of world that is focuses on a weapons free, non-violent atmosphere and is easily the best game in the series to date.
  23. If you like Simulation games like "Animal Crossing," you will most likely get a lot of enjoyment out of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life.
  24. As a newcomer to the Harvest Moon experience, I was floored with the almost overwhelming amount of options and choices within the game. The simple and responsive controls make it very easy to play.
  25. What this game lacks in action-packed adventure and evil villains, it more than makes up in addictive gameplay, vibrant graphics, and longevity.
  26. 8 / 7 / 8 / 8 - 31 silver [Vol 183; 16 July 2004]
  27. Stay clear of this game if you don’t have time to play lots of it though, because after you get used to life on the farm it’s hard to turn back.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 138 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 101
  2. Negative: 2 out of 101
  1. Jul 14, 2011
    This game is legitimately one of my favorite games on the Gamecube, ever. For something, that is in it's most simplistic sense, a farmThis game is legitimately one of my favorite games on the Gamecube, ever. For something, that is in it's most simplistic sense, a farm simulator, it never manages to get boring. I plan to buy it soon, for I sold my Gamecube years ago, and enjoy all the farming fun again. Excellent work! Full Review »
  2. GriffinB.
    Jul 3, 2007
    This is truly a great game. It never gets boring. I like how your child can actually grow, unlike Friends of Mineral Town. Of all the HM This is truly a great game. It never gets boring. I like how your child can actually grow, unlike Friends of Mineral Town. Of all the HM games I have played, this was the best by far. Good job, Natsume! Full Review »
  3. NikkiD.
    Mar 12, 2006
    I love it the people are great!this game is not in any way sexist like one of the voters said.