Harvest Moon: Back To Nature is a sequel to the Super Nintendo classic from 1996, this time developed by Victor Interactive Software and first released for the Sony PlayStation in 1999 in its native Japan (2000 for North America and 2001 for Europe).
It is the sixth game in the Harvest Moon series, and the first on the PlayStation.
The gameplay in this plays similarly to previous Harvest Moon games in that you play a young boy, trying to turn a farm in Mineral Town into a fruitful endeavour for a summer. You rake the ground, remove stones, chop wood, sew seeds, look after animals, and generally ‘do farming’ – and it is mostly a very relaxing and absorbing experience.
Of course Back to Nature is not without the odd challenge, although success in the game depends more on making good decisions that deft joypad moves.
Note: in 2014 the developer changed the name of the series to “Story of Seasons“, which it is still known as at the time of writing, and still developing. Older players may know it better as the Harvest Moon series – younger players: the opposite.
Back To Nature has been re-made a number of times, most notably for the Game Boy Advance, and also the PlayStation 3 and PSP. A “girl” version was also released, but only in Japan (as far as I can tell).