It's strange to think the "farm sim" genre has expanded to the point where it can support three whole franchises (if only barely): Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Stardew Valley.
20 years have passed since this style of game came into being, though Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada moved on from his prolific creation years ago. 2013 saw the release of Hometown Story, a game that set out to be Wada's spiritual successor to the series that made him semi-famous, but it came into being more than a little half-baked. Three years after Hometown Story landed with a distinct thud, Wada's newest game, the curiously named Birthdays the Beginning, looks to be a much bigger project in terms of scope than his former small-town sims.
Though the above trailer may shed some light onto how Birthdays the Beginning actually plays, NIS America's press release outlines some basic bullet points about the core game mechanics:
A World All Your Own – Create any world you can imagine! From staggering mountains and sprawling forests to a deep sea dotted with islands, there’s no limit to your creations.
Life from the Beginning – Discover the history of everything as you foster life of all shapes and sizes – from single-celled organisms to complex multicellular life, including plants, mammals, dinosaurs, and more!
Cultivate Your Imagination – Imagine, Experiment, Create! Shape your planet and decide how plant and animal life evolves. No two planets will ever be truly alike.
By all accounts, it seems like a pretty fascinating premise for a video game, though there's always the risk Wada's ambition could be biting off a bit more than it can chew, as Spore and No Man's Sky did before it. In any case, it's refreshing to see this storied creator move away from more familiar subject matter, and towards something a little more fantastical—but still unabashedly cute. Look for Birthdays the Beginning when it launches on PlayStation 4 and Steam in early 2017.