Escaping the hustle and bustle of city life may be as simple as unplugging from the world for a while, but you can certainly stay plugged in when you’ve got a game like Arabilis: Super Harvest on your device.
Crafted by former AAA developer Tim Overvliet, the farming-slash-puzzle game is all about planting crops, matching colours, and hoping for a good harvest. The twist here is that you’ll also have to contend with the unpredictable forces of nature that may just blindside you on a good day – much like it does in real life, eh?
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THE GRAPHICS IN ARABILIS: SUPER HARVEST
The pixel art graphics in Arabilis: Super Harvest somehow adds to the relaxing nature of the game, likely because, on some level, it reminds us of the good ol’ days when things were simpler. There’s something therapeutic about the visuals that change with every season as well, as it shows you the passage of time but in a subtler, more contemplative way.
Of course, the gardens themselves also change with each new level, with random plots of land as varied as the veggies themselves. The plants not only have varying colors you’ll have to match to get a good harvest, but they also look pretty scrumptious on the screen.
ARABILIS: SUPER HARVEST GAMEPLAY
More than how the vegetables look, it’s the colors of each one that really matters if you want to aim for that sweet high score. In Arabilis: Super Harvest, each new veggie that pops up has specific nodes and colors you’ll need to connect when you plant them on your garden’s grid. Connecting the colors and nodes the right way will cause your plants to grow roots, and eventually, you’ll grow plump produce you can add to your harvest.
The harvest itself happens automatically and at timed intervals. When it does, you need to make sure all of your plants have roots – otherwise, they’ll get chopped off, killing your little seeds. The catch is that the game only allows you a limited number of dead seeds or it’s game over. Add that to the random seasonal challenges and the pesky critters ruining your crops and the game successfully provides a bit of a roguelike gameplay experience as well.
WHAT’S THE APPEAL?
Obviously, the pressure is pretty much on the entire time, as you’ll not only have to match colors before your plants disappear but you’ll also have to plant enough seeds to yield a good harvest when the time comes. There are supersized veggies too if you time your planting right. Each successful season pushes you forward onto the next year, where things get progressively more difficult.
The pressure-filled gameplay didn’t sit too well with me, to be honest, as the visuals and the lovely background music lulled me to a false sense of security when I first started playing the game. Thankfully, the game has a Relax mode that lets you plan away without worrying about randomly generated threats, which is a wonderful call from the developer. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed the Relax mode more than the actual main “campaign”.
One thing I wasn’t particularly fond of in both modes was Ara, the game’s chicken mascot. Rather than make me feel at ease, its appearance honestly creeped me out, with the beady eyes and all. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but having Ara looming large on my screen wasn’t very welcome, in my opinion.
Still, Arabilis: Super Harvest does offer a different kind of farming experience in that it can take you forever to finish a run or it can take you just five minutes before it’s game over. It’s a very unique concept to combine color matching, roguelike elements and farming in a single game, and at $3.49 a pop, I do think it’s well worth the price tag.