Have you ever heard of Harvest Moon? Or maybe you'll recognize the Japanese name: 牧場物語 Harvest Moon was a game for the Nintento gaming systems in which you played the role of a young boy who inherited a disfunctional farm. Your job: to repair the farm, and get everything going again. For that to work you had to plant crops, tend to your animals and interact with NPC's.Well, that got a few smart people to work and they decided to create a mod for Minecraft in order to bring this same style of gameplay within the world of Minecraft. And although this isn't perfect I think they did an amazing job. This is my review of the Harvest Festival mod.Note: I've been playing this game for several hours and I am honestly impressed. There are some caveats which I will address later, but in the overall this is something you might want to try yourself. Therefor I'm keeping the amount of pictures a bit minimal in order to prevent spoilers. If you guys are interested then I'll share some more 'review gameplay' in a future post.A new game & a new environment!Harvest Festival is a mod to be used with Forge; a customized version of Minecraft which allows you to to use plugins and such. If you'd like to know more about how to set up Forge (and optionally Liteloader) so that you can use mods as well, then please see this my previous guide about this.In order to fully enjoy this mod I suggest that you start a new world. It is compatible with existing worlds, but because this mod adds seasons to your game you could end up with an unusable tutorial. In the tutorial you're asked to grow turnips (yes, they added new items such as vegetables to the game). However, turnips can only grow during the spring. So if you're using an existing world where you're already within an autumn or winter period then the tutorial won't work.Fun fact: I find to get the best results when using "harvestmoon" as the seed for this new world. Ironic, huh? That world has everything you need: trees (you're going to need tons of wood), water with clay (you'll need a flower pot) and plenty of flowers (which you'll need later on in the game).You'll notice a new interface: the upper left corner shows time & season, the upper right your gold reserves.Summoning the Harvest GoddessAt first you'll probably notice hardly anything different. The best way to start here is by punching trees, making tools then making a mine and collecting some basic gear. But there's more... If you perform the 'ancient harvest ritual' (I made this up) then you can summon the Harvest Goddess who will provide you with a quest: to re-create the town (and its inhabitants!) which was once a part of the lands you're in, but unfortunately it has been destroyed by a major storm.So how to summon the goddess?First you need to place 2 water pools and 2 flowers, as shown above. Then you place a flower pot, with a flower in it, and right click it with a stick. Green particles will show and after you click it several times something magical will happen: a new magical flower will appear, a flower unlike anything you've seen before! Not only does this mod give you new items, it also adds new achievements!If you pick the magical goddess flower and throw it into a pool of water you'll summon the Harvest Goddess, a magical genie-like lady who will help you to start a new town!I have summoned the Harvest Goddess, note the attention to details: she really looks like an Anime figure!If you right click the goddess you'll start a dialog / 'conversation' with her.The goddess will tell you that she knows of a carpenter who'd like to settle in the area, and he'll be the perfect companion for you to help you rebuild the town. After you bring the goddess 2 dozen wooden logs she'll give you the blueprints for the carpenter hut.Getting a carpenter to join youWhen you hold the blueprint it will show you the outline of the new building which it represents. If you're satisfied with the location you're in you can right click to place a preview model. This will allow you to walk around it and check on all sides if the current location is what you want.When satisfied you need to shift ('crouch') and right click to make the location permanent.Placing a preview by holding a blueprint (which is a new specific item).Now the magic will start. The carpenter will walk up to the building and you'll notice that blocks start to appear, one row at a time. And when the first layer is done the next will start to appear, once again one row at a time and our carpenter will walk around as if he were actually building. It looks amazing, but it will take him quite some time to build.Once done you got yourself a carpenter. His shop, because that's what it is, is only open on specific times. Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 17:00pm. This may all sound a bit daunting at first but fortunately for you the carpenters sister has also moved in and she's more than willing to help you out. Once you found her upstairs you can right click to start a dialog and she'll introduce you to planting, maintaining and harvesting crops.Forget what you know about crop farming in Minecraft, because this will be something completely new! The only thing you'll recognize is using a hoe to create farmland. You'll need a 3x3 area in which you can plant 1 seed for the whole area. Now comes the tricky part: watering the area. Every part of the 3x3 area needs to be watered, every day. If you don't then your plants won't grow. Of course, when its raining then the ground is already wet and you won't have to water it. You can water it using a new item: the watering can.The carpenter starts to build a new structure.And what to do with the crops you get? Easy! You can ship them off (using a shipment box which you can buy from the carpenter's shop) and once you did so you'll get paid for it the next day.Now it's time to start earning some money. And once you made 3k (and also got 192 logs of wood) you can ask the carpenter to build the next structure: the general store. This will attract new NPC's to your area which can provide you with even more seeds to grow and materials to use. New seeds mean different plants, and different plants usually mean more profit when you ship them.Before you know you'll be making new structures to attract new NPC's which can teach you new game mechanics.You'll be tending chickens (by feeding them, and optionally letting them sit on your head), you'll be looking after cows (talking to them, brushing them and feeding them) and of course there are plants to grow. And what good would a town be without a mine (which you can also build)?All the animals can get you even more materials. A chicken will lay eggs, but the size of the egg will depend on how you treat it. A happy chicken will lay large eggs, while a lonely chicken won't do so good. And the same goes for the cow (which will get you milk) and the plants.Grinding?Now, this plugin is amazing. And the only reason I don't show you guys all the other buildings and NPC's is because I don't want to create spoilers. This is something you should really experience for yourself. All figures have a specific 'Anime look' to them and they will all be more than happy to talk to you. You can even build some kind of relationship with some NPC's by giving them gifts. Doing that will increase their positive impression of you and once they like you enough they may very well return the favor by giving you special deals or items to use.However....During playing I did notice a small caveat. Some tasks can definitely start to feel like a grind, especially in the beginning when you need to gather wood and earn gold. Earning gold can only be done by shipping off specific 'Harvest Festival items' and not so much Minecraft items, which I think is an oversight.If you try to ship diamonds or emeralds then nothing will happen. Worse: if you try to give an NPC a diamond they will usually not be very happy about it and will openly ask you what the heck you were thinking by giving them something totally useless to them. That doesn't quite add up for me But those are but small issues, and I think they may get fixed or changed someday because this plugin is still being actively developed.How to get Harvest FestivalHave I made you curious? Good! I can honestly recommend to check out this plugin, especially if you like playing RPG games. You can download Harvest Festival here:https://minecraft.curseforge.com/projects/harvest-festivalThat page will also show you more information about the plugin and some of its special features (like the seasons, custom items, shops and even the ability to cook items).And as one would assume: this is totally free of charge, so what's stopping you from checking it out?