Coming Attractions: Strategy and Simulation • Page 2

Part 1: Real-time highlights of 2008.

Harvest Moon

It's a bumper crop for both Harvest Moon fans and people who enjoy farming-related puns this spring with no less than three new instalments in the series on the way.

First up is Harvest Moon DS Cute, trying not to be sick already, which sees the Witch Princess accidentally banishing the Harvest Goddess to another world. Then there's something about 101 Harvest Sprites and the Forget-Me-Not-Valley no really it's like that time I drank half a pint of soy sauce for a bet.

The point is you can raise animals, grow crops, decorate your house and "find the right husband to share your farming dreams". Presumably they don't mean the kind of farming dreams someone once informed us are popular down at Fire in Vauxhall. It's out this spring.

No screenshots of anything just yet, just lots of pictures like these.

Also coming to DS is Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness. This time you're stranded on a tropical island and must find out what happened to the people who used to live there. Animals and crops but no mention of decorating. Interact with 100 characters. Farming via Wi-Fi Connection, again probably not the Vauxhall kind. Q2.

And finally - Harvest Moon Wii (working title). Once again you're on an island, living in a town that was once enchanted. It's been years since the mystical Mother Tree showed any signs of life and bugger knows where the Harvest Goddess has disappeared to. Animals, crops, plus "events" and mini-games. You'll do interactive farming with the Wii remote and can play as a boy or a girl. It's the "deepest and biggest Harvest Moon to date", apparently, and it's also out in Q2.

Rumour has it: Marvelous Interactive is developing Harvest Moon: Ambridge, in which Eddie Grundy is caught boning the Harvest Goddess in the cowshed and the village is thrown into turmoil after a black man takes a wrong turn and stops to ask for directions.

Halo Wars

This Xbox 360 exclusive is set in the world of Glasgow-born beat combo Texas's 1997 chart hit. Or that game with the robots, can't rightly recall.

This here's from the trailer. It's all going off, isn't it?

Anyway, Halo Wars covers the events leading up to the first Halo game. You get to command armies of UNSC units both old and new as they take on The Covenant, an army of zombies from Mars. Aboard the Spirit of Fire, a converted Phoenix-class colony ship, you are guided by artificial intelligence persona Serina. Hands up who misses Andromeda, especially Sorbo.

You'll take on Covenant Grunts, Elites, Ghosts and Scarabs with the likes of UNSC soldiers, Warthogs and Scorpions. Each group will have unique strengths, and it's up to you to use them strategically. You can also choose Leaders with mad skillz to help you out.

Halo Wars is being developed by Ensemble Studios, the team behind the excellent Age of Empires series, and it's for the Germans. The game is out some time this year, and you can see it in action via the gamepage.

Master race: According to the Guinness World Records - Gamer's Edition, the fastest completion time for Halo 2 on Legendary difficulty is three hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds. Did we mention it's out on 8th February? Look please just buy it. The Amazon sales ranking is slipping by the hour.

Worms: A Space Oddity

Wonder if it'll have the Scottish ones in again.

This one's just for Wii. It promises to blend classic Worms game modes with "re-invented" single player missions, brand new party games and more customisation options. Unfortunately however, there won't be any downloadable content or online battles after all.

Still, up to four players can fight it out offline, and using the Wii remote to gauge the power of shots and steer homing missiles sounds like fun. There are six planets to play around on, each featuring unique global events. The action takes place in 2D atop 3D backgrounds, and the game has a bright and colourful sci-fi theme. And probably better CGI than Babylon 5.

Worms: A Space Oddity is out on 28th March.

It's not right: If you've finished throwing up from the Harvest Moon stuff but could still do with losing weight, try looking up "Worm like creature removed from eye" on You Tube. We can't even bring ourselves to put the link here.

That's it for now - come back soon for part two of our roundup, where we'll be taking a look at Tom Clancy's Endwar, Empire: Total War, Universe at War, Dr Kawashima's War Training, Harry Potter and the Chamber of War, Carol Vorderman's Sudoku Challenge, Spore and more.

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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