One game that slipped under many people’s radars at this year’s E3 was Project Happiness. This recently announced title comes from the mind of Yasuhiro Wada, creator of the Harvest Moon series. When the series debuted on the SNES, it was lauded for its unique style of gameplay that carved out a niche among players. Today, the series has become a full-fledged franchise, though many have said it has lost its former glory, especially with the recent action-oriented Rune Factory titles. As this year’s E3 in particular has shown, the mark Harvest Moon made on the industry years ago faded quickly in favor of ultraviolent action games and shooters. With this new IP, Wada looks to recapture the titular concept for the current generation of gamers.
While the game’s showing lacked a demo, the concept alone previewed a truly gripping experience that shows games still have the ability to do something more poignant than wanton destruction. The game puts the player in the role of a young man or woman. With some help from a friendly sprite, their job is to run a shop in real time. The town that you live in is filled with diverse, fleshed-out people. Outside of the shop, you are able to help these people with their issues and form friendships. Wada has said that this type of gameplay is “not only meant to be a fun experience, but I also want it to help expand the player’s view of the world, and make them ponder what their life means to them.”
While the game hasn’t been announced for any specific console, the visuals look like they would fit very well on the 3DS. The game is being developed by Toybox, Natsume, and Rising Star Games, and is set for release sometime next year.