There’s beauty in the farmer’s routine. Every day revolves around a taxing schedule. Each row of crops requires watering, animals need to be fed and produce needs to be prepared for market, all before the sun rises high in the sky. Reaping the land’s bounties is tough but rewarding work. There’s always something to do, day in and day out, but the bucolic life is full of small moments and interactions that make it seem worth living.
Gleaner Heights is a game about making a living as a farmer. It’s a cartoonish farming simulator, with charming pixel graphics and a host of activities outside of daily chores. Like the Harvest Moon games before it, Gleaner Heights encourages players to make the most of their situation and find a balance between growing crops and fostering relationships with the residents of the sleepy town your farm borders. It’s familiar in its design, almost to the point of monotony—anyone who’s spent time on a digital farm will adapt to the game quickly.
But then again, not everything in the titular town is as it seems. After a hard day’s work, just when the sun goes down, the small town’s secrets come to light. There’s a darkness here. Everyone has something to hide.