Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life review

by on June 20, 2023

For many, farming games are a soothing experience that help the player unwind after a tough dose of daily life. I’m generally a little harder on the genre though, and need that crop harvesting gameplay to do something a little different to get my juices flowing. With dozens of these cosy experiences releasing every year it takes something special to stand out from the crowd, so any developers jumping into the genre need to bring their A game. A remake of a farming game originally released on the GameCube probably isn’t going to cut it anymore, which is unfortunate for Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life.

As is traditional in any farming game, you start your botanical adventure as a young whippersnapper who has inherited a farm. This time it’s because some relative has passed away, which means that the family dream of owning a successful farm falls to you. After getting a bit of help from the community you’re expected to get your hands dirty and sort out some produce to sell, so grab a hoe and some seeds and go hit the field.

A screenshot of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

If you’ve indulged in a bit of virtual farming before you know what to expect from the fruit and vegetable side of the game. First you’ll need to use your hoe on the soil to prepare it for planting, then pop a seed in and water it regularly until it starts producing food. It’s about as basic as farming gameplay gets, but when coupled with a need to manage your limited stamina every day it can become a little more strenuous.

It’ll take a while for you to really have to worry about getting too tired to finish your chores, but you should still prepare for this moment by learning to cook some stamina boosting snacks. You’ll find recipes for tasty meals dotted all over the village, but you can also experiment by cooking a couple of ingredients together and hoping for the best. Shoving a few vegetables together in a saucepan will probably produce some sort of tasty soup, but once you start finding scary mushrooms and dairy products it becomes a little trickier to freestyle your way to culinary greatness.

If you want regular milk and eggs for the kitchen (or just to sell for cold hard cash) you’ll need to get yourself some animals for the farm. At the start of the game you’re given a cow you can milk daily for a tasty sellable beverage, but with a bit of love, food and space to roam your livestock will become happier, produce higher quality goods and potentially even breed to give you even more furry or feathered friends. As long as you remember a few simple rules (like not letting your animals outside when It’s raining) you’ll have an endless supply of money and tasty food just waiting to be collected each morning.

A screenshot of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

An idyllic farm life is nice, but it’d be nicer with someone to share it with. Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life has you covered in this department, with a whole host of potential spouses just waiting to be swept off their feet if you give them enough gifts. Each love interest has different present preferences, so you’ll need to learn what your bae likes if you want them to move in. I personally went for the aloof girl who liked my fish because it was easy to get these for her, but if you’d rather pick flowers or whip up a tasty treat to impress someone then that’s an option too.

The first few days at the farm will probably seem a little boring, but before you know it you’ll discover all the extra things you can get up to to fill the hours of the day. Fishing is an easy option with plenty of opportunity for making money, but you can also go to the archaeological dig site and find some precious artifacts or head to the notice board and solve some of the problems of the other village people. Whichever route you take, with a bit of hard work you’ll soon start turning a profit which means more seeds for the garden, more animals, and plenty of kitchen upgrades to invest in if you really want to live the high life.

As much as I’d like to pretend that this loop of farming and chores is engaging in Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, it doesn’t take long for the whole experience to start feeling a little tedious. Everything just moves a little bit too slowly, and none of the side activities, festivals, or locals can distract from that. The lack of a hook to really pull you deep into this picturesque world just means it feels like a chore to play the game, and I think a lot of that is because of the outdated source material.

A screenshot of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

Not all aspects of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life feel old fashioned though. The character creation features the option for a non-binary character (which definitely wasn’t available on the GameCube!) and all the romance options are now available to you regardless of the gender you choose. It’s a relatively small change that doesn’t really affect how the game functions a whole lot, but it’s lovely to see a remake focusing on making the game more inclusive the second time around.

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a perfectly adequate farming game, but compared to some of the fantastic modern options out there it’s really hard to recommend. There’s just not a whole lot of interesting progression hooks to keep you invested in this world of countryside industry, and although the updated gender and relationship options are fantastic everything else about this game just feels dated.


The core farming gameplay is the same as ever
New inclusive romance and gender options
Cooking is pretty interesting


Just doesn't do enough to stand out from the crowd
Gets dull pretty quickly

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

There's nothing particularly bad about Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, but compared to modern farming games it's just a bit dull.