It’s no secret that since the Nintendo Switch launched back on March 3, not many games have released for it yet. Taking full advantage of that is New Frontier Days ~Founding Pioneers~, a game which normally many people would overlook. I saw a trailer for this game and once you get passed the monotone introduction of everything, it caught my attention. I have always enjoyed the Harvest Moon series along with Story of Seasons, Sim City, and a few mobile games I added to my phone to pass the time. So I was eager to see what this game was all about. Read on for our full New Frontier Days ~Founding Pioneers~ review.
Title: New Frontier Days ~Founding Pioneers~
Publisher: Arc System Works
Developer: Arc System Works
Available On: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 23, 2017
Copy provided by the Publisher for the sake of this review
New Frontier Days offers three different ways of gameplay that you are able to pick from. They recommend that you first start with the main story mode of course in order to learn the ins and outs of the mechanics and the way everything works. You can choose to do this or go right into sandbox mode or survival mode. I started off with the story mode at the recommendation of the game. First things first, this game is pretty much like a lot of other mobile releases that are plaguing the App Store and Google Play market. One nice thing about this being on the Switch though… you weren’t constantly getting pushed to buy microtransactions every time you wanted to do something.
Starting off in Story mode, you get told how to play and they show you different areas of which you should build or collect materials. At first I thought this game was going to be simple and that you would be able to build your own little town. That is until the Harvest Festival happened. Now that’s a VERY important part of the game. You need to make sure you have enough food and money during this time or your finances will go into the negative. I found this out the hard way the first time. I didn’t know how much the Harvest Festival takes from you and it happens every year, which goes by quick. You’ll see the clock on the left side of the screen telling you how much time you have until the next one. Pay attention to this! Survival mode was about the same as the story mode, there are just specific goals to meet and getting attacked worked a bit differently, but you are able to pick the kind of difficulty you want to play with in order to either make it easier or harder.
After the third time of my town going bankrupt I decided to play the Sandbox mode and this really helped me get ideas on what to do and how to make sure my town was okay during Story Mode. Now I am forgetting to mention that not only does the Harvest Festival take a lot of money and food from you but that you will get attacked by the animals that live around you from time to time. For the most part they just walk around your town or alongside you when you’re cutting down a tree or collecting stones but eventually it will be announced that a boar, bear, or even a sheep looks “suspicious” or that they are coming your way.
At this point the game gets ridiculously hard. You have to click every single villager separately and tell them to attack that animal that is attacking their town. Now this mechanic may seem easy but by the time you get even half of the villagers over to defend the settlement, some are already dead, almost all of your buildings are destroyed and if the villager is attached to a building and it gets demolished they just stand there flailing their arms around helplessly. I found this frustrating. I mean, it’s nice to have a challenge but they should offer a defense button at the top allowing all the villagers to stop what they are doing and automatically attack the animals. It would save the headache.
During the game you are able to collect rocks, cut down trees, build houses and buildings, along with working in them. Once you start getting the hang of everything the game starts to become very addictive. I found myself picking up the Nintendo Switch, sitting on the couch and just playing it. I personally enjoyed the game more on the handheld than the actual TV screen, as it just felt natural with that control scheme. I enjoy the simplistic art style of the game and the music is also simple but matches the environment.
New Frontier Days ~Founding Pioneers~ is one that I would recommend if you own a Nintendo Switch and are into farming/city building mechanics with a bit of a challenge. This is a great mix of all of those elements combined. Those that are easily put off by the simplistic style, or aren’t fans of the farming and city building genres may want to steer clear of this release. It’s a fun game, but I can say with certainty that it won’t be for everyone.