Harvest Moon has been HUGELY addictive on the SNES and N64. The GBA version is just as addictive - and can be played anywhere!
You might think this would get boring, but time is running all the time. You have to get food to your animals, play with them, keep your crops watered, get your field cleared, mine for supplies, go into town and chat it up with the local girls.
There are the usual goodies - horse races, other festivals that come on certain days of the year. There are upgrades to your tools and little sprites that help you out with your tasks. You can fall in love with the girl of your dreams and build a life together. With lots of customizable names, from your farm to your dog to your horse, it really begins to feel like your own little world.
The graphics are great, and while it's not a button-mashing extreme, the clock is always ticking so you get a sense that you have to get going with your life in order to feed yourself and your animals. There aren't goals to meet or points to score - there is a farm to tend to and responsibilities to manage. It's a great game for all ages and VERY rewarding.
My one complaint about this game - and keep in mind that this is a HUGELY addictive game for me so I love it - is that it only lets you be a male. Why?? I would LOVE to be a girl on the farm who is dating boys. It can't be THAT hard to switch a few names and pixels. Why am I forced to be a boy? Why can't a girl run a farm?
That being said, it's a ton of fun and well suited for the GBA. Grab a copy - but be warned, you'll be playing it a lot!
Buy Harvest Moon from Amazon.com