Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Harvest Time Hop and Fly DS is an all-ages arcade style game that takes advantage of the DS features. You must jump, blow, and draw your way through the gathering puzzles.
The game's graphics are lovely, with a bug-eye view of flowers, grass and other natural items. Your quest in each level is to gather up berries and fruits. If you hit a thorn or other obstacle, you're not killed - you're just bounced backwards. The most that happens to you is that you return to the main game board. So you're always encouraged to try again.
The mini-games themselves are easy and fun. One style is the traditional jump platformer, hopping onto mushrooms, ducking under ledges. Another style is a flying dragonfly, avoiding leaves and zipping through waterfalls. In another game you're a little bug falling downwards in a breeze, and you have to blow in the microphone to keep yourself aloft. Yet another game involves a team effort - you circle fruits on the touch screen and remove obstacles by tapping on them repeatedly, so that a little bug friend can gather them up.
Each type of game begins with an easy version, complete with in-game help tips. You don't need a manual at all - just follow the instructions to learn how to get through the level. Once you master the skills. you move forward along the board to find harder and harder challenges.
There is also a bonus game area. In essence you're playing the same levels, but in a pick-and-choose manner. You can also unlock artwork for your viewing pleasure.
The game is relatively short - only 24 levels - but you can replay them as many times as you wish.
This game isn't designed to be a long, complicated epic for adults to pour over for months and months. It's designed to be played in quick, small doses for non-violent fun. Even though it's target audience is younger kids, I really did have fun with the simple games, in the same style of Super Mario or WarioWare. I would definitely buy this for kids, and borrow it a few times myself, to play while they took a nap.