Pumpkin Days is an authentic homage to the Harvest Moon series, with a deep emphasis on character creation and customisation.
I am a big fan of the gameplay that these farming/dating sims provide, Harvest moon is one of my favourite series from when I was a child, so I am always glad to see a fresh take on the formula, the gameplay mechanics are very much a child of the unreal engine and a traditional farming sim, and it works well. While the art style is a little bright for my tastes, it is incredibly well made.
Sliders for you, sliders for you, everyone gets a slider.!
The character creation has sliders galore, and you can customise to your heart’s content.
I feel the addition of various body types is a breath of fresh air compared to most games offering buff, very buff, extra buff for male and sexy, very sexy, extra sexy for women. It allows people to create a character that is truly their own.
However, this is also where Pumpkin Days has its major failure while sincerely trying to be inclusive; it comes across as virtue signalling. It excludes the majority of humanity, the entire concept of genders is removed, and is replaced by non-binary roles, non-binary should be represented of course, but so should everyone else.
Talking to friends of mine in the LGBT community they found it odd that every gender outside non-binary is swept away, and while you can, of course, choose to look like a male/female, your character is always they/them, I want to be he/him.
I have been friends with multiple transgender people over the years. All of them wish to be known as the gender they transitioned to, they undergo hormone therapy to bring their physical appearance in line with the transition, someone who had undergone male to female transition wouldn’t seek to grow a beard, while in reverse that is often true, I mean come on beards are awesome.
Well-intentioned, but still wrong.
While I know, the developers meant well, and no insult was intended to straight or LGBT gamers, the extreme way they handled this very sensitive issue feels more condescending than genuinely diverse.
Exclusion is wrong, be it of the minority or the majority.
The same applies to sexuality, everyone you can date in Pumpkin Days is bisexual, according to studies conducted by diversity groups roughly 97% of people are heterosexual, followed by homosexual/lesbian at 0.8-1.6% and then bisexuality hovers around 1%.
I have two very close lesbian friends (not a couple) and neither would consider a relationship with a man, I have many straight friends and none of which would consider any relationship outside heterosexual, of course, the developers in aiming to be diverse need to represent these three groups, but by making everyone bisexual you exclude the sexuality of 98-99% the human race.
Its a form of well-intentioned bigotry, but bigotry none the less, a subconscious mindset of “you are part of the majority, so you don’t matter” which is just as wrong as “you are part of the minority, so you don’t matter.”
Let people pick if they want to be masculine, feminine or non-binary, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, but don’t force bisexual non-binary on everyone, in doing so you unintentionally belittle the lives and loves of anyone who doesn’t fit into that 1%.
A complex issue needs a subtle and thoughtful response.
I once saw a tv show wherein one episode a 12-year-old girl went missing, her parents were naturally worried sick, after hours of worry a friend calls to say they had seen her with a stranger (black adult male) now at this point I grew concerned this show was going to act racist and presume the girl was in danger due to the race of the stranger, what happened next was equally baffling.
The father cried “Thank God” in relief, and looked to his wife and exclaimed, “she will be ok”.
The father didn’t know ANYTHING about this stranger other than his race, presuming him to be good solely on his race is as offensive as assuming he would be dangerous based on his race.
The reality was his 12-year-old daughter was seen getting on a bus with a stranger, an adult male that he, nor the person who called knew.
I would be deeply concerned if my 12-year-old daughter was seen getting on a bus with an adult stranger of ANY Race.
And while the stranger was, in fact, a good samaritan and was bringing the lost girl home, the presumption of his nature being good or bad based on race alone was in itself a form of racism.
Compassion isn’t patronising.
This overcompensation comes across as patronising, and all of my black friends found it offensive or comical that based on race alone, his character was being judged, even if that judgement was favourable.
As humans, we need to get rid of all forms of hate and bigotry, but actions like those taken by the Tv show, and by Pumpkin Days, well-intentioned as they maybe are too severe a response to critical issues that need to be thoughtfully and prayerfully discussed between the groups involved.
Worth a Buy?
Pumpkin Days is a more authentic “Harvest Moon” than anything to bear the name in recent years, a solid farming sim with a huge cast of NPC characters, if you liked classic Harvest Moon games, you will enjoy this.
The developers have clearly put a lot of care and attention into the game and its come a long way from its hero engine days, I would love to see a true MMO version of Pumpkin Days, as it has the most diverse character creator I have seen, and most MMO are sorely lacking in that department.
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