Okay fellow Stardewbut fans, here's another one for you. Monster Harvest is probably exactly what you think it's going to be. You're a farmer, but instead of picking parsnips you're picking Pokemon, so the portmanteau in play here is Planimals. Your creature friends will compete in turn-based battles to help you save the town from the local evil corp, of course. Monster Harvest has just announced a release date for this spring, so you can officially start harvesting and battling in May.
In Monster Harvest, you're naturally given your own farm in Planimal Point where you'll grow both normal plants and Planimals. "Develop your own farm, build, and customise your own house, craft your own furniture, make some delicious jams and mutate your crops to create loyal and fierce companions you can take into battle," developers Maple Powered Games say. With their help, you're asked to save the town from SlimeCo. You can catch all of that, and the turn-based Planimal battles, in the new trailer right here.
There look to be all sorts of Planimals to grow, but I'm of course most interested in the one that looks like a strange, pink bear. A strange, pink bear that you can ride, even. Oh, and the one that's definitely legally distinct from a Chocobo.
The mutation part seems important. Your Planimals are created by using magical slimes on them to turn them from regular crops into companion creatures. "Depending on the season, the Slime or the crop you mutate, you’ll be able to create up to 72 different mutations," Maple Powered say. Sounds to me like a bit of experimentation is in order, which is good fun. Likely not ethical, exactly, but fun!
Aside from the questionable plant science, Monster Harvest looks to have lots of familiar Stardew-like features. You've got a hotbar of tools. There's a small local town to explore and meet residents in. There's a slime dungeon to explore. You can design your farm, including a nifty-looking irrigation system. I do like an irrigation system.
Monster Harvest will launch on May 13th over on Steam. It'll arrive on the Nintendo Switch on the same day, with PS4 and Xbox versions coming in June.