This week saw the release of one of the best games on Windows Phone 7.x onto the Windows 8/RT platform. It was highly praised and arguably the best Windows Phone game at launch. And although it got a very soft launch on Windows 8/RT, which is seeming to be the norm for launches of new Xbox titles on Windows 8. They let the games speak for themselves. So is this game worth the $6.99 asking price that it has? Read on to find out.
The Harvest is an action rpg or role-playing game set in a sci-fi futuristic world. The gameplay is all about moving your character about on the map and killing your enemies, leveling up and looting new gear. And it is really the first of its kind on the Windows 8/RT platform.
You start out by picking your character from one of five classes all of which have different play styles and tactics to master. I picked the Scarab class which is a balanced character. You press play and you are thrown into the thick of the battle. The story is told through a series of dialogue moments during the gameplay and cut scenes.
You move your character around on the map by tapping on the location you want to go (or clicking if you are using a mouse, although I didn’t play the game this way) you tap or click on your opponents to instruct your character to attack, with a series of different taps you can initiate special attacks and abilities. Special abilities vary from character to character.
There are hundreds of enemies on each map and you will face off against boss enemies. Maps are very large and take a while to complete in full, but that is a good thing, this is a very in depth game.
The polish and style of this game will appeal to hardcore gamers. It has the design and gameplay depth of a console-game. It requires you to work to do well in this game. This is not a mobile game, there is no simplicity like that found in Temple Run, Angry Birds or any of their ten million clones.
Graphics and Audio
This game is gorgeous. The graphics have been significantly upgraded over the Windows Phone 7.x version. It looks beautiful and is the best looking Windows 8/RT Xbox game (although Galactic Reign has the best graphics, none are rendered on the device). The effects look good and it is very well polished.
The audio that accompanies the game is also great. It fits the sci-fi setting that the game takes place in and is well polished as well.
The game runs well but occasionally does have hiccups while it is running. The graphics are intensive and do require a lot of processing power (I am running the game on a Surface RT). Loading menus can be a little slow as well, most likely because the maps are very large and have a lot to load.
This is a solid game. Do I recommend that you go out and purchase it. Absolutely. This game again shows that even though there are not very many Xbox games for Windows 8/RT many of them are of a high quality. This game is highly polished and is definitely a premium game.
Like many Xbox games on the Windows platform, there are no In-app purchases, which is an enormous pain point in many games on both iOS and Android in particular. You buy it once and you never pay another cent. And that is a phenomenal thing in a gaming world plagued with micro-transactions.
This game will appeal more to hardcore gamers than to the casual gamer who plays Temple Run or Angry Birds, but it is an amazing game. It has the depth of a console game, and is further evidence of quality gaming expanding to mobile devices.
Microsoft shows that it is committed to creating quality games for their ecosystem, and this is definitely one of them. I highly recommend that you give it a try. It’s a worthy investment.