Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (PSP)

Electronic Gaming Monthly, July 2007

Innocent Life is different from the average agrarian simulation, ostensibly because it’s set in the future. As a Neo-Pinocchio robot-boy, you are tasked with renovating ancient ruins into a giant farm.

As you cultivate your farm and make friends with the townsfolk, your “human” abilities (like cooking and loving!) slowly improve. But farming can be tedious and, in some ways, this is a game of order and protocol. Worse, I could never seem to “aim” my actions (hammering, watering, hoeing!) where I wanted.

The game itself is lovely, very pensive and philosophical—and really slow. At the outset I was just bored but, as I unlocked more areas and possibilities, I appreciated being able to spend more time doing the sorts of things that appealed to me, being able to plan and spend my days as I wanted. I’m glad I’m kept at it, because Innocent Life gradually blossoms into a deep, contemplative experience.

screenshot of the entire half-page dedicated to Innocent Life for PSP

Jenn Frank

I started writing about videogames professionally in 2005. I'm better known for my personal essays. I like vintage computer games and preservation, books, and horror games.