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Harvest Time
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Store:  Kids Games
Theme:  Farming / Ranching
Genre:  Cooperative
Format:  Board Games

Harvest Time

List Price: $15.00
Your Price: $11.95
(20% savings!)
(Worth 1,195 Funagain Points!)

This item is In Stock []

Ages Players
3+ 2-4

Designer(s): Jim Deacove

Manufacturer(s): Family Pastimes

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Product Description

This game draws the most fan mail. First, gardens are planted. Then everyone rolls the special die. to do the harvesting. The job is to harvest the gardens before Winter comes. Will we get them all? Maybe, if we remember to help each other out. A simple but challenging game for beginners.

Product Information


  • Colorful Board 12x12 in
  • Die
  • 48 Vegetables
  • Winter and Spring puzzle pieces, including harder Spring Planting Game

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

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by B
Childhood game
February 12, 2011

I don't see why people have to go into such deep analysis of kids games. Maybe it isn't a big test of your mental ability, but it's a game! It's fun and that is what matters. At least your kid isn't staring at a screen with no social contact. This was my favourite childhood game and it brings back great memories.

a wonderful change of pace
December 04, 2003

My son still didn't want to give this game up when he was 8 years old! He loved that you could help your fellow players to make sure that everyone had o good harvest. We played the long version most of the time which added to the fun. Very refreshing to play this type of game with children and the concept is fun and exciting.

Possible Fun for Very Young
September 26, 2003

This is a simple game that may appeal to very young players (some two year olds could play this) or youngsters with little to no gaming experience.

Players set the game up by planting a garden of vegetables. There are four types of vegetables and three spaces for each type. So, a garden consists of 12 total vegetables.

Gameplay consists of rolling a die and then removing (harvesting) the appropriate vegetable from that player's garden. For example, if yellow is rolled a corn tile would be removed from that player's garden.

Players work cooperatively and try to harvest their gardens before winter comes. Winter draws closer every time white is rolled. There's a Fall scene in the middle of the board that can become covered by winter pieces. When all six portions of the Fall scene are covered in snow the game ends.

Harvest Time is a decisionless game that, for most young gamers, will grow stale after a few playings. There are many other games for this age group that are markedly better. In fact, Family Pastimes produces a game called The Secret Door that I highly recommend.

Waste of Money
January 02, 2011

This so-called game consists of little more than rolling a color-coded die to find out which matching color of vegetable to remove from a garden.

An earlier reviewer here called it decisionless, with which I'd agree. I bought it after reading the designer's reply to that comment and am sorry now for having done so. I'm going to try make up some more interesting house rules for it: as it is now, I wouldn't do someone the disservice of selling or even giving away this copy.

Kids start by putting their orange, green, yellow, and red vegetables into the matching garden slots. Six winter tile cards are placed nearby to add to the board when needed. Then the die is passed around until winter falls. If you want to play the "advanced" version, you roll the die to plant the veggies first, wait for fall to end, then start the regular game.

Each person rolls the die and takes a matching-color vegetable from his/her garden plot. If that color's all harvested then the player may re-roll until getting a color that isn't, or black or white. Black and white rolls allow the harvest of any color, or laying a winter tile, respectively. There are six winter tiles, and when they all come out, the game ends.

Yes, kids may choose to help others if they roll a color that they don't have a match for, or when they roll black or white. But there's no incentive to do so. If you want to get all your vegetables in before winter then you want to keep rolling your die to achieve that, and given that there's likely to be a very close number of die rolls for each player, everyone's going at the same pace. It's rather unlikely that one player will fall far enough behind that he/she would need special attention to be pulled along with the others.

The cooperative aspects of this game can be stretched and pushed if you really want to encourage kids to help each other out with no incentive to do so, but this is not a game for introducing kids to strategy or thinking about consequences. The box mentions kids playing against each other, but they don't: they just roll a die and re-act to the results, they don't make choices "against" each other, and there's certainly no planning for possible outcomes whatsoever.

Try "The Kids of Carcassonne" for a much better game. Cooperative aspects of that one do provide incentive, in that two or more kids can work together so that they all come out ahead, even though it's not marketed as a cooperative game. As a bonus, gamer-adults can definitely enjoy playing along, and not succumb to the mind-numbingly dullness of Harvest Time.

by Jim Deacove
Designer Commentary
December 15, 2003

While the game is definitely intended for younger players with its color-coded die and easy winter picture puzzle, I would like to point out that the game is not entirely 'decisionless' as one of the reviewers states.

As in all my games for the young, I offer opportunities for choice and decision-making. In Harvest Time, for example, you can use your turn on behalf of someone else. This is especially helpful, if that someone else is close to finishing his/her garden. Once finished, this person keeps on playing, helping others to harvest their gardens, AND in addition is allowed to hold back Winter by removing one of the Winter puzzle pieces. That's your reward for finishing and this benefits everyone, of course.

Another decision a child has to make occurs when he or she rolls up a black spot. This is the 'Lucky' spot and allows the child to harvest any vegetable from his/her garden or anyone else's garden as well. You have to choose which one.

These are just a few of the decisions that have to be made and, often, a successful harvest depends on making a good decision. If the game is played in too big a rush, these opportunities can be overlooked.

Other Resources for Harvest Time:

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