Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns sticks closely to the franchise's critically acclaimed farming simulation gameplay with new features including animals like Alpacas and honey bees. The game has the addition of a new Pickle Pot which can be used for pickling turnips and other crops. The narrative is centered around the rivalry between two competing towns obsessed with being the best at cooking, that you must choose between when starting your farm. Konohana, an eastern style town know for its vast fields of crops and Bluebell, a more European style farm focused on livestock (though both are possible on either farm).
The game also features a new cast of characters, as well as some returning favorites such as Pierre the Gourmet who will show up to judge cooking competitions. Several characters from Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar also arrive in Bluebell and Konohana such as the three brother who have come to set up shops and Dirk, serving both towns as a mailman.
The game sees the return of the classic farming simulation that made the franchise so popular in the first place with new features like giving the player the choice to live in one of two rivalling villages, Konohana or Bluebell. While these two towns used to be on good terms, they are now in a competition for the title of best food in the world and it's your job to produce the best ingredients and prepare a dish that proves once and for all that your town is the best while also attempting to bring the towns together in peace. While you must choose your starting town, the game allows you to switch to another between seasons, allowing you to focus on one or multiple farms.
Larger areas of wilderness offer increased opportunities for item foraging, fishing and other collecting activities as well as some platforming elements such as mushroom bounce pads and zip lines to diversify the gameplay.
Like previous DS entries in the franchise, Tale of Two Towns also supports a multiplayer component, allowing up to 3 other people to enter your farm to harvest crops. You are able to charge an entry fee to your farm, allowing you to make money from other players coming to harvest your crops. By visiting other players farms you are able to harvest crops not available during the current season on your own farm.
DS vs 3DS Version
Tale of Two Towns will be released on the Nintendo DS and then later on the Nintendo 3DS. The two versions of the game will be identical from a gameplay perspective allowing players to enjoy the harvest moon experience regardless of platform. However, the Nintendo 3DS version will utilize unique features of the system such as street pass for item trading and 3D display, and take advantage of the more powerful hardware displaying the game at a higher resolution with an expanded color palette.
While the DS version has a release date of September 20th, the 3ds version will be released several weeks later on November 1st.