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How Stardew Valley improves on the Harvest Moon formula

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Stardew Valley is my most pleasant surprise of 2016 so far, which is another way of saying I should have been paying much, much closer attention to it while it was in development. It is, essentially, an indie developer's take on the Harvest Moon series, with all the elements of rural life simulation you'd expect — farming, animal raising, fishing, townsfolk romancing, and so on. Spliced into that formula is a gathering-crafting loop that will be instantly familiar to anyone who's played Terraria, Don't Starve or, well, most modern video games.

It's a humongous game with loads of stuff to do, which Allegra and I try to break down in the Overview video posted above. If the rural life is calling to you, Stardew Valley is available on Steam, GOG and Humble for $14.99.