"Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is truly evolving the franchise," stated Natsume CEO Hiro Maekawa in this morning's announcement. "But the incredibly exciting thing that really elevates the game is that while it does get back to what everyone loves about the early games, it also innovates in a way that no Harvest Moon game ever has."
Though Maekawa failed to mention exactly how the game innovates, the rest of the announcement picks up his slack. According to Natsume, Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is the first entry in the series to feature a fully three-dimensional setting. Instead of planting crops then letting photosynthesis do the dirty work, players will be able to directly shape the landscape of their farms. Examples offered by the publisher include a farm riddled with canals a la Venice, Italy, and a field full of tulips, like those stereotypically found in Holland.
Keep in mind, this is not the same game we revealed last week. That game, Story of Seasons, shares a developer lineage, aesthetic and gameplay mechanics with the Harvest Moon games, though it's technically not an official sequel. Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is an official Harvest Moon entry, and while it currently lacks a solid release date, Natsume promises to reveal more at the upcoming E3 conference.