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Harvest Moon: Mad Dash is a quick and welcome version of the slow franchise

Harvest Moon: Mad Dash It's not your typical Harvest Moon. Instead of moving to a farm and starting a family, Crazy race makes you run to harvest crops, catch fish or milk cows alongside another player. It's a frenetic version of a franchise that has long been playing with long-term player investment.

Yes Crazy race seems outside of that Harvest Moon maybe, producer Yasutaka Maekawa has a counter – Mario. There are not only traditional platform games, he says, but also sports, races, board games, and so on. "Traditional Harvest Moon is no longer a long game, "says Maekawa. "Why not go in front, make a really fast game, but have this Harvest Moon do you feel – crops, watering, animal care?

In Crazy race, the answer is obvious: set the clock on a few minutes and get the players to work together to achieve the best scores. The game is filled with different tasks or settings at each level, whether it's stacking crops to make them larger, or rolling hay bales for hungry cows. From my experience, it works best when you communicate with your partner and divide the job. One person focuses on this type of culture, while your friend takes another. The different plants are designated by their color and take time to harvest. Try to make your plants too big, however, and you could accidentally kill the entire crop.

The developers have introduced dangers into the mix. A cave-like level I played on had lava flowing from the ceiling. If you do not pay attention – or work too slowly – your hard work will be exhausted. Each level allows you to move constantly. Maekawa says that at the base, Crazy race always defends the fundamental principles of what makes Harvest Moon so good – "happy, family friendly gaming."

Harvest Moon: Mad Dash launches for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 this fall.

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