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Stardew Valley's new beach farm is worth starting over for

Don't ask me how many farms I own

The huge new 1.5 update to beloved farming town simulation Stardew Valley surprise launched this week. I already told you about on Wednesday, but I've played a good several hours of it now so I'm going to tell you more about it because gosh it's so good. The new beach farm is worth starting a new save file for, as are all the other cool new quality of life changes.

I've always found that Stardew Valley's yearly updates are quite good about introducing changes that make the game better without shaking up everything you know about it. I've never booted up Stardew after a major update and felt lost and confused. Such is the way with update 1.5. The beach farm map is fresh and new but it won't completely change the routine you're familiar with.

Here's a look at the entire thing and, actually, hold on. I've just now spotted that cave entrance in the very bottom left corner. I don't know if it leads anywhere but I'm adding to my list of things to investigate.

The beach is a lovely change of scenery, but do be warned that sprinklers can't be placed in sand. That means that once you're looking to automate your farm operation, you'll need to hurry up to unlock the greenhouse or clear out that single plot of dirt that's covered with large logs. Otherwise it's you and your best pal the watering can forever.

If you do want to shake up your usual Stardew formula a bit more, don't miss the Advanced Game Options under the wrench button when starting a new save file. Remixing the ingredients needed to complete the Community Center bundles is a worthwhile change. I'm sure I can't be the only person who can recite the items needed for the spring foraging bundle and spring crops bundle.

There are all sorts of nice little changes to find if you go looking for them. Tucked away in the options menu, for instance, is the option to change the sound alert when a fish gets caught on your hook. I'm so conditioned to the default noise that I couldn't stick with any of the new choices but hey, they're cute.

The biggest and best part of the new update is one that ConcernedApe chose not to spoil in the 1.5 update announcement from Wednesday, which I will also be sure not to do. If you'd like to fast track your way to the coolest (and hotest) part of update 1.5, make sure to load up one of your saves that's got a few years in it and go check out that new door at Willy's shop that was teased earlier this year.

Also in the update announcement, ConcernedApe closed with "Next year, there will be more Stardew Valley related announcements (and possibly beyond…) to look forward to." He's also previously said that a Stardew Valley 2 isn't out of the question, and that he wouldn't be surprised if he ends up doing multiple more updates to Stardew itself. No matter what next year brings, there's a lot more Stardew to chew on right now.

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Lauren Morton