I am a big Harvest Moon fan myself; I really enjoy the aspect of raising my own livestock and growing my own plants, and as I can't do those things in real life, the Harvest Moon games are a great alternative for me. The details of farming are very much simplified, to make the game more fun, and that's part of the charm of the Harvest Moon series.
Many people will say "if you've played one Harvest Moon game, you've played them all". To a certain degree, that's true. They all centre on farming your land and raising your animals, and most enable you to marry one of a selection of premade bachelors/bachelorettes and raise a family. However, this game has differences of gameplay that most other Harvest Moon titles don't have.
The biggest difference in this game is its title feature; there are two towns, instead of one, and you can choose which one you want to live in. Different characters live in each town, but the main difference between the two towns is their specialty. Bluebell Town focuses on raising livestock, Konohana Town focuses on growing crops. You can grow crops and raise livestock in either town, but you have more space to grow crops in Konohana, and more land to raise livestock in Bluebell. And, if you decide you don't like the town you've chosen to live in, or just want a change of scenery, you have the option to move to the other town if you would like to.
There are other differences between this game and most other Harvest Moon games, too. For example, you don't have to grow grass to feed your cows and sheep; they will feed themselves when let outside. Alpacas have also been introduced into this game and the dogs and cats available in previous games now have a job to do on the farm; they herd your livestock and chickens out of the barns in the mornings, and back into the barns at night and when it rains. In addition, it is safe to let your animals out in snowy weather now, whereas in other HM games they would have gotten upset and eventually ill if left out in snow.
In this game, you don't have cupboards or fridges to store your products; a cart, which can be attached to your horse to pull, has been introduced for storage purposes. In addition, there are 3 different types of horse available, with varying degrees of pulling power. The horse is only `rented' in this game, so it doesn't have a festival or heart level, and you can only have one at a time, but there are 4 different colours of each type to choose from, and once you pay for them at the shop, they essentially become yours.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences in this game is the friendship system with other characters. The coloured hearts for marriage candidates are gone, replaced instead by a vine of flowers on one side of the person's speech box. Every villager will have these flowers next to their text, and the more friendship points you build up with them, the more flowers will `bloom' on their vine. Marriage candidates will have coloured flowers, normal villagers will have white flowers.
The last big change is the Cooking Festival. Since the aim of the game is to rebuild the relationship between the 2 towns, 4 times a month a cooking festival will be held at the mountain summit between the towns. The more you participate in these festivals, the faster the relationship between the towns will be rebuilt.