Home Gaming Stardew Valley deserves all the praise it’s received

Stardew Valley deserves all the praise it’s received

3 min read
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Stardew valley 1

I’ve been vaguely following Stardew Valley’s success for a while. I first wrote about the game two and a half years ago, when it was looking polished and interesting and promised co-op farming. While the co-op aspect seems to have been put on the back burner for now, the game has seen its full release and sat towards the top of the Steam charts for ages. Now that it’s come out on Mac, I’ve been playing it more than I care to admit, and enjoying every moment with it.

The premise of the game is incredibly simple, and really familiar if you’ve ever played Harvest Moon. Your grandfather has died and left you his farm. It’s run down, but with some TLC you can fix things up and get it all running again. Beyond growing crops, building farm buildings to tend animals and cutting down all the trees, there is a whole town to explore and make friends in. With two festivals per season, and options for romance and friendship, the game is already full of content. But wait, there’s more.

Stardew valley 2

Stardew Valley is very much an RPG. If you spend all day foraging for fruit in the nearby forest, your foraging skills improve. Same goes for if you spend your time fishing, fighting, farming, or mining. With my crops taking ages to grow at the start, I spent many days just fishing in the nearby river. My skills improved, I caught some high quality fish and made enough cash to buy a chicken coop. Once my chickens were laying eggs, I learned that a mayo machine resulted in even more cash. Oh, and let’s not forget the community center than needs some of my goods so that it can be rebuilt and restored to its former glory, revitalizing the town.

There is so much to do in the game, I’m excited for each day I wake up. My days might all begin the same (water my crops, tend to my animals and check my crab traps), but then I have new plans and goals, from making friends with the carpenter lady to romancing the guy who lives on the beach and sort of looks like Fabio… or should I go for that young guy who is always on his skateboard? In the tradition of turn-based gaming, I will often plan to only play for a few more minutes, only to look up and realize I’ve played for hours. Just. One. More. Day.

Stardew valley 3

The aesthetic is very similar to that of the original Harvest Moon. It’s charming and beautiful despite its pixel graphics. Plus, with plenty of original music, you’ll become lulled into the simple pleasures of farm life.

At the time of writing, I have about 22 hours on record in the game. There is still so much that I want to do. I find myself thinking about my farm and my plans during the day. I find myself planning how I want to approach the new season or how I want to play the coming days. Yes, it’s “just” a silly farming game, but it is also a zen experience with some incredibly deep RPG elements. Plus, at R160 on Steam, it’s really not a risky proposition. Sure, you could wait for the next Steam Sale, but if you enjoy farming simulation, cave diving, friendship sim, romancing random and weird characters and exploring an intriguing world, this probably belongs on your wishlist. I just hope that the developer still plans to bring co-op to the equation, at which point I will probably need to quit my job and become a full time Stardew Valley farmer.

Stardew valley 4

Last Updated: October 20, 2016

44 Comments

  1. Pariah ???

    October 20, 2016 at 11:33

    65 hours before the slew of changes included in 1.1

    Reply

    • Pariah ???

      October 20, 2016 at 11:33

      And I’ll be back for more soonish.

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        October 20, 2016 at 12:00

        224 hours, stahp!!! I hate this game!

        Reply

        • Pariah ???

          October 20, 2016 at 12:22

          No you don’t. ๐Ÿ˜€

          Reply

          • Skyblue

            October 20, 2016 at 12:25

            Digital heroin I tell you, unhealthy.

          • Pariah ???

            October 20, 2016 at 12:26

            510 hours into Path of Exile, I started a bow using tank character last night.

          • Skyblue

            October 20, 2016 at 12:29

          • Pariah ???

            October 20, 2016 at 12:32

            I have 540 hours in Terraria. Thousands in various Pokemon games.

          • Skyblue

            October 20, 2016 at 12:46

            Is Terraria worth playing? It just looked too “Minecrafty” for me when I looked at it.

          • Pariah ???

            October 20, 2016 at 12:48

            Minecraft is sandbox. Terraria is 2D action platformer sandbox.

            It’s fun. It has goals, bosses, a vague story (still more in your face than Dark Souls’ story). And you can build some really cool stuff. I personally love it. And I don’t have any interest in Minecraft. Not now, not ever.

          • Pariah ???

            October 20, 2016 at 12:49

            @disqus_RTVUEcBB6N:disqus And it’s more deep than Stardew Valley. If this game caught you, approach Terraria with the expectation of losing a lot of time to it. Time you’ll love spending.

          • Skyblue

            October 20, 2016 at 13:10

            Not sure if I’m excited or terrified ;-p

          • Pariah ???

            October 20, 2016 at 13:18

            Both is also fine. But don’t let either stop you. It’s a 64mb download on PC and it’s dirt cheap.

          • HairyEwok

            October 20, 2016 at 14:10

            Pokemon destroyed my childhood time.

          • miaau

            October 20, 2016 at 13:05

            I feel you. Mine would be higher than the 550 odd hours it shows BUT my steam hours reset about three years ago, dunno why.

          • Skyblue

            October 20, 2016 at 13:06

            Trust me, I’m not proud of this. It’s a badge of shame ;-p

          • Admiral Chief

            October 20, 2016 at 14:14

            You should see my Skryim and FTL hours…

  2. RinceThis

    October 20, 2016 at 11:41

    Sounds cool. Looks like Secret of Mana. Would rather play Secret of Mana ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      October 20, 2016 at 11:43

      Why don’t you play dead instead!

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        October 20, 2016 at 11:55

        And make you happy again? In only 2 years? NEVER!

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          October 20, 2016 at 12:03

          That wouldn’t make me happy, you’re only playing. You silly goose.

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            October 20, 2016 at 12:13

            Nothing will make you happy! I’ve mentioned this before!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 20, 2016 at 12:40

    • Dungeon of JJ

      October 20, 2016 at 12:09

      You and your secrets.

      Reply

    • Skyblue

      October 20, 2016 at 12:09

      Upvote just for mentioning a SNES game.

      Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    October 20, 2016 at 11:43

    It’s the early unlock game for the next Humble Monthly bundle. Which reminds me, I need to pause my subscription.

    Reply

    • Dungeon of JJ

      October 20, 2016 at 12:09

      I unlocked it early. Been wanting to try Stardew Valley for a while now.

      Reply

      • Pariah ???

        October 20, 2016 at 12:23

        Lol. It’s good fun.

        Reply

        • Dungeon of JJ

          October 20, 2016 at 14:49

          The moment I saw that was an early unlock, I just had to.

          Reply

  4. Archdruid Kromas

    October 20, 2016 at 11:44

    And here I am trying to figure out how to get KSP multiplayer going with less stuttering.

    I will eventually try this game.

    Reply

  5. Skyblue

    October 20, 2016 at 12:03

    You should probably have a disclaimer warning off obsessive compulsive’s. I fell hard for this damn title. Also, I’d highly recommend Kingdoms and Kingdoms: New Lands.

    Reply

    • miaau

      October 20, 2016 at 13:03

      so, you offer a warning AND then new fodder the OC crowd. Nice!

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        October 20, 2016 at 13:06

        Am I not benevolent OC deity?

        Reply

  6. Original Heretic

    October 20, 2016 at 12:06

    Now this is the sort of PC game I should get playing.

    It reminds me a bit of the game from Community, that Pierce’s dad had made.
    Come to think of it, can anyone recommend a game that’s more like that one?!

    Reply

  7. Dungeon of JJ

    October 20, 2016 at 12:08

    I just started Stardew Valley and it’s excellent.

    Reply

  8. miaau

    October 20, 2016 at 13:02

    I have found that I simply cannot play games like this, the interface bores me, I just struggle.

    Reply

    • Pariah ???

      October 20, 2016 at 13:18

      YOUR FACE BORES ME!

      Reply

      • miaau

        October 20, 2016 at 13:31

        Well ok then.

        Reply

  9. ElimiNathan

    October 20, 2016 at 13:30

    Ive burnt plenty hours on this game

    Reply

  10. HairyEwok

    October 20, 2016 at 14:12

    If you ever longed to play Harvest Moon on PC then this game is for you!

    Reply

    • Zoe Hawkins

      October 21, 2016 at 07:11

      i did play it on PC… on emulator ๐Ÿ˜›

      Reply

      • HairyEwok

        October 21, 2016 at 07:59

        **If you ever longed to play Harvest Moon legitimately on PC then this game is for you! XD

        Reply

  11. Viper_ZA

    October 20, 2016 at 15:16

    Price drop at the Halloween sale?

    Reply

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