When I first played Stardew Valley back in the Summer of 2016, I didn’t know what to expect. I had tried and failed to play a few Harvest Moon games previously, but I just never got into the genre. I loved Animal Crossing though, so when I heard that Stardew Valley was like Animal Crossing, I didn’t have a problem shelling out 15 bucks to give it a try. Boy am I glad that I did.
Stardew Valley is a farming simulation game. You are placed on your grandfather’s old run-down farm in the middle of an old run-down town, and your job is to try to build up the farm so that money from your crops can build up the town. You are also trying to run the JojaMart out of town so that the local general store can start making money again.
When I started this game, I had no idea what to do. Quick tip, Use the Wikis! Don’t feel worried about spoiling the game for yourself, you make things better for yourself if you at least know what gifts the characters like and what to plant in which seasons. I was just planting a few random things here and there, wondering why the villagers decidedly hated me, and wondering why I wasn’t making any money. This confusion maybe lasted an hour or so, or until I hit the first event. This was when I truly started seeing the beauty in Stardew Valley.
The villagers in Stardew Valley almost seem real. You won’t have any time where you are left thinking “they already said that to me today” or “gosh this villager is so boring.” Each of them have an individual story, and the more hearts you get with that villager, the more of that villagers story is revealed to you. This is no E10+ Animal Crossing game. There’s a villager with PTSD, a villager who is an alcoholic, a villager who has an alcoholic mother, a villager who is a son in a blended family who feels unloved. Then there are the happier villagers, the villagers who runs the town general store, the villager who loves ranching and sells you animals, the town poet who lives by the beach, the man who lives alone on the beach and has a passion for fishing. I spent hours upon hours gathering materials to give villagers the perfect gift to unlock the next part of their story, and I am still not finished seeing all the individual villager stories although I am 80 hours into the game.
There are so many fun ways to play this game. You could play the game on a monster farm where you focus on fighting all the mobs in the game both in the caves and at your home. You could focus on farming, cooking, making jelly, making wine, aka going full artisan goods. You could go full ranch where you focus on selling products from the animals on your farm. You could go full fisherperson and only fish until you catch every fish in the game and make money that way. You could go full miner and only make money from selling gems and ores from the mine. Or you could do a mix of them all and explore the game from top to bottom. There are endless activities for you to do. This game doesn’t dictate you to do anything, you could even go evil and side with JojaMart. The choices are all yours.
I promise you, you will get addicted to this game. Things have gotten better for me, but I played the game for 16 hours in 3-4 days during summer of 2016. I remember that week fondly. I would wake up, go downstairs, cook breakfast, and start playing. I would skip lunch and keep playing. Then, I would eat dinner, and play until I fell asleep. By the time the day was over, the grid for the planting and harvesting of food on the farm was almost glowing in front of my eyes. But I was having so much fun, I couldn’t stop! Then, I slowed down a bit and got the other 65 hours in a much less frantic fashion, but that first few days were amazing. I rarely get that addicted to anything!
When I played this game, it was only on PC. It was a perfect PC game, and it would play on just about any system because it didn’t take a lot of power to run the game. Nevertheless, now it has been ported to just about every single sytem imaginable, including mobile! All the links are at the bottom of the post, so check them out and try the game for yourself!
I would recommend this game to anyone looking for any sort of fun game to play. It doesn’t matter if you are usually into RPGs, or visual novels, or farming games, or even puzzle solving games, this game has something for literally everyone. It also has multiplayer, so if you want to play with me, give me your Steam Name or Nintendo Switch Friend Code in the comments, and I will add you when I get the chance. q
Stardew Valley Nintendo Switch (Affiliate Link)
Stardew Valley PS4 (Affiliate Link)
Stardew Valley Xbox One (Affiliate Link)