Stardew Valley

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Stardew Valley on Steam

MSRP: $14.99

Platform: PC

Release: 2/26/16

For years, I’ve been kind of cheesed off that game series like Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Rune Factory have been released only for console and handheld systems.  When mobile apps started to be a big thing, I thought these sorts of games might make the transition there, but no luck.  Never did I think that we PC players would get a game like Stardew Valley.

Stardew Valley is a time management, farming simulation and social simulation.  Your character is gifted the deed to a farm from your grandfather in Stardew Valley, and once you arrive, the locals are happy to start showing you the ropes.

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You start off with a really messy piece of farmland, some parsnip seeds, and some basic tools and where you take it from there is really up to you.  You will get quests in your mailbox which have no time limit (at least not that I’ve found), but you can also pick up timed quests in town from the bulletin board outside the general store.  After several days, you are given a pretty sizable choice that determines how the rest of the game unfolds.

In between caring for your farm, you can talk to the townspeople, find items to donate to the local museum, go foraging for seasonal produce, catch some fish and explore the mines.  The social simulation aspect allows you to court & marry any single adult in town, regardless of gender.  There are 28 members of the community to make friends with through helping out and giving gifts. Twice in each 28 day season, there’s a special event where the whole town gets together, and you may win a prize or find a special product only available at the festival.  These are also great social occasions, since you know the entire town will be in one place.

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There are no character levels, but there are skill levels in farming, foraging, mining, fishing, and combat. Leveling up these skills (which is merely a case of doing the associated activity repeatedly) awards you with bonuses.  Initially, fishing is probably a little bit harder than it needs to be – if you’re so inclined, there are mods for that.  Money is also an issue in the early game, so buy only what you absolutely need to until you get more comfortable – those expensive upgrades can wait!

Obviously, this type of game won’t be for everyone, but for those who enjoy similar games, the amount of content you get for $15 is unbelievable.  To complete the more streamlined of the two story modes will easily take 40 hours or more.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it took more than 100 to achieve 100% completion.

I almost never buy games at full price, and I bought Stardew Valley without hesitation.  Over the past few days, I’ve played every time I could squeeze in a few minutes, and I’m already well past the $1 per entertainment hour goal I set for gaming.  Stardew Valley would have been worth buying at twice the price, and I won’t hesitate to pick up future games from Concerned Ape.

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(oh, and watch TV every day. There’s good information there!)


4 thoughts on “Stardew Valley

  1. […] been trying to spend more time with indie games lately, ever since Stardew Valley came seemingly out of nowhere and rocked my world. However, some of  my previous experience with […]


  2. […] affinity for the weird has struck again. Also, apparently, for growing things. Cosmochoria is a not-quite-rogue-like shooter where you get to grow plants and revive dead planets […]


  3. […] the keyboard.  The kind of game that made me give up ever getting 100% achievement completion in Stardew Valley.  I’m horrid at this type of game, and nothing makes me bounce off a game harder than being […]


  4. […] the same way that Stardew Valley was a love letter to Harvest Moon, Siralim is a computer gaming version of handheld classics like […]


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