From Chucklefish Games, Stardew Valley is a farming simulation game.
But is it? On the surface this seems like a simple farming game, and I suppose you could play it just that way, but there’s so much more to it. For example, I realized after playing through four seasons, that there’s an abandoned community center you need to repair and the repairs unlock other parts of the game. And I realized while researching something for this review, that you can incubate and hatch eggs. I’ve just been turning those bitches into mayonnaise and selling them. And somewhere in the game is a dinosaur egg.
A year in the game consists of four seasons lasting 28 days each. There are crops individual to each season. You can buy seeds at either of the shops in town, sometimes you receive some as a reward, and there’s also a machine you can build if you have the materials that will generate seeds. You have pretty much free reign to do whatever you want in this game. You can farm one day, clear trees another day, fish the next day, and go mining the next. It’s really up to you depending on what your goals are. I wanted to upgrade my coop to get ducks so I fished for a long time so I could sell the fish off for income. Once the coop was upgraded, I built a stable and got a horse. I’m currently trying to get together enough material to build a slime hutch so I can hatch slime eggs. I have big dreams. I have to keep a list of all the things I want or need to do cause there’s so much I’ll forget.
I’ve spent weeks now working towards my long term goals of completing all the objectives to repair the community center and getting married. Did I mention you can get married? We’ve reached the required 10 Hearts for me to propose, but you need to purchase a pendant which you can only get from a weirdo who stands around on the beach in the rain, in the spring. My beau lives at home with his mom, is in a band, and seems like he might be a teenager. Why am I trying to marry him again? All the townsfolk have their own personalities and I just picked one at random and decided our love was meant to be. I think it was his hair. Eventually, we can have babies and maybe they’ll come out having his hair.
I would recommend keeping the wiki page open for reference like I did. You really need it. Certain fish can only be caught in certain bodies of water during certain seasons during certain times of day during certain kinds of weather. So it’s really handy if you don’t want to spend a month fishing for a sandfish only to find out you can only catch one in the desert, which doesn’t unlock until the bus, which you can’t unlock until you repair the vault bundles in the community center, which you can’t repair without filling the money bundles which add up to $40K.
This is easily the best game I’ve played in a long time. It was created by ONE PERSON. One person and I’ve only encountered one or two bugs during all my gameplay. I can’t say how many hours I’ve played, but I have played long enough that my wrist started to hurt and I had to take a break. Okay, I’m lying, I played through the pain. I’ll stop soon, I promise. I just need to catch one more pufferfish. Okay, maybe two.
The creator has promised new content in the future and I’m very excited about it. I don’t see this as a game you’d get easily bored with if you still have goals to accomplish. It’s been compared to Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, neither of which I’ve played, though it does remind me a bit of Orcish Inn, which I reviewed last year. If any of those games are in your wheelhouse, then you’re in for a treat with Stardew Valley. It’s only $14.99 On Steam.
I rarely rate anything a 10 because there’s always room for improvement. I’m not going to nitpick in this review, because the game shines so much that minor annoyances aren’t worth mentioning right now, but a straight 9 is a near perfect rating from me.