Farming simulators aren’t my cup of tea personally, let alone an indie farming sim, I typically go for FPS’s, RPG’s, or puzzle games. However, shortly after the release of Stardew Valley; the game was recommended to me, and I hesitated to actually try it for a long time. Finally, I decided to play it and I was not disappointed. I have played the game for over 150 hours within the time frame of a month, and I still can’t get enough.
To start, the game is very reminiscent of Harvest Moon, from the plot to many of the features, which if you played as a child, will make this game hit you with a wave of nostalgia. Unlike Harvest Moon, this game is endless, as you can continue to play with your character on your farm indefinitely. There isn’t much in terms of story since it’s just a farming sim, and the vast majority of the plot is found in the opening cut scenes of the game: After quitting their soul-sucking desk job, the player character inherits their grandfather’s abandoned farm and has to fix it. The game is pixelated, so the graphics aren’t the strong point; however, I personally believe it fits with the relaxing and laid-back nature of the gameplay. The soundtrack is soothing and fits the atmosphere of the game perfectly, and it accompanies your farming activities nicely.
Onto the gameplay: as it is a farming sim, you can imagine what many of the chores could be, like planting seeds, watering plants, tree cutting, taking care of animals, fishing, foraging, and making various artisanal products. An extra that this game has is mining and combat, although I’m not very experienced in farming sims so again I cannot tell if this is truly unique or not. The marriage and children or adoption features are also more complex than I’ve seen in other games. The game has a lot of replay value as not only is the game endless and contains many goals and achievements one may want to earn, but there are many different ways one can play, and there are different types of farms one can choose to have. For example, one may choose a Forest Farm over an Ocean Farm. One may choose to focus on animal products or to focus on crops, or to mine for various gems and metals.
The thing that stood out most about this game is how relaxing it was to play, as there are no actual goals to complete, and most everything is optional. It is also impossible to die, in the event of total health depletion. This is a very good game to play if you just want to wind down, or if you’re very stressed and need an escape. You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy Stardew Valley, and you don’t need to have any gaming experience whatsoever to know how to play. Many Steam reviews even claim to have pirated the game but then bought it out of guilt because of how happy it made them. The game doesn’t need much in terms of system requirements, so you might even be able to run it on a bad laptop, but always check, you never know. Not to mention, the game has released a multiplayer feature free of additional charge so you can go farming with your friends.
I urge you to pick up a copy of the game on Steam!
Written By: TreePeel