Stardew Valley is an amazing game. It’s nothing new, and I’ve payed it before, but for whatever reason it really hooked me this time. I picked it up shortly after it initially came out and I was knee deep in new baby stuff and life just wasn’t quite as friendly to video game time as it is now. Sam sleeps for a bit in the afternoons and has a better schedule for giong to bed as well, so I have a little bit more time to game. This thing is stealing all my time.
Part of the reason it hooked me so well this time was because I picked it up on the Nintendo Switch that I got for Christmas. I can play it pretty much anywhere, which means I can play it while I’m hanging out downstairs with Stephanie and she’s watching TV. Stardew Valley really lends itself well to being portable. There are a couple wonky things that are different from the PC version, but all in all it’s still the same game.
There’s plenty of things I should be doing that don’t involve a virtual farm, but I’m having a good time so I regret nothing.
The basic premise of the game is that you are a guy working in corporate America (or whatever made up place this game is in.) Your grandfather writes you a letter leaving his farm to you so you can go out and do something refreshing with your life. The farm is in shambles and it’s up to you to make it a better place before he returns on the dawn of the 3rd year. While you’re making the farm a better place, you also have to juggle a social life with over twenty NPCs, fight monsters, restore a community center, and a bunch of other optional things.
The thing that makes it stick for me is that it’s so CHILL. You don’t have to get in a hurry doing anything. It is totally a clone of a game I played in my early teens called “Harvest Moon.” I played the SNES version of that and later, Lando and I both got hooked on HM64 which we both still believe was the pinnacle of the series. Stardew Valley seems to be based off the SNES version in a lot of ways, but the dev added so much for you to do beyond just farming and building relationships. The whole thing was made by one guy, and it continues to blow my mind the deeper I get into it.
I’m just starting on the 8th day of Fall in the first year. There are a few places where I’ve made mistakes and some spots where I would go back and do things differently, but the game is really about dealing with the mistakes and just moving forward. There is no such thing as a perfect game. It’s taken me some time to figure that out, but now that I have, I’m enjoying myself some more. The pressures is off and I can just do the things that I’m excited to do and be okay with it.
If you haven’t played it, you should. There is something in there for everybody. It’s available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.