It’s cute, fun, full of depth – and if you like the old Harvest Moon games, you’ll love Stardew Valley!
You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It won’t be easy. Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town’s most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. But the valley seems full of opportunity. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!
– “About.” Stardew Valley, ConcernedApe, www.stardewvalley.net
Since it’s launch on PC back in 2016, this simple-looking farm simulator RPG has been winning over audiences with its charm. Praise for the music, characters, and the relaxing qualities of Stardew Valley’s gameplay soon led to its development into a multi-platform game with more than 15 million copies sold by last year (2021). To date, I’ve spent hundreds of hours working through the storyline quests, researching and testing the best strategies, and also simply having fun exploring all the facets and layers of Stardew Valley – and I am still hooked! I just love it so much that I want to share it with everyone!
What do you mean that you haven’t yet given it a try?! Obviously, that means I must find some way to convince you to act!
3 Reasons Why ~YOU~ Should Play Stardew Valley :
#1 – IT’S ON YOUR CONSOLE!
Playing Stardew Valley on computer was only the beginning. After the original release in 2016, it has since been ported over to all the major consoles and is even to mobile! You can now play the latest version of Stardew Valley on: XBox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and Computer (Windows/Mac/Linux). Computer players can further adapt their gameplay by using a Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller.
Have you got an old PS Vita kicking around? There’s a port of Stardew Valley available! (Note: updates for this handheld console stopped a few years and a few patches ago)
Perhaps you don’t have the specs or systems required? Maybe ‘tabletop’ your platform of choice? Get the analog game! Stardew Valley: The Boardgame was released in 2021. It’s designed for 1 to 4 players and features all the familiar faces, places, and goals of the original video game in a more compact playtime.
#2 – OPTIONS FOR EVERY PLAY-STYLE
Choose to play solo or invite up to 3 friends to play in co-op mode and assist as you work to build your farm, and develop the surrounding community. Farming, fishing, collecting, building, and dungeon delving are just some of the day to day activities available for you to enjoy alongside some regularly scheduled events which open up access for players to advance their Friendship ratings, discover rare items. Plus, each festival set-up brings along a unique collection of themed mini-games, challenges, and activities to engage over the duration of that event.
Beyond standard gameplay, the game’s 6 different map layouts offer opportunities for players to mix things up and even increase the difficulty by adding hostile mobs that spawn each night. Day-to-day activities in-game are guided by the main quest and storyline but players are given lots of opportunities to stray from expectation. You don’t have to spend all your time farming if you prefer fighting in the mines – as just one example.
For those that like to know what they’re getting into before jumping into a game, or those that enjoy the extra help and detail that gaming guides offer, one need look no further than Stardew Valley’s official and expansive Wiki. Find out when and where to find crops, weapons, fish, and even the NPC’s, as well as lists of all the collections and recipes to help you reach your goals.
There are definitely a lot of options built into the game – but you don’t have to stop there. Depending on which platform you’re playing on, there may be additional options available to you through the robust and incredibly helpful SDV modding community. Through Nexus Mods alone, there are more than 7500 Stardew Valley mods available for players on PC to alter all aspects of the game: UI extras, a tractor to help you plow and sow your fields, even add additional NPC interactions and story arcs!
#3 – THE COMMUNITY
What started as a small passion project sparked a similarly energized online community – small but deeply invested. Come chat about the story and lore, ask a question, share your farm design, or compare notes with others before you attempt a Stardew Valley speedrun by joining the community over in the official forums, sub-Reddit, or Discord channel. If you come to like SDV even half as much as I do, you’ll feel right at home.
Like to watch others play or want to share your own gameplay? There are already a bunch of great streamers to discover on Twitch & YouTube, and in such a passionate community there is always room for more. Stardew Valley’s creator, Eric Barone (ConcernedApe), has even made it easier for creators, publicly giving his permission to use his visual and sounds assets for their projects, and even to monetize videos featuring SDV content.
Need some chill music for your next livestream or meme video? Stardew Valley’s music is part of this offer – just make sure you give proper credit!
It is my opinion that cats make everything better – video games are no exception. If all the reasons above weren’t enough, Stardew Valley has cats… and their cat-themed inclusions are absolutely adorable!
Shortly after you start your farm, you’re given the opportunity to adopt a cat (or a dog…), to keep you company. As you go about your day, you may find your cat enjoying a nap in the sun or wandering through the tall grasses being it’s cute little self. Come bedtime, your kitty will curl up on your bed and snuggle you off to sleep each night.
At 1st years’ end, Grandpa’s ghost is going to pay you a visit in order to judge your farm’s progress. One factor he considers is how well you’ve taken care of your pet – make sure to give it fresh water and pet it each day!
Aside from the kitty companion, players also get a handful of cat-themed items available to decorate your farm and farm-house, a ‘cat ears’ accessory for your character to wear.
Outside of game, those who purchase SDV on Steam will unlock access to a cute tabby cat emoji for use within the Steam community.
Stardew Valley really does have so much depth to both the gameplay options and the story wrapped within. I am confident that I could fill a shelf with what I’ve learned and my many fan-theories about the world and it’s occupants. In trying to restrain my own excitement, I definitely feel like I’m glazing over things and am not going into enough detail, but I also don’t want to spoil all the fun by revealing secrets or anything – so I won’t! I’m just going to let Grandpa wrap this up:
Surely, you’re a good judge of potential and possibilities, (you’re here, aren’t you?), and you know how to spot a winner when you see one, so just like Grandpa, I leave the final decision and the future of the farm in your capable hands.