Stardew Valley

Nathaniel Simon, Staff Writer

Stardew Valley is a farming game akin to the old Harvest Moon games and attempts to emulate and perfect the formula of a farming sim and it succeeds with flying colors. The game begins on a somber note with your characters grandfather dying and giving you a sealed envelope and telling you to only open it when you truly feel hopeless. Shift to your character at a desk job at Joja Corp that is apparently so soul crushing that someone has died there (and hasn’t been fired yet) so you open the envelope which contains a deed to his old farm in Stardew Valley. The game doesn’t have much in terms of story beyond the opening so on to the gameplay.

The game has several diversions and ways to make profit besides Farming (although planting things and selling them is the main money maker) there is Fishing, and Mining (in a procedurally generated mine with monsters in it where you can get materials like precious metals and gems). There is also the Community Center which you need to rebuild to get certain upgrades to the town (fast travel being a big one) to do so you collect specific items in different categories like spring crops and completing a certain amount finishes a room and unlocks one of the aforementioned upgrades. There is no real end goal to the game outside of the Community Center bundles, but there is progression like upgrading tools getting better items in the Mine and leveling up your different skills. There is also the social aspect of the game as you can get to know and eventually get into relationships with the characters in town. The game also has a multiplayer portion where up to 4 friends can join you on your farm. This mode is in beta but it is quite a blast. The soundtrack is also good, especially the ambient tracks like for as it really sucks you in to the game like when it rains for example you can hear frogs croaking

This game in its entirety was developed in C# by one man who goes by Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone and published by Chucklefish. This in and of itself is impressive as he did it in 4 years time starting in 2012 and ending in 2016 with the multiplayer beta taking another 2 years (after about 2 large updates in between) and he also drew all the pixel art for the game in that time. With all of that said Stardew Valley is a good game to buy at an affordable $15 on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox1. Stardew Valley is a great game when all is said and done with its immersive and calming atmosphere, gameplay calling back to the original Harvest Moon, and a Multiplayer mode coming along the pipeline I would recommend this game to everybody and anybody with the money to play it. This game gets a 10/10