Stardew Valley

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?


Reviewer: Sam B.     Game: Stardew Valley

If you’re not at all familiar with the Harvest Moon franchise, it’s a series of games focused around farming and interactions with other towns people. There’s also a focus on living in harmony with nature. And while Stardew Valley isn’t actually an entry in the series, it would still fit perfectly in it.

You play a young man/woman who’s become tired of life in the city, especially their job at the Joja Corporation. You remember an envelope your grandfather left you on his deathbed, which he told you not to open until you’re ready for a change, and open it. Inside is a deed to his old farm in Stardew Valley near Pelican Town. When you arrive, you find the farm is rundown, the field filled with weeds, trees, and rocks. It’ll take a lot of work to get the field cleaned up and the farm running, but there’s no rush or deadline. In fact, the game encourages players to take their time and set smaller goals, making what looks like a daunting task more manageable, even when more objectives like exploring the mines or filling the community center bundles come up (more on those later).

The inhabitants of Pelican Town are all varied and interesting, often exceeding the stereotypes one may pin them down as at first. One character that stood out to me, Shane, was at first gruff and unapproachable, but as I learned more about him I started empathizing with him. Befriending the townsfolk is easy enough; just talk to them (especially on festivals) and give them stuff they like (gift giving is limited, mind; you can only give two a week and not on the same day, unless their birthday or the Feast of the Winter Star is on that week). You can also fill requests on the bulletin board or those mailed to you. There are ten bachelors and bachelorettes you can marry regardless of your PC’s gender (soon to be twelve with an upcoming update).

Aside from farming and socializing with villagers, there are other activities to do. You can fish, which is a great way to earn money (though the minigame can be a bit frustrating at first). There’s the mine, which is filled with ores and monsters. Travel through it to find out what lies at the bottom while fending off monsters and gather ore to upgrade your tools. Then there’s the rundown community center, inhabited by spirits called the jurimos. They’re willing to fix it up and unlock features like the mine carts in exchange for bundles, items collected and brought to the center. Or you could let Joja tear down the center, build a warehouse over it, and just pay to unlock the features. But would you really help out the corporation you came to Pelican Town to escape?

If you enjoyed any of the Harvest Moon games, I highly recommend this game for you. It has everything great about the series while adding in its own unique elements.

The game is available on Steam.


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Game Developer: ConcernedApe
Game Publisher: Chucklefish Games

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