Stardew Valley – PC
Release Date: Feb 26, 2016
Nerd Rating: 10 out of 10
I never thought I’d see the day when I find myself playing a farm game… and actually enjoy it! Created entirely by one person (calls himself Concerned Ape), Stardew Valley is a open world farming game which gives you free reign to do anything you want to do. You can go to town and commune with the townsfolk and buy seeds. You can till the dirt, plant seeds, water plants, pick crops, tend to the animals, and a bunch of other neat stuff that I’ll get in to.
Available on Steam, Stardew Valley is all about you and your choices. But let’s talk about how it all begins. First, you get to name and dress your character, along with the name of your farm, and your favorite animal between a cat and a dog. Then the story begins. You start with seeing your grandfather. He appears to be on his deathbed. He hands you a sealed envelope and tells you not to open it until you feel that modern life is too much for you. Some unknown amount of time passes and you appear to be sick and tired of the ‘ol 9 -5. You open the envelope you grandfather gave you and you see the deed to his farm inside.
You quit your job and move to Stardew Valley. The local mayor of Pelican Town leads you there with the local carpenter. They give you a quick lowdown of what the current situation is and they get you started with a handful of parsnip seeds and the tools to get your job done.
The next day… is entirely up to you! That’s right! You do what you want, how you want, whenever you want, in this pixel game of wonders! That’s one of the beauties of this game. There’s just so much you can do right away that it leaves you to decide what to prioritize. There is no tutorial on how to do stuff, you just get out there and do it! You get the hang of things quickly.
It’s recommended that you keep working on your farm until it can basically take care of itself, but the entire map is open to you to forage, explore, mine, fish, and even commune with the locals.
You can interact with all the people in the game. You can build friendships, and if
they are single, build relationships. Each character has their own unique set of likes and dislikes. Some are a bit easier to please than others. With friendships come gifts and recipes that you can use to better yourself and your farm. There are also holidays, such as birthdays and celebrations and festivals that you can attend (I never miss a single one!). Sometimes, in order to participate with the greatest fulfillment, you’ll need a friend or two, or a high quality crop or more. So don’t dilly dally!
There’s gold in them there mines! No really, there is! And amethyst, and emeralds, and rubies, and diamonds… there’s even more than that! These resources are not only useful, but they are valuable too! Sell them for more money for more crops and better tools!
Your farm is the largest spot on the map (you don’t say…). You must use this area to help it become the crowning jewel of the community. Planting crops isn’t the only thing you can do. Have you been saving up? I hope so! Use your hard earned cash to build a stable for a horse. Get yourself a barn for your sheep, pigs, and cows. Buy a coop for your chickens, ducks, and bunnies. Build a well, for easy water access. Don’t forget your silo for all the hay you need to store for your animals.
What’s a beautiful farm without a beautiful home to go with it? You can upgrade your home to be large enough to house a family. If you build up the courage to propose to someone, you can marry them and start a family!
Be wary! For strange things can happen at night! There are chances of complete random occurrences ranging from fairies tending your crops, to witches doing stuff to your animals, to literal meteors falling from the sky! It might depend on what season you’re in, but no one knows for sure why these things happen… such is life, I guess.
After about three years pass, you get a crazy surprise! But don’t let me spoil it for you. See for yourself! There’s so many things to collect, unlock, explore, and sell! Your choices in the game carry over to festivals, other characters, quests, and even the forces of magic, in the quiet little settlement of Pelican Town in Stardew Valley. Now, get out there, and watch your green thumb at work!
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