Frido takes a look at the throwback RPG game Stardew Valley.
Going to Stardew Valley is like finding a life for yourself you never knew you wanted. Stardew Valley is very relaxing and charming. This 16 bit story is surprisingly great. The RPG experience is fun and well-developed. There are no spoilers in this review. Let’s go ahead and dig in.
The character starts the game receiving an envelope from his dying grandfather saying to open it when they need a change. The scene changes to years later. The character is working at a dead end call center job at the Joja corporation. After being done and exhausted with the dead end work, the character opens the envelope to find the deed to a small farm near Pelican Town. Your goal is to make money on this farm and become friends with citizens.
Stardew Valley sounds really simple, and it is. The game is so well-developed that players don’t feel stressed about what is going on. There’s a lot to do: mining, fishing, making friends with townsfolk. If players don’t want to do that, however, just doing the day-to-day chores on the farm feels calming. Twenty hours into a playthrough there’s still a ton to do. The game is very addicting but not to a point however where players will feel annoyed trying to complete its tasks.
Stardew Valley doesn’t hold players’ hands as they progress through. Players receive their farms and that’s the end of it. The game doesn’t force you to do activities. If players want to skip an event in, town they can. This isn’t recommended, though, because those events are adorable and entertaining, but it’s having the option that matters.
There were some items that could be better within Stardew Valley. The first season of spring feels really long. Players are really getting the hang of all the activities and meeting townspeople. The seasons last 28 days, and after that, the spring crops will die. There is no indication that after that fateful 28th day, though, it will be summer. The game tells you by a letter that your spring crops won’t survive in the summer, but it doesn’t tell you when summer will start.
The fishing mini game is hard to learn, it’s very touchy. The goal is to keep the little green bar behind the fish. When playing on the Xbox One, the bar would move drastically with even the slightest tap of the X button. Apparently, the best place to fish is the lake directly in front of the entrance to the mine for beginner fishers. After players level up their fishing skill, their characters can get better poles, and their pole proficiency increases.
Making friends is really hard in this game. Players basically have to guess which townsperson likes what by a game of trial and error gift giving. And you can only give them two gifts a week, making the process drawn out over time. There’s a little heart chart for every character to show how much they like you, but it takes forever to increase. There are little side missions that are timed that allow you to take someone an item, which brings up one heart, but with so many citizens, the missions are rarely for the specific character players want.
This game is adorable and I loved playing it. I will definitely go back to my little farm in Pelican Town. If you enjoy games like Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing, you should enjoy this as well. It’s a feel-good game of the season. If this was a summer blockbuster movie, some random newspaper would give it “Two thumbs up!”
Written by Frido
(Frido is an avid gamer and plays games when they should be doing homework. Their other hobbies include sleeping, eating, drinking, and acting like they’re going to start exercising when we all know they’re not. Some of their favorite games include The Bioshock Series, the Resident Evil series, and Luigi’s Mansion. They figured if they’re gonna have all of these opinions might as well put them to paper.)