Stardew Valley [Game Review]

Stardew Valley OST – A Dark Corner Of The Past.

I’ve been gaming since 5 years old; a seasoned strategy, action, RPG, and multiplayer gamer. This genre is nevertheless my favorite. Not because it’s relaxing [I can panic all day, trying to squeeze out efficiency], but because I’ve seen enough of life to know that adventure is dramatically overrated, and a peaceful life, surrounded by decent people, is the most unachievable and precious fantasy of them all.

For those unfamiliar: Stardew Valley follows the model of the Harvest Moon franchise – the still-very-potent grandfather of “farm-simulators.” A farm-simulator might seem unappealing, but that’s only the surface of this genre. Underneath the management of rudimentary crops and animals, is where the meat of the genre lies, around-which the farming revolves: interaction with the very small, closely-knit, and idealistic community, that your farm is in.

You do your farming, and then you go interact with the community in your spare time. In many of these games, you can choose from a variety of people to court, marry, and have a child with. But that’s not the main social interaction, just a component. The communities you are in go about their business, everyone has their own personality, different ways of interacting with them, etc. Their behaviors change according to the day and time, there are annual festivals, random events, etc. Seasons change the gameworld.

Basically, these are not farm-simulators; these are idealistic life simulators. Along with the farming, there are minigames related to that lifestyle. Fishing, cooking, all kinds of stuff you’d expect – Stardew Valley even has a very decent combat system. And of course, there’s developing deeper relationships with the community, and thus have increasingly interesting interactions.

Some might find the idea of tending a farm and enjoying the company of sane people unappealing – maybe they’d rather be running around a city shooting people. Ten-to-one, you put those little twats in the real world long enough, they’ll be screaming for anything resembling Harvest Moon.

I’ve been a fan of the genre since Harvest Moon; A Wonderful Life. Shit, I loved that game. Never got to beat it though. Stardew Valley, however, has a special place in my heart: I’d just started playing when Tranny left me. It soothed me. I owe the developers far more than the ten dollars I paid for it.


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~ by Louis Naughtic on July 9, 2017.

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