One-Hour: Stardew Valley

Synopsis:  Stardew Valley has been on my radar for some time now, and even though it’s already extremely well priced, I left it sitting there in my wishlist just waiting for a sale. I realize now that was a mistake and the developer deserves all the monies, and I should’ve tried this game sooner.

Stardew Valley is a top-down pixelated casual farming rpg adventure game, wholly conceived and created by a single developer who goes by ConcernedApe who (as I understand it), created the game to learn how to program (and draw, and make music). In the process he ended up creating a modern-day classic and sold a ridiculous amount of copies. As someone who enjoys casual games of a pixelated nature, as well as being interested in programming and game design, this seemed to be right up my alley.

The plot itself seems simple enough, at least in the beginning. You start out as a 20-something worker slaving away as a drone in a giant national corporation, mind numb from the repetitive soul sucking daily grind. Just when things are at their worst, you inherit a farm located in (wait for it) Stardew Valley. The intent of the farm being enrichment of the soul and eliminating the daily grind you once experienced. Instead grinding away at a desk job, you’re now a 20-something farm owner growing parsnips and potatoes …

I’ll admit I’ve played for more than an hour so I can safely say the following things happen in the first ~7 hours or so: You clear the land, start a farm, meet the local townspeople, learn to fish, adopt a pet, meet a wizard, go mining in a giant cave, kill some monsters in the mine, explore the potentially haunted community centre, and somehow find time to start fostering a potential relationship with a townsperson. All of this has happened in less than 7 hours of gameplay. Based on the hints of things to come, I’m anticipating hundreds of hours of gameplay. I’m both excited and scared – there’s tons of potential, but will it become monotonous?

I guess time will tell.

Unrelated, does anyone else see a striking resemblance between Emma Roberts and Robin from Stardew Valley?

What I like:  Great classic pixelated graphics, fantastic music and sound effects, interesting characters, always something new to explore and do while building on existing concepts.

What I don’t like: The hoe has a really annoying ability to strike the tile beside the one I wanted to strike. Why would I want to destroy that patch of potatoes I just planted? Did you think it was a MISTAKE? Why does a cup of coffee costs hundreds of dollars in this game? $400 for a beer are you crazy?

Would I buy it again?: Yes

Game Details:

Game TypeCasual Adventure/Farming RPG
PublisherConcernedApe LLC
Year Released2016
StorefrontSteam
Tested PlatformPC
Author: Greg

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