Holy smokes, this game.
Stardew Valley is a farming sim RPG inspired by games such as Harvest Moon. It is my game of the year and perhaps most impressively, it is entirely made by one dude. One dude made the sprites, wrote the code, made the music, and put a nice fat gift bow on top.
This game is so incredible. The art is there, all decisions feel impactful, there is a ton to do, it doesn’t hold your hand too much, the music is a joy, and the best part about it is that the only way to play this game wrong is by not playing it (or picking Joja, screw Joja guys).
If you have ever played a Harvest Moon game and made it to year 3 ever and enjoy your experience afterwards, this game should be a must buy.
So what makes this game so elite and timely? HM fans for the most part have been unlucky with the onslaught of Natsume’s weeaboo themed sluggish games as of the last decade. Classics like HM64 or FoMT established a magical farming game adventure not able to replicated in any sensical way until now. Animal Crossing is a different game, and while New Leaf was fantastic, the theme is totally different. There was a large market for a beloved modern clean farming sim game with all the details, none of the paywalls, and all of the hype. Developer ConcernedApe took the time to build out skill trees, make multiple fun mines with monsters to kill, forgeable locations everywhere, tons of stuff to do on your own farm, lots of fish to fry, lots of relationships and side quests to work on, TONS of things to unlock, and etc. Whichever play style you gravitate towards, you can find success, and this is an era and genre where a max/min approach and grinding is what farming sims are known for.
The only thing this game has missing is multiplayer and that is something the developer is already working on! When this mode inevitably comes out, it will be a joy that I’d compare with Terraria or Minecraft with friends.
I have yet to find someone I know give a negative review of this game. So prove me wrong and play this masterpiece.