Game Reviews

Stardew Valley

As Concerned Ape's indie RPG adventure sim Stardew Valley opens, you have actually reached your snapping point at your mindless task, which's when you remember the letter left to you by your grandpa long ago. He told you to open it when you felt hopeless and lost, and, well, this fits, I expect. Turns out he's left you a farm ... it's more than a little run down, but the locals are willing to provide you a hand. Loaded with secrets, surprises, crafting, the capacity for marital relationship (no matter gender!), dungeons, and much, far more, Stardew Valley is an enthusiastic and addicting Harvest Moon-alike game from a one-man group that provides a stunning amount of content despite some shallow portions. (Please keep in mind that since this writing, Stardew Valley is only readily available for PC, though the developer states ports for Mac and Linux are a leading priority.).
Stardew ValleyPlaying Stardew Valley is initially a little challenging due to a lack of anything other than the most vary basic guidelines if you haven't played a Harvest Moon-alike previously, though a little experimentation will quickly reveal you the ropes. There's farming, fishing, mining, cooking, crafting, monster slaying, festivals, livestock rearing, and much, much more ... consisting of the capacity for marital relationship with one of the town's 10 eligible suitors, regardless of gender. The basic controls are [WASD] to move, and clicking to communicate, while striking [ESC] raises your menu and stock. The game is separated into seasons, each of which has its own unique events and things to grow or find, and as you may believe, they pass a day at a time. You can do whatever you want to fill your days, though most activity ates energy ... if it goes out, you'll pass out, however you can recover it by eating or other activities, or merely sleep in bed, which likewise conserves your game. While you're totally free to do whatever you like, the majority of the townsfolk and businesses have set schedules, so do not forget to examine exactly what day it is prior to you go traipsing off into town. Bad weather condition doesn't indicate you should stay indoors, nevertheless, given that it can bring its own surprises ...

Stardew ValleyOn the edge of town you'll find a mine that appears to go on forever, and in addition to important ores and minerals, there's beasties about. Battle is a real-time affair with clicking to attack and right-clicking to momentarily block, however ensure to watch on your health. You'll discover improved swords and magic rings to enhance your capabilities, however you'll also gradually gain experience in fight itself, which brings boosts whenever you level up. The exact same is true for all your other skills, from fishing to foraging and beyond, so attempt a little or a great deal of everything. Simply don't neglect your social life! You may believe life as a farmer is all about amassing resources to broaden and restore your farm, but befriend the townsfolk and they'll treat you right, even if you don't have love in mind. You can offer each person 2 presents weekly, and they all have their own likes and dislikes. You'll see more events and cutscenes the much better you learn more about them, and if you handle the random quests that are available in your mailbox or that can be found published on the town bulletin board, they'll like you a lot more for it.

I can remember the very first time I saw the original Harvest Moon when it came out for the SNES. It was at the game rental location simply a few blocks from where I went to junior high, and I remember laughing at it with the shop's owner, an excitable German lady who appeared like someone's grandmother/librarian and actually actually enjoyed Final Fantasy. The principle of a game that focused on repetitive tasks with no genuine conflict or fantastical components seemed ludicrous to us ... and yet that really weekend, I and two of my friends stayed up until 5 in the early morning every day brushing our fat pregnant cows, plucking weeds, and repairing fences. Stardew Valley's whole tone and gameplay casts me back to that time with alarming ease ... it's charming, it's dynamic, and it's addictive because "simply one more day" fashion that makes the hours fly by. Its pixel art work is absolutely beautiful, filled with subtle environmental results and little information that make it feel alive, and while the characters are basic, they're varied and charming, if more than a little wintry and dismissive at first. Do not want to discover love or relationship? There's plenty to do otherwise, like learning what's at the bottom of the mine, where the bus goes, finding famous fish, and a lot more. Stardew Valley has a fantastic sense of discovery to its gameplay that means you're never except things to do and see as long as you avoid getting stuck in a regimen of your own making.

Stardew ValleyThe downside is that Stardew Valley feels like it's spread out thin in some locations. Combat is simplistic and clunky, click-detection to use or provide products in certain areas (normally right away above you) can be spotty, characters recycle their little discussion so frequently and have such a minimal handful of scenes that they feel robotic rather than fleshed out, and why, oh why, exists no choice making the soundtrack loop? These are the things that started to leap out at me after a few seasons, and while they're hardly important, and in fact are even issues Stardew Valley shares with numerous Harvest Moon titles, they may imply the game will begin to feel stagnant for some gamers earlier rather than later on. The designer has actually already provided a patch that broadens and improves on married life in the game by providing spouses some more unique dialogue, however spending weeks throwing presents at someone who cycles back and forth in between 2 lines of discussion (the majority of which can be frosty or impolite in the beginning) feels a little hollow. On the other hand, part of the reason these nits can drive you to pick at them so much is enabling yourself to get stuck in the rut of a schedule. Stardew Valley feels most alive when you're actually exploring it, communicating with everyone all the time, and the more people you're pals with, the more you'll see, particularly when you concentrate on completing side-quests and objectives, so don't let yourself turn the game into a nine-to-five with a schedule.

None of this suggests Stardew Valley is a bad game, naturally, simply that some aspects are a bit more engrossing than others. It's really extremely, very good, and its passion is quite tremendous. Everything about it, from top to bottom consisting of music and visuals, was made by a single person, that makes me want to lie down and looking at the wall and contemplate my life a little. The developer plans to add some quite substantial free material updates in the future, including more marriage prospects and special events as well as multiplayer, however exactly what exists is very enormous. There are brand-new areas to unlock, challenges to complete, things to fix, and far more in addition to turning your vast, debris-ridden land into a huge functioning farm. The crafting components are a great touch because they make everything feel helpful, and give you a lot more freedom to personalize your building and development. It's a game that's extensive and impressive, yet at the same time feels comforting and nostalgic without resting on the laurels of those that came before it. If you love life simulations, Stardew Valley is an easy suggestion, and it's only getting better from here on out.

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