Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is my latest gaming obsession.  It snuck into my life, grabbed all my gaming hours, and hasn't let go yet.

Stardew Valley is basically like Harvest Moon minus the sucky parts.  I'm amazed that this is the first time a Western developer has taken on this genre of game.  The creator is a one man development team.  He basically lifted everything he liked from Harvest Moon, left all the junk behind, and then started improving on what was there.

He created it by himself over the course of the last few years and now that he released it the game has gone viral.  It's been right up near the top of the Steam charts lately, right next to all those AAA $60 games with the biggest dev teams in the business.

I tried to explain the game to a friend.  You inherit a farm from your grandpa and get to rebuild it from the ground up.  Outside of managing crops you can have animals, fight monsters in the mine, go fishing, increase relationships with townsfolk, go foraging in the wild.  Nothing on that list sounds all that amazing on it's own but there's some strangely soothing quality about the game.

My friend said, "Oh, it's like farmville?"  That's when I almost killed him.  Here's the thing... farmville is what happens if you take Harvest Moon, suck the soul out of it, completely destroy the fun parts, and then throw the worst kind of F2P mechanics on top of it.  Stardew Valley is maybe... kinda... barely the same genre.  It's what happens if you take Harvest Moon and lovingly improve on the formula until you have a fantastic game.

Stardew Valley is one of those games that I'm going to struggle to convince you to play with words or videos but if you play it, and you should, you will most certainly love it.  Give it a chance to find it's way into your heart.  It's an amazing game.  And hey, it's only $15, it's worth so much more than that.  Seriously, go play Stardew Valley.

If you need me I'll be on the farm.

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