A few months ago, I introduced Stardew Valley as “a retro-styled farming game” and said, “[it] first appeared on the PC in February 2016. Since then, it has also cultivated a large fanbase on the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The serene simulation is the work of a single developer, Eric Barone, and it was hugely inspired by the Harvest Moon franchise.”
That introduction lead into a glowing review of Stardew Valley at School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox.
Yesterday, Teen Librarian Dustan Archer published a review of Stardew Valley for Teen Services Underground after spending quite a lot of time with the game:
I think it’s safe to say that he highly recommends it as well:
Stardew Valley is an indie role-playing farming simulator, very similar in style to the Harvest Moon franchise. Even the graphics are a throwback, but they’re beautiful in comparison to older consoles. You start off on an old, poorly maintained farm and begin to craft a new life for yourself. You decide what you want to do with your allotment of time and energy every day – whether it’s farming, raising livestock, fighting monsters, mining ore, or building friendships with the rest of the village’s inhabitants. You can craft all kinds of items, grow various types of crops (many of which only grow in specific seasons), go fishing, get married and have children. Very little in the game is mandatory and it is totally open-ended as to how and when you decide you’re ‘done’, if ever.
Truly, this game captured me like no other in the last few years. I’ve spent over 100 hours on two separate playthroughs, and few games can get my attention like that. It has become my go-to game when I just want to relax after a long day, do something that doesn’t require too much thinking, and enjoy either the peaceful music in game or my own soundtrack that I play in the background. The community is fairly robust and friendly, and there’s a great wiki on the game if you want to look up hints and tips rather than discover things for yourself.
Barone is still working on Stardew Valley, and he’ll bring the game to the Vita in 2018, along with a multiplayer mode on all platforms.