Stardew Valley is an indie game created by Concerned Ape Studio and published by Chucklefish. So far it’s the only Concerned Ape’s production that achieved a commercial success. The game undoubtedly refers to the legendary series of Harvest Moon which was released for the Nintendo platform. Stardew Valley is a combination of a simulation farming game and an RPG. Thus it’s different than for example Farming Simulator 17 where there is no story at all. The game is played in an open world Stardew Valley was released for the Windows platform with console conversions in mind.
Stardew Valley – the Story
We play as a young person employed in a corporation who decides to quit this life and become a farmer. Here, just like in Harvest Moon we have our grandfather who leaves us a mysterious envelope. Upon opening, we find out that we have just received an inheritance which is a small farm outside the city. When we arrive at the destination it turns out that the place requires a lot of work in order to restore it to its original glory. This will be our job as the player.
The Game Mechanics
The game mechanics closely resembles these from Harvest Moon. In essence, the game is based on economic principles. We need to plan our expenses and sell our products with profit. By doing this we make things look right again.
There’s a lot to be done. We cut trees, mine stones, plant the seeds, cultivate the plants, and then we harvest the crops. As we progress into the game we unlock new plants and animal husbandry. And because this is a sandbox title we get access to even more activities. We can catch fish, harvest resources, or just explore the world.
Because Stardew Valley is also an RPG game, we have a system of character development. The game’s world is inhabited and we can enter in interactions with its people. After the game has been launched the multiplayer mode has also been introduced.
The Graphics in Stardew Valley
As far as the visuals of the game go, Stardew Valley looks very much like its predecessor – old school pixelized graphics bring to mind the games from the days of yore. But despite this graphical simplicity underneath we have for example an advanced system of the day, night and the seasons. The fatigue system forces our hero to divide his or her time evenly to work and rest.
The colorful graphics and the abundance of animated objects on the game’s map certainly make for an enjoyable experience. We also need to mention the music. We get to listen to nice, slow, idyllic scores.
The video game developers often copy the old game ideas to their new productions. It’s not always the best way to go but this time we have a real gem as Stardw Valley shines in many respects being a really enjoyable experience. And thus we can enjoy a good farming RPG not only on the old Nintendo consoles but also on Windows computers.