A few weeks ago I posted about Stardew Valley and how excited I was for it, and now the game has been out for a little over 36 hours as of writing. In that time I’ve put 13 hours into the game, which is an early indication for how much I’m enjoying it. Here’s my review of the early parts of the game.
Stardew Valley sees a welcome return to the farming simulator/RPG hybrid gameplay dominated by Harvest Moon over the past twenty years or more, and shares a lot of similarities with that franchise as well as forging its own path in the genre. The core story will be a familiar one to fans – your Grandfather leaves you a farm in his will, and years later you decide to take it over and transform it from a dilapidated pile of overgrowth and rubble into a thriving money making venture. Along the way you’ll meet the local Pelican Town community and attend various events and play through various randomly generated scenarios, and follow various sub-plots crucial to the over-arching story. There is absolutely loads to do in this game taking all that into account, as forming and maintaining relationships, progressing through the story and maintaining the day-to-day running of your farm allows for a varied and enjoyable experience each time you play.
*UPDATE* You can read our Stardew Valley Review here.
I’ve been a fan of Harvest Moon since it first came to the Super Nintendo console in 1998. Since then I’ve owned and played several of the sequels spanning across almost every console Nintendo has made, and put hundreds of hours into the series overall.
One of my favourites and one I probably put the most time into was Animal Parade on the Wii. Unfortunately that was the last of the Harvest Moon titles to see a release on home consoles in 2008, with everything else since being made exclusively for handhelds – and handheld gaming is something I’ve never quite been invested in, not for want of trying.
So, eight years later and with a Wii U release of a new Harvest Moon game (or Story of Seasons as it’s now known) looking increasingly unlikely, ‘ConcernedApe,’ a one man developer, has created Stardew Valley and it looks impressive.
Scheduled for release on February 26th 2016, it boasts a handful of familiar features essential to the farming simulation / RPG genre. There are a ton of customisation options for both your house and character, and an interesting leveling mechanic that pulls the game more towards an RPG style than a straight up farming simulator by way of improving five different key skills – farming, mining, combat, fishing, and foraging. Add to that a thriving local community, places to explore and creating the ultimate farm, this game is looking like the game PC and Harvest Moon fans have been waiting for.