Stardew Valley Reviews

AuthorReview
James Carr
248,157 (150,012)
James Carr
TA Score for this game: 2,146
Posted on 29 January 17 at 19:54
This review has 5 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The Cover that is better than the original

Stardew Valley is a pixel art love letter to games like Harvest Moon that takes the ideas of being a small town farmer and makes it better than the originals. The game takes place in the fictional town of Stardew Valley where your character has recently moved to take over the farm left to you by your deceased grandfather after becoming fed up with the corporate world.

Gameplay

One of the main gameplay features in this game is farming, where you need to clear land and plat corps and water them everyday in order to make money and expand the farm. While the basis for the game is farming there are many other avenues for making money and spending time. Fishing, mining, and foraging are other big ways to make money in the game, with the true beauty of the game coming from the ability to spend your time however you please. All of these avenues have pretty great depth to them allowing you to tailor them to whatever your preferred method of play is. The game plays from a topdown perspective and the majority of the controls are fluid, feeling great.

Story

The main story of the game involves around two things. First is that the town is in not great condition, with many things around town falling apart and the villagers feeling pretty gloomy about the future of the town. It is up to you to repair the town and rejuvenate it through either repairing the community center or investing in Joja Co. the local mega-mart. The other story aspects come from the villagers you choose to interact with and possibly romance. The villagers lack any significant depth but they all have distinct personalities and you can befriend/romance them through gifts, eventually marrying the spouse of your choice.

Conclusion

Stardew Valley is an artful homage to the Harvest Moon that eats it's lunch with enjoyable gameplay and great depth to that gameplay. It's addicting to those who love it and a game with very few flaws. Overall I give Stardew Valley 4.5 out of 5
There is 1 comment relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
hella awesome
64,594 (42,145)
hella awesome
TA Score for this game: 1,202
Posted on 05 August 17 at 15:32, Edited on 05 August 17 at 15:40
This review has 1 positive vote and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Note: I've never played Harvest Moon, so my review is through the lens of a newcomer.

Rating Quick View:

Fun:
High
Frustration: Medium
Function: High
Future Play: Medium

The Details
Fun level High - If you like to create something from nothing and leave with a sense of accomplishment and ownership, this game is definitely for you. Stardew Valley has such depth and breadth that you can play it however you want to and never be wrong or lose. Want to focus on farm design? Want to focus on battling? Want to focus on learning character backstories? You can! Or not.... No pressure. Since days are split into roughly 15 minute chunks, it feels like a very time manageable game where you can set a goal for the day, achieve it, and try something else the next day. Part of you needs to like grinding games, though. Repeating the same task and increasing efficiency really should be something you enjoy. Fortunately I find that fun.

Frustration level Medium - Ok... This category is a bit of a difficult one to score because I read guides when I got stuck. Found a key... Looked up where it goes. Found a locked door.... Looked up where to get the key. I try to generally avoid any guides, but since days are only 15 minutes at a time, I really didn't want to "waste" it randomly walking around. This game doesn't feel very rewarding as an exploration game, more of a task oriented game, so getting to where I wanted to be felt high priority. In addition, I saw a video clip of the game prior to playing. Without that, I may not have known how to refill the watering can (for example). With little to no tutorials, you either have to be okay trying and failing or just looking up answers. I only read guides for select things and still have played for 145 hours, so I'm happy I used them when I did.

Function level High - Everything about this game and how it functions is great. The music, the sounds, the colors, the story. It's all pretty awesome. A recent title update changed the controls and I don't like the new operations nearly as much, but it may be because I was used to the old control setup. One thing to note is that if you spend too much time on your farm, the music will stop for the day. I don't know if this is on purpose, but when there is no music, I always feel inclined to leave the farm and walk around the town (music returns when you leave your home screen).

Future Play level Medium - This is another tough score, because I am just not sure how many times I will play a game that I have played for 145 hours on my first run. Obviously I think it is an amazing game and I love it. I think depending on what you like to do in the game, the replay level could be very high. If you like starting from scratch or trying farms on new landscapes, you will definitely get 5 play throughs. If you want to go as low into the mines as possible and battle, there may be no reason to start another game. Even if I don't start a new game, I can imagine always returning to my current save.


Information on the author - I find typical review categories difficult to relate to, so I created my own. The purpose of this review isn't to discuss every aspect of the game or how to play the game. Upon writing, the author earned 29/40 achievements and played over 145 hours on a single save file.
Please log in to comment on this solution.
Leo Ascendent
325,675 (185,953)
Leo Ascendent
TA Score for this game: 250
Posted on 23 May 17 at 23:37, Edited on 23 May 17 at 23:48
This review has 2 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Review originally posted at LVGRB

Don't we all just want a relaxing farm?

External image


Story
Stardew Valley (from now on simply referred to as Stardew) starts out with you, the player getting notified that you have inherited your grandfather’s property in Stardew, which happens to be a rundown plot with a ragged home and field full of rocks, weeds, and other junk. After being shown the property, you’re free to do as you wish, with very little story given to you, but it’s there.

You can either help Stardew become a flourishing community, or sell it out to a Cola company that wants to set up a factory. Besides that, the individuals in Stardew have a pit going on as well, and by befriending them, you can learn more about their plights.

Other than this though, you aren't given much direction, which can result in confusion as to what you should be doing at all.

Graphics
Stardew is done in an 8-bit style, so graphically, it’s not impressive, per say, but has a cute, old school factor that has quite the charming feel. Despite having old school graphics, the designs are still well done; water has wave motions, and leaves flow through the wind in the fall, snow during the winter, and cherry blossoms in the spring.

Music & Voice
The music is some of the best done in these farm sim style games, with a relaxing melody that really gives life to the town of Stardew. Music changes from upbeat in the Spring, to almost melancholy in the Winter, making you feel as if the world around you is aware of its own death and rebirth.

There’s no voice acting, so nothing to really note there.

Controls
As this is an old school game, there isn’t much to the controls. You move, switch items, and use them. Using the control stick (in default) will have you run, but using the D-pad makes you walk (though this can be changed in the settings).

Other
While you’ll spend most of the time farming or taking care of animals, don’t forget to head to the mines and, if you’re brave enough, venture to the deepest parts of them. You’ll find both valuable ores to craft stronger tools, as well as rare equipment to make dealing with monsters easier, and relics to donate to the local museum/library/day care (kidding, but not really).

There’s plenty of events to attend as well (almost all real life events are mirrored in Stardew (minus their religious significance), so be sure to attend the festivals and contests!!

There’s so much more than I can fit in a quick review, but if you’re a fan of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory, you’ll want to check out Stardew Valley, and if you get the physical copy (same price as digital, as of writing this), you’ll get a copy of the music in the game, so I suggest getting the physical copy if possible.

Achievements
many of the achievements will come through progression, but it'll be a grind. There's no real skill required, except how quick can you make money and sell things? Keeping a checklist for sold and grown items would be helpful.

If you're not ready to sink a hundred hours in to the game, I wouldn't worry about achievements.

External image

There are 2 comments relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.