What I played… Stardew Valley

Hi, my name is Queenie and I have a small obsession with Stardew Valley.

For those of you who have never heard of this game before it’s an 8-bit style life simulator akin to the old Harvest Moon games.

The game starts as you get fed up with your existence in the big city, working long hours in the office just to put money in the pockets of The Man. Luckily your grandfather saves the day by conveniently dying and leaving you the deeds to his little farm way out in the sticks. You apparently leap at the chance to get back to nature and away you go.

As the game starts out, your farm is little more than a one roomed shack in a large area of overgrown ground but with time and care you can make a living and start a family.

Three game-years on and my character is married with a baby. She wakes up, feeds the animals and collects the eggs and milk. If it’s sunny out she’ll have to water and harvest the crops (unless hubby has done it for her). She can check her barrels to see whether her wine has brewed or collect honey from her beehives. She then has the rest of the day to herself, to fish, forage, make friends or even explore the cave system in the north and kill monsters.

stardewvalley_5-1024x603

It’s incredibly repetitive. The seasons are 28 game-days long and interspersed with the odd social event or festival and in winter there’s little to do early on as crops will wither if planted outside.

Having said that, it’s also incredibly addictive! There’s something so relaxing about just pottering about on your farm, hearing the soothing cluck of your chickens and tending to your cheese press. The developers are also still pretty active on updating the game; the last major updates allowed you to build new farm buildings and equipment, new marriage options (and even divorce!), and a number of new maps if you have the heart to start a new game.

Whether I’ll still be interested in playing the game when I’ve unlocked all the secrets is another matter but for now I can’t get enough!

Tip: If you’re a software savvy person and like to accelerate your gameplay the save files for Stardew Valley on PC are in a plain xml format and easily editable if you know the syntax. Remember to back up your save file before you do any tinkering! 

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