It is one of those few indie titles that are paid, but still worth paying to enjoy it. Although if you have Google Play Pass, you will have fewer excuses to download this game that looks simple but has much more complexity than it seems.
It is not a simple farm management game
This is the case of Stardew Valley, a game developed by Eric Barone Often said to be a combination of Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons) and Animal Crossing. What if, Stardew valley has a strong influence from those two series and from some other game -such as Rune Factory, the spin off from Harvest Moon– but it has its own personality and rich gameplay.
On Stardew valleyIf you wanted, you could limit yourself to collecting, but your work with collecting and fishing is linked to the adventure that leads you to take up a weapon and both activities are oriented, in turn, to work for the community in which you live, since it is a game with a certain social background.
After customizing the character with more possibilities than you would expect in a stylish game pixel art, the story begins with the death of your grandfather, who bequeaths you a farm for when you feel tired of life in the city and want to change of scene. Come that day you you get on the bus and head to Pelican Town to start from scratch in a rural setting. But forget about the fact that life in the country is calm and relaxed, because it will not take long to see that you will not have time for everything you have to do.
Of course, when you arrive at your farm it is full of stones, wood and herbs. The first days are spent cleaning the area, meeting the neighbors and understanding how the game works, but not a boring beginning – removing the part of clearing the land, which is repetitive, so it is better not to do it all the time – because, in addition, you go through the town and the surrounding land and you even have the first missions.
From these first bars of the game you can make a decision that will determine the way you play. The Joja Corporation has a hypermarket in the town and the willingness to become at the center of the local economy, Trying to sink the traditional store
If you become a partner of Joja, the now abandoned Community Center It will become a warehouse and you will buy upgrades in the village and on your farm at the stroke of your heel. But if you decide to support the local economy and stay away from the corporation, you will recover the Community Center with your effort and you will live an experience more integrated with nature than with the economy.
The game has three main sections: your life as a farmer, combat and social relationships. Within the first, time is divided into seasons, each season lasts one month and each month has 28 days. Days start at 6:20 in the morning, and if you go to bed very late, the next day you wake up with half energy. Every activity you do goes consuming the energy bar, It will go down slowly if you explore or fish and fast if you cut wood or fight.
Fortunately, you can recover part of this energy by eating Because otherwise, in busy times, sometimes you would have to go to bed at noon if you don’t want to pass out and have to pay for the medical cost of having to recover and take you home.
Each season has two social festivals and its own harvests. It is important to manage time well because when day 1 arrives, everything you have sown (with a couple of exceptions) withers, so you have to take into account the time it takes for the seeds to grow. In winter, when everything is full of snow, the harvest is less important and you can focus on livestock or combat and social relationships, so that you always have activities and the game never gets boring.
Social life Animal Crossing style
Like in Animal Crossing, relationships with neighbors bring extra benefits, but here you also print your own personality Stardew Valley. You have 28 neighbors, a lot of family with each other, with whom you can improve relationships by giving them something they like – each one has their own preferences – and fulfilling small missions for them.
So far nothing new, but the best is the personality of each neighbor and the relationships between them; some are sad, others are quite simple, and there are even those who desire their neighbor’s wife. When you develop a good friendship with a character you can access their room and you will see some special scenes over time.
A special character is Linus, the homeless man who lives in a tent outside of town, who participates in all the social events but stays out of the way. Linus is the one who teaches you that you can rummage through garbage cans to find useful objects, although if another character sees you, he will visibly show you his rejection. A whole character.
Unlike Harvest Moon, there is also action
The third mainstay of the game is the fight, which initially focuses on the mine (although later there are more areas in which to fight), which is full of monsters and minerals. It has a role-playing component since you buy better defenses and weapons to take down increasingly powerful enemies. Upon entering the mine, a second bar is added to the interface that marks the character’s health. If either of the two bars is left empty, they will have to rescue you, you will lose money and much of what you have in your inventory.
It is not that it is a difficult combat -you can only attack and defend yourself- although it must be taken into account that It is convenient to match the rhythm of your attack to that of the enemy, Since doing it too many times is equivalent to wasting energy uselessly, and you may regret it when you have trouble finding the exit on a level and you are far from the entrance staircase. Since the mine has more than 100 levels, you will have to go down a few times to go all over it.
In addition to all this, you have the typical collectibles. Artifacts and minerals found in the mine can be donated to the museum the first time they appear. You will receive small rewards when you have delivered a few, and some will give you access to other areas of the game. You also have different types of scarecrows and multiple decorations for your house.
Occasionally Stardew valley It gives you some surprises, like characters that come to your garden at night to change something, or even earthquakes and meteorites. They are small details that avoid monotony. Barone achieves surprise the player every so often opening new areas or possibilities at a very well measured pace throughout.