It’s been a week since I set foot in Stardew Valley where I became a farmer, outsider, lumberjack, miner, adventurist and fisherman. It seems like my new life comes with many roles, professions and goals, but after 12 hours in-game only one seasons has passed. I have only scratched the surface and it will take time before I will discover everything in Stardew Valley. Therefore I will review the game a season at the time and hope to reach a final verdict by the end of winter.
I have left the city and the depressing Joja firm behind to take over my late grandfather’s farm near Pelican town in the valley. Stardew Valley is very blunt about the life I leave behind: a world that is dominated by powerful companies that push smaller shops bankruptcy and make labourers into modern-day slaves. Concerned Ape – the developer – makes very direct critical comments on modern day society and offers Stardew Valley as a escape from all the madness.
Stardew Valley is the small village that tries to resist the giant empire that is threatening them, but without Asterix and Obelix and instead of Romans it is a supermarket chain that threatens to take over. Which is understandable because the pixel-art village looks so cute that anyone would want to have it in their empire.
The farm my grandfather left me is a mess and the first two days consist solely of chopping trees, cutting grass and removing stones and deadwood from the premises. Then I was ready to go into town and got some seeds so my farm could start growing. This is somewhat of a menial chore, but you will hear constantly uplifting music an nature sounds that give you a relaxed feeling while doing al that hard work with the click of a mouse button.
Planting, watering and lots of waiting are required for harvesting crops and getting to that point is a lot of work and almost tedious at times. The work does pay of when your corps are finally ripe and you get an nice sum of gold for your harvest. You will have to use most of the money to invest in new crops, but slowly you will be able to save up enough to upgrade your farm and take your estate to the next level.
The first season lasts 30 days and it took me approximately 12 hours to get there. Stardew Valley is hard work and you might find the progression you make in that amount of time too little. Besides that you will find yourself constantly worrying about crop rotations, sprinkler positioning and keeping your land fertilized. You have a lot on your plate as a Stardew farmer and I have not even gotten to getting into the adventure club, building meaningful relations with the villagers or constructing a coop so I can keep some cattle. I will have a lot to do to do during the summer…