Stardew Valley – Review

Stardew Valley has been one game that I have wanted to try since it released on Xbox One/PS4 but when I found out that it would be releasing on Nintendo Switch, I held out as I thought that this game would be perfect to take anywhere.

In Stardew Valley, you are left a farm by your grandfather. Entrusting it to you to do up and keep the farm running. When you first arrive at the farm, you see that there is a rather big task ahead to get the farm cleared. It is now all overgrown with logs, blocks, trees and other items scattered around, your job is going to be to clear this, get some crops growing and get a thriving working farm going again. As you play through the game, you will get the chance to add more buildings and other items to your farm to help with the running.
There are coops, barns, silo’s, scarecrows and loads and loads more that can be crafted, and I have to admit that I haven’t really started on the presentation of my farm yet, but some of the farms I’ve seen other people create look amazing, however I am trying to work towards getting my tools all upgraded so I can then power through and get loads more done in a day as well as then collect enough resources and cash to work through the aesthetics of my farm.

To help you do this, there are shops around in the town which sells seeds and other items to help you get crops and be able to sell them on. There is a blacksmith that can help you upgrade your tools to make your job better. This is something you need to work towards as some items on your farm can’t be broke with a standard pickaxe, axe or other tool. The blacksmith will also break open any Geodes that you find around the town or in the mines, these can contain a number of things from, stone, coal, copper to more precious gems. The precious gems can be donated to the library to show off, which after every so many gems given in you will get rewards, which I had found to be mainly seed packs, which is OK as these can be used on your farm and help with production.

I mentioned above about the mines, in the mines you can go looking for resources such as stone, copper, coal and other things, within the mines through there are somethings that need to be dealt with which includes slimes and annoying flying things, some of which don’t attack, but there are some that do. This is where the combat system comes into play, and if I’m honest, it is very simplistic, where you just pick your sword and swipe. However, this fits in with the game perfectly, there is no need for over complicated combat here, the game is so laid back and relaxed, and the way this combat system has been done, for me anyway, is perfect.

I will say that one of the things that had kept me going back to this game and losing countless hours to it is how laid back it is. There is no pressure to do anything within the game, sure, there is loads of things for you to do, but the game doesn’t pressurise that. It lets you go at your own pace and doesn’t set objectives to have something done by end of spring year 1, or by winter year 1. If you don’t manage to grow something or do something that is seasonal, then you will have another chance within year 2, 3 etc.

I love the fact that pretty much everything is open from the start with Stardew Valley. There are a few closed off areas that you have to open by fixing up things or donating items in the dilapidated town community centre but other than that, the maps are pretty big and have plenty for you to do on a daily basis. This comes in the form of fishing, clearing your farm, collecting resources, talking to the towns folk, and there are also seasonal events like egg hunts, beach party and the winter star party to name a few.

The crafting within the game, like the combat and most other areas again is very simple, you open up the menu and the items you can craft are there, if you have the resources available to craft, it will be lit up for you to do, and if not, the item will be blanked out. I love this way of doing it, it makes it so much easier to see what you’re doing as well as what you can do in terms of crafting, instead of trying to find the resources in your inventory and finding out that you’re missing one or don’t have enough of one.

The content within Stardew Valley is massive and I love how open the game is and how much there is to do, and this is right from the off as well. I can’t remember the last time a game gave me this much freedom from the start without putting you through laborious quests.

I have to admit that I would highly recommend this game to anyone, I lost 5 hours in one sitting to this game when I thought I had only been on it for 30 mins to an hour. Very addictive.
9/10

Paid retail price from Nintendo E-Shop