Do you ever get tired of the monotony and stress of living in modern society? Would you rather kick back and relax on your porch to the sounds of birds and cicadas or honking horns and airplanes? Tired of the hustle and bustle of city life and want to just live in a small peaceful town? Sorry, Harvest Moon is all booked up, but there's a nice little place for you waiting in Stardew Valley.
While Stardew Valley isn't a brand new game (it came out in February 2016) on PC, it's soon going to be available on consoles. The reviews on Steam are overwhelmingly positive (as they should be) because this game is awesome. Look at the trailer below and see:
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Hey, Self, this looks like Harvest Moon!" and I would tell you, "Yup, it's Harvest Moon — but better." How would you make a classic like Harvest Moon, a game about making ends meet on a farm for a couple of years, better? By being ConcernedApe.
The developer (which, currently, is one guy named Eric Barone) decided a while ago that he'd love to make a game like Harvest Moon, mostly to get experience coding in C#, but also because he hadn't seen an indie version (or clone) of the game. So, he started developing it to do just that. Partway through the process, in steps Chucklefish, who happens to like his game and wants to publish it. Now we have Stardew Valley, which is just like Harvest Moon but even better.
You start out with a letter from your grandfather. He tells you to open it when your modern life becomes too difficult to handle. Years later while working for a large corporation called Joja, you decide you can't take a life like this anymore. You open the letter from your dead grandpa and receive the deed to his farm. A bus ride later, you arrive at your new home. Unfortunately, it needs work, but the people of Pelican Town are willing to help you out.
Besides working on your farm, there are loads of things to do, and the map is huge. There's Pelican Town itself, which features a saloon, a clinic, a store, a blacksmith, a library/museum, a community center, some houses, and a Joja Mart. There's also the mountains, the lake and forest, the beach, and a desert. The residents of Stardew Valley range from friendly to downright rude and have completely differing personalities. Some of them are single, and you can end up marrying one of them.
It's really hard to explain why I like this game so much more than Harvest Moon. They both have farming, they both allow you to marry someone, they both have the same types of areas and residents, they both have tons of secrets to discover — but, I think it's the little things.
I like that going into the caves could actually be dangerous. I like that farming is a little more organized and feels more customized. I like that there are modern touches like an arcade in the saloon, one of the bachelors being a freelance programmer, and one of the bachelors playing on his phone/handheld console. I like that some of the characters have bad habits like smoking or drinking too much. There's even a veteran character who obviously has PTSD. I like that, overall, it feels more real than Harvest Moon. Even with certain paranormal or supernatural events that happen, it still feels more grounded. I can't explain any more thoroughly than that, you'll just have to play it.
Now, for console gamers who are looking to buy (or for PC gamers that haven't bought Stardew Valley), I'll share my experience with this game.
I bought it as part of the Steam Summer Sale five days ago. I am now addicted to this game and have racked up enough hours to cover a full time job played since then. 'Nuff said.