Guest Reviewer: Noka

Stardew Valley.

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There’s a game slowly gaining popularity in the Indie game genre. Something that takes us back to a simpler time when we could just relax and play games, not having to worry about ranking up or finding secret bosses to finish out a game. A game that values nostalgia so much they’ve modeled all their graphics to a 16 bit throwback.

This game is Stardew Valley, an indie title that was a Steam exclusive. The title being made in it’s entirety by a lone programmer known as ConcernedApe. It’s deviously complex for how simple it first shows you it can be. You start off inheriting your Grandfather’s farm after he passes away. If you’ve played Harvest Moon before you get the base idea of the game. If not the basic premise is to cultivate crops and become rich. It’s what lies inside the game that makes it a must have in your library.
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Instead of being a cut and paste farming simulator the creator went many steps ahead, there are a plethora of mini games that you can do; Mining, Combat, Fishing. You’re constantly finding things that you have to do, a gift that a villager requested, a quest to kill off so many monsters. There’s really no differentiating a story and side story, everything you do impacts how the villagers react to you, get caught snooping in the garbage for treasure, they get disgusted.
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With the amount of pure saturation that the Steam Marketplace has in terms of games, it’s nice to see an indie title that had so much care put into it. To have a developer listen to the community and actually implement free updates and is vowing to bring a mulitplayer aspect.
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Since launching Stardew Valley has received rave reviews and award nominations and has sold over 1,000,000 copies. With so much to do and people creating mods daily, you should never run out of fun making sure your crops are watered and animals fed.
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  • Graphics: While they lean towards the 16 bit end, they still seem polished and clean, the animations are fluid and character portraits are very well made. 3/5

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  • Gameplay: With the sheer volume of things to do and errands to run, the entire game takes on a life of it’s own. Starting fresh to 50+ hours and it still feels new and exciting. 4/5

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  • Combat: Surprisingly well done and overall one of the things I look forward to in the game. The combination of mining for sweet loot while fighting for your life feels natural and well put together. 5/5
  • Side Quests: Pretty much falls into the gameplay category, no matter how small the quest is, it is bound to have an impact with your relationships with the characters. 3/5

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  • Story: A tale of a young lad sick of city life and has an opportunity to return to nature and be at peace. I’ve been in love with this old story line forever, maybe it’s a personal desire built in, that doesn’t mean that it’s original 3/5
  • Replay Value: The value of a modding community should always be considered, with the amount of people that fell in love with the game, as well as the simple type of build it is well stocked with new skins, stories and places to explore. 5/5

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  • Overall: Being an indie title the price tag is low (14.99 USD not on sale) and you can generally find it lower when there are sales going on. At the $15 price tag I recommend this game. This is going to be a game that can be enjoyed and loved by family of all ages. Expect to have that saying, just one more level repeat to yourself every in game day.

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