Living the Farm Life

This post was originally published last October 2016. Content of this post will be further updated on another.

In light of today’s Stardew Valley 1.1 update, I want to write and pay homage to a game I never thought I’d come to love.

For those of you who have been living under a rock and have never heard of Stardew Valley it is an “open-ended country-life RPG” that was released early this year. Here’s a quick summary grabbed from it’s Wiki:

You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It won’t be easy. Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town’s most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. But the valley seems full of opportunity. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!

Yup. So basically, it’s similar to how Harvest Moon works — You inherit a farm and/or, you embrace the farm life as an escape from your monotonous career. You restore the farm. You save the town etc.

The stark similarity it has with Harvest Moon is the reason why I initially thought I wouldn’t like it as much. You see, Harvest Moon is one of my favorite games. I’ve practically played most of the Harvest Moon games since it became available for play in Gameboy Color. For a game that looks like it has “copied” my childhood favorite, I had my initial doubts.

Contrary to my thoughts, I was pretty surprised that my Stardew Valley experience has been a blast since I begun playing.

Here’s a quick top 10 list of the things I loved about the game:

  1. Stardew Valley allows you to choose between 6 bachelors and 6 bachelorettes. You can marry any of them, no matter what your gender is. So yes, same-sex marriage is possible and that’s relevant because duh we’re in the freaking 21st century. Keep up, people.
    7a67674c3ce2fbbd94d0f517743050c54e397608e527d831eaacc09683d01057.jpg
    It’s okay to be gay! (Disclaimer: I’m not gay but my Stardew Valley character is haha)
    moment
    There’s my character (in white), giving a lovely smooch to her wife, Leah
  2. There are cool Easter eggs throughout the game that keeps you exploring more. Hidden entrances, cool bus rides that you can take to a new place outside town, rare cut scenes where a fairy godmother visits your farm to bless your crops, hidden caves and secret statues…. *the list goes on*. It’s like: just when you expect you got it all covered, nope, there’s something more to find and discover. It keeps you hooked to the game too. (i.e. me spending 10 hours straight one day, just playing the game)
    easter egg.jpg
    One of the easter eggs: Click the letter “E” multiple times at the title screen and you get a friendly alien 🙂
  3. Three words, friend. Art of Crafting. There are tons of useful things that you can craft based on your resources. You can create stuff for your farm, for aiding you while mining and for producing tools needed in your different exploratory escapades. You can smelt ores to create better materials. You can harvest lighting and make batteries. If you wanna pick a reference, you can say the crafting here slightly reminds you of Minecraft. It’s awesome!
    crafting-1
    Craft chests for more storage space. Also got some handy seed makers in there for duplicating seeds instead of buying them from the store.
    crafting-2
    More stuff: Furnaces, cheese press, bee house, recycling machine (for making use of trash!!), preserves jar (for making jam), crystalarium (for duplicating gems) and a lightning rod
  4. Main quests and side quests keep you busy. Besides restoring order in Stardew Valley to prevent the evil conglomerate that is Joja Corp from taking the town, you also got almost daily side quests, running errands for villagers. The main quests though are fun. Fixing bridges and broken mine carts and most importantly, restoring the old and abandoned town center. The town center is divided into different areas and each one has 6 “bundles” that you need to complete. Bundles are usually items you forage/mine/cook/harvest etc. Complete the bundles one by one to slowly bring back the Town Center to it’s original humble state. Rewards come with those too!
    bundles-1
    Just one of the areas inside the town center in need of fixing. You do that by completing bundles
    bundles-2
    Snippet of how bundles work
  5. The soundtrack/background music is fantastic. I usually like turning off the background music when I game but Stardew Valley’s makes you wanna break out and dance or just chill. Listen for yourselves:

    If you love it, you can also purchase the album yourselves.

  6. Monster-slaying! Just like any RPG you’ve gotten used to, Stardew Valley gives you the opportunity to battle monsters and reap rewards. This also makes the game a little more challenging because besides “stamina” you got “health/HP” to take care of. The village comes with a cool shop for weapons and “battle items” like cherry bombs or you can also try reaching the lower levels of the mine to get rare weapons and items.
  7. Stardew Valley is a customizable game. Besides being able to customize your character at the very start of the game ( your character’s hair, clothes, skin tone and the hair color), you can also use Mods to include personalized elements in your gameplay. Want Sailormoon dolls as your farm scarecrows? Sure:
    Sailor Scarecrows Mod for Stardew Valley by GoingGoing
    Take your pick
    Sailor Scarecrows Mod for Stardew Valley by GoingGoing
    How the mods come into play
  8. Interior decorating for the home lovers. Harvest moon did have a couple of stuff that can add to your home but you didn’t have as much freedom to decorate. In Stardew Valley, you can change furniture, add cool statues or eclectic items to display, add more light fixtures, change wallpapers and flooring. Also, once you get married, a space in your home will be decorated by your partner based on his or her interests and likes.
  9. The possibility of co-op or multiplayer function is something that definitely excites me. The news had long been hinted since the game came out but the latest 1.1 update of the game still doesn’t have this function. I’m willing to be patient though. The co-op function will make it more interesting (and will *ahem* give me more reason to invite my bf to play with me hehe). Who knows what other game developments come with this function, right?
    characters
    My characters are ready to do co-op!!!!!!!!
  10. The man behind the game makes me appreciate the effort and work put into this whole endeavor. To those who don’t know, only one guy is currently running the wheels of Stardew Valley. The developer’s name is Eric Barone who also goes by the handle, ConcernedApe. He programmed the game, wrote the story and the dialogue and produced all the sound effects and music (yes even the music!) How can you not appreciate that?????? News has it that the game development took him 4 years and he is still currently very much hands-on with updates and with aiding players with their concerns. What a cool guy. Follow him on Twitter if ya got any questions 🙂 concerned-ape

Things are looking great for Stardew Valley and I think there’s more to look forward to as the development progresses. If you wanna jump into the wagon and get started with playing the game, you can get the game on Steam.

stardew-steam
“Overwhelmingly positive”: Need I say more? 🙂

Don’t miss out! Your farm awaits 🙂

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