In my teens I spent a good amount of time playing RuneScape and getting into Facebook games like FarmVille. As I look back on my twenties gaming has been extremely minimal aside from party games like Mario Kart and a brief torrid affair with Skyrim. Not anymore!
Stardew Valley was recommended by a few friends and I was immediately hooked. I have tried to describe it, but I don’t think I can top the Wikipedia entry that says it is, “an indie farming simulation role-playing video gamed developed solely by Eric Barone and published by Chucklefish Games.” Yes, the main focus is the farm, but this game has so much more!
I recently grew bored of regular farming and turned focus to relationships with the townspeople and quests. I just unlocked the achievement “popular” so you know I’m a pretty big deal. You build relationships by speaking to characters regularly and giving them gifts. To build a relationship quickly you can look up the character on the game’s Wiki and see what their “best” gift is. As your relationship progresses there are cut scenes where you get to know the characters better. These cuts are unpredictable so they can surprise you as you travel throughout the town and make for a pleasant interruption.
There are twelve romantic partner possibilities in Stardew Valley. My favorite interactions thus far have been with Abigail whose gloomy outlook is hilarious and Emily who is quirky cool. The hardest people to court so far have been Harvey since the clinic hours end at 3PM and Elliot because I can rarely find him, but thanks to the schedule tab on the character’s Wiki page, I am now courting all 12 potential spouses.
When I play RPGs I REALLY play them. There is no quick login play an hour a few days a week, oh no, I am normally in the game space for at least 3 hours minimum once I get started and procrastinate in all other areas to dedicate copious amounts of time to play. Stardew Valley has been exciting for me and I did spend many days with that as my only focus. It is nice to detach from reality and spend time in a place where everything is much more manageable, but it has to end at some point, right?
Maybe not. While the initial excitement I had when I first played the game for hours on end has slightly worn off, I still look forward to logging in and seeing how stories and quests are going to play out.
Have you played Stardew Valley? Are you into leisurely RPGs? Do you have any recommendations for a casual gamer like me? 🙂