Stardew Valley is a farming simulation game for PC created by one developer, Chucklefish Games.
It features many of the elements of the Harvest Moon franchise where in you farm in order to expand your farm as well as help the town the farm is located in. There are also other elements of play such as life sim implementations where the user can talk to and marry other NPCs.
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Pro Deep customization options
There is quite a lot that can be crafted in the game, from fence posts to chicken coops. Discovering how to build these and then deciding where to place them is one of the best parts of the game as you can build/design a farm to your liking.
Pro There is always more to do
Just like in the real world, operating a farm is a lot of work, especially if one is set on expanding said farm. The game works just like this in that the player is always driven to expand on what they have, be it growing more crops, raising more animals or just improving ones house and equipment. This makes for a game that drives the player to keep playing just a little bit longer to get just one more thing done.
Pro You have freedom to choose to play one aspect of the game or all of them
Such as farming, fishing, mining, forestry, exploration and meeting people. This allows for many elements to explore in the game that expands the gameplay but also allows for freedom of choice in what to do and when to do it.
Pro May get Mac and Linux port
Currently the game only runs on Windows machines, but the developer has stated that a Mac and Linux port are among their top priorities.
Pro Long playtime
The game is reported to taking over 10 hours for one season in the game, of which their are four season in a year. Which means it can take 40 hours just to get though the first year in the game, of which there can be many. This means a user can easily sink in 100s of hours into the game, making for quite a bargain for a $15 game.
Pro Good selection of game options
The games options see resolution support, controller and keyboard support, of which the controller support even has a rumble feature (for those that have controllers with rumble support). Keyboard support also has built in key-bind support, for those that do not have a separate key-bind support app.
Pro Catchy and relaxing music
For a game that is meant to have large amounts of time spent in it, the music is quite relaxing, which is nice as it does not get on the players nerves.
Pro Convenient auto save feature
There is no manual saving in the game, it auto saves when sleeping or or moving on to the next day. This is convenient as the player does not need to remember to save, which could lead to accidental lost data. This system also prevents the player taking advantage of the randomly generated mines, as it could be too easy to exploit for rare items.
Pro Weather system that forces the player to adapt
Each day in the game may feature different weather depending on the season in the game. From rain to snow to natural disasters, each forces the player to adapt their workload to that days forecast. This keeps the player on their toes and forces them to plan for events to make sure they have the needed supplies for when different disasters happen.
Con Large amount of grind
While it is the bread and butter of the gameplay, the amount of work that needs done from the start is quite a lot and so you will be doing the same thing over and over again. The whole farm is dilapidated, meaning everything needs cleaned up, weeds need cleared, rocks need cleared, tress need cleared, the whole house needs rebuilt. this amount of what are basically chores may not appeal to all as it is quite a feat to take on.
Con Lacks polish in some areas
Menus feel odd in that some controls work in some areas while not in other such as item management when using chests. There is also a lack of information in the game on how to do things, which means the player must figure it out through trial and error. While this is much like an old school game it would be nice to have a few things explained in order to not miss anything important in the game like certain festivals.
Con Townspeople schedule is difficult to keep up with
The game asks the player to meet everyone in town, while there is mini map that shows where townspeople are, certain townsfolk are missing from this map such as shop keepers. This makes it difficult to keep up with who is where.