Stardew Valley Impressions
I have an admission to make. I never understood the appeal of Harvest Moon. Never understood the draw of a game where you farm all day. It’s more akin to a monotony simulator to me. Honestly, there’s been times where I wish I got it. I like the simplistic pixel graphics..I’ve WANTED to understand the appeal, but it just won’t speak to me.
So, of course, I bought Stardew Valley, a spiritual successor to Harvest Moon. Quick warning, this isn’t a review of the gameplay or the mechanics – I don’t think I’m qualified enough to really comment on the details of building and managing your own farm. I’m betting that most people that read this will be Harvest Moon fans that are interested to see if this one is worth it. I can, without hesitation, say it is definitely worth your money.
Here’s why I bought a game that I really never had much interest in: people won’t shut up about it. And I mean that in a good way, of course. I’ve read a review or two of my own, mostly to get an idea of what kind of game it is, and if it’s considered “good” or not. But I kept coming across a common theme. People were pirating this game (of course), but were then going out and immediately buying it once they started playing.
That says something to me, and it should to you too. They got the game for free, started playing it, and loved it so much that they went and gave the developer their money. And on top of that, a LOT of people felt bad about pirating it. And then they posted comments on the torrents saying as much. Here, these are actual comments taken from the most popular torrent for the game:
“Thank you I wanted to try this out before I buy it and to make sure my computer could run it ( my computer is weird) Anyway I’ll be purchasing this on Wednesday! :)”
“im gonna definitely buy this the moment i can but low on cash”
“I Love this game after some hours of play time! i want to buy it buy does anyone know where i can find the savegame for it? The savegame folder it self is empty, same goes for my documents”
“A big thanks to the devs! I am getting the game this way because I am also poor and have only about $4, which I need for the bus. I will be saving up and definitely getting at least 3 copies when multiplayer is added to the game as I heard it might!”
Bet you don’t find that on a torrent for the new Call of Duty.
And here’s the thing. There aren’t “devs”. It’s one guy that has been working on the game for 4 years by himself. Eric Barone, aka ConceredApe is very actively working on and supporting the game. He’s on Twitter and Reddit actively engaging players, responding to their issues and troubleshooting with them. It’s immediately clear that this game is his baby and a labor of love. He plans to add 4 player co-op, expand the combat, and talks about adding “substantial content” to the game once bugs are fixed.
So, back to the big question. Should you buy it? Without question. Game developers like this deserve to be supported. If you like Harvest Moon, stop reading, go buy it. If you’re curious about this style of game like I was? Go buy it, it’s only $15.
It’s currently the #2 best seller on Steam, only behind The Division. If you need more convincing, here’s the Steam reviews (it currently sits at “overwhelmingly positive”):