I’m a person that really likes video games—I am also not very good at them. Maybe it’s because I’m not very competitive and am terribly uncoordinated, but one of the few games I have fallen in love with is Stardew Valley. It was an impulse buy, I’ll admit, and I was apprehensive at first, but after five minutes I was hooked. While it may seem like a cute farming-simulator game at first, as you grow your village, develop friendships with the citizens of Stardew Valley and delve into the plot, you will find yourself enamored. With only 38 villagers, the drama is plentiful in Stardew Valley. Talking to villagers will reveal unrequited love, secret relationships, past betrayals, conspiracies, moral dilemmas, and locations of discoverable areas and quests. Will you join the mega-corporation JojaMart in industrializing the town, or do the extra work to run them out of town?
There are also 12 eligible bachelors/bachelorettes a player can court, marry, and live with! When I was told by friends that you could marry people in-game, I was expecting to have to settle for the Fabio-haired man by the beach—as a lesbian, playing social-simulation and farming-simulation games that have this option can be frustrating sometimes—but the best part about Stardew Valley? Your sexual orientation does not matter in the game, because all the single villagers are bisexual! Yes, you can marry the town’s hunky quarterback, but you can also marry the shopkeeper’s cute Goth daughter if you want to! If you get bored of talking to villagers and tending to your crops, don’t worry, you can always go down to the mines to slay monsters, mine ore, and find geodes that are full of surprises. Mining not your thing? Fishing is always plentiful in Stardew Valley, though don’t expect it to be as easy as it is in other games—those fish give up a fight. Or you can go over to the desert to fight and mine in the difficult Skull Cavern caves, buy exotic seeds, and gather some coconuts and cacti!
To me, the most interesting part of Stardew Valley is the creator and developer, Eric Barone (a.k.a ConcernedApe), who created and developed the entire game himself. He even created all the art, music, and sound effects within the game on his own. He hired two developers, Arthur Lee (a.k.a Mr. Podunkian) and Alex Erlandson (a.k.a zillix), in 2019 to continue updating the game past the 1.3 update, however, nearly everything you see, hear, and interact with in-game was created solely by ConcernedApe. And I think that passion makes this game so much more beautiful and fun to play.
There is always something to do in the Valley, and the day is never long enough, but if you’re like me and just want a wholesome and easy-to-play game to pass the time, Stardew Valley is what you’ve been looking for.