Stardew Valley review by Tyson



     I am always amazed at how the video game medium can make something tedious like farming into a super fun and addictive activity. Stardew Valley is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch for me right now. The amount of gameplay that you can get for its low cost makes this an easy game to recommend for the Switch.


     Stardew Valley starts out with our custom created character receiving a sealed envelope from our dying grandfather. Years later after being beat down at a horrible office job we open this envelope and take our gift. This gift is our grandfathers old farm in Stardew Valley. At this point we move from the big city to the cozy farm. Overall it is a pretty neat story and a good way to get us playing on a farm. Thankfully the town of Stardew Valley is full of its own citizens that we can interact with. This interaction is also a big part of the game. You can become friends or even marry a person from the town. This adds some nice role-playing game elements to the game and I really enjoyed it.

     A good chunk of the gameplay in Stardew Valley is going to be spent working on your farm. You will need to clear the land, plant and care for your crops, tend to various animals, and do other things related to your farm. While this might sound boring it really isn't. I had a lot of fun customizing my farm land for things like building coops and barns or utilizing the land in a way to maximize my crop usage. You will even need to work around the various seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter as well. Each of these seasons will give you unique crops to plant as well which I found to be pretty neat.

     While you are working on your farm you can also help out with the various people in town as well. There is this community center that you can fix up by giving it various gifts. You can pick up various quest in town to help someone out like say getting one lady some much needed alcohol. The towns people will also have their relationship with you as well. Do various chores or bring them gifts and this will increase your standing with them. By increasing your standing you can make friends or even find someone to marry. I found this friendship mechanic to be fun and I found myself spending a lot of time trying to romance that one specific lady in town. It felt like a cool accomplishment once I was able to get her to marry me too. Sadly my wife hasn't helped on the farm at all which was a bit disappointing.

     Stardew Valley also uses it's role-playing mechanics very well too. Each of your tools can be upgraded several times which makes doing various activities around the farm much easier and quicker. There is also this leveling system for each of the games activities as well. Go out and break rocks will leveling up your mining for example. As you level these up you will get various benefits as well. The game also uses a crafting system which is a lot of fun too. You can make various tools like sprinklers to help with your farm or things like fences or pathways to give your farm a cool look.

     After putting 50 hours into Stardew Valley I still feel like I have just scratched the surface the of the game. I still have this sewer system to explore, a desert mine to plunder precious resources from, tons of monsters to fight in said desert mine, and most importantly tons of money to make while raising my family on my farm. The only issue I really hit in my 50 hours of gameplay time was that the loading and saving system was super slow. Hopefully this is something that can be fixed in a future patch.


     I didn't notice any major control problems with Stardew Valley. You will use the left Joy-Con mainly for character movement and the right Joy-Con to use various tools or items. My only complaint with the control setup is that it was easy to miss target some kind of activity like plowing the wrong piece of land.


     Stardew Valley uses an art style that makes it look like an older 16-bit console game. In some ways I like this art style since it looks like a game that could of existed on the Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis. But I do also wish that they could of done something more to take advantage of the newer technology in the Switch. Still I did like the graphics and certain effects like the character dialog portraits are well done.


     I found the background music to be fairly decent. There is also a lot of neat sound effects like wood being chopped or sword slashing sounds. I do wish that there was some kind of voice acting in the game but I understand why there isn't due to the indie developed nature of the game.