• Monty Alexander

Game Review: 'Stardew Valley'

"Stardew Valley" is a game made by solo developer "ConcernedApe" and published by "Chucklefish" that was released on Feb. 26, 2016. In the game, you character works a boring office job that he (or she - you can choose the gender of your character) is not happy with and decides to go to his grandfather's old farmland in "Stardew Valley," which has not been the same since the "Joja Corporation" showed up. It is up to the player to either side with the residents of "Stardew Valley" and restore it to its former glory or side with the "Joja Corporation."

In the beginning, the farm is overgrown and a complete mess of weeds, trees, and logs, but as you start to clear out the surrounding land, you'll notice that those resources are needed in crafting the items to really kick off your farm and start making profits. The town of "Stardew Valley" is inhabited by over 30 characters who have their own different schedules, interests, and personalities that the player can interact with. The seasons and weather in "Stardew Valley" also have unique events and effects: out-of-season crops will wither, new items will be available for that season, and festivals will offer you the chance to earn special items.

As you progress through the game, you will notice a leveling system that contains five different skills such as farming, mining, combat, foraging, and fishing which you level up by doing the specific skills. When you have the right items and can afford new buildings, then much more possibilities open up. With the right supplies and enough money, you can build greenhouses which will help you keep making a sustainable profit during the winter season, along with animal shelters that give you the ability to buy animals such as cows, chickens, and pigs. As you're mining, you will come across many ores and minerals, as well as monsters as you explore the cave. The ores and minerals you come across will help you upgrade tools, and sometimes you will come across an artifact that you can turn into the museum for rewards and more.

"Stardew Valley" is rated E10+ for fantasy violence, mild blood, mild language, use of alcohol and tobacco, and simulated gambling, according to the game's official website. The cost is $14.99 on Steam, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 with hours of fun and enjoyment. There is currently no version for the Nintendo Switch, but it is planned to be brought to it. There is no released multiplayer as of now, but it is in development and planned to be released by early 2018.

The game has received high reviews from critics. A reviewer for CGMagazine gave the game a score of 95 our of 100 and wrote that “Stardew Valley has been the most rich and heartwarming experience (he's) had in a game in years.”

Overall, this game is amazing and extremely cozy and offers hours of game play. I look forward to future updates and new features that this game will bring. I know that this game is one that I could spend hundreds of hours playing, especially with multiplayer coming soon.