After months of playing Pokemon & Zelda, I felt that it was time to take a break from those beloved franchises and return to my roots in Harvest Moon DS. Booting up one of my old favourites reminded me just how much I love it, and how such a simple game can have a huge impact. After a few hours of nostalgia, I began to feel just how old Harvest Moon DS is, and whilst the game mechanics and playability certainly surpasses the most recent games in the franchise, I couldn’t help but feel like I needed that same game, but with a major overhaul. After a few google searches, I stumbled across Stardew Valley and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to find it!
Starting off, you are handed a letter by your dying Grandpa, instructing you to only open it when life seems so tedious and boring that you forget what life really is all about. Of course time passes by, you’re working your 9-5 desk job and you feel like now is the right time to open this letter. So you do, and the contents of it reveal that he has left his old farm in Stardew Valley to you, and that you are to live there and build a life for yourself in this rural, technology free (almost) area. From then on, you are kind of left to your own devices to grow crops, build relationships and help the town flourish. What makes this stand out though, is the RPG side of it, where you can go out and fight monsters to break away from your daily farming activities, and whilst farming isn’t tedious, the variety of the game is very welcoming.
So far, I have lived in Stardew Valley for just over a month and although my experience of the game is little, I have to say that the game is charming and beautiful to play. The town and townspeople are full of mystery and excitement and I can’t help but play this game for hours on end! I know I have so much yet to experience, and I urge anyone who is a fan of Harvest Moon or anybody who simply wants a break from mainstream games, to go and try it out!