While the Stardew Valley craze may have slowed a little, people are still rather mad for the game. I hear often though, “is it really that fun?”. The reality is of course that personal opinion/preference plays a large part in the answer, but in short yes. Yes, Stardew Valley is really that fun. So much that people will continue to play and enjoy probably for a rather long time. So for those that are curious, but maybe don’t totally understand, here are some reasons why we love it so much.
1: The villagers have interesting stories/personalities
Stardew Valley is often compared to other games, including but not limited to, Animal Crossing. The comparison is fair to an extent. The biggest difference, the villagers. Stardew Valley actually has a fairly large cast of characters. There are over 20 villagers in the game, and each with fairly unique personalities. Now as with real people, some of their stories might not appeal to you that much, but there is still a lot going on for each of the people living there. Shane is a grumpy guy that lives with his aunt, Sebastian seems to have anxiety and struggles to fit in with his family and the town, Abigail’s mother is often commenting about how she just doesn’t understand her daughter, and Linus is a homeless man that wonders through the town.
Each of these characters, and the characters they are related to have their own unique way of dealing with each other, and with you. Taking the time to get to know each of the villagers is worth it, just to see their stories unfold and learn more about their personality.
2: It’s nearly impossible to really “complete” the game
If you say you’ve 100% completed the game I would be hard pressed to believe you. Have you really caught every fish, mastered farming completely, perfectly cooked every recipe, filled the museum, found every missing book, rebuilt the community center? Have you done all this on multiple different farms to experience the “relationship” with all the different characters? Are you friends with every villager? A great parent? Have you actually really done everything?
Sure some people probably have, for most gamers though, the idea of being finished with this game is something in the far off distance. There is always something new to learn, do, or get better at in Stardew Valley. The grind to really master the game is something that keeps a lot of people coming back, and trying for more. Why? Because it’s challenging, fun, and totally worth it.
3: It’s very relaxing
One of the biggest appeals to me with simulation games in general, is how different it is to play them vs something like a fast paced shooter. That’s not to say I dislike fast paced shooters, I love them. Sometimes though we all need a break, and that’s where games like Stardew Valley shine. They are the perfect sit back and just sort of chill games. Despite being so relaxing it’s still not boring. There are never enough hours in the day in the game to do everything you want. It’s a great balance of always having something to do, while still being able to give your mind (and fingers) a break.
4: There are lots of little goals to give you incentive
Stardew Valley is great at giving rewards for effort. The idea of having a really successful farm can seem daunting after your first few seasons. You realize the game is going to be slow going, and it may take a few in game years before you are really bringing in the money all the time. A lot of games of this nature reward you a lot early on then slow down significantly, even almost to a halt. The thought process is that more effort needs to be extended to get rewards at that point, which is fair. However it can also become very discouraging. Stardew Valley will have slow rewards at some points, but it maintains a pretty solid balance, always giving more quests, goals, etc to players so they feel like they are making progress. It also of course taps into the addictive nature of the game, making your strive to play just a bit longer to reach a certain goal.
5: It keeps changing
Stardew Valley is extremely easy to mod, with a community that has done some great (and not so great) things for the game. Beyond that the developer promises to release updates that will change certain things in the game. For instance a future update promises to add more people in as a romance option. Even outside updates and modding the game itself is built to change. Certain crops aren’t available until you’ve played longer, Kent doesn’t move in until his second year, in other words there are tons of ways the game reshapes itself while you go through your journey.
So for those who maybe are still on the fence about the Stardew Valley craze there are just a few of the reasons we’ve come to love the game. Because yes, the game really is that good.