Stardew Valley Review - Is It Worth It?

Stardew Valley Is It Worth it

For those who grew up playing the Harvest Moon franchise, Stardew Valley is a must to at least try out. As someone who found the franchise a bit late, the review I’ve written won’t be based on nostalgia from past farming simulation games, but rather, completely unbiased. I’ll be looking at Stardew Valley as the standalone it is.


About Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a simulation role-playing game inspired by the Harvest Moon series that allows players (whether on their own or with friends) to farm, fish, explore, and more after moving into a new town to escape their old and boring life. The game was released on February 26th, 2016 on Windows by a single man who goes by the name ConcernedApe. Stardew Valley’s release was extraordinary from the very beginning, selling over 1 million copies in the first two months, and is still a raging success having sold over 20 million copies by March of 2022. It only took four years to create a game that changed and inspired the future of farming simulation games.


Stardew Valley’s Story

Stardew Valley Official Trailer

Within the wondrous world of Stardew Valley, you get a letter from your grandfather before he passes away, and are told not to open it until life becomes too hard. Years later, after tiring out from a mundane job, you open the letter to reveal that your grandpa’s farm in Stardew Valley now belongs to you! You move onto the farm to start your brand new life in a new village. There is technically an “end goal” which is to get as much done as you can by year three, but after that goal is met, you can continue to play on for as long as your little farmer heart desires.

Stardew Valley Starter Farm


Stardew Valley’s Gameplay

Stardew Valley starts by allowing you to create yourself and choose which of the seven farm types, each with its own perks or drawbacks, you want to move onto. Within the town, there are an abundance of tasks and activities for you to do, such as farming, animal husbandry, crafting, fishing, combat, cooking, foraging, befriending townsfolk, and so much more. 

Speaking of the townspeople, the valley is populated with an ever-growing cast of friendly (or not-so-friendly) faces with villagers who, if you continue to speak with them, you might eventually learn to love. Though the story of Stardew Valley is simple, there is an infinite amount of replayability. You have the opportunity to create and decorate different farm layouts, or you can create challenges for yourself, by wanting to complete the community center as fast as you can, or only relying on one source of income. And if you play on PC, there are thousands of mods that you can dive into. The possibilities are endless.


Stardew Valley’s Combat

Stardew Valley has a very simple click-to-kill combat system where clothing items have some armor aspects to them, and you can click to swing at any monsters coming your way. You also have the option to right-click to either swing harder or block, depending on the weapon. 

Weapons can be either purchased through the Adventurer's Guild, found in chests in caves, or even collected through breaking barrels or killing certain monsters in caves. Strength relies less on leveling and more on how good of a weapon you have, but you can earn perks at levels five and ten that’ll help you out, with level ten being the max.

Combat isn’t forced onto players, however, as the only real danger is inside of certain cave areas that they can choose whether to enter (or unless they decide to add monsters onto their farm) and PVP in multiplayer is nonexistent. 

Stardew Valley Fighting Slime in Cave


Stardew Valley’s Quest/Mission System

In the beginning, quests in Stardew Valley act as a tutorial or helper, and they’re always recorded in the form of a journal. So, if you ever forget what quests you have to do (like I do even in real life), a reminder is always only a click away. There are other story quests that you can find by playing the game, or receive through mail; don’t worry, these don’t have expirations, dates so you can put them on the back burner until you have the time.

You can also pick up random “help wanted” quests on the community bulletin board outside of Pierre’s General Store. While these can be a quick way to build friendship and earn a little extra cash, keep in mind that they do have an expiration date, though there’s no penalty for not finishing a quest after picking one up. In a recent update, a “special orders” board was added to the game, allowing players to fulfill even bigger orders if they desire a challenge.


Stardew Valley’s Graphics

Stardew Valley has pixel-like graphics that, while they may not be for everyone, add to the cute and whimsical atmosphere of the game. Overall, the graphics make the environment come alive, with frogs that hop into water when it rains and butterflies that may fly out of trees that are chopped down. Admittedly, the villagers’ character portraits aren’t the most attractive, but if you can look past that, then you can see how beautiful the game’s graphics are.

Stardew Valley Night Market Festival


Stardew Valley’s Developer

Stardew Valley was developed by one single person—graphics, gameplay, music, and all—named Eric Barone, or better known as ConcernedApe. ConcernedApe, though he’s currently in the process of creating a new video game, continues to update Stardew Valley, constantly adding quality-of-life changes and adding more content to the game. The latest update, version 1.5, was released on the 25th of December in 2020, and ConcernedApe announced a 1.6 update that will be coming in the future. ConcernedApe is active on Twitter every so often, listening to his community and answering any questions—though I will note that the mobile version of Stardew Valley is not yet up to date due to complications and that it is on track to be released by the end of the year.


Stardew Valley’s Price

With no pay-towin elements or in-game purchases, Stardew Valley’s price is only $14.99 on Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Playstation Vita, and $4.99 on iOs and Android. Many people, including myself, believe that this game is worth at least twice the price than what is given, but its lack of being expensive is what allows more people to experience this game for what it is.



•    Extremely cheap price for the content

•    Replayability levels that make it feel as though you’re playing a new game every time

•    Easy moddability, which adds to the replayability


•    Art style / graphics may not be for everyone




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Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RPG
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Sims 4, Dragon Age: Origins, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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