Memory Card: Stardew Valley

Taking us back to a cozy classic...

Marina Snyder
1st April 2024
Source: Flickr, @PlayStation.Blog
In 2018, many of my friends were playing Stardew Valley, and I vividly remember them yammering on about what a great game it is, the hours they had dedicated towards farming, and, of course, how I just HAD to play it.

I only took their advice four years later, and when I first played the game, I soon became obsessed.

Stardew Valley appears relatively straightforward and simple at first. When it was first described to me as a game where you "have a farm", I didn't think it could be very interesting. But it is not just about creating a farm… it's about creating the farm of your dreams! (So says the official website).

There is, of course, a lot more to the game. At its core, Stardew Valley offers a nostalgic homage to classic farming simulators like Harvest Moon. However, there are also opportunities to be creative, experience dynamic relationships with 'quirky' characters, explore new lands, and take on different adventures.

The concept seems so simple, almost dull, but the thing about Stardew Valley is that it's such a comforting game to play – you can get lost in the captivating world, drawn to it in a very addictive way, and yet, it's also a very calming and atmospheric experience. There is a certain charm found in its simplicity as the visuals capture changing seasons, emphasising the cyclical nature of life. A mellow soundtrack also accompanies the graphics' retro, slightly whimsical aesthetic, which aids the game in inducing a sense of tranquillity and solace. These various components thus create a haven for players who often live in a stressful and fast-paced world.

All in all, the game can offer a lot for players, whether it be a sense of self-expression through the way personalities and farms are infused creatively, or through a sense of escapism by placing some comforting simplicity back into the world of technology and virtual realities.

Stardew Valley will always have a piece of my heart, and to this day, if I'm feeling a bit down, overwhelmed or just need a sick day in bed, then I know what game I'm turning to.

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