6 mins read

Stardew Valley, the review

Stardew Valley he’s come a long way. The review of the PC version dates back to March 2016. In the meantime, the Concerned Ape title has grown, has been enriched with content and features, has been smoothed out where necessary and has made its debut on numerous other systems. The version Android it is the most recent and keeps the charm of the others intact, so much so that it presents itself as the best derivative of Harvest Moon on the mobile market, even superior to the official titles of the series in the store, namely Harvest Moon: Light of Hope and Harvest Moon: Seeds Of Memories, which are also technologically more advanced.

Ultimately Stardew Valley is first and foremost the act of love of a single individual towards the classic Harvest Moon, the 16-bit ones (of which it largely takes up the graphic style) which had not yet had to undergo all those compromises necessary to make them accessible to the general public. As such it offers itself as the purest and most radical expression of the original idea of Yasuhiro Wadathe author of Harvest Moon, who also made public praise for Stardew Valley… After all, the labor of love managed to sell millions of copies, let’s not forget that.

Stardew Valley tells the story of a boy (or a girl, depending on the gender chosen during the creation of the character) who, having received a farm located in the charming Pelican Town as an inheritance from his grandfather, decides to abandon his city life of traffic, office and a lot of stress to dedicate oneself to the land and its fruits. Arriving on site he finds a disastrous situation: the farm it is a shack and the surrounding land is full of stones and weeds.

Not wanting to give up, there is nothing left for him to do but roll up his sleeves and start what will only become a thriving agricultural business after many hours of play. As we were saying, the Android version of Stardew Valley is essentially identical to the others, with the interface adapted to touch controls which really works perfectly (compatible controllers are still supported). Basically, some functions have been made contextual: for example, to remove weeds or rocks, just click on them and the system will automatically take care of selecting the right tools for the job, or, to give another example, to talk to an inhabitant of Pelican Town just touch it and the protagonist will automatically reach it, starting the dialogue. These apparent little things allow you to enter the game without drama, even if you are used to the traditional control system. The management of the data is more problematic fightingwhich instead really pays off the transition to touch controls, so much so that we recommend using the virtual controller that can be called up from the game options to tackle them.

The alternative is to go crazy with the manual controls trying not to make mistakes by clicking on the creatures in the mines and on the boxes that allow you to retreat, or set the automatic combat which however works halfway, in the sense that the character often stands still fighting without dodging enemy shots, regularly ending up killed. It’s true that fighting isn’t the fulcrum of Stardew Valley, but in the mines you can really find many objects and materials that are essential for progressing in the game, so it’s not possible to pretend nothing happened.

Clarified the specific merits and defects of the port of Stardew Valley for mobile systems, the rest can be defined as identical to what has already been seen on other platforms, apart from theabsence of SamaGame. Our character has an energy bar, rechargeable by sleeping and eating, which allows him to carry out a certain number of actions during the day, choosing between dedicating himself to agriculture (hoeing, sowing, watering and so on) or farming , go fishing, tackle the mines, go to the village to talk to the inhabitants, make purchases and carry out small missions, dedicate yourself to furnishing and customizing the farm and much more.

Game time is marked by the passing of days and seasons, which bring specific problems, but also events (festivals, fairs and so on) and different products to grow or find. Stardew Valley does a truly exceptional job of slowly opening up to the player, that is, of revealing hour after hour that it is much more than what it may initially seem. For example, by getting to know the inhabitants, you unlock some narrative lines unexpected, closing others, such as those linked to the twelve characters who can be courted to start a family. Furthermore, you soon realize that it is better to specialize the farm, because it is not possible to dedicate yourself to all the economic activities foreseen by the game system at the same time. The result is a very high replayability that greatly extends the life of Stardew Valley.

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