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Stardew Valley Review

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Posted: 23 months ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to try their ambition on.

On the surface, this can seem like a simple farm-simulator but players are soon drawn to the wider world, people and relationships that make their village tick. It's a game that can surprise you by the nuance and depth of characters.

There is hope running through the stories of the townsfolk. When you know them well enough to trigger the cut scenes explaining their back-stories this grows more substantial. You can even influence their decisions. It becomes less a game about farming wealth and more about generosity and community value.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 51 hours and 75 hours to complete.
 
Players: You can play this with 4 players online. This is a game you can pour hours into if you wish. The open-ended approach to mastering the farming and relational side of the game means that total play time will vary greatly.

You can play in co-op mode via the menu. Each player needs a system and copy of the game. Then open the farm to other players via the Settings tab in the Inventory.
  • PC - Connect via to Steam friends co-op join screen.
  • PlayStation 4 - Connect via PlayStation Plus in the co-op join screen.
  • Switch - Connect via Nintendo Online account to people on your friends-list via the Join tab. Or connect via local WiFi.
  • Xbox One - Connect to other players via Xbox Live Gold. Multiplayer without a subscription isn't supported.

CostsCosts

Stardew Valley usually costs £10.99 to £11.99.
 

Stardew Valley

 
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

The game was originally rated PEGI 7 for occasional mild non-realistic violence towards human characters. Violence towards human characters is not detailed. When a human character is hit they do not respond either audibly or physically. When eventually defeated a character will spin off into the distance and disappear.

The more recent version of the game include "a casino location and trade in-game money for tokens which can then be used to bet on various casino games such as blackjack and slots with detailed instructions on how to play." This resulted in a PEGI 12 rating.

The VSC also noted that, the player has the option to make alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine and mead. When the player consumes the alcohol, they receive increases in their health and energy statistics. However, a negative consequence is also shown, with an icon indicating that the character is 'tipsy', which temporarily reduces their speed. The player can go throughout the whole game without making or drinking any alcoholic beverage.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Skill Rating

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. The understated visuals and slower progression in the game make it suitable for children with the patience and skill to persevere. The two-player mode can be a good way to get younger children into the game, when played with a parent, guardian or older sibling.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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