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Video GameStardew Valley Review
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Posted: 2 years ago, last updated 2 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

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

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

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1 (4 online)

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

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)

 

ListsLists

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 51 hours and 75 hours to complete. 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.
 

Play StylePlay Style

You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game. You can play local multiplayer on the Switch via wireless mode, but only if you each have your own Switch and copy of the game.

You can play online co-op via the menu. You need to 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.
  • Xbox One - Connect to other players via Xbox Live Gold. Multiplayer without a subscription isn't supported.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

 
This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:

 

BenefitsBenefits

This game has helped players develop their Disposition as part of the following pathways:

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.

Rated for younger players in the US. ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco. Some quests require players to explore caves and battle "cartoony" enemies (e.g., jelly creatures, crabs, flying monsters). From a top-down perspective, players use swords to briefly strike creatures and deplete their health meters. A handful of creatures emit small splashes of blood when defeated. One area contains a casino in which players can wager coins on slot machines and blackjack-style card games. During the course of the game, characters are occasionally depicted smoking pipes or cigarettes; players can also drink mugs of beer, sometimes resulting in a temporary “tipsy” status effect. The word “damn” appears in the dialogue.

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. Still, some parents tell us that children as young as 5-years-old enjoy this. "My daughter was playing Stardew Valley before she could read what the people were saying, but it didn't matter to her."

Our Game Pathways reveal how 6-year-olds play this game:

CostsCosts

Stardew Valley usually costs £10.99 to £11.99.
 

Stardew Valley

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

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Video Games Like Stardew Valley

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games. These are similar to Stardew Valley in how they play or their theme. These are good alternative games to Stardew Valley, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB EVERYONE 10+ games.

Board Games Like Stardew Valley

Our experts have hand-picked the following board games that offer a similar experience or theme to Stardew Valley., or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB EVERYONE 10+ games.

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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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