Harvest Moon: PC
March 8, 2016 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Stardew Valley is a farming, fishing, mining, exploring, crafting game from Concerned Ape. Think a little Harvest Moon, Terraria, Animal Crossing and Minecraft, but also a little more than those. The game is currently topping the charts of Steam. Critical reception has also been great, seeing the game as an evolution of the Harvest Moon formula with several major improvements. Others highlight the somewhat addictively relaxing nature of the game.
posted by codacorolla (52 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
 
Windows only.
posted by nom de poop at 8:13 AM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Achievement Unlocked: Bursitis
posted by wormwood23 at 8:22 AM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


nom de poop: "Windows only."

2GB or better.

Now that we're done pointing out the requirements, this game is pretty fantastic. It weaves the mechanics of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon in a way that avoids some of the obvious missteps of the latter (Mostly Rune Factory era things where the pacing was more frantic). It's an almost perfect relaxation simulator. A+++++ would plant corn again.
posted by boo_radley at 8:22 AM on March 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's getting a fair bit of favorable attention over on ye olde Mefightclub as well. That's where I'd go if I were you and you are playing a bit of this.

Take that grammar.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:26 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I bought Stardew Valley from GOG a week ago, and am now halfway through the first winter. The last game I fell for like this was Minecraft. Love it love it love it!

The only complain I have is that it only saves your progress at the end of the day, and the only reason that is a problem is because now it's a new day and I have crops to water and sure I can stay awake for twenty more minutes and save tomorrow morning and now it's 3am.
posted by JohnFromGR at 8:26 AM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


I want to try this but I am kind of scared it would turn into one of those cocaine Skinner boxes for me, where "just five more minutes" turns into living in a cardboard box with my laptop when I lose my job and my spouse.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:36 AM on March 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


It's a lot of fun - well worth the price. The fact that you can't save during the day is a little frustrating, to be sure because it's so hard to go to bed once you wake up and open the door and see that you have $10000 worth of blueberries in the fields!
posted by dismas at 8:41 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this is coming out in the West, but it would be cool if we could also play a Japanese take on Minecraft (that is supposedly pretty good).
posted by selfnoise at 8:42 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Stardew Valley really great! Like kind of irresponsibly so. Have put a lot of time into it in the last week, mostly just sort of blissing out doing farm shit and town shit, occasionally biting off more than I could chew in the mines and costing myself some cash and items (including, horribly regrettably, two really great swords) when I got KOd and hauled back to the surface by a friendly townie.

I find myself in midwinter getting excited for spring to come back around so I can start up some sprinkler-irrigated farm plots and get a break from the time- and energy-consuming drill of hand-watering otherwise profitable crops. It turns out that I'm kind of a lazy farmer, at heart? So, ideally, slow-growing, high-margin crops that I can plant and ignore for a week and then go pick. Minimum futz for a steady profit.

My farmer is yet another ancestral (or descendent) avatar in what has become my go-to There's A Character Creator deal with games the last few years: Nyx Shepard, Hard-Nosed Space Goth. Which in everything that isn't Mass Effect sort of undercuts the "space" bit but either way it's a strong recurring archetype in the Shepard bloodline. She's been a post-apoc survivor in Fallout 4, she's saved the world in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and now she's farming the shit out of Shepard Farms and securing the mines for great justice.
posted by cortex at 8:51 AM on March 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


I bought "Stardew Valley" last Friday, and showed it to my non-gaming wife on Saturday morning. She thought it was cute and that I should mention it to our 12-year old daughter. I did, and we've been fighting for our turn at the PC ever since.

I will see the Pelican Town Community Center restored to its former glory. Long live locally-owned grocery stores, and confusion to the usurper Joja!
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:51 AM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ooh. I just got Harvest Moon: Back to Nature for £4 on Playstation Network, so that's been my go-to evening unwind for the past week or so, but once that grows stale I might need to give this a shot.

I have to wonder if this reviewer has ever actually played Harvest Moon though:
This is old school, Harvest Moon-inspired simulation. It has clear roots in that franchise, but it separates itself with many other mechanics thrown on top of just farming. In fact, there's an entire season (winter) when farming doesn't happen!
posted by Gordafarin at 8:52 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I will see the Pelican Town Community Center restored to its former glory. Long live locally-owned grocery stores, and confusion to the usurper Joja!

This is a wonderful sentence
posted by clockzero at 8:58 AM on March 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think it's a little misleading to call this Harvest Moon inspired when it looks like a direct attempt to make a Rune Factory game. Yes, Rune Factory was inspired by (and halfway a sequel to) Harvest Moon, but almost all of the elements in this game that make you want to say "It's like Harvest Moon, but with X" are elements that also appeared in the Rune Factory games.

That's not a complaint. There is room in this world for plenty of excellent Rune Factory-likes.
posted by 256 at 9:00 AM on March 8, 2016


I guess what I'm saying is that, if you like Stardew Valley and have never played the Rune Factory games, you may want to check them out at some point.
posted by 256 at 9:02 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have one complaint about it.

I can apparently date and marry Penny, but I cannot date and marry her mother, Pam.

I demand the opportunity to marry my bus-drivin' barfly bestie.
posted by Katemonkey at 9:06 AM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]




oohhh i adore harvest moon and animal crossing, but i admit rune factory is my favorite of the group - i'll have to give this a try.
posted by nadawi at 9:30 AM on March 8, 2016


I plan to play this at some point, but I like this sort of game best on a portable device. Maybe someday there'll be a Vita or 3DS port?
posted by asperity at 9:33 AM on March 8, 2016


Games like this are a treatment for the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder as it is caused by densely urbanized lifestyles. The simulation of an agrarian lifestyle provides a sense of simplicity and isolation which historically was part of our neurological evolution. Self affirmation of these behavioral patterns typically manifests as homesteading in the exurbs, but that does not have total permanence as the human population density increases. Therefore, it is safe to say that the future holds more RPGs with a rustic setting, so this is a worthy category for venture capital investment.

I imagine that in the distant future, when humans start to colonize space; Gamers will long for the pace of urban living, along with the multiplicity of faces and personalities. Thusly there will be a new genre simulating our current lifestyles. Think of Simcity 9001, with a first person view, as a blockbuster in 2056.
posted by MisplaceDisgrace at 9:53 AM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


too soon, too soon
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:57 AM on March 8, 2016


I agree with what others have said: the core engagement loop of the game is very, very addictive. The reason for that is the way that saving is structured. It only happens when you sleep. But the game teaches you to immediately wake up and start working to get the most out of your energy bar. So therefore before you know it you've put in a non-marginal amount of work and maybe even gotten some good profits, so you're tied into doing the next part of the day. I wouldn't call it video game cocaine - more like a video game opiate.

Games like this are a treatment for the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder as it is caused by densely urbanized lifestyles. The simulation of an agrarian lifestyle provides a sense of simplicity and isolation which historically was part of our neurological evolution. Self affirmation of these behavioral patterns typically manifests as homesteading in the exurbs, but that does not have total permanence as the human population density increases. Therefore, it is safe to say that the future holds more RPGs with a rustic setting, so this is a worthy category for venture capital investment.

It's funny, because the game starts with a cutscene of the player's avatar at work, hunched over a computer screen. They then break out into nature, supposedly living a full and engaging life... in the game... which has the real-life player hunched over a computer screen. Still, it does tap into an agrarian impulse that a lot of players can likely only fully satisfy through a game.
posted by codacorolla at 9:57 AM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is there a similar game to this for Android? I saw this on Steam, but I need my time killers to be portable, and my gaming rig isn't.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:38 AM on March 8, 2016


So, honest question.

I am about to have a baby and I have a toddler running around. I also have a real-life homestead and full time job to tend to. This game looks... exactly like the kind of game that would have ruled my life before I became a *cough* responsible adult.

How fucked would I be if I downloaded this? Can I play on and off or will it destroy me with pleasant chores and upkeep and oh my god I have to log on RIGHT NOW and pick carrots or the world will end?
posted by lydhre at 11:00 AM on March 8, 2016


You should be safe; there's no real-world clock aspect like in e.g. Animal Crossing. Time just passes in-game when you play, and while you can only save by going to bed, you can pause whenever you like and everything will hold still indefinitely. (And going to bed early is never gonna ruin your game; at worst it'll eat into efficiency a little bit which, this is not a game where that needs to be a worry, even if optimizing shit is fun.)
posted by cortex at 11:10 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was sure this post would include Stardew Valley's "unexpectedly realistic take on getting rejected."
posted by frogstar42 at 11:39 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Windows only.

I know - if there was a Mac OS version, I would buy it, like, yesterday.
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:00 PM on March 8, 2016


One other thing I'd say: This game sure is impressive for (as I understand it) something made by one person (Probably also explains why it's Windows-only at this point...). Even if I got bored with it in the next hour I played it, I'd still feel like I got my $15 worth.
posted by dismas at 12:10 PM on March 8, 2016


I've been chomping at the bit to play as much of this as I can. Totally addicting. I have it on my Surface tablet and I love to plug away at it when I get a moment. Taking each day very slowly so I can try and see everything there is. I'm starting to realize that I can't force some stuff though. I kept checking out the tower in the corner in hope I could trigger it but then it sort of just happened.
The developer is really active in pushing this game forward and it's picked up a lot of momentum. Good for them. The subreddit has some fun stories people have written about their game relationships which makes me smile.
posted by msbutah at 12:11 PM on March 8, 2016


How fucked would I be if I downloaded this?

As the father of a two year old. Pretty fucked. Been there, done that, just wait... You'll adjust. Sorry friend, your gaming days have changed into gaming minutes, if that.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:29 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not too fucked. I'm a at-home-parent with a 2 year old. You play during naps, and during your personal time, and you're fine. It won't hurt the game if you only play for 30 min a day and 15 minutes of game is a nice reward for 45 min of hanging out with the toddler time.
posted by FritoKAL at 12:46 PM on March 8, 2016


Doing a full day without running out of energy (so from 6AM to 12AM gameclock) takes about 15 minutes. You could put in about 1 to 3 days in the time it would take to watch a TV show. Each month is around 28 days long, so a full year of gameplay at that rate would take you a bit more than a month in realtime. As mentioned, however, the way that the game is built is very heavily weighted towards binging. I'd imagine that wears off after you start to discover everything there is to discover, but my play sessions have been much longer than I've been anticipating (which is good, since I'm in something of a lull at work and wanted something really engaging to play).
posted by codacorolla at 1:16 PM on March 8, 2016


I've been looking forward to the game for at least a year and am very, very pleased with it - I got tired of the latest Harvest Moon (Well, "Story of Seasons" now) but I am having a great time with this one.

As others have noted, this is the work of ONE guy over several years, but it has been so successful that I would not be surprised if a mac/linux/portable version appeared at some point in the future.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:58 PM on March 8, 2016


I get my Stardew Valley fix by watching other people play it on youtube. paulsoaresjr of minecraft video fame is doing a playthrough.
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:36 PM on March 8, 2016


SUPERHOT IS THE MOST INNOVATIVE SHOOTER I'VE PLAYED IN YEARS
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:01 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Now if someone makes an agrarian lifestyle sim where plants only glow while you're moving, we're all in a lot of trouble.
posted by cortex at 7:22 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's some rather involved instructions for getting Stardew Valley running on a Mac with Wineskin.
posted by gamera at 8:37 PM on March 8, 2016


I mean here are some instructions.
posted by gamera at 8:51 PM on March 8, 2016


The thing I find really exciting about Stardew Valley versus Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons/Rune Factory/Innocent Life (the robot one is super-cute) is that the developer probably devoted more time to writing dialogue for this one game than Marvelous did for all those games combined. Which just kills me. I would have kept playing the same game with the same mechanics on every new release if each character had more than ten total things to say.
posted by asperity at 10:05 PM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Stardew Valley coming to Linux and Mac depends on Sales

If you already have a Mac and want to play something like this (and have no other consoles), what can you get? This kinda reminds me of Glitch, though less MMO-y at the moment, and I would be interested in something that had quests (as well as the usual maintain-a-farm stuff) and which I could play at my own pace (including long periods of intense play).
posted by divabat at 11:41 PM on March 8, 2016


If you have a Mac, you could probably play this just fine in a virtualized environment. VMWare or Parallels. Even an older Mac should have enough performance for this game.

If you have a Mac, a fast connection, and some patience in setting it all up, it's possible to spin up an instance on Amazon's EC2 and not only play this game, but play anything with high graphics requirement. Works basically by setting up a remote Windows machine with an Nvidia card, installing Steam on it, installing Steam on your Mac, and then fooling local Steam into thinking remote Steam is on your home network, which lets you use Steam's built-in game streaming.

Of course, you could also install the appropriate emulator on your Mac and run one of the original Harvest Moons.
posted by honestcoyote at 10:10 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Another option is getting a cheap used (probably portable) console. (And some of them are very cheap.) One benefit of Marvelous never having made many serious changes to the Harvest Moon series's gameplay over the years is that you can pretty much pick up any one of them and it'll be the same experience, even if device and game cartridge are 10+ years old. And of course that's pretty much why I wanna play Stardew Valley instead.
posted by asperity at 10:41 AM on March 9, 2016


Is there a similar game to this for Android? I saw this on Steam, but I need my time killers to be portable, and my gaming rig isn't.

Hay Day is available for Android (and iOS) and scratches the Harvest Moon itch pretty well.
posted by Vervain at 11:27 AM on March 9, 2016


Given that I might move internationally in a couple of months and won't likely have a TV, I'd rather not buy a console just yet. And Stardew Valley is a little pricey for me for it to be worth trying to set my Mac up (and no, I don't have a fast connection, Internet here is kinda spotty).
posted by divabat at 6:15 PM on March 9, 2016


Oh, I'm thinking more along the lines of ancient used Game Boy Advance than something that requires more than a charging cable. Though getting one of the Harvest Moon game cartridges for it may cost as much as the system. (That said, GBA and DS games are fairly easy to emulate and you can do that on practically any computer-shaped thing.)
posted by asperity at 6:40 PM on March 9, 2016


Is there a similar game to this for Android?

This game will certainly end up on android some day down the line. It will probably go the Terraria route, where it had a rabid PC following, and eventually ended up on all of the consoles, android, and iOS.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:47 PM on March 9, 2016


How does this compare to the SNES Harvest Moon?
posted by aroweofshale at 10:37 PM on March 13, 2016


I mean, I've been playing Stardew Valley and wondering... ah, never mind, I'm thinking backwards again.
posted by aroweofshale at 10:39 PM on March 13, 2016


Bought it last Friday, already burned 21 hours in game. I have now arrived at work with my laptop so's I can lock my office at lunch and keep playing. I haven't done anything like that at work in years, it's *that* good.
posted by Doleful Creature at 6:27 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I grabbed this on Friday, having never played Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon. It's fun, but the lack of fast travel is pretty annoying (unless it exists, and I'm just missing it). I only interact with the townsfolk when I absolutely have to but I do give presents of broken glasses to the ladies and the crazy hermit gets all my prized cauliflower. He loves it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:26 PM on March 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


(there is limited fast travel if you fix the minecart network through one of the BRING ME SHIT questlines in the community center)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:05 PM on March 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


The minecarts absolutely help. There are also the warp totems later on, though the fact that they're consumable kind of ruins them for me. You can also buy a stable from Robin and get a horse to ride for faster movement speed.

Also people seem to be modding the game like crazy, surely somebody will add in fast travel.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:33 PM on March 20, 2016


Oh my god you guys this game

My kid begged for strawberries for days and I said well they don't sell them in the store

Then they sold them at the Easter fair. And she is going to be so happy when she wakes up and sees all the strawberries

I may have to quit my job
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:48 PM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


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