Last week I found myself in one of those gaming ruts. The kind when I stare at my steam/ps4 library for 30 minutes at a time, finding nothing to play. I would launch a game, only to shut it down at the title screen realizing I don’t actually want to play it. I scrolled through Steam’s top sellers list looking to see if there was anything new that piqued my interest, to no avail. I was getting increasingly frustrated, “how the shit do I have all of these games and nothing to play?” This kept on for about 30 minutes when I saw one of my buddies come online playing Stardew Valley. This is a guy who’s gaming tastes I really respect, when it comes to new titles he and I almost always pick the same games for the same reasons. So what was he do playing a damn farming simulator? Not that those are necessarily bad games, I know there are some people who love those things but they have never held any appeal for me. Needless to say I was pretty shocked to see that this was how my buddy was planning on spending his Saturday. I shot him a message, “So, Stardew Valley eh?” was all I said, knowing full well he would be able to sense my disapproval without me having to go into detail. “Dude this shit is like crack, take one hit and it’s all over,” came his response. What? Seriously? This actually wasn’t the first time I had heard something like this about SV. Since it’s release in February, the game has received tons of praise and great reviews, with most praising it’s combination fo RPG elements and farm simulator gameplay, as well as it’s overall addictive nature. But still, I wasn’t buying it. I pulled it up on Steam and scrolled through some of the player reviews, which were once again outstanding. Eventually my curiosity got the better of my and I decided to take the plunge. 40 hours later, I am still going strong, and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
Just one more fucking parsnip and I’ll stop, I promise.
What can I say, the game is pretty outstanding. The music, the scenery, the graphics are just plain charming. It nails the nostalgia factor of long lost old school NES games while still bringing some fresh new ideas to the table. Although there does seem to be an overarching storyline involving an evil corporation and a dead grandfather, I haven’t even been tempted to dive into it yet, I have been having too much fun setting up my farm and exploring the mines in town. It’s one of those games that keeps me stuck in my chair telling myself, ok one more day. Ok one more day. Ok for real one more day and then I will go to bed. 3 hours later, I find that I now have enough resources to build another barn so that I can get a few more cows on the farm. Well in that case I need to let 3 days cycle so the thing can be built and then I will be at a good stopping point. Nope. At this point I am far enough in that I could have knocked a good chunk out of any normal RPG and would have started hitting the boredom phase, and yet with Stardew Valley I’m not even close.
Even the fishing is appealing.
At this point, I don’t know what to do. The pull of the game is so strooooong. I love the resource gathering. I love the crafting. I love the building. It is a perfect storm of Minecraft, Zelda, and Farmville. I purposely took 48 hours off from playing just hoping that I could break the spell and reduce my need to play, with no luck. I am too invested in my farm. I still haven’t even hit the bottom of the mine! So yes, my addiction to Stardew Valley is complete. I have been sucked in. I have taken the red pill and down the rabbit hole I go!