Friday, 25 March 2016

First Impressions: Stardew Valley

Well this was unexpected. A farming, mining, dungeon battling, fishing and social hybrid. Who knew it would be so addictive? I saw it on Steam, my friend got it, said it was good, I watched a bit of a video and bought it and proceeded to play it for just over two hours. In this time I encountered many a good thing although a couple of grievances did pop up...

Firstly, the good. The graphics are lovely, with vibrant colours and pixel art sprites, guaranteed not to age for at least half a century. Which is good, because I may be playing this for that long. The soundtrack is nice as well with joyful beats and chipper tunes. It does suddenly cut and skip to another song sometimes though, which is a shame. Character creation is just detailed enough for me, allowing for changes to your eye colour, hair colour, trouser colour as well as your clothes and hair. A neat feature is allowing you to type in your favourite thing (not sure what this does yet), as well as a pet preference. 

Activities seem varied and well thought out, with fishing being my personal favourite at the moment, even if the minigame is sometimes unforgiving, the quickness of it all is a great deviation to farming. It also nets you a sizeable amount of cash which is always good. And you'll need it because even a backpack upgrade costs 2000G. Anyway, the first two days of my adventure was dedicated to trying to find and speak to everyone in the town, a difficult task I might add, when some choose not to come out of their bedrooms (places you can't enter until your friends with them). I ended up having to search for someone's schedule so as to catch them when they left their bedroom just to say hello!

Cleaning up places is always rewarding (especially in virtual worlds) and cleaning up the farm was no exception and being given the tools to begin with was great as it meant I could jump right in. At the moment, I have 20 or so parsnips growing and a couple of potatoes for an experiment. Each requires a different amount of time to grow, making careful management a necessity. Having a landmark or something to fill in (books are missing etc.) is also great as it really gives you a sense of completion, even if I haven't done any of the 'completing' yet.

Each character is, again, varied and vibrant with their distinct likes and dislikes and who knew becoming friends with someone was as easy as giving them a dandelion you found on the street as a gift. Now comes the minor grievances with the game, namely, the two crashes I had on the second day, leading to me having to start the day over. While I can see why they happened being that this game was only developed by one person, it is still annoying, especially as the only way to save seems to be to go to the next day, wasting valuable days if you need to quit etc. The only other grievance I have is that there is no keybindings for crafting or social, two aspects which seem central to the game and two aspects I nearly forgot about because I just didn't see them. 

Conclusion: overall, I'm really enjoying this game so far and can't wait to try out elements such as battling monsters. Now, I think my parsnips are ready...

Thanks for reading, Satamer

P.S email us your farms who you'd like to be addressed as and we'll share them

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