Stardew Valley – The Perfect Game for Stressed AP Students

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Stardew Valley – The Perfect Game for Stressed AP Students

Official Cover art for Stardew Valley Game.

Official Cover art for Stardew Valley Game.

Gamestop

Official Cover art for Stardew Valley Game.

Gamestop

Gamestop

Official Cover art for Stardew Valley Game.

Renee Chaples, Editor and Chief

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Stardew valley is a 2D pixel art Indie farming game that was released in February of 2016 and since has claimed of hearts of many gamers. The game, which was created by Eric Barone (formerly known as ConcernApe), was featured as a Steam Greenlight in the earlier months of its release and is available on many platforms such as PC, Xbox, and the PlayStation 4.

The game begins with the player and their grandfather who is seemingly in bad health. The grandfather, on his deathbed, hands the player the envelope but instructs the player not to open it unless they are in dire need of a change. Flash forward a few years and the player is shown at a dead-end job, when they decide to open the envelope stored in the desk drawer of their office at Joja company (a later very important plot element). The letter inside is from the now passed on grandfather who has handed down the family farm. The player is now transported to a town called Stardew Valley. From there they are free to do whatever they want with their inheritance.

This is very calming and explores many different aspects of games popular today. It features a custom character design, decorating, farming (of course), combat, and even a magic plot element. Players can spend hours on hours discovering new hobbies to pursue or solving new mysteries. Since the farm is located in a town, the player is able to communicate with all the townsfolk and even romance some to start a family. The most recent update has added in a multiplayer option in which gamers are able to play the game together, and start their own virtual family. However it not just the game’s vast amount of content but also the progressiveness embedded within the game’s storyline.

The game keys in on some issues relevant in today’s day and age. The most relevant one being local vs company-base consumers. The town has two stores, one being locally owned but with higher prices, and another being a company with lower prices owned by Joja. During a conversation, the townsfolk will often slip in comparisons between the two. The citizens will often debate about the healthy and non-GMO produces of the local shop vs the processed but cheaper version from the company stores. It is up to the player which one to shop at but their support of the two does affect the storyline. Along with that Barone wanted to make the game inclusive as people featuring gay and bi-racial marriage, and different races (one character is even biracial.) Although these details are small, they are very important to a lot of players and add a homey, inclusive feel to the game overall.

Considering all that Barone has implemented into the game, it is no surprise that Barone himself is quite the friendly fellow. Barone’s main inspiration for the game was Harvest Moon, which is was one of his favorite games growing up. Unfortunately, Barone felt that the most recent versions of Harvest moon were sub par compared to their earlier companions. Thus, he created this game as a response for Harvest Moon 64. Barone also made the game completely by himself. From the music to the coding, Barone would spend nearly 10 hours per day working on the game alone on his computer at home. Even when the game sold 160,000 copies instantly upon its release, Barone refused to hire a team as “He wanted to have a deep personal connection to all the players as possible.” It was reported that Barone went from working 10 hours each day on the game to nearly 15 hours after the release, in which he spent that time interacting with all of his following.

Overall this game is just adorable. The music is relaxing, the the gameplay is challenging but not difficult. The mind behind it and the content it provides is exactly what an AP student could use right now to relax and take a break from hours worth of homework.

About the Writer
Renee Chaples, Editor-n-Chief

Hello! My name is Renee Chaples. I am the Curator of the Void which is our biweekly talk show. Alongside overseeing the Void, I help keep the class running...

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