‘Stardew Valley’ dives gamers into a nostalgic, forgotten genre


Still from Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley’s Main Menu

Thor Hauerbach, Business Manager

Those fortunate enough to own an original Playstation, Wii, SNES, Gameboy or the like have definitely heard of Harvest Moon. The game series revolutionized the video game industry with a new type of game genre. Although a role-playing game, Harvest Moon thrust players into the bustling, chore-filled and unordinary life of a farmer. The story alludes to tasked with looking after his father’s farm in a rural village.

Albeit now older, gamers can now return to the “forgotten genre” with Stardew Valley, a computer game, released Feb. 26. Stardew Valley is an attempt to breakthrough into the farming, role-playing genre that Harvest Moon has dominated for over a decade. Developed solely by Eric Barone, (a.k.a. ConcernedApe), published by Chucklefish Games, Stardew Valley was released on Steam and has been noted as one of the top sellers of this year. Additionally, Stardew Valley is one of the highest rated games on Steam.

Barone claims to be inspired by Harvest Moon. “Stardew Valley looks to the classic Harvest Moon games for its roots but then attempts to reach well beyond and bring that gameplay into the modern era,” Barone said in an interview with cornellsun.com. Barone developed the game with one liberty in mind: freedom. “Although Harvest Moon is very linear in the way you build up your farm, in Stardew Valley, if you want to raise 300 rabbits, you can. If you want to invest in a huge field of crops with automated sprinkler systems, you can do that too. The gameplay is flexible and open.”

Players are tasked with farming, taking care of animals and maintaining healthy relationships with the townspeople, all while a complicated plot unfolds throughout the year’s seasons and hardships. Each season lasts 30 long days. The player must strategically decide which crops to plant, as each season yields new demands from the local townspeople. For instance, in the spring, fruits are in high demand, so they sell more than they would in the fall or winter. Everything is connected to everything in Harvest Moon and nothing is simple. To maintain one plant, you must water it daily, and you have to make sure no animals uproot it.

Junior Anthony Cragnotti played Stardew Valley right as it was released. “I knew Stardew Valley was a new game style for me so I didn’t know what I was going to get into and after playing for awhile, I realized how much I really enjoyed it.” He claims that the goal in Stardew Valley is to “kill creatures and get minerals, while tending after your farm and maintaining healthy relationships with neighbors in the town.”

Boasting its high ratings, Cragnotti believes that certain parts of the game could use clarification. “I wish that they could create a tutorial that would explain the overall controls and mechanics as I felt that there was no help in the beginning of a new game,” he said.


Stardew Valley is available on Steam for $15

Stardew Valley Trailer

Stardew Valley website and forum