Last week I read the words I'd been hoping for and got so excited I almost cried: Stardew Valley is coming to mobile on October 24th. While, my colleagues know of my love for the game I think my reasons behind it have always been a bit of a mystery to them.
The wonderful thing is that everyone's reasons for loving it are different, though some of you lovely gamers reading might experience the same sort of deal.
What is it?
For those who don't know, Stardew Valley is a farming simulation game. After inheriting your late grandpa's farm, you tell city life where to stick it and head on off to Pelican Town to start life fresh. Once there, the farm could use a bit of TLC, so it's up to you to bring the farm back to its former glory and even take it further than before.
Besides earning money, you need to chat and befriend the locals, take on quests, and maybe even find love and start a family.
Socialling? Quests? No thanks
I know, the idea of chatting to people in real life is daunting enough, let alone in a video game. But you can rest assured, folks, it's a lot more fun than it sounds. The more you get to know people, the more story you'll get from them and they might even send you some nice stuff in the post.
As far as quests go, it's usually just villagers asking for fish, gems, and food, so it's not an obscene ask. Once you're familiar with the patterns and events, you can also prepare and save bits of everything you grow and gather.
So, why do you care about it?
A number of reasons, really. Sure, it's a farming sim, but there's so much personality and such character in the game that it's simply a joy to play. As I said, everyone's bound to have their reasons, but for me Stardew Valley is an escape from the stresses of life on the best of days, particularly at the moment.
I won't whine or go into details, but these past couple of years haven't been the best for me. There've been a lot of stressful events in my personal life which have beaten me down a bit, but everyone's got their problems, eh? My point being, Stardew Valley has been one of the things that's so light-hearted, simple, and fun to play that it's really helped me to chill from time to time.
Though I'd owned it on PC and console, the Switch version is truly the best edition I've encountered so far. When it lands on mobile, I'm most intrigued by the new UI and how comfortable it'll feel on touchscreen. Obviously I'll start all over again, because beating your records and improving is half the fun.
If they get the controls right it may well be the ultimate way to play, since the game is built to be played either in small sessions or in larger bursts. Each day (between save points) is about 20 minutes, so for commuting home after work or spending time on a coffee break, it might be a great way to wind down.
I can't speak for everyone. I don't know if you'll like it or not, especially if you're not much of a fan of farming games, but it's seen me through a couple of rough patches and will no doubt continue to do so. It's just… fun. Simple as that.