Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stardew Valley Part 3

You can look on the bulletin board outside of Pierre’s market, there is a community calendar with birthdays and other events and there is a help-wanted board. People will post for help finding an item, or sometimes several of an item and if you bring it to them they will give you a cash reward and it usually helps your friendship level with them too.

One of the other things that happen early in the game is that Lewis, the mayor of your little town, shows you the run-down community center. There are some weird little things living in there and eventually, you find out that they want you to bring certain items to them and place them in bundles.

TIP: You can look at what items you need for community center bundles in the pause menu. I missed filling some of the spring and summer ones because I wasn’t paying attention to them at first and had to wait for those seasons to come around again.

If you need to find someone and forget where they live, the pause menu has a map which lists who lives at which house.

You can find items like berries, nuts, flowers and vegetables just lying around. One of the most lucrative places to forage is on the beach, especially after you repair the bridge to the tidepools. And keep your eye out for worms wriggling out of the ground (the game calls them stems). If you dig them up with your hoe, you’ll find items like artifacts, seeds or clay. Early in the game the worms can also mark where lost books are buried, when you dig them up they are magically whisked to the library and you can read them for gameplay tips, and sometimes Stardew Valley history. 


If you donate items to the museum you get rewards and don’t worry, you’ll find that item again. The only time to hesitate is if it also belongs in a community center bundle. Most of the random items are not worth much to sell, and no one really likes them as gifts. The only exception is the gems, but there are plenty of opportunities to find those, so don't hesitate to donate them.

There are many more parts of this game to talk about. Mining, fishing, and hoarding. This is a very deep game. Which is how I am over 100 hours in. I just started a second farm to get some screenshots for these blog posts, and now I want to try all the different farms. I also want to see how different the game is if you give in to the evil Joja corp and buy a membership. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Stardew Valley Part 2

The first thing you get to do in Stardew Valley is creating your farmer, dress them, change their hair and eye color, add an accessory. You can give them a name and you can also name your farm. You can also choose from several different types of farms. I picked the standard farm for the first game, but you can pick one with more rivers so you can fish more. There is also one that's on a mountain, which gives you less room for farming, but more chance to mine ores. There's also one with woods that allows you to forage right on your farm, but again less room to grow things. And finally, there's a farm where monsters come out at night if you really like killing monsters. 

Stardew Valley starts out with you inheriting your Grandfather’s farm in, where else? Stardew Valley. You are given a little cabin to live in and farmland to clear and plant. I like collecting things. I like going around and chopping down trees and I like the whole foraging thing.

There are I think something like 28 people to meet at the beginning of the game, as one of your first quests. I love how over the course of the year you start to learn about each of these characters. Like Animal Crossing, you can give gifts to characters. They can send you quests or items in the mail, but luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of time writing letters. That was always my least favorite part of Animal Crossing. But there is a lot to figure out in the whole social/hearts system. Each person has certain gifts that they love to receive and some things that they hate. Apparently, there is a whole scoring system and you can lose friendship points by giving people a gift they don’t like. I eventually got myself to the official Stardew wiki to help me navigate the whole gift giving thing.

I feel like the wiki is almost a necessity at a certain point. Otherwise, you’re going to spend a lot of time taking notes. But who wants to reinvent the wheel? The wiki is full of useful information. Some of which you could figure out just from playing and maybe keeping notes, but some things I don’t know how I ever would have figured it out. 

Next time I will talk about Community Service, Foraging, and donating to the museum. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Stardew Valley Part 1

Stardew Valley (Part 1)

I had heard of Stardew Valley, but when I initially looked at it I had a mac and there was not a mac version, so I didn’t try it. A few months ago, I switched from mac to PC and then someone mentioned Stardew Valley again, and I realized I could play it now. So, I went to Steam and downloaded the game.

I am a fan of the Animal Crossing Games, and I think I had played Harvest Moon a bit on Nintendo 64 or maybe the GameCube. But, I have generally preferred Animal Crossing. I like simulation games in general, games like SimCity, Civilization and the like. I have not been as big a fan of the Social Farming/Simulation games like Farmville. I don’t like having to badger my friends or spend a lot of real money to progress in games.

Stardew Valley is nice because ultimately you can play it however you like to play. There is a story progression, but I feel like you really could just ignore that if you wanted. If you want to just farm and sell crops and craft things, you can do that. In fact, it’s very easy to spend whole days on your farm and never see the other townspeople. If you want to grow little or nothing and spend your day foraging, you can do that pretty easily too. If you want to explore the mines or fish and not do the other things, it’s easy to do that.

Eventually, you would feel like progressing the story if for no other reason than to unlock new parts of the map. There are some mysterious things that go on in Stardew Valley, and it’s very intriguing to unravel them.

Now that I have been playing for over 100 hours (!) I thought I would write a bit of a review and some of my tips in case you would also like to take up residence in Stardew Valley. For more in depth information you can refer to the official wiki  or purchase the Stardew Valley Guidebook . The Guidebook has some super cute art and is easy to reference while you play. 

Come back to learn about the beginning of the game and some of the people you will meet. 

But, basically, I have spent over 100 hours on this game. I would highly recommend it if you are a fan of farming games or simulation games. There are a lot of different aspects to keep you busy and to allow you to play the way you want to play. 

I would give Stardew Valley 5 Stars