Stardew Valley is one of those games that came out of nowhere who took the world like a storm. It was originally released back in early 2016 and captivated the audience by the gameplay which was basically a casual farming simulation like Harvest Moon, but with all gauges cranked up to 11. The sheer amount of content and activities is mesmerizing. You can spend endless hours playing the game and you will still have new things to discover.
If this is your first time playing Stardew Valley, then you better prepare for endless hours of fun. The story begins with you inheriting your grandpa’s rundown farm and starts to restore its former function. The tutorial is structured as a quest system that will introduce you to the very foundation of the gameplay, by making you clean your farm and plant some veggies you can sell on the market to buy more seeds, and so on.
The simple mechanics is a core of the game, and it serves as the centerpiece, on which all additional content attaches. And that additional content is plentiful. There’s a ridiculous amount of things you can do while maintaining your farm. You can go fishing, meeting all the people in town and getting to know their stories, you can form romantic relationships with them, and if you are an adventure loving spirit you can go to the mine filled with Monsters, collect artifacts for the museum or many, many, many more things. If you want to plow through the game you have the whole list of activities on Wikipedia, but we think that will take away the enjoyment of discovering this painstakingly built world.
Your final goal he’s not really defined, so you can make it whatever you want. It’s staggering how Stardew Valley is flexible in terms of how do you want to play it. Not only in building your farm, but in allowing you to choose which goals you want to focus on, and which ones to ignore completely. To make things even better, there is no real time clock, so you cannot run out of things to do, but you can advance time by going to bed and getting back up. Consequently, there is always something to do and something to look forward to, which makes this game seriously addictive.
As for the mobile port itself, it’s as good as it gets. Remind you, though, Stardew Valley was originally designed to be played with the keyboard and mouse, and the mobile port assigns those controls joystick and buttons, which does the job but not in an ideal manner. The touch controls are there too, but they are even further from the ideal solution.
The movement is handled by tapping, and your character will find his way to any place you touched. Or you can hold your finger on the screen and your character will walk in that direction. You have a bar on the left side which is for tool selection, and tapping it will change the tool you’re currently using into something you actually need at that moment.
The biggest downside of this game, except for controls, is the lack of any cloud game saves option, which is a pity because this is a kind of game you would like to play on multiple devices. You can use iTunes to manipulate your saves, which is pleasantly surprising but also pretty cumbersome. We would really like to see a saving system like in Final Fantasy mobile ports, where you have an online saving slot where you can upload your game and download it to another device. The good thing about the iTunes saves is that they can work on PC too, and it’s really great to have that kind of flexibility.
Stardew Valley is the game that most of the people wished to have in a mobile format and despite the apparent flaws it still represents one of the smoothest transitions from desktop to mobile. And that only is good enough reason to try it.