Stardew Valley: The Farming Indie Game You Need to Try!


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

Claire Giesey, Staff Writer

Different types of people enjoy different video game genres. There are adventure games, first-person shooter games, and even games to play regular sports! Personally, I enjoy games that have a solid plot and a lot of action, but there’s one game that’s almost the complete opposite: Stardew Valley. 


Stardew Valley is an indie RPG where you (along with your friends if you want) inherit your grandfather’s farm located in quaint little Pelican Town in Stardew Valley. You first begin with meeting Lewis, the mayor of Pelican Town, and Robin, the town carpenter, who both show you to your new home and encourage you to meet the other dynamic characters that live around the village. In this review, I will give my opinions on my favorite and least side plots, as well as a few brief descriptions of my favorite characters!


There isn’t a true “main plot” to Stardew Valley, nor is there any true end, but I think that’s one of my favorite things about it. You truly can take things at as slow or as quick of a pace that you want. If I had to name anything as the “main plot,” it would be the cultivation of your farm. You originally start off with fifteen parsnip seeds, which eventually you can sell to earn more and more money and lead to having rabbits, pigs, cows, goats, sheep, and countless other animals, along with a multitude of other plants that you can grow in different seasons. Growing your farm is one of my favorite parts of the game. Though it takes a long, long while, it is well worth it to be able to have that sense of accomplishment and responsibility when taking care of and petting all of your animals every morning.


There is also the plot surrounding the Community Center. This building, once a shining star for the economy and community of Pelican Town, was abandoned, and there are two routes you are able to take. You can complete the bundles to restore the Community Center to its former beauty, or you can buy a Joja Subscription (Joja being the brand of grocer in the town, along with Pierre’s General Store) to tear the place down and make it into a Warehouse. Both paths include gathering various items to turn in, varying in quality and rarity. I haven’t completed any of the bundles myself, but my friend keeps us both on track when it comes to which items we should save and which items we should sell. As of this time, we only need one bundle to complete. Though I don’t do any of the bundles myself, I also just enjoy seeing the adorable apple-looking fairies called “Junimo’s” that lead you to the bundles in the first place!


Another part of the game that I absolutely adore is growing friendships with people around town! In order to become friends with someone, you need to talk to them every day and give them two gifts per in-game week. Every character has a mostly predictable schedule, as well as a list of gifts that range from hating to loving. Sebastian, Robin’s dark, basement-dwelling son, is one of the hardest to find and yet the first person I decided to try and befriend. I’ve found myself sprinting across town with a gift that he simply likes trying to get to his home before he heads back into the basement at 3:40 since the only time he comes out of his room is at 3. This has sparked many hilarious moments between myself and the friend that plays with me. Of course, the schedules change from day to day, but that just makes the game all the more fun! 


With the gifts and conversations, you gain “hearts” with the person you’re befriending. After a certain amount of “hearts,” you get to experience what are called Heart Events! These are just little cutscenes that you can watch between your character and the friend, and they’re super cute most of the time! These Heart Events allow you to know more and more about the people around you and make the game even more lifelike. There are other cutscenes in the game, but the Heart Events are by far my favorite.


Stardew Valley isn’t all just farming and making friends. There are also other ways to make money and get gifts. Foraging, crafting, and a personal favorite: mining. In Pelican Town, there’s a cave at the lake near Robin’s carpentry store. You’re able to go into this mine and with a trusty pickaxe and a sturdy sword, both fight monsters and find priceless gems and geodes! As you continue through the mines, you go deeper and deeper in order to find more levels, each increasing with both danger and reward. I used to steer clear of the mines and make my friend fetch all the metals and gems we needed for bundles and upgrades for our tools. Eventually, though, I realized that mining with someone else isn’t that bad, especially when you can’t permanently die!


There are also events and holidays in the game. My favorite month for these would be the Winter month, of course. One of the events is called the Night Market, and the name explains it all. The Night Market is around for three nights, where traders from around the world come to sell their treasures and show their skills! My favorite aspect of the Night Market is the Deep Sea Fishing Trip. This is where you pay in order to dive in a sub to fish at the bottom of the ocean! There, rare prizes and fish worth thousands can be yanked up and brought back to the farm to sell. Though the price is hefty, it’s extremely worth it!


Another event in winter is the Feast of the Winter Star. Heavily based on Christmas, the Feast of the Winter Star is a holiday where tourists from all over travel to see the Winter Star and make a wish in its light. In lieu of the holiday, you receive a letter at the beginning of the month, in which Mayor Lewis gives you your “Secret Person,” aka your Secret Santa. You then have the whole month to get a gift for whoever you received. Once the Feast arrives, you then are able to give your gift away, and gain one yourself! One year, I received an iridium bar from the town blacksmith, Clint. Iridium, of course, is an extremely rare and useful metal used in many different crafting recipes!


There are plenty of reasons to play this game, whether it’s for the different events or the heartwarming cutscenes. No matter what kinds of games you love, Stardew Valley is one of my favorite games to play when I’m stressed out and need to relax. Playing with friends is exciting and fun, and no matter how you play, will give you many memories for however long you wish.