Stardew Valley is a Terraria-looking but Harvest Moon-playing game where you move into a rural community after the death of your grandfather and must take an overgrown patch of land and turn it into a thriving farm. It also has elements of dungeon diving, Bioware-style long-term romances with marriage and children, multiple branching storylines, crafting – the whole, farm-made enchilada. It’s come to my attention after release at the end of last week as its beaten out pre-orders for The Division, the release of Superhot and a load of other high-profile options to be the best selling game on Steam. Most surprising of all? It’s not in Early Access.
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It even has a well put together trailer showing all this off, perhaps confirming that it’s some kind of indie messiah:
The plot is that the town’s old ways and industries have started to fall out of favour after the Joja Corporation arrived. You can either help to revitalise it for the people, or side with the corporation for your own ends. Official info beyond that is being kept close to the chest by developer Eric ‘ConcernedApe’ Barone, I assume to avoid spoilers for new players.
What’s important is that it’s cute as heck and non-linear in the extreme, letting you choose how to spend your days growing your farm and relationships with the townspeople, as well as exploring a massive underground cavern. Those who have bought it seem happy so far, with a full 99% of its 1,696 Steam reviews being a thumbs up, earning it the vaunted Overwhelmingly Positive rating. Steam reviews are hardly the best indicators of exact quality, but it’s difficult to impress that broad a scope of people.
It’s also fairly cheap at £10.99 / €13.99 / $14.99 and has already had three patches since it launched on Friday. Have a look on Steamfor some more info, and check the ConcernedApe Twitter account for regular updates, as well as the odd tip. It’s single-player only currently, but with plans to add co-op at some stage according to the official FAQ. If you’ve been playing it, let us know what it’s like via our Stardew Valley review page.