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Stardew Valley meets Elite Dangerous in interstellar life sim, out now

Blending the laid back busywork of Stardew Valley with the space adventures of Elite Dangerous, Starstruck Vagabond is out now on Steam.

Stardew Valley and Elite Dangerous come together in new space life sim - A pink-haired woman from new indie game Starstruck Vagabond smiles.

There’s lots of competition these days for games adopting the Stardew Valley formula, with the likes of Coral Island, Slime Rancher, and Moonstone Island among my favorites. But they almost all stick to the farming format. Enter Starstruck Vagabond, a new Steam game that takes those laid-back busywork vibes and applies them to the business of running an intergalactic cargo delivery service in the vein of Elite Dangerous or Starfield.

Starstruck Vagabond is the latest game from Second Wind and indie developer Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw, who describes it as “a story-driven chillout work/life simulator in the vein of Stardew Valley, albeit with spaceship maintenance and cargo delivering instead of farming.” Waking up after an accident caused you to be frozen for 2,000 years, you’re left with nothing but your old transport ship to your name. It’s up to you, then, to make your living and recruit friends to help in this spacefaring life game.

Starting off with simple delivery jobs, you’ll build out and customize your ship to help you take on ever bigger cargo and more involved missions. As you travel through the four quadrants of the galaxy, you’ll tackle all manner of different jobs. There are planets to survey, packages to transport, derelict ships and stations to salvage, lost luggage to find, and even distress calls to answer and hostile alien troublemakers to put a stop to.

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As for what those troublemakers might be, it all boils down to a mysterious giant purple egg – one “the size of four star systems” – that has suddenly been spotted at the center of the galaxy. Its appearance is joined by that of numerous egg-like beings wreaking chaos across the stars – and with the two major intergalactic authorities, Amalgam and Oniris, unable to agree on a solution, it may well fall to you to figure out what needs to be done.

Along the way, there are numerous opportunities to recruit new members to expand your crew, each of whom has their own developing relationships and plays into the main narrative as well. With nine potential crewmates but only space to bring five of them on board in a single playthrough, there’s plenty of reason to replay the game after finishing the story to see how else things might play out.

If you’re a completionist, there’s enough to satisfy your needs as well – tick off every last job in all the galactic sectors, survey every planet to completion, fill out the interstellar museum with all manner of special treasures and trinkets, and maybe even discover some well-buried secrets. If you’re curious to try it out, there’s even a Steam sale saving available right now.

Starstruck Vagabond - Screenshot of the ship navigation controls.

Starstruck Vagabond is out now on Steam. It’s on sale at a 20% discount through Friday May 31, so expect to pay $ 19.99 / £16.79 now or $24.99 / £20.99 after the sale period ends. “Thanks to everyone who wishlisted and bought the game on day one,” Croshaw says in his first post-launch update. “Really bowled over by the enthusiasm so far.” If you want to set off on your own adventure, head here to get started.

Alternatively, here are more of the best games like Stardew Valley if you’re in the mood, along with the best space games in 2024 for plenty more intergalactic misadventure.

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