Unlike most who played Stardew Valley right from launch day, I hadn’t been following it’s progression over the past four years at all. It came up in my Steam queue as a suggested title, and I bought it on a whim. Looks cute, has farming, supports indie development? Sure, why not.
200 hours later:
what is sleep? what is food?
There’s a few reasons why SDV sucked me, and so many others (it’s currently 3rd on the Steam top seller list) in. One major one for me is I don’t know when to quit sometimes and SDV capitalizes on that – not in a malicious way, but the mechanics of saving are tied directly to going to bed at the end of the day. You fall into your little pixel bed at the end of a long day, get a progress update on your farm’s productivity, and the game saves. Before logging out, however, the cheery 6AM music entices you to just check your mail. Maybe see if that chicken hatched? All of the sudden it’s 10PM in-game, and another hour of your life is gone.
The simple tasks – farming, brewing, raising livestock, mining for ore and treasures, fishing – are compelling enough to keep players on their own. But it wasn’t until I started investing in the community that the game really got its hooks into my tender heart.