Stardew Valley But More!
Stardew Valley: the board game is based off the massively popular video game Stardew Valley in which you play as a farmer trying to grow crops, make friends, and mine away till your hearts content. The board game is exactly the same, but all mashed together and then given an end goal to give it that board game magic!
If you’re a fan of the original video game then you’ll be sure to love the board game too as it has all the charm and fun carried over and makes it all new again, so you get to experience all of it again like the first time playing.
If you’ve never played the original video game then I would still say that this is perfect for you (and so would many others based on it constantly being sold out) and is a really fun game. The board game is co-op and is quite challenging too so don’t let the cutesy stylised art throw you off, this game will make you think and strategize to get to win.
I’ll try and keep this review short and simple as there’s a lot to talk about and if I don’t contain myself then I’ll end up going forever!
Farming On Steroids
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t Stardew a slow, chill farming social game?”. Yes, you’re right but the board game takes that and throws it on its head and makes it a race against time where you have to finish a certain amount of difficult tasks that take time and concentration to get done. I know that might put some people off, but this is no small game. The game takes up to 2 hours to complete and is constant planning and resource management but with a theme like this how can you hate that!
The theme itself helps make the game become less of a management game where you just all go pick up resources and roll some dice here and there, into an immersive experience where you’re increasing your crop output, gaining skills, gathering items, making friends, improving the land, and more. You don’t feel put down by the responsibilities of the work you’re doing within the game, and you feel more like it’s a delight to be playing and these tasks are just ways of having new experiences and living out the Stardew Valley experience.
Speaking of skills, the game categorises players by giving each player an expertise which could be farming, mining, foraging, or fishing. These allow players to focus on certain tasks as they get bonuses for their respective roles, and they will get specific role-based skills and items throughout their time playing. This in my opinion is a great addition to the game as it stops new players from being totally overwhelmed by all the possibilities and options given to them when starting the game and instead gives them a crutch to stand on where they can focus on their one skill and build up their knowledge as they play. This aspect of the game also gives a lot of replay-ability to the game as players will want to experience playing as another certain roles to see the differences in gameplay and strategy.
Another aspect of the game that helps with replay-ability is the tasks/end goals which you can scale the amount of them that get played in each gameplay session depending on how much you want to take on and how difficult you want the game to be. There are quite a lot of choices for these end
goals and what they could be so there is no way of telling which ones you’ll draw, and it makes the game different on each playthrough.
I couldn’t help but mention the solo mode of Stardew Valley. It plays the exact same as the normal way to play but still makes it fun and at a good level of difficulty too. Who doesn’t just LOVE a good ol’ solo mode on a game too!?