Stardew Valley is a cute, quaint video game originally released in 2016. A truly massive undertaking, it was developed for four years, since 2011, by one person. A perfectionist, Eric Barone–also known as ConcernedApe–has ensured that it is a truly wonderful game to play. He has continued to release free updates for the game, with the latest having dropped of 26 December 2021.
In Stardew Valley, you play a farmer in the small Pelican Town. Having only a little cash and some old tools in the beginning, you can farm and upgrade your way to a large, beautiful farm, full of plants.
In addition to being a farming simulator, there are several other major areas of the game that can be explored. One of them is the mines, where you can mine ore for upgrades and items, as well as battle monsters. Once you finish the mines, a mysterious quest line will introduce you to further challenges.
Another task to complete is to finish the Community Center, the completion of which represents the entry into endgame. Alongside of that is the Museum, the Library, and many side quest lines that could keep you busy for hours a playtime.
On a more personal side, there are the many NPCs that you can make friends with. Along with your gifts and friendship, they’ll give you their own gifts and friendship. Events in-game, such as the Town Fair and the Easter Egg Hunt, can get you friendship with the NPCs. And when you’re ready to tie the knot, you can marry an NPC as well.
One thing I don’t like is how grindy the game can be. It’s not too bad, however, and it could just be down to my personal preference. While it is PG and is appropriate for children, it needs a little more patience than the .io games and mobile games that many children play these days.
Stardew Valley originally began development in 2011. Like most games from that time, Stardew Valley does not need much computer to run. While your system should be powerful enough to run Windows 10, it’s not required and it will run if Steam will. You can probably run it on a toaster.
I suggest that your system is at least this good to run Stardew Valley perfectly:
- CPU: Intel Celeron G5900, AMD Ryzen 3 1200, or AMD Athlon 3000G
- GPU: Intel iGPU, AMD APU, Nvidia Geforce GT 630, AMD Radeon HD 5450
- RAM: 4GB DDR3-1600 or faster
Stardew Valley is rated PG. While it isn’t okay for the youngest of children, partly due to the rating and partly due to the large amount of reading required, most kids 9+ should be able to play it.
Do note that there are some depictions of alcohol, and two of the NPCs, Pam and Shane, are alcoholics. As a player, you can buy or craft some drinks, such as beer, wine, pale ale, etc, and drink it as well. However, it just gives you a debuff that makes you slower, so nothing serious.
Stardew Valley is a cute, child-friendly farming game that could appeal to many. With it’s charming pixel-art style and easy hardware requirements, it has a low barrier to entry and could run on a toaster, all the while looking good. With it’s low price tag of $15, it’s also a cheap game that a kid could buy for himself. Go play it!