Daily Rant, Video Games

Day 312: Chilling Out In Stardew Valley

Developed By: ConcernedApe
Published By: ConcernedApe, Chucklefish
Designers: Eric Barone
Release Date: February 26th, 2016
Platforms: Windows, OS X, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS Vita, IOS, Android

Life can be an incredibly stressful thing. Whether it’s your school work, rent, job or romance, everyone has something that makes their lives more difficult. It’s an unavoidable part of life. Luckily, when the stress gets to be too much, we have plenty of things to relieve that stress. And for me, nothing does the job quite as well as Stardew Valley.

This is the most zen game I have ever played. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve grown up with anger management issues, so I’ve always gotten highly frustrated at most games that I play. This is the only exception; this is the only game that I have never gotten upset with.

And I’ve given it plenty of chances. I’ve bought this game three times, on the PS4, Switch and the PC. And I’ve played the living hell out of each version. Put them all together, and I’m sure I have roughly two hundred hours put into this game. Simply because it’s just so damn relaxing!

Yesterday, I wrote about fighting games and how to get into them. One of my major points was spending time in training mode and practicing for hours on end. Naturally, this process gets me reasonably frustrated and exhausted. So, to recharge my batteries, I boot up Stardew Valley, load up my farm and farm some veggies.

I then look at my phone and discover that I’ve spent seven hours planting and harvesting cauliflower. I’ll be the first to admit that I may have a problem.

One thing I love in a game is freedom. The greater control I have over what’s going on, the more I’ll like your game. That’s why D&D is the greatest game of all time. With a good party and DM, you can do whatever your character’s heart desires. And Stardew Valley fills this perfectly.

Do you want to spend your days farming and making friends with the townsfolk? You can do that! Want to isolate yourself completely and spend your days fishing? Go ahead! Feel like slaying some monsters in the mines and making your way as an adventurer? Here’s a sword, have fun! Hey, there’s a festival going on in town today, but you don’t need to attend if you don’t want to! There’s nothing wrong with staying at home, you do you man! Just want to woe your best girl/boy? You’ve got it, Romeo! Want to be gay? We respect all sexualities here! Want to get a divorce? Sure!

Just make sure not to talk to your ex after doing so. They’ll make you feel really bad. Kind of like in real life, if you think about it…

Even better, you can actually mod the game to even further increase your freedom! Want to change how your pigs look to make them cuter? Or maybe you want to add a unique scarecrow? Or perhaps you just want to go in and slaughter monsters in the mines with a lightsaber! The modding community for this game is still active to this day, and they do a great job! Each one is fun and adds greatly to the experience!

Oh, and are you in the mood for some co-op? Well, this latest update has got you covered! Set up your PC/Switch next to your pal’s, set up your farm and run around the same world! And if you don’t feel like working together, you could turn each other into business rivals sharing the same plot of land! Or perhaps you could be romantic rivals pursuing the same hunk/babe! Once again, the creative freedom on offer here is so good!

This game is simple, cute and fun. You could do so many things, all to your heart’s desire! And all of them are just so relaxing! In a world where multiplayer shooters, competitive fighters and other high octane stressful games are constantly coming out, it’s really nice to sit back and play a game that’s designed to chill you out in every possible way.

God, just writing about this game makes me want to go play it more. In fact… I think I’ll do just that. Probably for the next twelve hours. Maybe more.

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