Stardew Valley Review: Mac, Windows

First released in February 2016, Stardew Valley rose to popularity thanks to its intuitive, gently challenging gameplay and dedication to nostalgia. But that was just the beginning. Since then, the game has seen several big content updates, growing it into an even more delightful and robust farming RPG.

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Stardew Valley released on February 26th, 2016 for Microsoft Windows. The game, following in the tradition of Harvest Moon, is a farming RPG where the player builds relationships with townspeople and builds their farm from scratch. After release, it received massive praise from critics and fans alike for its charming tone, design, and various updates adding things like multiplayer support. Since then it has been updated multiple times with new content including a new character quest, shrine quests, new farm buildings and more.

Stardew Valley is a truly special game. It’s one that I can find solace in each time I play, and it’s one that never ceases to surprise me with new activities. Whether you want to farm, fish, fight monsters, craft, mine, become everyone’s best friend, or do a little bit of everything, Stardew Valley has plenty to offer.

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In a fantasy world full of magic, you can explore lands and dungeons, build friendships with townsfolk and other travelers, get married, and even start a family—or simply create your own quiet corner of the world to enjoy your farm. With fun to be had for hours, this extraordinary game offers an experience impossible to find on consoles without mods or plug-ins.

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After years of PC development, a game finally made it from Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone’s hard drive to the public. After tinkering for so many years on his own, he had finally made it. The time and effort that Barone put into one of my favorite games is apparent in its presentation and rewarding gameplay. The version of Stardew Valley on Switch feels just as welcoming as the original game did when it came out in 2016.

Stardew Valley Verdict

Do you ever just want to pretend you live in a small rural town, surrounded by nature and mountains, where the highlight of your day is foraging for fresh items at the local bazaar? No? Well, I do. Stardew Valley makes that fantasy feel like a reality.

Stardew Valley is an open-ended indie farming simulator from ConcernedApe that has you tending to a farm while also engaging in various other tasks and activities. There’s always something new to try and somebody to befriend.  

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The game features many gameplay similar to that of the Harvest Moon series with a variety of activities, including fishing, foraging, mining and combat with monsters. The player takes on the role of a character who has inherited their late grandfather’s old farm plot in a small town called Stardew Valley.

The player can marry non-player characters, increase skills such as foraging, mining or combat with weapons, and decorate their farmhouse among other activities. Stardew Valley represents the fulfillment of the promise made by Harvest Moon to give players a rich experience in a relaxing farm setting. It’s engrossing, charming, and both complex and deep. Despite being released before its time, it’s as fun today as it was then and makes for one of the best farmland management sim games on PC.


Stardew Valley is an interesting game because it’s a lot of things at once. It’s a farming sim, with hours and hours of content dedicated to watering crops, milking sheep and killing monsters in order to earn the cash necessary to fill the town with specialty shops or new housing structures.

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It’s also a bit of a dungeon crawler, as you begin by retrieving your grandfather’s old farm and working off the debt he owes. But most importantly (and why the themacios staff fell in love with it), it can be played at your own pace. With each new update comes a new aspect of the game to try and master.

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You’ll find that Stardew Valley has outdone itself in DLC map design. The five new areas are charming, unique, fun to explore, and full of surprises waiting behind every corner.

Each offers a refreshing challenge – one boasts expansive farmable land at odds with dangerous enemies, another is a warren of caves loaded with ore veins and powerful monsters, while still another grants you control of an ancient dwarven mine, ripe for rehabilitation and restocking.

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The game features an overarching narrative, which is fine, but the game’s physical design allows for innovation and improvisation that reaffirm why games can be a form of culture. Stardew Valley’s characters, each with their own unique daily routines, are the reason to keep playing. The game incentivizes exploration with beautiful environments and strange, colorful characters.

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The player is rewarded for interacting with each character by learning more about their personal lives, leading to nuanced storytelling. With a multitude of activities, clear design choices give players the agency to fill their days how they want—whether it’s chasing after chickens or growing a dozen different types of beans.

Stardew Valley Review- Mac, Windows
Stardew Valley Review- Mac, Windows

In Stardew Valley, you’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in a remote countryside valley and decide to give it a go. You start alone but, as the game progresses, you meet new friends who join you on your farming adventures. Stardew Valley is nostalgic with retro pixel art graphics in a 16-bit style playing field.

The game parallels the classic Harvest Moon game series in many ways and plays like them too — day to day chores that can be fun or monotonous at times but through it all is the excitement of working towards improving your farm and gaining new skills and friendships.

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Stardew Valley shines the brightest when it comes to its character interactions, which often transcend the typical in-game relationships to become something special. Your journey to becoming a successful farmer and part (if you like) of the quaint Pelican Town community feels satisfying thanks to the depth of these personal interactions. Striking that perfect balance between friendly and professional with my favorite townsfolk towards the end of my 150+ hours in Pelican Town was a highlight of my time playing Stardew Valley.

The game is easy to pick up for anyone who has ever played any type of RPG game, but there’s enough depth in the relationships between villagers, crafting systems, and progression of your farm that even those who love crafting and harvesting games like Terraria or Starbound will somehow find this game to be more addictive than expected.

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Fluffy milk-chocolate brown fur. Big, bug eyes. Cute, furry paws. If you’re an animal lover, it doesn’t get much cuter than the Bunny Rabbit! But these adorable animals aren’t just for show—bunnies are ready for their close-up in Stardew Valley!

This sweet pet is easy to take care of, and won’t mind if you have other pets. Though rabbits prefer to stay inside their hutch during cold weather, they love to hop around the garden during the summer.

They’re also one of five pets that can help you cut grass! But what do they eat? Well, they enjoy carrots and lettuce most of all. Stardew Valley is an interesting game that offers something new to the farming genre. It’s fun to see how your actions impact your community and the world around you. The well-written characters are one of the main draws!

The amount of customization allowed makes the game enjoyable regardless of which play style you’re after. If visuals are important to you, you’ll have to invest some time in creating or modifying your character using creator tools. However, if you just want to get into the action, this aspect isn’t important as there are plenty of pre-made good-looking characters to choose from.

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