What is it about?
In Stardew Valley, you inherit your grandfather's farm, and join the small community of Pelican Town. You spend the days mining, farming, fishing, harvesting resources, building, and meeting the town. It is a laid-back game with no pressure to do anything or get anywhere, you choose what you want to pursue in the game.

Stardew Valley is available on Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, IOS, and is announced for Android. It is currently $15 USD on Steam. Multiplayer is available only on the computer and Switch, with console multiplayer announced and coming soon.

Is it any good?
Stardew Valley has a strong community of players who really enjoy the game. It gets good reviews everywhere. If you like the genre of the game, which is based on Harvest Moon, then chances are you will enjoy Stardew Valley.

Stardew Valley gives you a lot of choices to do what you want. There is no ending or winning, but you can measure your success in how you progress in the things that you choose to do. For example, if you like farming, you will make money over time that you can use to buy more crops and make a bigger farm. The different activities in the game all have levels, so a day spent fishing without much success is not a day wasted, because you will get additional levels that make you better at fishing.

Farming is a major part of the game. You buy seeds, each of which have a different cost/return/growth time, and plant them. Over the course of a few days, you water your crops to help them grow and then farm them. You can sell them to make money and start the process over again. On your farm, you can also keep animals, which grow in value over time as you interact with them every day. It is neat to see that over time the animals that you have taken care of become more profitable each day. Plants take a few days to grow, animals take a few weeks to mature, and fruit trees can take years to reach their full value, so you can really see your developments mature as you play the game more.

If you don't care for farming, or like variation, you can go mining or gathering resources. Items that you find this way can be used to build things around your farm, like chicken coops and fences, or items that make your life easier, like automatic sprinklers. In the mines, there are monsters that you can fight, the only combat in the game. The combat system is definitely one of the only negative things that I have to say about the game. It is mostly just spamming with your sword, and the ranged slingshot weapon is very hard to use, especially on a console (I have played on PC and Xbox).

The player interactions with NPCs are entertaining and also something to work towards. You have a bar of hearts with every NPC, and you can fill the bar by talking to them and giving them gifts. You even get special points if you give them gifts they like on their birthdays. You can pursue romantic relationships with characters, and even become married. NPCs have unique cutscenes that you will unlock with hearts as well. Throughout the Stardew Valley year, there are events where the town gets together and you participate in town gatherings like potlucks or egg hunts.

I honestly don't have very many criticisms of this game. It is cheap, relaxing, and entertaining, with good pixel graphics and lots of content. However, I don't play it when I want action and thrill, because it is a laid-back time killer. I am disappointed that there is no multiplayer on console, but multiplayer on PC made the game even more fun. You can co-op with your friends and try to keep them from stealing all your resources.

Is it worth buying?
If a farming simulator with lots of variety for a bunch of different interests is the type of game you would enjoy, definitely! For $15, this is a polished and feature-packed game. If you prefer action and instant gratification, then I would hold off on this one.
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