iOS, Android, Switch, Consoles, PC/Mac/Linux •
My history with Stardew Valley is a tale of two extremes. I first started hearing about it on other mobile sites wondering if it would ever make the move to phones and tablets. Looking into it, I decided the cartoonish graphics weren’t my style and, other than Agricola, farming doesn’t do a lot for me. I tried to forget about it, but its immense popularity ensured it popping up in Twitch streams or YouTube reviews of people I followed. It became too big to ignore. Eventually, it came to Mac and I caved. Thus begins the second act of my experience with Stardew Valley, the phase my wife likes to call “that time you were obsessed with that one game and you didn’t talk to anyone in your family for about four months”. Yes, she’s very verbose and, unfortunately, not exaggerating much. I fell for the open-ended game pretty damn hard and loved just about everything it offered and was only saved by the fact it wasn’t available for mobile, confining my addition to a desk. That’s changing, however. Not only is has it been out for Switch for a bit (yes, I own it there, too), but it’s coming to iOS on October 24. My wife has already threatened divorce.
If you’re not familiar with Stardew Valley, here’s the elevator pitch: you inherit a run down shithole of a farm and need to fix it while endearing yourself to the folks of the village just down the road. What makes the game great is the feeling that you can do anything you want. You’re not tied to having This Much of This One Crop by any time. You simply get seeds, plant, water and landscape your sizable plot of land. Crafting your farm has a bit of a Factorio feel, minus the conveyor belts, trying to maximize efficiency. Or not. I’ve had games with plots scattered here and there and no real rhyme or reason to any of it. That worked too.
While building your farm is fun and charming and addictive, that’s only a small part of what Stardew Valley has to offer. There’s a town full of NPCs each with their own problems and reasons for interacting. There’s an ocean for fishing, a ruined town hall that needs rebuilding, lumber to cut, dogs to pet, oh, and dungeons to fight in. Yep, there are procedurally generated caves that you can wander, fighting beasties and collecting treasure. The best part, you don’t have to do any of this if you don’t want to. Ignore what you want, it will be there later if you get bored doing X, Y, or Z.
Stardew Valley is coming to iOS on October 24 and will be a premium title priced at $8 and lacking any IAP. A cool feature for veterans will be the ability to import your saves from PC/Mac/Linux into the mobile version so you can pick up where you left off regardless of your platform. The mobile port won’t support mods, which isn’t surprising, and it will not include the multiplayer update either. That’s not surprising either as the multiplayer update is currently only available on Steam and is slowly going to be making its way to other platforms. It’s unsure if one of those other platforms will be iOS.
If you’re wondering about an Android port, don’t worry, it’s coming to Android as well. The Android release date, however, is still a mystery.