iOS, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch, PC/Mac/Linux •
I talked last week about my recurring addiction to Stardew Valley, the overly cute and surprisingly deep farming simulator that’s been the bee’s knees since it released on PC back in 2016. We knew it was coming out for iOS today but it actually popped up on the App Store last night giving me a little time to try it out while the family slept. It’s pretty great.
I’ve only just started dabbling in the iOS version but the changes made for touchscreen are enormous. This is an FTL-level touchscreen port that changed a lot to make it work with our fingers. Menus and dialogs are completely overhauled and movement is of the Diablo-style “click here and move there” version rather than a clunky virtual d-pad.
The biggest, and most revolutionary, change is in tool selection. You no longer need to click on your pickaxe to smash a rock, then switch to an axe to chop a log, then to your scythe to cut grass. Instead, the game switches automatically to whatever tool you need when you click on an obstacle. It makes clearing out your farm, planting seeds, and watering your plants so damn easy that I’m not sure I want to go back to my Mac or Switch version.
There are some strange UI limitations and bugs, however. I still can’t figure out how to select only one item from a stack to move it into a chest or rearrange in my inventory. I’ve done it, but I don’t know how and the method doesn’t seem to work every time. I’ve also had some bugs while talking with townsfolk, mainly those who want to sell me something. I was stuck in an endless loop with Clint the blacksmith that took me awhile to figure out how to escape (I had a reward in my journal which seemed to be causing the issue).
Still, those are few and far between. Everything else from the original game is here and pretty great. I haven’t tried combat yet, but that will happen later today. There’s an option for “auto-combat” in the settings, so we’ll see how that works.
If you’re a Stardew Valley fan and want to take it on the go, this is a no-brainer. If you’ve never hoed a row or grown your own kale in the Valley, then this feels like the best way to get your hands dirty, and not only because it’s half the price. Oh, and if you’re a long-time player on PC or Mac and don’t want to start a new farm, saves are transferrable between your laptop and iDevice as well.