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Stardew Valley is a laid back game to help you decompress

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After a long day, whether that be something like work or school, doing something relaxing to unwind is something many people enjoy doing. That thing for some people could be playing a video game. Stardew Valley is a great game to decompress to.

Stardew Valley is an indie game created by one person. Concerned Ape, the developer, released the game in 2016 and is the most popular indie game of all time. A new update came out for the game somewhat recently causing new players to begin playing, old players to start playing again, or just giving new content for current players. But even before the new update, there is still fun gameplay and aspects that make people love the game.

The story of the Stardew Valley is very straight forward. In order to get away from your city job, you move to a small town on your grandpa’s old farm that you inherited. You then can grow crops, take care of farm animals, mine, fish, and so much more. Once you move onto the farm, you play through the 4 seasons, each having 28 days. After the 4 seasons are complete you then progress into the next year. And don’t worry, you can play for an infinite number of years, relieving players of the stress of being required to complete something in a certain amount of time.

During these years, you will probably want to make money to buy and craft time that will help your farm become efficient and pretty. You make money by completing the tasks listed previously. They all are viable ways of making money, so if you love fishing and hate farming, you can spend most of your time fishing if you want. The only “goal” in the game for players to complete is the community center. Here players donate items they get from the variety of activities to repair the rooms, giving the town residents a place to hang out. Speaking of the residents, you can give them gifts and talk to them, increasing their friendship. You can also marry some of the villagers, which is a mechanic many people like. 

The last big update was around 3 years ago, giving players an entire new region to explore and farm on. Though this update was nowhere near as large as that one, it still provided more fun content for players. More content was added for players who are in later years of the game. There are also more hats and clothes, some of the items you can sell are more colorful, there are new quests, more rooms for your house, some new machines, a new farm type (you can select how you farm looks when starting the game), new holidays/festivals, new pets (you can also have multiple pets), and much much more. A fan favorite in this update is players can now drink the mayo they make. 

This game has sold over 30 million copies, 19 million being on PC. What could people have liked about this game so much to make it the most popular indie game ever? The main thing in my opinion that draws people towards this game is that there are so many ways you can play it. If someone wants to try to make as much money as possible, they can. Or if someone else wants just to decorate their farm they can do that as well. People have the freedom to play however they want. Something else amazing about this game is that there is no time limit. Most games, once you beat the story you are usually done with the game, but there is literally no end to this game. You can either spend thirty in game years playing or just one. There is really no end to the game. It is also a great game to replay, since each farm you make could be completely different.

Being able to play however you want might be something that makes people not like the game. All the things that you can do could make the game overwhelming for some people. The game also has a pixel art style like many old games, so some may not be a fan of that. Sometimes it can also get a bit repetitive. You wake up, water your crops, feed your animals, take a trip to the mines, give a gift to a villager or two, then go to sleep to start the next day. Though it obviously isn’t like that for the whole game, the routine of the game may get tiring for some.

The beginning of the game can be a bit slow, since you don’t really have a lot of money to work with. Many people want a lot of money right away so they can buy the cool buildings and clothes they see, but they need to do tasks in game to get said money. I could see how that might get boring or frustrating for some.

Overall, if you are looking for a somewhat laid back game without the worry of being constricted on time and the freedom to play how you want, this game may be the game for you.

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