I’ve been playing Stardew Valley A LOT lately. Currently clocked in at just over 55 hours on the PS4 version. My fiancée is around 25 hours on Steam. We’ve spent many nights lately swapping farming knowledge and advice whilst both on the same couch watching different screens. It’s a great game. Recently I passed the 1 year mark and so I thought I’d just assess how far I’ve come since arriving on my abandoned farm all those hours ago.
For anyone reading who doesn’t know what Stardew Valley is, it’s a farming game essentially. Your character acquires a farm from a relative, you quit your job and get on a bus to your new home. When, you arrive the town mayor shows you to the farm that you now own. It is littered with weeds, overgrown grass, trees and rocks everywhere. You get given some money, some seeds, gardening tools and that’s it. You get advised to go into town and talk to the townsfolk and visit the local shop but what you do next it up to you. Farming is the core component but fishing, mining, exploring, foraging, socialising with the locals and doing up an old town hall through item gathering are all available at your leisure. It’s an easy to grasp but loads to find out and learn along the way type game. As you progress and do more things, your character will upgrade and improve in areas as well as be able to build new features for your farm. Each year in the game is split up into 4 months which represent the 4 seasons. When you arrive on your farm, it’s the 1st of Spring. A month consists of 28 days and each month has certain produce that can only grow in that month, seasonal fish to catch and a bunch of other season only events. There is tremendous depth to this game which I’m sure I’ll cover in a review in the future but right now I’m nowhere near done with this game. So for now, here’s an average day for farmer Rudiger on Kraken farm.
Journal Entry: Saturday 13th, Summer, My 2nd Year
I woke up nice and early this morning at 6am. I usually do that anyway but I’ve got a bumper of crops I need to pluck from the soil today. Been waiting for my melons to grow and now they should be perfectly ripe and plump. I get out of bed and say hello to my baby girl Sarah, who’s up already and crawling across the bedroom floor happily. Must be nice to not have a care in the world at that age. I see my beloved wife Abigail by the cooker and we chat about the time we beat a level on Journey to the Prairie King. A video game Abigail was struggling on last year. It was one of the first times we spent time alone together and it was also a moment of connection for us both. Looking back at it, that might be the moment I knew I cared for her that way. She was always endearing. The way she’d eat flowers that I gave to her as a gift, I always found that peculiar but intriguing. That and the fact she’s a gaming girl sealed the deal and we got married. Happy to this day I might add.
I kiss her goodbye and head into the cellar. I recently stocked up some casks with goat cheese and cow dairy cheese. None of them have matured enough yet to sell so I’ll come back again tomorrow. As I leave my house I can hear the distinct sound of rain as I exit my sleepy haze. The door opens and I am immediately hit by that earthy smell of wet soil. I should trust the weather forecasts more, I could have got an extra hour in bed. The crops are watered by nature today. That saves me a job this morning. Scanning my field I see that my melons are glistening in the rain. Ripe, beautiful colour and ready for harvesting. I pluck them from the moist earth and examine their quality. 5 are immaculate. I’ll use these for making melon wine once my kegs are free. I promised Penny if I grew any melons I’d bring her one as they’re her favourite fruit. So I keep 1 aside, plus the 5 perfect melons and I put the rest in the shipping bin. Those will be collected in the night and I’ll wake up to find my wallet has grown fatter. Easy-peasy. I venture over to my coop and check up on my little guys. Not a bad haul, 4 eggs and a loose duck feather. Feathers fetch a pretty penny so I’ll sell this along with my 2 dinosaur eggs and then I’ll make mayonnaise out of the remaining eggs. I pop over to my barn and say hello to my gang of misfits. My goats aren’t producing milk today but my 2 cows: Meryl and Mary are prime for milking. I’ll use this milk to make some fine cheese later. Nearly done for the morning, the greenhouse is the last to do on my land. I enter the greenhouse and my flowers have started blooming. A radiant blue colour. I take them from the soil and collect the rest of the crops. A lot of coffee beans were picked today, those will sell well tonight. I head back to my house and use my mayonnaise and cheese press machines. Those’ll be ready by the time I get back.
I jump aboard my loyal steed Clip-Clop and we head into town! When we get there I check the local calendar for events. It’s Alex’s birthday today! I’ll pop in to his and give him a present. Before I can even get through the door, the delicious aroma of baked goods come flooding up my nostrils. As if in a daze, I go to the kitchen like a zombie. I find Evelyn there. She tells me she’s happy to see me and that she’s just baked a fresh batch of her famous cookies. Try one, she says. Oh my god! They’re the best things since sliced bread. Crumbly but with gooey chocolate. Evelyn also gave me the recipe to make them myself. I was a bit taken back by this. In the beginning, when I first arrived to town, she told me that maybe 1 day she’d tell me her secret recipe. I guess she trusts me to have it now. Savouring that treat, I headed to Alex’s room.
I should knock before entering rooms. He was lifting weights. Shirtless. He didn’t seem awkward about it but I felt wrong for just barging in. But he apologised to me. I wasn’t expecting that. He explained that he spoke a bit harshly to me about his American football dreams in the past and that he regretted it. That he just gets defensive about what he cares about. He had no need to apologise to me but I’m honoured that he did. Before I go I wish him happy birthday and give him one of the flowers I plucked earlier. He smiles and thanks me and I go to leave. Walking past the kitchen I give Evelyn one of the flowers too. She’s delighted by it. They’re a nice family, even George, though he can be a bit cranky at times but I think that’s a façade. I look at the time and see that it’s later than I thought.
I jump aboard Clip-Clop and we head to Clint’s Blacksmiths. I was in the mines yesterday and found a large stash of geodes. I ask Clint to crack them open for me. I pay him his usual rate and he gives me the hidden treasures. Not a bad deal. I got some precious minerals to keep for later. I got 2 things that I’ll donate to Gunther at the museum and I got some precious Iridium. This rare ore is what I’ve been searching for lately. Difficult to find and guarded by monsters but at least I’ve got enough now to smelt a bar out of it. I drop off my 2 rare finds to Gunther at the museum, which he thanks me for and away I go to the beach. When, I get to the beach I go to the shoreline to investigate my crab pots. Not lucky today. Mostly rubbish and soggy newspaper. Still, worth a go though so I put some bait in the pots and I’ll see what I catch tomorrow.
I see that I have 1 flower left and so I decide to see how Jodi and the kids are doing. Sam and Vincent are playing games and watching TV, I hand the kids some coral I found at the beach. Boys love that kind of stuff! Their mum is doing dishes in the kitchen and I hand her the flower. Her face lights up and she thanks me for it. I check the time and see I’m behind schedule. I bid farewell and quickly dash for the door.
I race to the bus depot to catch the last departure but I’m too late. I see Pam walking by me, no doubt on her way to the Saloon for a refreshing drink. Well that’s me not going to the Skull Cavern today. I was hoping to find more of that Iridium but maybe tomorrow instead. I decide to head back home and tie up any loose ends for the night. My darling Abigail has made me some soup which I’ll save for tomorrows expedition. My cheeses are ready from this morning and smelling good. I take them down to my cellar and stick them in a cask to age for a week or 2. My mayonnaise is ready too so I stick that in my shipping box along with the mussels I found at the beach.
The clock is ticking but the night is still young. I can’t go on the bus but I can go to the local mine instead. I’m running low on bait for my crab pots and the bugs in the mines make excellent bait for fish. So I jump on Clip-Clop and we head to the dark and gloomy mines. Along the way I find some juicy grapes and realise I’ve not seen Linus for a while. He lives in a tent on the outskirts of town and I hardly come this way anymore. It’d be nice to see him to I poke my head into his tent and there he is. We have a brief talk and I give him the grapes. He’s kind as always and likes the grapes. He lives the foraging lifestyle anyway so I’m sure he appreciates the gesture and visit, especially given how isolated he is up here. We say our goodbyes and I venture into the mines.
Not too deep as the bugs tend to hand around the early floors. I’m not at it long when I realise it’s past 10pm. I’ve got to be up at 6am tomorrow so time to call it a night, leave the mines and head back home.
Once home I use the bug meat I found and use it to create some bait. That should do me a while now. I also see that some of my kegs are ready, so I take the wine from them and put my melons from this morning into them. I’m looking forward to trying some of that melon wine but for now, I’ll leave it to soak and ferment. Didn’t accomplish all that I wanted to today but it was nice having time to see people and to hear about their day. Tomorrow will be a busy day and I definitely need to get to the Skull Cavern at some point soon. But for now that is all. I’m going to go put all my stuff away for the day and get into bed. Until next time, Diary.
I hope you enjoyed this look into what Stardew Valley has to offer and it’s different gameplay elements. This is just my playthrough too. You could specialize in crops, in fishing, you could have loads of barns full of cows and be a dairy farmer. I did a stint where I was producing tons of coffee and riding into town handing out fried eggs. There is so much to do and it’s interesting to see the growth over time. You may see another day in Year 3 at some point. But for now, take care.