Just A Quick Go: Dead Cells

After my 20-25th death in Dead Cells, I thought I’d take a break and explain why I keep chucking myself at deaths cruel embrace. I’ve had my eye on Dead Cells for a while now but always been hesitant to fully jump on the hype train. The graphics looked amazing, the combat looked fluid and fast. It looked like a fantastic game but I kept hearing that word being thrown around, which kind of put me off it. That amalgamation of two brands, Metroidvania.

Before you brandish the pitchforks, I don’t hate those games. I prefer Metroid Prime to the 2D games though. I tend to fall off the 2D Metroid games at a quick rate. Except for Metroid Fusion, that was a brilliant game. Castlevania I haven’t really played except Castlevania on the N64 which, even in my 10 year old mind, I knew that was a dud rental. After that I never touched it again until the DS games, which I liked. But with both series there is always a point, where after hours into their respective labyrinths I think ‘Where do I go now?’. These games are designed so that you’ll find a pathway but will need a certain tool/key/skill to go that way. The problem is I always end up forgetting where that was and I just lose interest fast when I’m finding dead end after dead end. Dead Cells alleviates this issue for me by not only having a map that has pictures for my dumb brain but also by being a rogue-lite game. A fantastic one at that.

In Dead Cells you play as……….I’ve no idea actually. You are a blob that rolls into a corpse, controls that corpse and then heads off on his adventure. There isn’t much in the way of story here. It’s mostly filler text, scribblings on walls and observations your character can make. These help to fill the world but so far I don’t really know what this world is. Does that matter in a rogue-lite? Not really. There may be a story I’m missing or a reveal at the end but I’ve not even beat the game yet so I can’t explain the world. But that works in Dead Cells favour. As you control this blob controlling a body (I’m a bit of a blob myself so I know how that feels), you venture through different areas on an island, fighting your way through people and abominations. On your travels you will gather a bounty of resources including better weapons, stat boosts, blueprints for new gear, traps, money and the all important cells. Cells are the name of the game both figuratively and literally. Sure on your quest you may find a fantastic sword and astonishing bow but as soon as you die though, you lose all your gear. Cells however, are used to make your next journey easier.

Dead Cells Jars 3
The more you play, the more these blueprints will fill the jars. It’s a visual treat at the start of each run, to see how much you’ve progressed.

As you progress and slay enemies, they will sometimes drop cells. Once you reach the end of the area you are currently in, you go to a hub between areas. Here you can retool your gear, refill on health, enhance your character through mutations (more on that later) and most importantly; spend cells on eternal upgrades. For example, on your previous area you found a blueprint for a slick looking bow. On arrival at the hub space, you speak to a character who trades cells for game wide permanent buffs. Say I had 40 cells and the new bow blueprint I found costs 30 to create and to put into the game’s rotation. I put my cells into that and unlock the bow. Now that bow can appear on all my future runs. Consider it an investment. Now I have 10 cells left. I’m sure you didn’t need me to do that math for you but there it is anyway. What to do with that spare 10? I could put it toward a sword that poisons enemies, an extra health flask on top of my other 2, a perk that allows me to carry over 3000 of my gold to my next run upon my death. There are tons of ways to increase your arsenal and better your odds on your next go. There are lots of ways to increase your chances as you play. You will come across shops, find chests with goodies inside, find cursed chests that offer tantalising surprises for those who are willing to risk it for a biscuit, secret areas and be able to utilise up to 3 mutations.

Mutations are basically buffs for that individual run. When you first start playing Dead Cells, you have a dozen of so to choose from. As you find blueprints though, you will expand that list of possibilities. Do you go attack heavy and increase your damage for 15 seconds after an enemy kill? Go defensive and increase your HP? Increase your damage when you deploy bear traps, turrets or any of the other throw-able tools? The choice is yours but the best of players will choose a mutation that combos with the gear that they have.  All the above is why Dead Cells works for me. I don’t need to retain map data to know where to go. Dead Cells has branching pathways but you will always find an exit you can use. As you progress through the game you will encounter foes that once defeated, will leave a new power up for you which, will help you enter previously unreachable areas and will carry over after you die. It’s this continually satisfaction that keeps me coming back to Dead Cells. When I first played it, I couldn’t do the first area. Now I’m lasting close to an hour before getting my butt kicked. But even when I die, I know that all those cells I collected in the other areas, have all gone towards my goal of beating the game. It doesn’t matter that when I died I lost 26 cells because through the other areas I must have put over 100 cells into permanent upgrades and weapons. The more you play, the better you become. Not only that but your understanding of how the enemies fight improves. And on top of that! For all you speed runners out there. In a lot of the levels you will find doors that are only accessible if you get there within a certain time limit. Through the door you will find a stat increase, money and a stash of cells. So you always have a choice of going through the game at your own pace, or bombing it through the level like a mad man.

DeadCells Ramparts
Ramparts is my favourite location so far, There a very Prince of Persia feel to it when fighting enemies on the rooftops. It looks amazing too.

I realise I’ve written over 1000 words and barely said how I feel about the game. I’ll give a quick summary here but hopefully you found what I’ve described as interesting. This is a great game and thoroughly recommend you check it out. Besides its lavish environments and addictive gameplay, the one thing I love about the game is how it plays. It flows so well. It’s hard to describe except just to say that it plays really good. To compare it to another game, I would say it plays as good as Super Meat Boy. By that I mean, the sense of control and precision. The movement and combat in this game is on that level. Even when things are out of control on screen, I never feel out of control. Besides one or two times when I meant to jump down a narrow gap between two ledges. My character kept grabbing onto the ledges and pulling itself up. I died there which was annoying but on a mostly randomly generated game like this, that stuff is bound to happen. But that was a minor incident in my hours of game time. It didn’t stop me from immediately starting another run. If you’re looking for an addictive, expansive and combat heavy side scroller, look no further than Dead Cells.

Overwatch: Wrecking Ball Impressions

Hammond the happy, hyperactive hamster has been unleashed upon Overwatch, in his mechanised ball of terror. After an hour or 2 with him I thought I’d share my brief thoughts. I should say that I almost exclusively play Mystery Heroes and so I never sought out to main Hammond and just played him when I randomly received him. Bullet point time!

  • Spider swinging is very fun but difficult to master. So many times I envisioned myself gracefully swinging round a doorway and bonking enemies into the water below in Rialto. So many times that didn’t happen. It’s quite difficult to gauge how much room you need to give yourself in order to gain full momentum, hit the enemies and get away without crashing into a wall and being completely vulnerable.
  • The potential of Wrecking Ball will reveal slowly over time.  The more people play the devious, little rascal the more his talents will shine. His grappling hook has the most potential I’ve seen of the heroes. Skirmishes are a great opportunity to test out the small mammal’s dive bomb capabailities. Within an hour I found a launching point on Rialto that allows a seismic slam on the bridge, just outside the attack spawn. You are able to fly over the rooftops and out of sight and if you have an early ultimate this is a perfect time to rain destruction as you land. By my standards Hammond is truly an easy to pick up but hard to master hero.
  • He feels mobile yet clunky, I’m sure that is part of his design but I also feel that his control scheme doesn’t flow. That might just be me, the fact that I’ve barely played him or even just that his gameplay style isn’t as suited to a controller as a mouse and keyboard. Time will tell but shifting between forms, scanning enemies for extra shields and hooking buildings leaves my fingers a bit perplexed. I’ve not experienced this with other heroes but it doesn’t help that I’m playing Mystery Heroes and constantly changing characters.
  • He has great time wasting potential. In the right spot, Hammond is able to latch on a payload and continuously swing around it, bashing any enemy that comes near. He can be stunned out of it or killed but takes time and effort. Throw in 4 enemies shooting at you at the same time and this ball of destruction can take awhile to get rid of. The fact that Hammond spawns in ball form also leads to a quick return to combat. Especially useful when defending the final point and you need a tanky hero to buy precious seconds.
  • His ultimate is more defensive than offensive. His mines do big damage but it’s best use that I have seen, was on Lijiang Tower. The garden section with the control point in the centre and both spawns separated by bridges. I was Zarya and during a massacre inflicted on my team me and Mercy were left. We were on the objective trying to hold it as the enemy was 99%. Mercy was being safe and staying outside the room but able to heal me from a distance. Just then an enemy Hammond rolls through and lays his mines down between me and Mercy! Now we’re separated and Mercy I have to hover around the same spot to be healed because Mercy can’t get any closer. It was a great split us up tactic. In the end I thought I’d be clever and bubbled the Mercy so should would avoid damage and could fly to me. However, Hammond’s ult tore through the shield and Mercy on her dive to me. Here’s an artistic illustration:
Hammond Mines Trap
I paid an expert for this masterpiece.
And that’s my opinion on Hammond currently. I see a lot of potential with him but I also think I need to get a lot better with him. A lot of heroes can counter him and once he is stopped in his tracks, he is a huge target and easy to kill. I also feel like his gun could use a bigger clip size.  Saying that though, Hammond automatically reloads his guns once he is in ball form for a few seconds. So the ideal play is to launch yourself in, shields up, shoot shoot shoot, when empty: roll away through cover or around enemies until guns are loaded and then unleash bullets again.

Overwatch Endorsement System: Is Fake Kindness A Bad Thing?

Overwatch is a game that I play a lot, generally at least an hour every other day. I’m a console pleb with a mediocre laptop so I can’t speak for the PC Overwatch community. This view is merely from a PS4 position so take that with a grain of ‘this guy doesn’t know it all’.  Overwatch, for those that don’t know, has a basic communication wheel in game. You press some buttons and your character and a little text prompt, for your team to see, will pop up and say ‘Thanks’, ‘Hello’, ‘Understood’, ‘Group up’, ‘My ultimate is (number)% ready’ and the infamous ‘I need healing’. Basic but it can get the job done. Of course you can use mic’s but if you’re like me, a bit shy and you can’t be bothered to listen to background trashy music or mic technical issues then this communication wheel is all you need.

When put to good use, a team of strangers can co-ordinate a winning move! Or in the hands of a sore loser, can be a minor annoyance. Similar to Rocket Leagues spamming of ‘What a save!’ ‘What a save!’ ‘What a save!’, when a bad player blames others for his death, a torrent of ‘Thanks’ starts appearing on screen. Like a persistent moth batting against a light bulb. It’s not a big deal but it’s damn distracting. Constant inputs incur a couple of seconds ban which helps the droning of suicidal Genji’s but the next death usually brings on another tirade of blame. It is an issue that since launch I’ve got use to but never over. Like a mild rash, without the satisfying itch. Then arrives the endorsement system.

Endorsement

The endorsement system is a simple feature that was added to Overwatch. At the end of a quick play or competitive match you are given the chance to praise your teammates or  a respected enemy. These praises are ‘Shot Caller’, ‘Good Teammate’ and ‘Sportsmanship’. You can only give out 3 endorsements per game. As, you receive endorsements you receive rewards. Or that is my understanding anyway. The system has only been out for a short time and I’m only at a level 2 endorsement level. So far though, I haven’t been showered with gifts or whatever the reward scheme is. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed a sharp decrease in message spamming. I still see ‘I need healing’ and ‘Thanks’ pop up a lot but not as much as I did before the new system.  A lot more ‘Understood’ and ‘Group up’s have been rearing their pretty heads. Much to my joy. A team that communicates in a team based game? Hold on, we may be onto victory here. It’s a nice surprise and I’m sure Blizzard was hoping that this new system they’ve introduced to their game would quell a vocal minority. You can’t shut up everyone that’s unpleasant but a start is always welcome.

This new niceness has raised the question though: is it all fake? To be honest, yes some of it is. But why care? Negativity in a team game can quickly spread. One person spams ‘Thanks’ on death and then after the 3rd time this repeats, someone spams ‘Group up’ back at them. Then a 3rd player may join in on that and then suddenly half the team is bitter and eagerly awaiting the match to end so they can find a new team. It creates a bad aura that brings the energy plummeting in matches. I know because I’ve spammed ‘Group up’ before. I shouldn’t have as that makes me no better, I’m still causing distractions and providing no useful or tactical information. And so, if Player A is seething with rage in a match of Overwatch, yet he chooses to say ‘Thanks’ when healed and ‘Group up’ and actually does it, is that a bad thing? Would you rather he is honest and let his emotions unleash on ‘Thanks’, or would you prefer he plays nice for brownie points? I would rather choose a positive atmosphere to my matches than an honest moan session. I’m British, I love a good moan but not in a team game. Fake kindness wins over unpleasantness any time for me. Not only that but positive reinforcement is always better than negative reinforcement. If the nasty player sees that their pleasant disposition leads to more victories, they are more likely to continue that act.  Combine that with the fact that habits grow the more they are repeated, which means that subconsciously this nice behaviour could stick to the individual, naturally.

It’s almost like a paradox. Is a player a good teammate, if they are secretly a bitter Overwatch player that keeps their whining to their self and is courteous in game for fake badges? I think if it leads to a better gaming experience for everyone in game then cheap tricks are fine by me.

Just A Quick Go: SNES Mini

As a 90’s child, I grew up with the Super Nintendo. One of my first ever memories is sat in front of our old CRT TV playing Donkey Kong Country. An ice level actually, I was struggling on this particular level and played it so much I can still remember the level’s song. When, the NES Mini was announced I didn’t buy one. Not because I didn’t think it was worth it, but because it wasn’t nostalgic for me. The SNES was my first console and possibly my favourite console to date. There may be some bias there as it is my first system but the staggeringly good line up speaks for itself. The SNES had an over-abundance of titles that to this day hold up and was the birth place of many of gaming’s greatest iterations. And so when they announced the SNES Mini, I had to get one.

I’ve only played it for about 4 hours and haven’t touched some of the games yet. This is just my take away from my brief re-introduction to some classics. The SNES Mini itself: cute as. I didn’t realise it is this small. The SNES controller itself is wider than the SNES. The dinky console comes with two controllers, the system, a USB cable and a HDMI cable. It’s deceptively small and comes with 21 games built into the system.  I think, the console looks the part, the resemblance is striking. It even has the fake controller entry points that the SNES had back in the day. Now with this new version, that is a plastic guard which you pull to reveal the real plug sockets. The controllers themselves feel lighter than I remember but that could just be an age thing. An issue I have at the minute are the length of the wires for the controllers. They’re short. Not as short as the NES Mini so I’ve read. But still, wires are dirt cheap these days. Nintendo could have shelled out for another 3 foot, no problem. There are remedies if this is an issue for you. I’ve bought some extensions which basically attach to the controllers wire length and increases that to a more comfortable length. The controllers now reach 10 feet which is couch length with some slack, which suits me more. A simple fix but a fix that shouldn’t need to exist.

On the subject of the controllers. An extra button or two would have gone a long way to increase enjoyment of the system. Nintendo has a newly added rewind feature on the system. A feature which is greatly appreciated. I’ve forgotten how hard and unforgiving some of these games are. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, I can’t even beat the first level any more. The rewind feature goes a long way to help alleviate frustration but the rewind button is on the console itself. There is no way to implement the rewind unless you go over to the console and hit the reset button. This then takes you to the main screen, with all the games to select and the option to use a save slot, to save your progress or rewind to seconds or minutes earlier, depending on the game. I know Nintendo are going for a true to classic look but an extra button on the SNES controller called ‘Rewind’ wouldn’t hurt. The controller isn’t cluttered, it has room for it. The rewind is a great feature that requires too much effort to use. And that might sound like I’m being lazy but I tend to play my games to unwind, so lying on the couch comfortably is my preferred style. I don’t want to have to be sat right next to the console or to get up every time I want to use the save state or rewind. Another issue I have and I might be stupid for not seeing why this couldn’t have happened. Is, I don’t understand why the SNES Mini can’t work on a computer or laptop screen. I tested it out on my laptop and nothing loads up. I’m not too tech savvy, but I’d imagine that would have been quite simple to implement.

And with that, my nit picking is done. I have issues with the system but it plays the games I want it to play and, it’s retro and nostalgic for me. The list of games are fantastic. A lot of these games I haven’t played yet either because I wasn’t aware of the series at the time, or just because I had limited money and had to make choices over other games. Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, Street Fighter 2, Star Fox and Super Mario Kart are the only games from the list that I actually owned. A few of the others I’ve touched over the years but never at length. I love the Zelda series but only got into Zelda when Ocarina of Time came out. Before that I wasn’t aware of the series and so to have A Link to the Past included is a real treat. Many call it the best Zelda game and I am so looking forward to finding out why people say that. Super Metroid is the same as Zelda, great praise but I never tried it. Fusion and Metroid Prime were my first introductions and I love both those. It comes with 4 RPG’s that I’ve never played more than 3 hours of. Earthbound I’ve never touched and so am excited to try that.

Contra 3 was the first game I played when I switched on the system. The Konami logo popped up and memories came flooding back to me. I rented this game when I was young and don’t think I got very far but definitely further than I got today. This game is tough! I’m amazed at how much persistence I had as a kid. You forget how merciless these games are. After losing all 5 lives on the first level I walked away dishevelled and feeling old. Are my reflexes slower these days? Or is it because when you’re younger, when you get a game, that is your game for ages. I would make games last because I had so few. Super Mario World I cleared several times, Star Road and all. When I loaded it up today, I was killed by the first enemy. I’m embarrassed by that but not ashamed to admit it. Trying to jump that Beach Koopa I completely forgot the physics and momentum of the game and landed right in front of it. And I’m happy about that. I can remember the sound effects, the layouts, the music but the actual feel of the game is rusty in my fingertips.  The thought of playing something loved, familiar but forgotten too is what I wanted when I ordered the SNES Mini. It’s as I remember it, nothings changed except me. Nothing highlights that for me more, than Donkey Kong Country.

Starting this game again after so long is a bit jarring. The intro doesn’t look as good as I remember it I’ll confess. Donkey Kong Country did have a different look to it than other games at the time. But hearing Cranky playing that song again and DK dropping that boom box for some ape free-styling, brought back the 90’s for me. The soundtrack to this game still holds up too. I was humming away during the first water level, that tranquil song as relaxing as ever. All was going well playing this game. I got acclimatised to the rolling then mid air jumping again. Which is needed for later levels as some collectables are way below the land you’re standing on. Then I got to the first mine cart level. Wow, the pressure. My heart was racing. I went from 20 lives to 8 in just a few minutes. The thrill of those sections is still in this game after all these years. After completing that section I had to save and switch off the SNES Mini.

I had great fun with my short time on the SNES Mini and am eagerly looking forward to sinking my teeth into its catalogue of classics.

A Day In The Life: Stardew Valley

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.

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Well that flew by

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.

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I’ve got a lovely bunch melons! Here they are just growing in a row!

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.

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I’m sure you’re dying to know, so my animal names: Chickens- Chilly, Chuckles, Clucky/ Ducks- Quackers,Bill (GET IT!?)/ Rabbit- Thumper / Dinosaurs- Lizzie, Scales/ Cows- Meryl, Mary     Sheep- Baaaabara/ Goats- Kicky, Lulu, Berty

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.

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I’m selling this recipe on eBay, Granny

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.

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I could take mine off if that’d make you feel better. Want tickets to the gun show?

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.

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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.

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It’s nice to be nice in this game. Comes with perks too, like recipes and gifts

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.

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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.

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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.

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Precious bug meat!

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.

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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.