Stardew Valley

Synopsis:
Stardew Valley is a deeply involved farming game that involves magical realism and romance. If you are looking to get sucked into an easy, adorable game world, this is the best thing money can buy you.

Who Should Play:
Stardew Valley takes some commitment. It has been characterized as a kind of “slow gaming” and happens over time: hours, days, weeks, seasons, and years all occur in the game in a generative way. You can’t play Stardew Valley wrong. Things happen at their own pace in this sleepy farming game. It is great for novice players that want to feel submerged in a gaming world and try something new.

Made by: Developer: Concerned Ape

Available on: Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OS, Microsoft, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Price: $7.99 – $14.99 (depending on platform)

Play time: Open

Questions for Stardew Valley:

  1. How long did it take for you to get the hang of Stardew Valley? Did it take days, months, or years? (Any answer is fine!)
  2. Did you try out different maps or starting characters? How many? How did you settle on your final choices of what and how to play?
  3. Did you focus on one particular thing at a time (crops, animals, mining, fishing, etc.) or did you do multiple things at a time? How did you balance your workflows in the game?
  4. What aspect of the game (crops, animals, mining, fishing, dating) did you find the most satisfying and why?
  5. The game is essentially work. What about work is fun in this game world?
  6. Did you get married? How did you decide who to marry and what did you find compelling about that non-player character?
  7. How many different character narrative cutscenes did you trigger? What did you learn about those characters and how did it change the game play for you?
  8. There are many magical elements to Stardew Valley on top of being a farming game. How does the “magic” of the game effect the mundanity of farming projects?
  9. Stardew Valley has some fighting mechanics, particularly in the mines. To what extent was monster fighting stressful and to what extent was it satisfying?
  10. Stardew Valley has been famously characterized as “slow gaming.” What does this phrase mean to you, and how does “slow gaming” vary from other kinds of video games that you have played?
  11. There is an underlying narrative about corporate vs small-town lives, played out through the JoJo Mart and Pierre’s store conflict. Which did you opt for, and how did that narrative play out in your version of the game? What do you think the game creator was saying about these topics?

General Gaming Circle Questions:

  1. What did and didn’t you like about the game?
  2. How much time did you spend playing? Did you play all at once or break up your time?
  3. Did you play during other activities, or dedicate time solely to playing?
  4. Did the game feel like a waste of time? A good use of time? Explain.

Links & Walkthroughs:

Official Web Site
IGN (Starters Guide)

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