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Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

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The star of the show

Classic game continues to bring back players new and old

It’s a cold winter evening. 

The snow is falling outside your windowsill and the house is peacefully quiet. You cozy up by the heater or fireplace and wrap yourself in a blanket, and your mind is calm because there is no work left. 

It has been a while since you last played a video game, but you know you want to choose one that always feels like home. 

That game is “Stardew Valley.” 

“Stardew Valley” has long found its way into the hearts of countless players, inviting a peaceful escape from reality for people around the globe. Created by solo game developer ConcernedApe, aka Eric Barone, this indie classic quickly became popular after its initial release in February of 2016. The creator spent about four years designing the game and it was a huge success, selling about one million copies within just two months of its release. To make sure it was well researched as well as fantastical in nature, immense detail and careful consideration was put into the game. 

So, what made this game stand out? 

There are a number of reasons why Stardew Valley is unique, however the main ones include story arc, game design, soundtrack and the interesting twist ConcernedApe put on the typical farming simulator idea. 

The game begins with a simple but emotional storyline where the player is greeted with a scene of their sick grandfather. Next to his hands is an envelope addressed to the player, and after a few parting words, he explains that he wants them to open it only in moments of emptiness in their life. For a while the player waits to open the letter, per their grandfather’s request, but one day they decide to take it out of their desk drawer and open it up. 

Inside is the key to their grandfather’s old plot of land in rural “Stardew Valley,” passed down to his grandchild in hopes it would one day bring them peace in a world of desk jobs and city living. After deciding to quit their position at the big corporation “Joja Cola,” the player impulsively decides to abandon their life in the city and build a new one within the countryside. 

When the player finally arrives, they are introduced to the basics of the game. Farming, fishing, mining, ranching and fighting are some of the major activities that people can choose from. Players can go into town and meet the villagers, buy seeds, get weapons and build relationships within game people. Or, perhaps, they can explore the valley, search the caves, forage for plants, and even fall into mysterious adventures with unexpected characters. 

Another highlight of the game can be chosen whether or not to complete the community center which can lead the player on numerous expeditions and adventures. With all of the options which people can choose from, it is hard to get bored while playing “Stardew Valley” for the first time. 

The graphics and artistry also add another layer of interest to the video game. Overall, the valley is laid out in several different sections: the town, the farm, the beach, the forest, the mountains and the desert are a few of the main ones. Although pixelated in style, there is still immense detail given to different designs in these locations throughout the game. The deep green shading given to the trees, the ripples that stretch out onto blue ocean water or the cherry blossom petals that drift through the air in the spring all create a beautiful atmosphere for players to enjoy.

The “Stardew Valley” soundtrack is also incredibly unique. Each song was composed by the creator, Barone, and was designed to fit the theme of a story or location. Every time of the year has its own songs which allow the listener to drift with the emotion of each season while they play. 

For example, at the end of the summer season, there is a beach gathering where the melancholy and reflective song “Dance of the Moonlight Jellies” is played to represent the bittersweet transition from summer to fall. Or, the “Music Box Song” pulls on listeners’ heartstrings as though it were a real music box, marking meaningful events with its ambient tune. For older players, these songs can be nostalgic to listen to and for newer players, they will hopefully grow to be songs they remember and appreciate. 

“Stardew Valley,” with its calming ambience, lovely soundtrack and emphasis on relaxation is truly a game of beauty, peace, and enjoyment. In many ways, it continues to inspire player after player to slow down, explore their environment, and revisit childhood fun for years to come.

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Caitlin Cherry, Campus Life Editor

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