BENGALURU : An important part of the week involves going through the new game deals on Steam and seeing what new adventures lie on one’s discovery queue. This time it was dominated by a frustrating amount of games which sound very angry: DeathGardenBloodharvest, Rage 2 and Insurgency Sandstorm. Triggered by the blitz of the unnecessary violence in the very dark trailers, I sought out the tiny sliver of bright green and blue sky — Stardew Valley. This week, I want everyone to rewind to a few years ago when an entirely wholesome, ‘good vibes only’ game called Stardew Valley released.
The game starts with our main character’s life thrown off track when their grandfather dies. We find ourselves completely alone in a farm, in a village that is unheard of… The shortest explanation of Stardew Valley would be that it has every one of Julie Andrews’ Favourite Things in an 8bit platform.
The game gives you the solitude to introspect as you plow across your field, cutting trees for wood and collecting fiber into your quickly filling backpack. It teaches patience, as you water those parsnip seeds in your new farm on a rainy day, hoping to wake up to a bounty the next morning at sunrise. It teaches you to make friends in the village by the simple task of gifting them a daffodil. The game is filled with innocent and peaceful small victories that gives you satisfaction and motivation to play on.
Every individual in the game has their own perfectly distinct story, brought out by conversations. It might remind you that you aren’t the most important person in every story. It also adds an element of the insane (there’s a crazy wizard and monsters in the mines), because what’s a videogame if it is too close to reality? Completely incidentally, it instills in you a very weird desire of waking up at 6 am, even in real life!
The game released for the Android last month, bringing the portal to a restful escape closer to you. Stardew Valley might just be the exact meditative retreat which will make you uninstall PUBG mobile, spend some time on the subreddit for Patient Gamers and wax eloquent on Pacifist gaming.