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Greenhouse on a lush planent in No Man's Sky

NorthWestTrees Blog

2023 Stardew Valley Game Review


Stardew Valley blacksmith during the fall season.

NorthWestTrees Gaming Reviews

One of the most important things that I want to get off the table is in no way NWT Gaming game reviews are influenced by outside influences, I am not getting paid and will give my honest perspective from playing the game myself. If you think the review is not accurate feel free to express your opinion in the comment section of this post. Games can change over time, in some cases I may make a new review if I feel differently about the game.


About the game

Stardew Valley is a game where you move to the country to take up farming, fishing, mining and other activities. You progress by collecting items to restore the warn-down community center. The game still gets occasional updates that expand the store and quests of the game.


2023 Stardew Valley Game Review

Graphics

The game is designed around pixel art with the 2D top-down perspective. Though the graphics are really good when it comes to pixel art, some minor things such as cliff sides and water edges are not consistent, despite a few not noticeable details the game is a really good representation of what classic 2D games can do using pixels to design a game in the modern day. Many games strive to make similar games with inspiration from Stardew Valley. With this in mind, I rate the graphics 4 out of 5.


The one thing that is a major issue though is 4K resolution, though the game works with 1080p the game is not optimized for 4K at a 16x9 ratio. Though it can be done still some map parts are not the size needed for this scale mainly the bus stop and some other small map areas.


Graphics: Great Graphics (4/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Audio

Stardew Valley has a really good soundtrack and many nice audio effects and sounds. The audio choices the game has decided to go with work with the 2D theme of the game and add to the game's overall feel.


Audio: Great Sounds and Music (5/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Performance

Preformance-wise, I have never experienced any performance issues with this game, most likely due to the game being well-optimized and using smaller textures compared to games with high-resolution graphics such as No Mans Sky.


I have done an entire review of this game already check it out here.

Performance: Good for Most Computers (5/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Difficulty

Though Stardew Valley is more laid back when farming and fishing, the game does have some harder core features, some fish are really hard to catch and takes time to find the right technique and luck to get some of them but combat is by far the hardest part of the game with many unique combat styles in mines and caves. The deficiency gets harder the deeper you go down in the mines but offers weapon and armour upgrades as you progress.


Difficulty: Great Customizability (5/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Grinding

Stardew Valley is very Role Playing based on a mix between a social simulator and a light RPG, so though progression is a bit gritty at times, it's not fully dependent on any period to get tasks done, it's a game you can work at your own pace through some things like bundles could be seen as grinding, I see it more as objectives and goals to get stuff done, there are often a few ways to find bundle items if you know where to look and some things can be bought which can be obtained pretty easy from farming, fishing or even mining.


Grinding: Relaxed Grinding (4/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Story

When it comes to Stardew Valley's story, it's well planned, the game has lots of lore about the game and each NPC has something to expand your knowledge of the history of the town, the more you work on the relationships with each villager the more understanding you will have about their history and community dynamics. Also when you progress with the community center you will progress in the story. Many cut scenes in the game are done nicely with many unique profiles of the NPCs. The game is well done when it comes to the story which deserves a 5/5 for this rating.


Story: Good System (5/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Completion Time

I have not yet completed this game, as mentioned before it varies on your play style and the pace you wish to play at, if you know the game more you could most likely complete the game quicker but you will miss a lot of details. In-game it could take a few years playing solo to complete the community center some things are seasonal and require planning before you can complete the bundles but this is just one aspect, of the game there is also more than one series of mine, there is the first mine but also the mine in the desert which is a lot different than the mine in the town, and there is also a third mine I have herd once you progress a bit more but no spoilers for you ;)


So completion time will vary and depends on what you want to count as complete, though the game does get rare updates I suspect that more lore and features will come in the future as well.


Completion Time: Moderate Amount Of Time (3/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Price

The price for the game when not on sale in Canada is 16.99 on Steam.

For how refined the game is and the amount of work they have put into all the features and mechanics with free updates I would for sure say that the game is worth the price if you are into light 2D RPG-style games. If you are not sure if you are interested I would suggest getting it on sale during one of steams seasonal events, at the time of writing this blog post it is 33% off at the moment so it's possible to get a pretty fair discount at times around winter or summer sales. I would also look into Steam's return policy in case you find it's not a fit for you.


Price: Fair (5/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Bugs

Bug-wise, I have not experienced the game having any bugs, though the 4K monitor could be seen as a bug, I think it's mainly a design flaw not a bug in that regard. The game still works with 4K just fine but it just lacks a larger map area to commodate the 4K to make the game feel good like in 1080p. As far as bugs after release, I have not noticed any bugs when they released the last update though they did push out a few patches to fix minor issues. Overall the game is very stable even after major updates which is a huge surprise for me.


Difficulty: Minor Bugs but Quickly Fixed (5/5)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


2023 Overall Score

I rate the game out of the total amount of points possible.

NWTG Rating: 41/50


2023 Game Information

This section covers important game information at the time of writing this review such as the ESRB rating, Localization, and hardware requirements. Keep in mind that this game is actively being developed and this may change over time as the game is developed. Check the Steam page for up-to-date information about the game before you buy the game.



Audience

The game is not graphic, there is not much in the line of gore, but the game still has guns and you will find yourself in the middle of combat fights with Non-Player Characters (NPC) such as drones or other spaceships. Animals can also attack the player which may trigger drones to attack if you fight back. It is possible to die in this game but depending on the game mode you may respawn and have to repair your starship once more.


Audience: Everyone 10+

Rating: ESRB E10+ (Ages 10+)


Localization

Check the Steam page to see if anything has changed before you buy the game.

The game does not use voiceovers but rather a text for dialogue.

Interface supported languages (2023)

  • English

  • German

  • Spanish - Spain

  • Japanese

  • Portuguese - Brazil

  • Russian

  • Simplified Chinese

  • French

  • Italian

  • Hungarian

  • Korean

  • Turkish

PC Requirements (2023)

Windows Minimum:

Starting January 1st, 2024, the Steam Client will only support Windows 10 and later versions.
  • OS: Windows Vista or greater

  • Processor: 2 GHz

  • Memory: 2 GB RAM

  • Graphics: 256 MB video memory, shader model 3.0+

  • DirectX: Version 10

  • Storage: 500 MB available space


MacOS Minimum:

  • OS: Mac OSX 10.10+

  • Processor: 2 GHz

  • Memory: 2 GB RAM

  • Graphics: 256 MB video memory, OpenGL 2

  • Storage: 500 MB available space


SteamOS + Linux Minimum:

  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

  • Processor: 2 GHz

  • Memory: 2 GB RAM

  • Graphics: 256 MB video memory, OpenGL 2

  • Storage: 500 MB available space

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