This month’s theme: Stardew Valley-like

The huge popularity of crafting, farming RPG Stardew Valley has led to a slew of similar games. None of them copy it directly, but feature different aspects of it in a range of interesting ways. You can find a range of these games under the tag stardew-like. Here are some of the best ones:

Stardew Valley

The original, now iconic game. Stardew Valley is everything a premium game should be, and pretty much an entire world in itself. Crafting, fighting, gathering and collecting. Some puzzles. Lots of quests. Game events/festivals. The dev has continued to add tonnes of content so if you played in the very early days, it will pretty much feel like an entirely new game if you pick it up again now. That said, I’m still hoping for Stardew 2!

Graveyard Keeper

Graveyard Keeper was unashamedly set up to echo Stardew Valley, but with a very different tone. While there is some farming and a lot of harvesting and crafting of storage items and machinery, your main job is collecting corpses, carrying out autopsies to harvest their organs, burying them and improving their graves. It’s pretty macabre compared to the friendly, technicolour Stardew world!

Survival RPGs

There are three of these so far, and they follow a similar format of collecting lots of different resources, from stones and sticks to moss and slime – some of which you’ll gather, others you’ll harvest from enemies – and gradually figuring out more complex combinations, technologies and tools to survive and return home from wherever you’ve been stranded. If you like the first Survival RPG game you’ll love the second and third, they’re all highly enjoyable.

Forager

Forager involves harvesting lots and lots of resources, fortunately you can use a pickaxe for chopping down trees, mining rocks and fighting enemies (I always found it just as effective as any swords I crafted – however bows can be wonderfully powerful). You gradually earn enough money – literally just by building banks, that automatically generate coins for you, if only this were real life! – to buy more land masses, where you’ll find more puzzles and quests. Gradually find better materials and upgrade basic tools to Cosmic and Nuclear ones.

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

The Harvest Moon (Story of Seasons) series – which predates Stardew – may in some regards be most similar to Stardew in terms of game features and mechanics, due to its villagers theme and farming focus, and the fact that it inspired Stardew. Light of Hope, just one of the series, is a great game, but the innovations made in Stardew and the other Stardew-like games since tend to outdo it. Which is kind of harsh, but the nature of innovation. Some players may prefer Harvest Moon for its art style, and the fact it was the original for this genre.

 

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