There are so many great games out. Horizon Zero Dawn has some of the most engaging story I have played in awhile. Breath of the Wild is one of the best open world games I have ever played if not the best. Platinum games have gone back to form with Nier: Automata.
And yet despite all of that I find myself going back to Stardew Valley.
Something about that game has hooked me like a fish and has not let go. Everyday I feel like I have a plethora of things to do and never enough time or energy to do it. I have to go into the mine, I have to fish, I want to make friends with the townsfolk, I want to woo Abigail, I have to make sure I am repairing the community center, you can see where this is going.
The game dangles a carrot in your face. It leaves you satisfied at the end of the day, but urges you to continue with its game. Undoubtedly as I played I saw the Harvest Moon formula rear its head. The energy system is just a pain in the ass to deal with. The cyclic nature of the game means it is not for everyone. Interaction between NPC characters have not been great. Yet despite some of the flaws of that formula I still could not stop playing. Because we have not had a Harvest Moon game truly in a long time.
Unlike Harvest Moon, I find the combat system of Stardew to be refreshing change of pace. While it is not overly difficult events that happen on the different floors either have me running for the nearest exit or fighting desperately to not faint.
As I am writing this Story of Seasons Trio of Towns will have been released. And while I have yet to play that game, I can already picture myself falling into the same trappings that Stardew Valley has caught me in. And I can’t wait to pick it up.