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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Stardew Valley (2016) looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try their ambition on.

On the surface, this can seem like a simple farm simulator but players are soon drawn to the wider world, people and relationships that make their village tick. It's a game that can surprise you with the nuance and depth of the characters.

There is hope running through the stories of the townsfolk. When you know them well enough to trigger the cut scenes explaining their backstories, this grows more substantial. You can even influence their decisions. It becomes less a game about farming wealth and more about generosity and community value.

Our examiner, Jo Robertson, first checked Stardew Valley 4 years ago. It was re-examined by Andy Robertson and updated 7 days ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Stardew Valley. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is an Adventure and Role-Play game with Action, Collecting, Communication, Narrative, Sequencing, Simulation and Strategy elements. You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game. You can play local multiplayer on the Switch via wireless mode, but only if you each have your own Switch and copy of the game.

You can play online co-op via the menu. You need to open the farm to other players via the Settings tab in the Inventory:
  • PC - Connect via Steam friends co-op join screen.
  • PlayStation 4 - Connect via PlayStation Plus in the co-op join screen.
  • Switch - Connect via Nintendo Online account to people on your friends list via the Join tab.
  • Xbox One - Connect to other players via Xbox Live Gold. Multiplayer without a subscription isn't supported.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

 
This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 51 hours and 75 hours to complete. This is a game you can pour hours into if you wish. The open-ended approach to mastering the farming and relational side of the game means that total play time will vary greatly.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for Gambling. This game contains moving images that teach the use of games of chance. The player can visit a casino location and trade in-game money for tokens, which can then be used to bet on various casino games such as blackjack and slots. All the games feature detailed instructions on how to play. There is mild violence involving fantasy and human characters. However, the characters are pixilated and lack any real details. The violence is completely non realistic in nature. When characters are hit, they lose health points which are shown above them. There is no sight of injury and when characters are defeated they quickly disappear. The player has the option to make alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine and mead. When the player consumes the alcohol, they receive increases in their health and energy statistics. However, a negative consequence is also shown, with an icon indicating that the character is 'tipsy', which temporarily reduces their speed. The player can go throughout the whole game without making or drinking any alcoholic beverage.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco. Some quests require players to explore caves and battle "cartoony" enemies (e.g., jelly creatures, crabs, flying monsters). From a top-down perspective, players use swords to briefly strike creatures and deplete their health meters. A handful of creatures emit small splashes of blood when defeated. One area contains a casino in which players can wager coins on slot machines and blackjack-style card games. During the course of the game, characters are occasionally depicted smoking pipes or cigarettes; players can also drink mugs of beer, sometimes resulting in a temporary “tipsy” status effect. The word “damn” appears in the dialogue.
The game was originally rated PEGI 7 for occasional mild non-realistic violence towards human characters. Violence towards human characters is not detailed. When a human character is hit they do not respond either audibly or physically. When eventually defeated a character will spin off into the distance and disappear.

The more recent version of the game includes "a casino location and trade in-game money for tokens which can then be used to bet on various casino games such as blackjack and slots with detailed instructions on how to play." This resulted in a PEGI 12 rating.

Skill Level

9+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. The understated visuals and slower progression in the game make it suitable for children with the patience and skill to persevere. The two-player mode can be a good way to get younger children into the game when played with a parent, guardian or older sibling. Still, some parents tell us that children as young as 5 years old enjoy this. "My daughter was playing Stardew Valley before she could read what the people were saying, but it didn't matter to her."

Our Game Pathways reveal how 6-year-olds play this game:

Account Rating

  • You need PlayStation Plus to play online with PlayStation Vita.
  • You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.
  • You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to Nintendo Online, but can then create accounts for children of any age to play online with Nintendo Switch.
  • You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4.

CostsCosts

Stardew Valley usually costs £4.99 to £12.49. 

Stardew Valley

XBox Store Xbox One £11.99 Free

Xbox Game Pass

XBox Store PC £12.49 Free

Xbox Game Pass

Switch Store Switch £10.99
Steam Store PC £10.99
Steam Store Mac £10.99
PlayStation StoreSALE PS4 £11.49 £9.19 until 29/05/2024
Android Store Android £4.99 Free

Google Play Pass

App Store iOS £4.99 Free

Apple Arcade

There are the following additional costs associated with this game:
  • You need a subscription to play online:
    • You need to purchase a Nintendo Online subscription to play online with Nintendo Switch.
    • You need to purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with PlayStation 4.
    • You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online with Xbox One.
 
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.
 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2021

Price: 20% off

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Players: 1-4 (4 online)

Genres: Adventure, Role-Play (Action, Collecting, Communication, Narrative, Sequencing, Simulation and Strategy)

Accessibility: 24 features

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Pixels

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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