One of the critical darlings of the indie scene, Stardew Valley is the stuff of dreams – for both games and developers.
And now the franchise is adding another format to its current offerings with the debut of a board game based upon the eponymous IP.
If you’ve wanted to help save the community center with your friends while growing crops and living the rural idyll all at the same time, Stardew Valley: The Board Game has you covered.
Stardew’s creator, Eric Barone, promises that fans won’t find any cherished elements missing from the new IRL incarnation of everyone’s favorite farming sim since Harvest Moon.
“For more than 2 and a half years I’ve been working together with board game designer Cole Medeiros to make a board game that captures the essence of Stardew Valley. It has pretty much everything from the video game: villagers, crops, animals, fishing, foraging, mining and more. We worked hard to make a board game we think is really fun to play and to look at,” Barone writes on the blog post announcing the completion of the development of the board game.
Designed for one to four players ages thirteen and up, Stardew Valley: The Board Game brings the annualized calendar format and basic mechanics of the game to a board game setup. The seasons and weather events are controlled by a card deck that simulates the randomized events the game has in this area.
Towards that end, Barone and the board game’s designers estimate that the equivalent of a single year of in-game play is equivalent to forty-five minutes of real-life engagement.
In other words, Stardew Valley is a board game arcing more towards a deep and engaging experience rather than something quick. Even so, to accommodate players that want something a little faster, the rules can be adjusted to speed up the gameplay.
While the goal of keeping Joja Corporation out of town remains, there are also randomized goals with each playthrough that accompany this overarching plot device. Whereas in the electronic game Grandpa gifts you a farm with a somewhat open-ended “live your life” premise, the board game features specific “Grandpa Goals” that you have to achieve to win.
Again, and as Barone stresses, Stardew Valley: The Board Game is for complex, enriching experiences even if adjusted for a faster playtime.
“I want to be really clear with everyone that this game was designed to have some depth and complexity. It’s easy to play once you learn the rules, but it’s not a short, casual game. Please check out the rulebook to make sure it’s a good fit for you and those you like to play board games with,” Barone warns.
The best part about all of this for diehard Stardew Valley fans is that they won’t have to wait very long to play the new board game. It is available right now. Coming in at $55, Stardew Valley: The Board Game isn’t cheap, but it sounds like an amazingly dynamic piece of kit that will give hours of fun to fans and newcomers to the franchise alike.