Stardew Valley 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.
Consider time investment
Adventure games often take a long time to finish. Encourage regular breaks to get moving, rest their eyes and balance their time with other activities.
Nurture key skills
Many adventure games incorporate problem solving and critical thinking, important skills for school, work and more offline. Talk to them about their game to see how it supports them and their goals.
Encourage children to take risks with their characters in-game to safely learn potential consequences. Talk about what might happen outside of the game and why it's important to keep those risks in-game only. While playing, encourage them to think about innovative risks their character can take.
Suggested by Family Gaming Database
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 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."
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.
The VSC also noted that 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.
There are 24 accessibility features for
Data by Family Gaming Database
PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire
February 26, 2016, updated in 2018
No. of players
You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game.
Adventure | Role-Play