I have spent hundreds of hours in Stardew Valley the video game. I spent so much time cultivating my land, fishing, mining, befriending everyone, and otherwise ensuring my farm is perfect. So when I heard there was going to be Stardew Valley: The Board Game, I was PUMPED. Some reviews rolled out, I proceeded to ignored them, and finally I got a copy of the game.
Stardew Valley: The Board Game does take a lot of setting up, as the game itself is really true to the video game, which contains a lot of stuff. You have an entire shop full of produce and seeds, a bag of artifacts and minerals, many, many stacks of cards for various different events. There is an entire mining system, foraging objects to place onto the map, a bag of fishing items. It’s just a lot to set up the entire world.
But, the world does look like the video game, and you will be spending your time traveling around, collecting resources and looking to build up your farm. We played with the max amount of players; four, in our group, communicating a lot along the way so that we could all help each other out when it comes to fulfilling the various goals our grandfather has set out for us at the start of the game.
These goals are scaled to the number of players we have, as are the bundles that need to be created so that we can help the sprites around the map. On your turn, you will start by having the lead player flip over a season card. This can be an event day or just a normal series of events that you must then play out. Often, it will have you do things like water your crops, tell you that you can sell that round, etc. Sometimes, it will have you reveal a bad thing for Joja, which will then need to be dealt with or else you will have to pay the price by following whatever restriction they have given.
Stardew Valley: The Board Game then has you place out where your character is starting on your turn. You’ll need to talk with other players, and can even trade items you have in your inventory if you’d like. That way, one person is doing all of the selling for the team for the day while another can spend their time in their mind. It very much feels like the game; as I was the fisher person, I spent a lot of time fishing. Fishing is done by rolling dice, and then seeing if your dice can be spent on an available fish from that type of water at the bottom of the map. Mining worked similarly, with miners rolling dice and then using a chart to see if they got anything from their mine. You can even start to build stairs to go deeper in the mine, and get more items.
Everyone has a tool they specialize in, which they can upgrade for coins that then allow them to perform that action better. My fishing rod could give me another roll of my dice, which is a big help when one of your actions is one roll. On your turn, you have two actions or one action, a move to a new place, and another action. This felt like a good amount of room to play around in.
Gathering up resources each day and deciding whether we should build coops or spend hearts on our animals is a big conversation. There is a lot of teamwork required in Stardew Valley: The board game. The game itself also felt like the video game, with the same level of grinding and splitting up as you do in multiplayer on the town. We did get towards our goals, quickly trying to gather resources to accomplish what is needed, and ensuring we foraged as much as we could in the season as those resources were limited. The Museum can be filled up with artifacts, which then unlock epic items, and villagers can be flipped over and given items so that you have friends. These hearts are then used, as previously mentioned, to make your animal’s quality to be better or they can be used to reveal bundles that then need items to finish them off.
There is a big flow that you can get into, starting your day and working your way around the town, collecting items and working towards the goals that you are currently trying to accomplish to help your farm grow. There are so many different possibilities in your time on the board, with events happening, animals wanting pends, villagers looking for specific items, and much more. It’s packed full of possibilities, and as you work on a team you want to work together.
I found Stardew Valley: The Board Game very fun to play. It does a great job of taking the original game and putting it together into a board game you could easily play with your friends and family who have never had a chance to play the video game itself. The artwork is lovely, the amount to do is very fun, and it’s a great time.
You can purchase Stardew Valley: The Board Game on their website.