Created by Eric Barone, Stardew Valley is a charming farming simulator that has captured the hearts of fans across the world. The game’s main premise is simple. You play a character who inherits a house and plot of land from your grandfather. At the start, everything is in disarray. It’s thus up to you to clear the mess to get a proper farm running. You’ll tend to your livestock and crops, trying to generate profits as you expand your farm with improved buildings and equipment. Stardew Valley also has tons of NPCs with quite a few romance / marriage options. Other fun activities include mining, crafting, and fishing, to name a few. In addition, there are plenty of side-quests with a slew of unlockable content. Put simply, games like Stardew Valley know how to keep things simple yet insanely addictive.
Keen for more similar gaming experiences? Look no further! Here are 10 addictive farming simulator games like Stardew Valley worth checking out!
Selection Criteria of Our List
- Stardew Valley has many appealing qualities, including adventuring, basic RPG elements, and so on. However, this list will focus on recommending games that share similar farming simulation gameplay. So, growing crops, raising animals, etc. is a must.
- There should be an addictive sense of grind-and-reward in the form of unlockable content, new tasks / side-quests, and so on.
- Selections are in no particular order.
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1. The original Harvest Moon series (now known as Story of Seasons)
Barone’s vision for Stardew Valley was heavily inspired by his love for earlier Harvest Moon games (before Back to Nature). It’s thus easy to spot the similarities between the two franchises. For starters, most Harvest Moon games task you with repairing a rundown farm, turning it into a thriving one. You’ll also plant plenty of crops, talk to lots of people (with love options), and improve your buildings / facilities. Visually, Harvest Moon games have gone through several changes in style (e.g. from 2D to 3D, etc.). However, many releases do share the same top-down bright aesthetics seen in Stardew Valley.
Harvest Moon fans are divided on which game is the best in the series. However, Harvest Moon 64 is often cited as one of their favorites. Like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon 64 sees you inherit a farm from your grandfather, carrying out various tasks and activities that’ll keep you addicted for countless hours.
Overall, the Harvest Moon series offers many similar games like Stardew Valley – even if the overall standard has gone a little wayward of late. In addition, you may want to check out the spinoff series, Rune Factory, which also implements farming simulation, albeit with a heavier emphasis on monster fighting.
Like Stardew Valley, Plantera is a farming simulator that’ll have you grow crops, trees, and take care of animals as you try to grow your garden into a natural work of art. Along the way, you’ll attract various Helper creatures that’ll assist you in carrying out some of the more mundane tasks. Plantera also features cute cartoony aesthetics that’ll appeal to most Stardew Valley fans.
Unlike Stardew Valley, Plantera is much smaller in scope. So, don’t expect countless hours of new content and upgrades. In fact, you’ll probably get to see most of the game’s items in under a day. Nonetheless, Plantera is very cheaply priced and will still give you plenty of hours of clicking fun. A must-try if you’re into games like Stardew Valley but can’t afford the long-term commitment!
3. Shepherd’s Crossing 2
This much-improved sequel to the original will likely appeal to anyone keen for games like Stardew Valley. As expected, you start your adventure in a small town, helping villagers out as you raise a variety of crops and animals on your ever-expanding farm. You can also date and marry the partner of your dreams. The gameplay is open-ended, giving you the freedom to partake in a wide range of adventuring fun and casual activities.
Being a DS title, Shepherd’s Crossing 2 benefits from its clever use of touch-screen controls that are all well-implemented. Visually, it shares a similar top-down viewpoint and cartoony character designs to both Stardew Valley and a few Harvest Moon games. Deep customization options (e.g. decorating your house, character, etc.) further enhance the core farming simulation mechanics. In sum, you can expect to sink dozens of hours into this little-known gem! It’s a true classic.
4. Animal Crossing series
This long-standing series is often compared to Stardew Valley in some respects. In all the games, you’ll play as a human character surrounded by communicative animals and villagers. You’ll then spend a fair amount of time collecting items and exploring nearby areas and villages. Like Stardew Valley, planting crops and basic farming are especially big features in these games. There’s also a lot of character and house customization options, some of which even affect the way the story unfolds.
In addition, some Animal Crossing games are really big in their social aspects. You’ll get to interact with other real-life players, usually via in-game bulletin boards or post offices. All versions feature colorful and cartoony visuals that’ll easily lure in Stardew Valley fans. Of all releases, New Leaf is seen as the most content-filled, with City Folk being one of the most streamlined. Despite some gameplay differences, the Animal Crossing series easily stands tall among games like Stardew Valley for its sheer time-sinking addictiveness!
5. Farming Simulator series
If you’re looking for hardcore farming simulation games, look no further than… the Farming Simulator series (duh!). While Stardew Valley adopts simple farming mechanics, this franchise aims to be far more realistic. You’re basically plopped into a large open-world where you’ll be able to plant crops and raise animals of all kinds. Best of all, you’ll even get to use more than 250 farming vehicles and equipment, all rendered with authentic details.
Unlike most games like Stardew Valley, the Farming Simulator series strives for true-to-world graphics. So, don’t expect cutesy animals and characters. However, similar to Stardew Valley, one of your main objectives in these games is to generate surplus revenue in order to expand your farm. In addition, you’ll have to micro-manage a lot of minor tasks. This includes rationing your animals’ food, forestry, and hiring workers to help you out.
Overall, if you’re a fan of Stardew Valley’s farming elements, you owe it to yourself to give this franchise a try.
More farming simulation games ahead! List continues on Page 2! –>
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