Unless it’s Super Mario Party, I tend to have all the luck when it comes to playing games. I often slide by with a win against my sister because I get lucky with something.
However, when it comes to finding shiny Pokemon naturally, I have none of that luck. Kris has it all. When we play a new Pokemon game, she’ll just happen to come across and catch a shiny when I know I’ll have to wait until I get the shiny charm and will have to hunt for shinies when I finish the game.
But there was one time I found a shiny naturally in the wild.
At the time of writing this, I have found two shinies naturally in the wild during my playthroughs of Pokemon.
Most recently was in Pokemon Shield through the DLC. I came across a shiny Mr. Mime. I named him Mr. Lime because instead of vivid pink he’s neon green. I couldn’t let that opportunity pass me by.
My first wild shiny Pokemon
I was so excited that happened to me because the last time I found a wild shiny without looking for was on in Pokemon Sapphire, which released in 2002.
The game had recently come out and I was at my Uncle’s house for some reason. Now, I don’t know if I had played the game before and I restarted the file or if this was my first playthrough of the game.
Regardless, you know the first battle you get into with a Poochyena? The professor tells you to choose your starter Pokemon to battle the Poochyena and save him. You don’t own any Pokeballs. In fact, the starter Pokemon isn’t even technically yours.
Can you guess which Pokemon was shiny?
Yep, that Poochyena.
I remember staying in that battle for so long. I excitedly ran over to Krissy to show her that I found a shiny Poochyena. She told me to catch me which made me realize that I was at the very beginning of the game. I “didn’t know how” to catch Pokemon yet and had no Pokeballs.
I stayed on that screen for a long, long time. I refused to make the Poochyena faint. I asked Kris so many questions on how I could possibly cheat the system to keep that shiny Poochyena.
After a while, I made it faint, of course. What else was I supposed to do? But I have to admit, that Poochyena haunts me to this day. I still have yet to find a wild shiny Poochyena.
Shiny hunting today
I think that’s what got me into shiny hunting in the first place. I enjoy collecting things so when I complete my Pokedex and beat the Pokemon games, the next best thing for me to do is to shiny hunt.
I don’t do it often because you need a huge chunk of time to do so. But I do have a decent amount of shiny Pokemon.
I got sick one time and ended up being out of work and on the couch for a week. I shiny hunted Pokemon that entire week, testing out various methods that I found on the Internet. I ended up with three or four shiny Pokemon.
Despite being sick, that was a good week.
Do I have a shiny Poochyena though? No, I don’t. Maybe I’ll search for one the next time I play Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire. Or maybe that Pokemon line will get added to Sword and Shield somehow.
Either way, I’ll find a shiny Poochyena somehow. Someday.
Do you shiny hunt in Pokemon games? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it!
Having gaming as a hobby always means that there is so little time to experience all the games you want to play. Not to mention that gaming can be expensive. Due to that, there are plenty of indie games on my Nintendo eShop wish list that are waiting for me to buy and download. Below, in no particular order, are my top 5 indie wish list games.
Raji: An Ancient Epic
I remember this game appearing on a Nintendo Indies Direct sometime in 2020. I was enthralled with the gorgeous artwork and a nice puzzle, action-adventure game seemed to be right up my alley. I’m looking forward to when I can give this game as shot.
We’ve heard nothing but good things about this game from friends who have given it a try already. Another game that looks enchanting, you take on the role of someone helping deceased spirits to the afterlife. It’s a game that takes a heavy subject and seems like it wants to make it lighthearted or charming. Either way, I’m sure I’m going to tear up.
Simulation games are one of my favorite genres and I’m a sucker for cute animals. Calico boasts chill gameplay with a low-stress and creative environment for players to enjoy. Taking on the role of a new villager, your task is to revitalize the cat cafe with pastries and fuzzy animals, so this seems right for me!
Best Friend Forever
To go with Calico, we have another simulation game that revolves around animals. Best Friend Forever is a visual novel/dating sim that stars the player and their dog. That game boasts about a diverse cast of characters as well as giving the player free reign on gender and sexuality. And it has dogs! What more could you want?
When the Past was Around
Another game that may make us cry, When the Past was Around has the same developer as Coffee Talk, which Rachel and I are in the middle of now. When the Past was Around is a point-and-click puzzle game that is about love and letting go. The art looks beautiful and I’m looking forward to figuring out the puzzle pieces while hoping for a happy ending.
What indie games are on your to-be-played list? Have you played any of these games? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
I’m totally copying what Kris wrote yesterday. If you haven’t read her post about Stardew Valley’s Longevity, go ahead and do so right now. I’ll be here when you get back.
It’s no secret that between Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, Kris would pick the former and I would choose the latter. So, when I read her post about Stardew Valley it made me think about Animal Crossing’s longevity.
One major difference between these two games is that one happens in real-time while the other doesn’t. Animal Crossing New Horizons released in March 2020. I played it through May and then got out of the habit of checking in on my island each day.
It wasn’t until the beginning of this March that I picked the game back up again. It’s like nothing changed because I completely missed summer, autumn, and winter. I can’t even work towards getting collecting new bugs and fish because I already got them all last spring. I’m almost done collecting the sea creatures that I missed last summer as well. At least, the ones available to be caught at this time.
There are so many things I’ve already accomplished – I got K.K. Slider and terraforming, I’m debt-free, and the museum has a full collection of fossils.
Normally, all that would be left for me to do is to terraform and make my island look as cool as possible (and terraforming wasn’t even a thing in the previous games). The thing is, I missed so many updates and other cool features in the nine months I was absent. So, not only can I stick around to get those updates when the time comes, but there’s also so much else I can do.
I remember the earlier Animal Crossing games were tough with the real-time mechanic. After making so much money or catching all the bugs, fish, and fossils for the day, there wasn’t much else I could do. Once I paid off my house, that was it. I had, essentially, beaten the game with the museum as an extra thing.
Now I can do so much more. When I’m done for the day, I keep playing. I rearrange the stuff on my island. I rearrange the things in my house. I focus on finding the right gifts for my villagers.
In Kris’s post, she mentioned Stardew Valley updated with a few new quests and Ginger Island and such, so there’s a lot more to do in the game now other than keeping up with your farm and going to the in-game festivals. Since Animal Crossing is built in real-time, most updates are annual happenings. Bunny Day, for example, is upon us yet again with eggs absolutely everywhere. This time, though, not only do we have Bunny Day recipes, but we have special items in Timmy and Tommy’s shop as well.
They also updated the game to give us more customization options, too. Animal Crossing gives us those seasonal updates but also random ones here and there that make people go back to the game.
Did I turn my game on again for the Mario items? Yes and no. I had been itching to play Animal Crossing again but was afraid I’d spend too much time on it and not get any work done. Then they announced the Mario items and… well, I’ve played nearly almost every day for the entire month of March. And I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Now that I’ve begun playing again, no only do I need to catch up with the upcoming seasons, but I’ve also started a new project where I’m giving all my villagers their own fenced-in yards and… it’s a lot of work. It’s time-consuming, I need to move buildings around… I’m going to be playing this game for the rest of my life.
What’s a game you’ll always go back to? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it!
When it comes to simulation games, how far do you get in the game before inevitably starting over?
Business simulators tend to have some sort of goal or endpoint, even if the game is able to be played past that endpoint. Game Dev Tycoon, for example, tallies your score traditionally at the end of 35 game years. However, most of the simulations we enjoy playing can go on for as many in-game years as you’d like.
Take Stardew Valley. While the game has the spirit of the player’s grandfather return to “evaluate” your farm at the end of the second year, it doesn’t have any consequence on how you play the game. Sprucing up your farm can take about a good year, depending on how your goals. There’s your farm layout, relationship goals, the mining, raising animals, maxing out your house upgrades, etc. There’s tons of content in Stardew Valley, but even a game as big and popular as it needs an update once in a while.
ConcernedApe, the developer of the game, released the latest update with even more content within the past couple of months. New quests for the villagers, a couple of more relationship events for your house-spouse, and new areas to explore are included.
When it comes to games, I love exploration. When it was revealed that there was a new area included with the latest Stardew Valley update, I booted up one of my longest files to see what needed to be done in order to reach Ginger Island.
Despite the update having been released for the Nintendo Switch back in early February, I have yet to reach Ginger Island.
To reach Ginger Island, one of the materials needed is battery packs. Battery packs, if not occasionally gifted by a couple of villagers, are obtained after a thunderstorm if one of your lightning rods is struck.
My file was in the middle of Winter. Thunderstorms don’t trigger in Winter.
I figured it wasn’t too big of a deal and used the rest of the Winter season to get reacclimated with my farm and figure out the other aspects of the update. Plenty of new aspects about Pelican Town were added for me to explore. I used this time to figure out the Easter eggs, play some local co-op with Rachel, partake in the newer quests for machines, and be delighted with the cosmetic updates, among everything else.
At this time, I’m back in the Spring and realized that I’m in Year 4. This is probably the longest I’ve played the same file for any farming or life simulation game. Generally, I pause around Year 3, having discovered the majority of what the games have to offer, minus the marriage options as those tend to be my least favorite aspects of these games.
This time around, I’m content to keep going.
My farm is fairly self-sufficient, I actually don’t mind being married in Stardew Valley and even finally agreed to have a kid, and I’m still busy enough with quests to keep me entertained while I wait for that one last battery pack.
Granted, there are still a few things I would like to see for future Stardew Valley updates. Dialogue changes for your spouse’s family after your marriage would be great. My farmer’s husband is Sebastian, making Robin my mother-in-law. She still talks to me as if I’m just a friend from town, reminding me of that during the Feast of the Winter Star — she invited me to sit at her family table if I didn’t have any other place to sit.
…Aren’t we family, Robin? I literally just gave you a grandson the previous night (we will not speak of the fact that said grandson has been left alone in his crib at home, swaddled like a green bean, while we are enjoying the festival).
Updates for Stardew Valley are fantastic in allowing the farmer to continue to grow, but I would also love to see the valley around us grow as well. Give us more dialogue with the villagers that reference the passage of time. Let me play matchmaker with the other bachelors and bachelorettes. Vincent and Jas should grow a little, giving us some teenage drama in Pelican Town.
Of course, the updates for Stardew Valley are amazing and I can’t begin to imagine all of the hard work ConcernedApe puts into his game. Freshening the game up so players and fans alike are still delighted with the game after all these years is no small feat!
Are you enjoying Stardew Valley’s update? How long do you typically play a simulation game? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
Last week, I talked about a couple of my favorite indie games (so far) that I’ve played on the Nintendo Switch. There are still so many games that are on my backlog, indie or not.
I’ve even been scrolling through the games that are on sale on the Nintendo eShop just to explore new things. Whether I buy the game right away or not, I’m adding to the backlog and getting excited about new (to me) games.
Except there are two games that I didn’t find through the eShop but through someone I follow on TikTok. There are two new games coming out within the next week or two and I can’t wait to nab them for my collection.
Cozy Grove is classified as an “adventure, simulation, puzzle, lifestyle” game. It was developed by Spry Fox and published by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild. It’s due to release on the Nintendo Switch on April 8, 2021.
When this game came across my TikTok feed, it was explaining as an Animal Crossing-like game but with a twist. You live on a quaint island, can go fishing, craft items, make friends.
The twist? The island is haunted. These friends are spirits and, unlike Animal Crossing, each spirit has their own unique background and story. As you progress through the game, you’ll figure out their story and bring color back to the island.
A cozy game similar to Animal Crossing but has ghosts? Sign me up!
What Comes After
Get the tissues out – What Comes After is a side-scrolling adventure with a heartfelt story all about loving yourself. And guess what else? Ghosts!
Developed by Rolling Glory Jam and published by Flynns Arcade, What Comes After will release on the Nintendo Switch on April 1, 2021.
It’s classifed as an “adventure, education, communication, lifestyle” game where the protagonist is boarded a train to the afterlife. The thing is, she’s not dead. Everyone else on the train is and she learns their stories, befriending people.
Given it’s all about learning to love yourself and you do that by speaking to the dead, I have a feeling it going to contain some heavy elements. I’m so intrigued though and can’t wait to try this one out.
I’m excited to have found a couple of games that seem interesting that touch upon the paranormal without being a spooky horror game. I’m looking forward to diving into some new games with strong stories.
Have you heard of these games? Do they sound interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it!
Title: Ace in Space Publisher: Cadaver Carnival Studios
Developer: Cadaver Carnival Studios
Category: Dating simulator/visual novel
Release Date: February 14, 2020
How we got the game: Bought it via Steam
Ace in Space has been on my radar since I first heard about it in the tail-end of 2019. While there have been a few canon asexual characters in video games popping up in recent years, asexuality is still an underrepresented sexuality in media.
The only actual game that I’ve played that has mentioned asexuality is Arcade Spirits, which is an absolute delight of a game, but asexuality is also paired with aromantic in it. That’s not a bad thing, but as an asexual who doesn’t mind romance, it wasn’t quite true to me. I was excited to see how Ace in Space would portray asexuality with romance options and finally had the chance to experience the game.
Ace in Space starts out with the main, non-binary character named Adrian Clarke — who later goes by Enby with neutral pronouns — doing their best to live out what remains of their life on earth with their parents. Enby had been diagnosed with a form of cancer that was making them deteriorate. The doctors on earth weren’t sure if there was anything else that could be done to help save Enby’s life.
Cue the aliens coming to earth.
A spaceship called the Orias touches down on earth after doing research of the world’s population in order to invite a couple of hundred of humans to join the robotic aliens to their planet. Rather, the planet that the benevolent robots are helping the humans shape as a new society called T-3R4. Terminally ill folks, homeless people, and others who just seem to be down on their luck or in desperate need of a new beginning were handpicked by these robot aliens. Enby is one of the humans taken to go to planet T-3R4.
It is on this planet that Enby helps to shape the society as well as make friends — and potential relationships — with the robots and other human citizens of T-3R4. The robots also do their best to not only be sure everyone is comfortable but to also cure Enby of their cancer.
The story itself is cute, but there are times during the dialogue when there is a lot of information swapping between the characters, especially about asexuality and being gender-neutral itself. It’s not a bad thing by any means — the information is useful and opens a dialogue for those who may have questions regarding these sexuality and gender identities — and much of the talk is also open about the comfort level of the parties involved in a relationship. Sometimes, though, it does seem extra wordy, especially since straight and cis-gendered characters would never need such exposition.
These types of talks are needed — especially since it’s a visual novel where dialogue is the norm — but it would be nice if the information was conveyed more organically.
Being a visual novel and simulation game, Ace in Space is primarily played by choosing responses during certain questions throughout the game. The answers you choose help determine the ending that you receive, whether it be good or bad, as well as which character you romantically pursue. There is also the option not to romantically pursue anyone.
There are multiple endings, some good and some sad, that will be unlocked depending on your responses. Considering each playthrough only takes about two to three hours, it would be simple enough to unlock the many endings.
However, I also felt that there weren’t enough choices to make throughout the game. My first playthrough ended with me receiving a sad ending, but it seemed to me that I didn’t make enough choices to really warrant it or try to end up with a good ending. It left me thinking about which questions would start me on the sad path or what I could have done differently.
The game itself was adorable and I loved the background images of the visual novel. Bright and similar to the color scheme of the asexuality flag, Ace in Space was full of purples and grays, allowing the characters themselves to pop out in the foreground. The robot characters especially had fun designs, allowing a player to look at them with a glance and realize what their specialties were, such as a medical robot or one in charge of the greenhouse.
The music was calming and fun to listen to as well. It wasn’t overpowering enough to distract from the visual novel itself, but the tunes were excellent background noise as you read along with the story.
Considering the multiple endings and the short playthrough time, Ace in Space is a decent game to replay. The characters are fun and the graphics are beautiful enough to warrant a second or third playthrough alone.
Ace in Space receives… 6 out of 10 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
At some point last year, we thought it was appropriate to do a post about self-care tips that we can learn from the character Link of the Legend of Zelda series. It was a fun post to do, something we thought our readers would appreciate as well as help our mental states with everything that was going on in the world at that time.
Considering we’re still in a pandemic — although fortunately, we do seem to be heading in the right direction during this turbulent time — we wanted to do another post in the same vein. This time, we’re taking some cues from Nintendo’s famous plumber, Mario.
I believe we published one self-care post at some point last year and then we fell off the wagon when it came to blogging. Our creativity took a blow, among other things. Still, pandemic or not, self-care is important. Why not put a little video game spin on it?
I think, if Mario were to give self-care tips, he’d tell us to eat all our vegetables. I don’t like mushrooms, but I hear they’re good for you. Mushrooms help Mario grow, after all. Remember that milk commercial with Mario? I think that was just a sponsored opportunity for the good, ol’ plumber because I’ve never seen him drink milk at all, but it’s still a good tip.
I love how you’re starting off with vegetables, especially how much you do not like green food! Healthy food does a body good, and it’s something that I think we both have been trying to work on within this past year. More fruits and veggies, less sugar.
Another thing that does a body good is exercise. Mario is apparently a well-rounded athlete, playing tons of sports from tennis to golf to soccer to baseball. While you don’t need to be on an organized team, it is good to get out there and get your body moving, both for your physical and mental health. Before places closed down, I was enjoying my time at the gym. My gym has since been opened up again, if only for limited capacity, but I’m still a little paranoid with the virus going around to return to it. In the meantime, I need to start walking again to move around more.
I mean, I’ve been eating bananas a lot lately. That should count for something.
Yes, true. I was just going to say, be sure to get outside and enjoy the sun. Mario is always out and about. Granted, he’s on a mission, but I’m sure he stops to smell the roses once in a while. Of course, you could always get up and play Wii Sports or Ring Fit Adventure on days where the weather isn’t that great. In addition, go out and explore. Mario goes to deserts and lakes and all over. Get in the car once in a while and explore new places.
Speaking of getting in a car, Mario is also an avid racer. Despite how messy go-karting can get, I think it’s great that he is able to put his differences aside with Bowser and other enemy characters for a day at the races. They’re not best buddies, no, but it goes to show that once in a while you should try to keep the peace between yourself and those you may not get along with too well.
Or, like in some of the Mario RPGs, you may realize a different side of those you may have once deemed an enemy. Perhaps not everyone deserves a second chance, but keeping your mind open can help you not focus on anger and more destructive feelings. At times, the healthiest thing for you may be to cut ties with toxic people to give both your mind and heart a clean slate.
That’s a good idea. And you know what, get out there and try new things. Mario and his friends (and enemies) are always active playing tennis, baseball, golf, as Kris stated earlier. Speaking of, they also go to the olympics with Sonic and his pals. Which is another thing: just because someone is from a different studio than you, doesn’t mean you can’t be friends and hang out together.
Mario is inclusive and leaves his differences with his enemies behind at work. Which is another thing – don’t bring your work home with you. That seems silly to say now since a lot of us are working from home at the moment, but try not to spend your entire day thinking about work. Have a designated spot to work and when you’re done, get up and do something else.
Mario has also shown us over the years to let your creativity flow. Look at the success of the Super Mario Maker titles. Creating levels (and now worlds!) in those games can be cathartic and showing off your work to the world succeeds in creating a community. There are all sorts of different kinds of ways to express yourself artistically — anyone remember Mario Paint? — and it’s an important way for us to grow.
Even if what you do creatively is a hobby for you, it’s important to have that hobby to help you destress from work, have something in common with other like-minded friends, and enrich your spirit.
Wow, you went deep. But you’re not wrong. Everyone has creativity and imagination inside of them and we need to flaunt it to the best of our ability. Mario is great at helping with that. Also, I think Mario would want us to have a good time. Look at all the parties he’s thrown! Not to mention anger management. No matter how bad things get, take a couple of deep breaths. The dice rolls are random… remember that.
Honestly, I think Mario should have his pals sign a waiver based on some of the mini-games he has at those parties, but they all seem to have a good time nonetheless. They’ve been playing together for years and they’re still friends… somehow.
Yes, the dice rolls are random, and sometimes there will be things that you do that won’t be received well. Mario has had some bad games throughout the years, but if nothing else, he proves that with some perseverance, you can still be great. Bad days happen but you’ll still be able to stand back up on your feet. There are going to be times when you’re not your best self, and that’s okay.
But, as Rachel mentioned, Mario’s friends still have his back (despite some questionable and dangerous choices for his “parties”) no matter what. While it’s always good to take time for yourself, remember your loved ones are there to support you in your endeavors.
Mario does a lot more than chasing princesses, apparently. There’s a lot we can learn from him aside from sitting on the couch castle-hopping. Video games in general can teach us a lot.
I have to admit, I didn’t think we’d get this many tips out of Mario and his games, but this was pretty good. Mario can teach us a lot more than puzzle platformers on the big screen. You go, Mario!
What other self-care tips do you think Mario would tell us? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it!
The Nintendo Switch turned four-years-old this month, can you believe it? There have been a ton of awesome games, but most notably, there have been plenty of indie games.
I had played indie games here and there before the Nintendo Switch, but I have to admit that I’ve branched out into different games and new genres because of the Switch.
We have a lot – and I mean a lot – of games on the Nintendo Switch. So, I thought I’d pick out just five of some of my favorite indie games.
This one is a platformer, puzzle games from Humble Games. I got a review code from Pure Nintendo Magazine and, because the game is for up to two players, I roped Kris into playing it with me. You essentially play as a couple of witches, harnessing the power of the elements, attempting to save your village from the bad guys (who thinks everyone are witches and wants to kill them).
It wasn’t as much fun alone, but Kris and I had a solid time with it. There’s a lot of sneaking involved – in fact, you don’t want to kill any of the bad guys. You need to stealthly move around them and save the villagers or just make it to the end of the area so you can move on. A lot of communication is involved with this one and it’s a good time over all.
Jisei: The First Case HD
This is another review code I got from Pure Nintendo Magazine and if you’re a fan of visual novels and mystery, this one is great. Developed by SakeVisual and published by Ratalaika Games, this quick visual novel takes place in a coffee shop. A murder occurs and you need to help the detective figure it out, talking with other patrons of the shop at the time and the workers. It’s a solid mystery, the music was awesome, and visuals were great.
Apparently, there are two more games. However, they’re on PC right now and not on the Switch. I’m hoping they come to the Switch soon.
When Kris and I were going through withdrawals of business simulations, we scoured the eShop and found a bunch of “Pocket” games by Kairosoft. Pocket Academy is what it sounds like – it’s a business simulation where you build and run your own school. Like most simulatios, the beginning is a bit slow because you have no money. But the game progresses as you continue to build a bigger school to get more classrooms, thus more kids. You can help the kids choose a career and do well on their final exam, eventually watching them walk across the screen during the graduation ceremony.
It was a charming day, something low-key and chill to pick up and play as you see fit. There are plenty of other games like this such as Pocket Harvest, which was farming. We tried that one as well and would love to try the others some time.
Speaking of business simulations, if you know me then you know I enjoy sealife. Published and developed by Auroch Digital, Megaquarium is another game I got through a review code thanks to Pure Nintendo Magazine. I chose it because I love business sims and… fishies!
There’s not too much to explain with this one. You run an aquarium and need to build tanks, rooms, buy fish, and keep the customers happy. Think Roller Coaster Tycoon but much, much smaller and easier to manage.
A Hero and a Garden
If you’re into story-based games that are quick and don’t require too much gameplay, this is a charming one to pick up. I got a review code through Pure Nintendo Magazine and was able to play it within just an hour or two. It’s mostly reading and getting involved with the story, rather than actually playing a game, but the story is harmwarming. The simple graphics are cute and the music is peaceful. This short game will give you a lot to think about.
Of course, there are plenty of other indie games that I’ve played and loved, but these are just a few. I’m sure there will be plenty more to come.
Have you played any of these games? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it!
Last week, it was brought to light that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are getting a new game. Allow me to gush about it for a few minutes.
One of the most well-received Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games is Turtles in Time, originally an arcade and Super Nintendo game. A classic beat-’em-up style game, Turtles in Time was one of our favorites to play together. This new game — Shredder’s Revenge — brings homage to Turtles in Time with the retro style, familiar move sets and scenery, and of course the original theme song from the 80s cartoon.
If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out the trailer for the new game, here it is:
I first snuck the trailer in at work, keeping the volume muted, and I was delighted by the cartoon intro and the game’s graphics themselves. It looks so clean and crisp, and my delight doubled when I watched the trailer later to hear the cover of the original theme song.
The gameplay itself looks wonderful, with familiar move sets that are presumably updated for today’s audiences. One can even see the unique playstyles of the four main characters throughout the trailer, even including their run animations — I actually laughed at seeing Michelangelo’s run at around the 1:06 mark.
Unfortunately, we have this amazing trailer for the game but no other information. At this time, there’s no release date nor are there specific platforms that it is being released to other than stating “PC and consoles.” Considering how polished the trailer looks, I’m hoping we’ll get more information sooner rather than later. Perhaps the game will be added to our to-play list this year!
What do you think of the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
Title: Stardew Valley: The Board Game Publisher: ConcernedApe
Designer: ConcernedApe and Cole Medeiros
Release Date: February 23, 2021
How we got the game: We bought it through the Stardew Valley website.
With how popular and phenomenal Stardew Valley is, it was a pleasant surprise to hear that a board game version of it was in the making. What wasn’t a surprise was how quickly the board game sold out on the Stardew Store. ConcernedApe announced on Twitter the board game was launched on February 23rd, and a day later mentioned that the first printing was sold out.
Fortunately, we have a great friend who saw the tweet and virtually poked us so we could snag the board game before it was sold out (hi Jett!). The game arrived fairly quickly and packaged nicely, and we finally got the chance to open it up and give it a try.
I was shocked when the board game was announced. Stardew Valley, the video game, has been doing so well since it was released five years. Between being on various platforms, including major consoles like the Nintendo Switch, and constantly being monitored and updated, I did wonder where ConcernedApe would go next with it. After all, how many updates can you make to a single game to improve it?
I was expecting another game, but not a board game. It makes sense to recreate this awesome title in a different format though. When I found out, I was excited even though (at the time) I hadn’t even tried the video game. The game arrived and it was a whopping six pounds. We couldn’t wait to open it up.
The Stardew Valley board game is for 1 to 4 players. Like the video game, the characters inherit their grandfather’s old farm and part of the objective is to complete four of Grandpa’s goals. These are randomly picked from cards and can include making a certain number of friends, having so many farm animals, or restoring parts of the museum, to name just a few.
Aside from Grandpa’s goals, there are also the Community Center bundles. These too are randomized from cards, with the six rooms each having certain donation goals depending on the room it is for. The Community Center bundles need certain resources that you farm or forage like in the video game.
Completing these goals depends on how many players you have as well. For example, one of Grandpa’s goals might be to make three friends. You have to times that number by the number of players to complete the goal. Because two of us were playing, we needed to befriend six villagers rather than the three.
There are Joja titles that may get in the way as well. You need to complete these goals so Joja Corporation doesn’t take over the entire board, thus claiming Stardew Valley. You can fight back against Joja, of course, as the biggest enemy in this game is time. There are season cards that go through spring, summer, fall, and winter. Once the year ends, it’s game over. If you’ve completed all the goals by then, then you win. If not, then you lose.
The Stardew Valley board game is quite a time commitment when you decide to play it. The game itself has about 500 pieces to it, including the various cards, tiles, dice, and pawns, and a couple of pages in the rulebook dedicated just to set up the board game itself. The first time we played the game, it took us a bit over an hour to gather and organize all the moving pieces to make sure we could actually just sit down and play the game.
Granted, the rulebook was wonderfully written and simple enough to navigate when setting up the board and figuring out what pieces did what. There is just a lot of information to go through in order to start and play the game. Stardew Valley itself has a simple premise — restore the farmland while making friends — that the board game shares, but both the video game and the board game have so many details and mechanics.
The rulebook was a booklet… it looks intimidating, which is why Kris read the instructions while I sipped on my coffee. I do better learning as I play the game. With the number of moving parts, I knew I wouldn’t remember all the rules anyway.
Being a cooperative game, you’re working together on the same farm with the same goals, but you each have your own pawn to control. Turns are split into a couple of parts if you will. First, you flip over the season card and do what the card says such as rain, a crow eats a crop, a Joja title gets placed on the board and more. These are like freebie actions. For example, if the season card doesn’t say it’s raining, one of you needs to move to the “water crops” spot on the board.
Once the season action is done, then you take your turn. You can move on the board to different spots such as water crops, go to the mines, go fishing at the lake, river, or ocean, make a friend, and more. You can forage along the way, as well. Discuss with the other players who will do what to make the most of the “day,” or turn. I usually fished while Kris went to the mines.
Working together was key while playing the game. As we were figuring out the game and playing through the first couple of turns, we ended up getting into a rhythm and each of us having preferred activities for our pawns to do on the board.
Each player can choose one of four professions — fisherman, farmer, forager, or miner — that gives them a little boost when it comes to certain tasks. These professions give you a starting tool that can be upgraded throughout the game. For example, with Rachel being a fisherman, she was able to roll the Stardew dice to try to catch certain fish that were available to us at the time. Each fish needed a combination of the pictures on the three dice in order to be “caught,” and Rachel’s upgrade allowed her to reroll a die or two after the first season. I chose to be the farmer and was able to upgrade my watering can which allow the crops to grow faster.
Since Rachel usually went fishing, she was also in a prime spot to forage and gather other resources to help buildings on her way to the bodies of water on the board. I stuck to farming to grow crops and went to the mines for other resources to make money. We worked pretty well together, all things considering!
We did work well together. Once you get the hang of it, you start to feel like a well-oiled machine. Of course, it’s not just about fishing, mining, and watering crops. You also need to collect enough resources to build a coop or barn and then you need to buy animals. Befriending villagers is simple enough (although we misunderstood the rules during our first playthrough, so we should have been friends with more people than we actually were). In order to become friends, you need to give them a gift. Any gift will do as long as it’s not listed under their “hate” category. If you have something they love, you gain two hearts. If you give them a neutral gift, you gain one heart. Otherwise, you discard the villager.
Since I was mostly fishing and Kris was back and forth between the mines and watering the crops, it was difficult to manage our time to get animals and donate to the museum (which was one of Grandpa’s goals). I felt as though we didn’t have enough time to get everything complete, but it makes for a good challenge. It’s all about time and money management.
With that said, we did just do the standard gameplay. Since the game passes by in seasons, there was the option to use only four “standard” cards per season. We most likely would have had plenty of time to complete all of Grandpa’s Goals and the Community Center bundles if we added more of the season cards to the decks.
Yet, if we paused to talk more about how we wanted to reach the goals before we took our turns, we probably could have completed everything in the standard game time. As such, I did feel like we spent quite a lot of time trying to fish and needing to go along the correct paths to forage for supplies. Making friends with the villagers was a bit of an afterthought, I feel. You have to make sure you manage your time as best as you can. Of course, with this learning experience, our next time playing the game will be better!
Live and learn, pretty much. This game requires a ton of time and money management, in-game, and also communication with your friends in real life. This is a solid cooperative game that needs everyone to pull their own weight. I’m looking forward to playing the game again to see what other goals we need to accomplish and approach the game in a different way.
The video game is rightly praised for its charming graphics, and the board game is no exception. The board game itself is beautiful, with amazing art on the cards, the board itself, and all the little resource tiles that the players will use. Even the box art up close is wonderful!
The slight criticism I have with the board game’s design is all the moving pieces that are needed. Every piece has a purpose and they work well, but a majority of the cards and tiles are merely placed to the side of the board during gameplay. There were times when we’d take a few seconds to identify which card and tile we needed — it’ll take us a few playthroughs to organize everything for simpler access during the gameplay.
A large space or table is needed for this board game and pieces, as well as something to distract your cat so he doesn’t jump up onto the table to try to join in on the action…
The attention to detail for this board game is stunning. As Kris said, the cover art, the board itself, and all the pieces have beautiful artwork. It’s high-quality too. The cards don’t feel flimsy or anything. It’s a sturdy game.
With that said, I do agree that I wish we had places to put the extra cards and titles. Fish and minerals get put into their own velvet drawstring bag to be drawn randomly and crops are in their own organized container. Everything else needs to be placed in their own piles to the side of the board. We took up our entire dining room table. Some tiles get placed on the board such as fish and crops but also foraging for the current season. Once the season is over, those forages get discarded and new ones for the new season go on. So, you’re not setting up the board and playing. Things are constantly changing with the seasons of the game and it was hard to keep track of all the moving pieces.
This board game is a delight! The time commitment for a playthrough may be daunting to some people, but there are plenty of randomized elements to keep each playthrough fresh. It’s also versatile in that players can determine their own goals and estimated length of time for a playthrough. There are tons of different ways for players to work together to beat the Joja Corporation back from the valley, and no playthrough will be the same.
Fans of the video game will love this new version, giving them another way to immerse themselves in the world of Stardew Valley.
I agree, with the randomized elements and the various people you can play with (you can even play solo if you want), the possibilities of this game are endless. Despite the daunting setup, it’s a quick way to get your foot into the Stardew Valley world if you need to take a break from the screens and feel like playing a relaxing board game.
This game is definitely a must-get for all Stardew Valley fans.
Stardew Valley: The Board Game receives… 9 out of 10 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!