|Platforms||PC, PS4, XBO|
|Release Date||February 26, 2016|
People can talk all they want about other games’ “just one more turn” or “just one more round” effects, the game I found it next to impossible to stop playing in 2016 was Stardew Valley. I could probably have played this game from its February release right the way through 2016, ignoring everything else that came out, and been completely satisfied. Every time I intended to stop and quit, I’d somehow wind up playing another day in the Valley.
Stardew Valley is a hugely open-ended farming simulator that pretty much lets you get away with doing whatever you want, at whatever pace you want, for as long as you want. There was way more to see and do in Stardew Valley than I could have ever imagined before I sat down to play it.
Everybody’s story of Stardew Valley will probably be different. There’s a vague narrative thread that you can pull on if you like, involving aliens and community restoration. Or you can simply focus on rebuilding your Grandfather’s old farm, building your relationships with the rest of the villagers, mining, fishing, cooking, crafting…or whatever you want. It’s very difficult to run out of things to do in Stardew Valley.
There’s no real way to fail either. Stardew Valley is one of the most stress-free games I’ve played all year. There’s no penalty for neglecting your farming duties, no way to make yourself destitute or fail the game by choosing to pursue interests outside of farming and growing crops.
By allowing you to decide which parts of the game you want to interact with at any given time, Stardew Valley can very easily dominate your life. It’s no exaggeration that I lost huge chunks of time whenever I sat down to play the game. Every day you wake up and make a mental checklist of what you want to accomplish, which is what makes it so deviously addictive.
Check out Gary’s review of Stardew Valley here.
The List So Far:
7) Stardew Valley
11) Quantum Break
12) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
13) Watch Dogs 2
14) The Flame in the Flood
15) Forza Horizon 3
16) The Banner Saga 2
17) Planet Coaster
18) Gears of War 4
19) Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
20) Batman: The Telltale Series