I never used to think I liked multiplayer games that much. I was never very good at skill based games, I didn’t like letting my teammates down, and I often used video games as a decompress from my jobs in customer service. I didn’t want to talk to real people any more.
But recently something has changed. It may be that now that I’m out of customer service I find myself with more energy to interact with others. It may be that now that I’m out of college I’m missing the feeling of socialization every day. But for whatever reason, I find myself looking forward to logging on to Discord and booting up Stardew Valley with friends in a way I never have before.
Now, I’ve put a lot of hours into Stardew Valley on single player already. It’s enough that I should really write a whole article about the love and care that went into this game. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough and I’ve gotten plenty of people hooked prior to me starting multiplayer. But starting over has still be incredibly fresh and fun as an experience for me, I joke that I’ve managed to take a relaxing farming game about taking it easy and turned it into a stressful race to becoming a monopoly winery that strip-mines the valley, but I’ve never been so relaxed and joyous playing a game. Having other players pulling from the same money storage as you could be very stressful, but it really just turns into fun jabs about who’s spending all of our backpack money on romancing Shane at the bar.
I seldom find myself laughing as much at anything as much as I laugh when a notification that my friend has been caught digging through the trash by another NPC, and it’s always fun to listen to them on the voice call freaking out about making it back to the house before 2AM. Multiplayer in Stardew Valley has the option to reduce the money you make due to the reduced difficulty of having additional players, but we opted to keep our funds coming in at a full 100% lest we drown in medical bills.
All in all Stardew multiplayer is an incredibly fun social experience. There are a few bugs and wrinkles that can be worked out, notably the farmhand players can only play if the host is logged on. A fact which has already resulted in the destruction and rebuilding of a farm due to myself not being logged on often enough for my multiplayer friends.
I would highly encourage anyone to buy this game for themselves and their friends, it’s glorious, not too punishing, and cheap as dirt for the gameplay you get out of it.