Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Stardew Valley The Board Game Review

 I followed SDV development via ConcernedApes blog for years before release. The game did not disappoint. I still think it is one of the best games of the last decade without question. I was worried the board game might not be able to have the same impact, or honestly even feel like SDV. How could they put all the different systems and fun in the video game into a board game? I mean I had 120 hours in my first full play through.

First Impressions

The Initial price of $60 seemed very reasonable and once you open the box and see all the components, it is well justified. While we had some cardboard issues with some punch-out pieces, overall, the quality is very good. The artwork is right in line with the video game, and everything look fitting and matches the game to a T.


This is a game that reading the rule book and playing with it at your side will be useful. There is a lot going on and a ton of choices for the player to make. On the positive side the rule book is easy to understand and navigate when looking for clarification.

At first glance the number of cards and pieces can be overwhelming. Resources include fish, minerals, items, crops, epic items, events, and more. The largest tile groups each have their own storage solution, to keep them together and easy to access. The fish and minerals come with small draw string bags and the crops / harvestable all have a nice solid plastic storage solution that keeps them together and accessible.

There are season cards, player boards, events, items and more that are kept in their own stack, but honestly after the initial setup the next time is much easier.


If you have played the video game, you will be surprised at how well the board game correlates to it. They have done a spectacular job of speeding up but including almost all the systems. There are several game difficulties, giving you different objectives to win. The Grandfathers’ goals and the community center task will need to be completed to win the game. These will guide you in the game and give you direction at the start. Some examples for Grandfathers goals are making it to the bottom of the mine (12 levels), have 3 friends, or catch 2 legendary fish. The community center goals are easier to accomplish but depending on your profession can be harder as they have more variation. Examples are acquiring animal products, giving heart + seasonal items, or catching lake fish. These almost all require x number to complete, which corresponds to the player count.

Once the game starts, time seems to fly as you work together trying to complete the goals, helping each other along the way. The game says 45 minutes per player for game time, and we found that to be accurate. Each round has a season card that is flipped to start it, these have different events that can happen on them, both good and bad.  Once you complete the full year cycle, or you complete all your goals, the game ends, whichever comes first.


Any worker placement / co-op fan will like this game. It has got the same charm and fun that the video game has. Not overly complex or so rule laden that it would turn off a newer gamer. The video game stretched its reach to nontraditional gamers, I have heard on more than one occasion, “I am not a gamer, but I did play a lot of Stardew Valley or The Sims”. That makes this a great segue game for someone who loved Stardew Valley but has never dived into a big box board game.

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