The 11 Best Indie Games of 2016

5. Stardew Valley

This game perfectly intertwines a farm simulator with RPG elements to create an intriguing and absorbing rural world. 

Each day in Stardew Valley is approximately 10-20 real minutes and yes, players do build the farm from scratch. The beauty of this game is its game play of no overnight success, as players are required to plant the correct seeds, water and harvest crops.  

The game is relaxed and initially seems simplistic, letting players play at their own pace. The blend of farming simulator and RPG feels effortless and the game is exciting and compelling as a result. The RPG elements are very welcome and break up the farming simulation pieces.

Stardew Valley is in touch with its message and very grounded in reality, subverting clichés from similar games. Get to know the town’s inhabitants and their individual quirks, and players are absorbed into the environment. Be kind to one another and people are rewarded too -- building relationships are just as important as the farming.

The game emphasizes make do with what you have and build on it. The game expertly explores the connection that someone can have with their environment and the people around them. And remember -- what needs to be done today? The game was released in February and is available on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One.

Published Dec. 2nd 2016

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