You know what I’m now realising? Dating and romancing someone is super-duper easy in real life. Hear me out. After my experiences with Stardew Valley, which was originally released in February 2016, it’s become clear that trying to woo a man/woman in-game is like trying to rob a bank with Obama strapped to your back. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but my god, they’ll certainly make it difficult for you to try. It’s not like in real life where someone gives you a gift and even if it’s hideous you still appreciate that they care enough to treat you. No no, in Stardew, the villagers will flat-out tell you that your gift is garbage, they’ll sniff it while acting confused and even question your sanity. So if you’re going to gift give, do so with caution.
In Stardew Valley, you have the choice between 12 stereotypical marriage candidates. Obviously you have the wannabe athlete, the village drunk, the sweetheart who just wants to escape her troubled life and the untrustworthy doctor; probably doing questionable acts behind the scenes, to name a few. Seriously that doctor charged me 1000g when I collapsed in the mines and didn’t even bother to heal me or replenish my energy! Very dick-ish Harvey.
Romancing a villager is simple if you know what gifts to give but at the same time, very tedious. Your love level with a character is calculated via a heart point system. Before you can get serious with a villager you have to max out their heart level and become best friends. At certain heart milestones you can unlock cut scenes with your chosen beloved. In order to increase your standing with them you can give gifts each week (2 max per week) or a gift on their birthday. It can take a while before you can even reach the necessary level to take your relationship up a notch. Oh and what’s really weird is that to marry a villager you’ll need a mermaid amulet (their version of a ring). I know what you’re thinking…do they become a mermaid? No.
In the 50 hours that I’ve played I’ve attempted to woo Shane and I managed to marry Penny, the village sweetheart. Shane was no walk in the park. He frequented the saloon at night so I knew my way in was booze. Since I couldn’t make any, I spent my hard-earned cash on beers, when I could. I stopped my romance with him though as trying to seduce him felt morally wrong – like I was fuelling his addiction to alcohol. Nothing to do with the fact that he crushed my heart with a mallet when I gave him a beautiful bit of green algae. Very ungrateful. Penny was easy though; just stock up on melons and she’ll eat out of your hands.
The benefits of having a wife/husband are pretty decent. Once your married they will water all your crops, feed the animals, repair fences, occasionally cook you breakfast or dinner, give your home a spouse themed room, very rarely they will give you a star drop once you max your heart level with them and give you babies. All in all, not bad. I’ve not had much of a chance to have a baby yet but I imagine it’ll be very PG when it happens. Maybe a stork will drop it on the field or maybe Lewis, the Town Mayor, will leave her in the mail box. Who knows…
Although it’s a lot of work, I really like the heart system as it lets me track the relationship and makes you work a little for the benefits it gives.What should you take away from all this? Don’t marry Harvey. He’s an asshole.
Stardew Valley is available from steam at £10.99
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