Oh, ConcernedApe, you wily man. The last many months have been an exciting time to be a Stardew Valley fan, since the impending release of the game’s big 1.5 patch promised a lot of fun additions. Now that said patch is available on the PC and console editions of the game (mobile is coming soon), what comes next? Could it be news of the fabled Stardew Valley 2, or ConcernedApe’s other planned game?
Nope, instead we get the news today that the Stardew maker (who also technically goes by Eric Barone) has been quietly working with board game designer Cole Medeiros for over two and a half years on the official Stardew Valley board game! Cause, you know, why not announce a board game out of the blue and have it immediately available for purchase? It’s a particularly exciting project for him too, as it is the first piece of SDV merchandise that he is publishing from start to finish, continuing the trend since he took over publishing the game itself from Chucklefish around 2019.
While Barone “cautions” that Stardew Valley: The Board Game is fairly involved, I think that is what the cross section of serious Stardew fans and board game players may want… but that’s just my take. The game is designed for 1 to 4 players age 13 and up, with the expected playtime for a full in-game year being about 45 minutes per player. For the game’s description, I will quote the official announcement:
Stardew Valley: The Board Game is for 1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up. To play through a full year in the game (which is the standard experience) it takes about 45 minutes per player. This can be adjusted if you want a shorter game. The game has a lot to it but there are rules to make it easier or harder depending on your preferences. Just like the video game, we want you to be able to make this your own.
Players work together to protect the Valley. If they succeed, it means that the Valley is brought back to life, and Joja Corporation is driven from town. The way you do this is by completing Grandpa’s Goals and restoring the Community Center. Your goals for each game are randomized, which adds to the game’s replayability.
Time is tracked using the Season Deck. Each round a Season card is drawn. This tracks the weeks of the year, revealing weather and different kinds of events. Players discuss their plans for the round and place their pawn in the part of the Valley they want to focus on. Maybe they want to visit the Mine or fish at the Beach, or maybe they spend their time watering crops or tending animals. It’s up to the group to try and work together to coordinate their actions, but ultimately each player chooses what they want to do.
As you play, you’ll advance your starting tool, gain new profession skills, find items and gather resources. Making friends will unlock unique gifts and reveal the Community Center Bundles. Completing the goals may at first seem very difficult, but as your abilities grow your farm will become more and more capable. Don’t give up!
The official blog post also contains a link to the game’s rulebook, and mentions they will be adding a dedicated board game section to the forums for discussion.
Stardew Valley: The Board Game is available to purchase right now in the official Stardew Valley shop for $55.00 USD. It seems like at the moment, the game is only shipping to US shoppers, but I imagine that will expand in the future!