It wasn’t me having this exchange with the solo creator of Stardew Valley, but it almost could have been. I’m not prone to anxiety or panic attacks (depression and lethargy are more my bag), but this game is certainly helping me get through the holiday season.

What’s most amazing to me about the fact that my favorite game was created by one man working alone is that the writing is as fantastic as the mechanics. Not only can ConcernedApe apparently code with the best of them, he also has a great imagination and impressive world-building and story-telling abilities.

Many, various, and often subtle are the details to be found in Stardew Valley.

Take Abigail, for example. She was the first NPC that I went so far as to woo and wed, and the only game-wife so far with whom I have a child. Among the interesting things about this character is the intentional ambiguity concerning her parentage.


Well, Pierre… considering certain secrets confided in me by your wife and the wizard, I reckon it’s quite likely you’re on to something.


On the surface, this game is a cute farming simulator with some simple combat elements. Scratch that surface, though, and as with a lucky lottery ticket you’ll like what you find underneath.


On our stay-home honeymoon, Abigail gave me a bomb. What a gal, right? It’s to protect me, she said, when I venture into the mines and caverns. Very sweet.