Stardew Valley

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Stardew Valley Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Absorbing farm simulation is fun; some confusing segments.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 53 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

You're challenged to become a meaningful part of a community, expected to pull your weight, be friendly.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Wide cast of characters who all value strong relationships, hard work, working together.

Ease of Play

There's a ton to learn, dabble in. While none of activities alone are inherently hard, depth, scope of them render mastery considerably challenging. 


You can get married, have relationships with characters, but no sex scenes, acts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stardew Valley is a downloadable hybrid of a farming simulator and a town simulator -- not a simulator in the style of SimCity or even a Microsoft Flight Simulator but more of a "you're dropped down into a small town to start your own farm and interact with the locals" simulator. There's no single task you need to be doing at any time, but rather there are dozens of people to meet, form relationships with, and get to know, plus things you can do for the town and your own farm. It's partially a video game and partially a hobby unto itself. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLilianaTayte April 13, 2020

Cute, Lively Game!

I love this game so much. Every bit, the soundtrack, the characters, all of it.
Whilst others will argue that Shane is the main reason they don't want the... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byLisa B. May 6, 2018

We keep waiting for something to blow up but nope, my kid is just tending crops.

A miracle happened, my teen (13) did not get swept into the black hole that is Fortnite. Fortnite is totally his preferred genre of video game and what all his... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byYohann June 11, 2016


An overall amazing game, the only reason that this isn't 2+ is some concepts are difficult to understand for people under 7 (deeper mechanics). Nothing at... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymatsukasa March 2, 2020

A fun game with inclusivity.

Stardew is an amazing game where you're a farmer! You can get married to anyone regardless of gender (which makes me happy cuz I'm gay), mine, fight m... Continue reading

What's it about?

In STARDEW VALLEY, you burn out on your day job and, as luck would have it, inherit your grandfather's old farm plot in the titular town. You pull up stakes and drive out there to start a new life. There's a community to branch out into and people to establish relationships with, the possibility of romance, meals to cook, and, in many respects, an entire other world to disappear into within the game. It's not light on distractions or activities to engage in, and the story of the game is entirely up to you.

Is it any good?

Since this farm simulation is entirely what you choose to make of it, if you're somehow bored with this game, it's sort of your fault. Even if you're not inclined to appreciate or delve into these types of immersive simulator types of games, if you stick with it long enough, sooner or later something will hook you. It takes a few hours to get your bearings and understand what there is to see, explore, and even poke at, but in this game, literally, seasons pass and so many things pop up -- fishing, mining, spelunking, foraging, cooking, luaus, haunted mazes, arcade games -- that it can all seem daunting at first. But it's part of living in a place that's meant to feel alive, growing, and changing. 

The big downside of Stardew Valley is, if nothing is hooks you in for a while, it can all feel a little aimless and underwhelming. Where are you supposed to go? Whom should you talk to? What should you do, and why? What should you choose not to do, and why not? The game throws a lot at you from the outset, and it's unclear why what you're doing matters or won't matter, and that can be a little frustrating. Still, it's worth sticking with and riding out for a few hours. Granted, not everyone will have a handful of hours just to understand a game and see whether it's worthwhile, but given that you can easily rack up hundreds of hours in Stardew Valley, that's a paltry entrance fee given what it can potentially yield.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about giving up city life to go live and work on your own farm. How does that make life easier? Harder?

  • If you were to move out on your own and be new in a town, how would you set down roots and meet people?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulations

Themes & Topics

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