$14.99 Developer ConcernedApe, stardewvalley.net
Requirements OS X 10.9 or later, 2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 256MB video memory, 500MB HDD
1 As addictive as any other farming sim
2 More to do right away – no slow tutorial period
3 Players can choose their own pace
4 Glitches often disrupt the flow
The idea of a fantasy farming sim has been around for years, dominated by the Harvest Moon series on most platforms, though the Mac has missed out. Stardew Valley begins like so many other such sims before it: as a newbie farmer in a tight-knit community, you’ll need to learn the ropes in order to make the decrepit old farm profitable again.
Right away, though, the faster pace rewards veterans who want to get right into the action. There are no tedious tutorials, and while tools can be upgraded, those upgrades are available right away – if you can find the parts and cash.
Even after a few seasons in the valley, the Quest system presents ongoing goals to keep Stardew Valley from losing its draw. There are nooks and crannies to explore, mines to plunder, suitors to romance, rare fish to catch,and exotic areas to unlock, to name just a few of the activities that will take you away from the day-to-day grind. Of course, your farm is what funds these adventures,