Farming is probably the last thing on Earth you’d have expected to have a game made from it. And yet Farmville was one of the biggest games to grace Facebook. But decades before Farmville, there was Harvest Moon from the land of the rising sun, which, in turn, inspired not a few indie game developers to try their luck at growing virtual trees that make real-world money. And thus the unexpected success that is Stardew Valley was born, coming soon to a smartphone near you.
There is something addictive in the almost repetitive gameplay of simulators such as Stardew Valley. It’s like Sims, but you grow plants in addition to growing people. Like Sim City on a smaller scale, it’s a test of smart resource management and business acumen. All in a fun way. That Stardew Valley is an indie success is not really question. But does it have what it takes to survive in a mobile-centric gaming future?
That’s the test that the game will take with the new versions of the game for iOS and, still coming soon, Android. It’s not really a new version but almost direct ports. It’s the full game just optimized for touch controls. Players on all supported platforms get to enjoy the same features. Well, except for multiplayer, which is still available only for Windows.
Stardew Valley, however, is doing one thing better than other games that have mobile ports. You will be able to actually transfer your save data from one platform to another. At least those that don’t use mods. iOS save data will be managed through iTunes. We can only presume Android will use Google Play Services.
Stardew Valley launches on iOS on October 24 for $7.99. No hidden costs, no in-app purchases. The full game with no cuts (but no mods and no multiplayer either). The developer promises that, since the port is being done by a different team, it won’t have an impact on the development of the multiplayer feature for consoles.