When you've got a game as amazing as Stardew Valley, you're basically just waiting for the clones to start appearing. But the brilliance of the gaming industry is that while these clones exist, there are games like Stardew Valley that take the concept, and then do their own thing with it. They’re not just Stardew Valley clones with a lick of paint here, and a dash of RPG there. All of the following take what Stardew (and its predecessors like Harvest Moon) do well and riff on that in a way that keeps the farming sim genre alive and very much kicking. So without further ado, here are 11 games like Stardew Valley that you should seek out next, and one more that is coming in the very near future.
Release date: May 29
Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC (Nintendo Switch release coming later)
Moonlighter should tick all your Stardew Valley boxes. By day, it’s a management game where you work as a shopkeeper, bartering with customers and restocking shelves with that kind of wonderful, brain-soothing, mediocrity. But, by night you’re a warrior, diving into roguelike dungeons to scavenge wares for your shop. Oh, and did we mention the overarching story is incredible? It’s all full of destiny and anguish and a bit of family drama. It absolutely nails that wonderful, self-perpetuating, gameplay loop of busywork that Stardew Valley excels at, with a little touch of Binding of Isaac and even some tongue in cheek Dark Souls references. Prepare yourself for a new addiction.
2. My Time at Portia
Available on: PC
Price: $19.99 / £15.99
Like Stardew Valley, getting into My Time at Portia can be a bit of a grind to get into. But, the world is so delightful and rewarding to be in, and interact with, that you soon won’t really mind about that. The best way to describe My Time at Portia is to say it’s like crossing The Sims with Stardew, with lashings of Studio Ghibli-esque graphics thrown on top for good measure, like some kind of amazing sundae. This game is as much about becoming part of the Portia community as it is farming or crafting, and that’s part of its charm. Everyone just wants to be your BFF, it’s up to you to invite them into your inner circle. Add that quest for all the friends to the continual search for resources to build things for your workshop and the town as a whole, and you’re suddenly very busy indeed. And, oh wait, has the whole weekend gone already?
3. Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor
Available on: PC
Price: $9.99 / £6.99
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor has quite the different tone to Stardew Valley. In fact, it’s much, much darker. Rather than a heartwarming tale of sticking a middle finger to corporate greed and capitalism as a whole, it’s actually a slightly depressing tale of a sentient trash incinerator on a spaceport. Out in space in this reality, robots are bullied and can barely afford to even eat, but there’s possibly a way out. Okay, so Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor might not be a game about farming at all, but it does follow the same methods, especially when it comes to learning a town, finding friendly faces, and buying and selling goods to keep fed, watered and alive. It’ll drive you the same sort of crazy in all the right ways.
4. Yonder: The Cloudcatcher Chronicles
Available on: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch (coming May 17)
Price: $19.99 / £18.99 on PS4, $24.99 / £18.99 on PC , $26.99 / £22.99 on Switch
If Nintendo took all the enemies out of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and just let you build and farm, you’d basically end up with Yonder: The Cloudcatcher Chronicles. It’s a beautiful little game, that actually starts out very much like Breath of the Wild, but containd absolutely no combat. There’s not even much story either, although there are some quests for you to follow, making it much more like Stardew than Breath of the Wild overall. What’s even better though, is that Yonder doesn’t just limit you to farming. You will also be crafting, cooking, fishing and even brewing, increasing the variety of your endeavours and trading potential to create a game that keeps on going and going even after the joy of the visuals have worn off.
5. Voodoo Garden
Available on: PC
Price: $2.99 / £1.99
If you want a simplified version of Stardew Valley, you might want to treat yourself to Voodoo Garden, which is basically a beautiful idle clicker farming sim. In it, you’re tasked with building your own garden, growing and harvesting ingredients to use in various voodoo potions and other recipes. From flowers, mushrooms and honey, to snake fangs and frogs’ legs, you better be channeling the occult before you start planting for this game. You can also start fattening up chickens and rabbits in your garden too to make other ingredients, or as sacrifices for other dark deeds. Plus, when they’re gone their spirits can help tend your garden as long as it’s not raining. Ghosts don’t like rain, apparently. It’s a glorious little clicker and the kind of thing that you can play whilst watching Netflix.
6. Farming Valley: Minecraft Modpack
Available on: PC
Price: Free (if you already have Minecraft)
Minecraft is one of those games that can just become anything. Creativity is very much flowing through its veins, and the talent of the Minecraft community just keeps on growing to the point you can actually turn Minecraft into Stardew Valley using a handy modpack. Farming Valley is said modpack, and it turns Minecraft into a farming sim that could go toe to toe - or should that be hoe to hoe - with Stardew and co. Guided by the Farming Goddess, the modpack lets you plant seasonal crops, water them, sell goods through a shipment box, and even recruit NPCs to build a town from nothing. Compared to the base Minecraft, this feels like an entirely different game. And if you’re wondering how to install it, watch the handy video above from Kehaan that explains exactly what you need to do to make your Minecraft game much more like Stardew Valley.
7. World’s Dawn
World’s Dawn is one of the games like Stardew Valley that really stays true to the source material. It might be a little rougher around the edges than ConcernedApe’s creation, but all the familiar mechanics and goals are there. Befriend and marry villagers, grow and sell crops, fish, frolic at festivals and work your way towards reigniting a sad, tired village. It’s a little quirky in places, especially because of its 4:3 aspect ratio and the fact you can’t really change your farm, but it’s still rather lovely.
8. Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Available on: Nintendo 3DS
Price: $29.99 / £25.99
You might be wondering why there isn’t a Harvest Moon title on this list of games like Stardew Valley, seeing as that’s where this whole thing started. Well, actually, there is. Harvest Moon is now actually called Story of Seasons, and the latest entry in the series for the 3DS, that arrived in 2017, is rather wonderful. Story of Season: Trio of Towns is just as cutesy and twee as the title suggests it is. As the story seems to go, you start out as a young, inexperienced farmer, and through the story you’ll eventually end up with a bustling and successful plot of land. What Trio of Towns does a lot better than Stardew Valley is pacing. New towns, people, and further gameplay mechanics are always introduced just as you start feeling that boredom creeping on.
9. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale
Available on: PC
Price: $19.99 / £12.99
It might be one of the oldest games on this list, but that doesn’t stop Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale from being an absolute joy and a great contender for a list of games like Stardew Valley. This cult classic Japanese indie tells the story of Recette and Tear, two business partners thrown together with their own requirements for needing to earn some dosh. Rather than farming, here you’re managing a retail store, which still gives you to the same scheduling and time management mechanics, just without the adorable animals. Between bartering with customers, you’ll also be roaming around in dungeons to find new loot to stock your shop with.
10. Slime Rancher
Available on: Xbox One, PC (PS4 release in September 2018)
Price: $19.99 / £14.99 on PC, $19.99 / £15.99 on Xbox One
In Slime Rancher, instead of crops you’re actually harvesting poop - officially known as plorts in-game - from adorable, bouncy, little slimes themed around different animals or objects, from tabby cats to Bulbasaur-like Tangle Slimes. You trade plorts on the Plort Market, with profitable types fluctuating and changing just like a real stock market for poop. You have all your Slimes bouncing around in hutches too, usually sectioned off because they can have a tendency to eat each other, or plorts from another species, which actually creates equally cute hybrids. It’s utterly adorable, until you have to start throwing Tabby Slimes into the Incinerator because their plorts aren’t worth, well, plort anymore. Yes, I know, I’m a terrible, heartless, (rich) monster. It’s not quite Stardew Valley, but it’s that same kind of idle, adorable, fun that you can’t help sinking multiple hundreds of hours into.
Available on: PC
Price: $19.99 / £14.99
Staxel’s what you get if you decide to smash together Stardew Valley and Minecraft (aside from the Farming Valley mod of course), as it’s a blocky RPG with a vibrant, and rather beautiful, cuboid world. It blends the aesthetic, crafting and creative freedom of Minecraft with the farming and community aspects of Stardew to great effect. Plus, you get given a dog in the first week that you can actually pet with your little stubby hand, unlike in Stardew Valley. Chores are speedier too, which makes all that watering feel like a tiny fragment of your day rather than every waking minute.
Games like Stardew Valley to look out for in 2018
Just in case none of those Stardew Valley-alikes take your fancy, check out these blighters that will drop later this year.
In what could be the best genre crossover since, like, ever, Ooblets basically blends Stardew Valley and Pokemon to the point I literally could not be more excited about any game in history (apart from maybe the actual Pokemon Switch game). It’s part farming sim, part life sim, part creature collector, part brawler, and also includes lots of goofy dancing. Do you even need to know more? Well, if you do, Ooblets lets you grow and create your own little crops, battle against other Ooblet trainers, don different outfits, decorate your home and do a tonne of other stuff that should make this the game that Stardew Valley sees in its nightmares, and the rest of us see in our dreams (and hopefully in reality too by the end of the year).