Stardew Valley Plus, the popular farm life simulator, sprouted up on Apple Arcade Friday. If you subscribe to Apple Arcade ($5, £5 or AU$8 a month), you can play this game at no additional charge, and without ads or in-app purchases, which is why this version is called “Stardew Valley Plus.”
This game was developed by Concerned Ape. It was nominated for a handful of awards in 2016 and won the Golden Joystick Awards’s Breakthrough Award that same year.
Stardew Valley opens with you leaving your office job and moving back to your grandfather’s rundown farm with the hope of living a simpler life. But if you scratch beneath the surface you’ll find that this game is anything but simple.
Sure, you can stay on your land as you grow crops, raise animals and fix your home, but there’s so much to do in Stardew Valley Plus.
For example, you can form deep friendships and relationships with many of the game’s characters. By getting to know these characters, you can learn their hopes, dreams and in some cases their fears. One character in particular will admit he worries that he’s not the biological father of his daughter. You can also have a little virtual family in the game by marrying certain townspeople and raising children with them.
But my biggest gripe with the marriage system is that the wedding happens three in-game days after you propose. The whole town comes to your ceremony, too. How did your character plan a whole wedding in that amount of time? It took my wife and I at least a week to figure out just our venue. This might be the most unrealistic thing about the game for me.
You can access this game, and many others, in Apple Arcade for $5 a month, or $60 annually. You can also try Apple Arcade for free for one month with your first sign-up, or you can get a three-month free trial when you buy a new Apple device. To access Apple Arcade, open the App Store on your iOS device and tap the joystick in the menu bar.