“A farmer is a magician who produces money from the mud.” – Amit Kalantri
Everdream Valley is a charming farming game in which players can help restore a quaint homestead, tend to crops, raise animals and befriend pets!
Released: 30th May 2023
Price: £19.99 – £22.49
This game is being reviewed as part of the Indie Game Collective (IGC) showcase.
The basic premise of Everdream Valley centres around the protagonist visiting their grandparents’ farm, they have been away for some time and are not as fit as they once were. The farm is in need of some serious TLC and that’s where the gameplay comes in! There are little narrative touches about the farm delivered through conversations between the player and the grandparents, such as what happened to the cow and why things are run down. The dialogue can feel a bit dry and stilted in places but the interactions are pleasant and are a nice addition to the overall experience.
Players start by naming and creating their characters with a nice amount of options and further customisations such as clothes and accessories unlockable through gameplay. Upon arriving on the farm it is clear there is work to be done, such as collecting rubbish, repairing things, crafting equipment, restoring crops and bringing animals back amongst other things. There are pop-up tutorials for new tasks and these can be revisited at any time. With the help of this instruction, and some guidance from the grandparents, the gameplay and controls feel quite intuitive. Quests such as fetching some sheep back to the farm or building a scarecrow, help to guide the player through an otherwise sandbox-style game.
The player has stamina for running and certain actions such as chopping wood and cutting grass. If injured (probably by an insect or a goose) stamina does not replenish until the player has healed themselves with a plaster/band-aid that can be crafted or purchased from the trader. The map is pretty extensive with lots of places to explore, including islands that can be unlocked by repairing bridges. This is great as there is lots to explore but getting injured when far away from the homestead can mean a tedious walk back if the player is not prepared!
Everdream Valley turns simple tasks such as milking the cow or shearing the sheep into mini-games. These are nicely varied and while not challenging, they add a fun extra layer to the gameplay. Cooking also involves a little mini-game and players can experiment with different foods to find a number of different recipes such as ratatouille and scrambled egg. There is a cat on the farm and at a certain point early on the player gets an opportunity to choose and name a dog. Players can pet the two animals and play with them to raise their level and their affection towards the protagonist. Once at max level, these animals can be used to help around the farm by doing things such as catching beetles, tracking animals and rounding up sheep!
The game’s store pages boast the ability to ‘inhabit the various farmland creatures though your dreams’ however in over 5 hours of gameplay and multiple sleeps this feature did not materialise. Despite this, there are plenty of other ways to interact with animals, firstly, catching them and building them homes on the farm but also naming, petting and feeding them. Crops also need to be watered, protected from birds and eventually harvested.
Crafting in Everdream Valley is pretty straightforward. The player will learn recipes, often from Grandad after discovering something while exploring, and can craft them simply by taking the correct materials to the farm’s workbench. Crafting equipment and building new things such as hay racks, shelters and fences for the farm is straightforward however some of the required materials can be quite elusive adding an element of challenge.
Everdream Valley features delightful 3D visuals, using a cartoonish art style and vibrant, saturated colours. The character and animal models are especially cute which is only emphasised by the adorable and lively animations. The music is gentle but upbeat with a nice melody, it does get a little repetitive but generally sits comfortably in the background, helping to create the laid-back ambience, and doesn’t become intrusive. Charming animal and nature sound effects also help bring the farm to life and immerse the player in the game.
Everdream Valley is a great little farming game. The gameplay is very relaxing and unpunishing and has a casual feel, however, there is plenty to do in the large map as the days progress and the game offers a decent amount of content for the price tag. The cute art style is wonderfully colourful and fits the style of the game perfectly. While the sound design isn’t the game’s strongest feature there are some adorable sound effects that really amp up the cuteness! Overall, I am having a lot of fun playing this game and think it would be perfect for anyone looking for a low-pressure farming sim.
Looking for more laid-back farming games? Take a look at these reviews:
WoMen in Science – A Wholesome Farming Sim with a Twist! – No Place Like Home – Wholesome Farming Game in Early Access Now! – My Fantastic Ranch – An Adorable Family-Friendly Building Sim