Brittany is a gaming addict! Her favourite genres are simulation games, crafting games, tycoons, RPG, city-builders, puzzles, and more!
If you're reading this page, you probably agree with me in saying that Stardew Valley is an amazing game. I've spent hundreds of hours playing it since it was released in 2016 (and that's hundreds of hours each on PC, Switch and PS4), and it's high on the list of my all-time favourites.
Still, no matter how wonderful the game is, you're likely to get burnt out after a while and need a break. During my breaks from Stardew, I've sought out lots of games with similar game play and feel, because I just love the game style so much.
Great Games for Stardew Valley Fans:
- Harvest Moon
- Rune Factory
- Animal Crossing
- Dragon Quest Builders
- Craft the World
- Graveyard Keeper
- My Time at Portia
- World's Dawn
- Travellers Rest
1. Harvest Moon
When Stardew Valley was first introduced, it was billed as a "spiritual successor" to the Harvest Moon game series, and it's easy to see why. Both games start with a main character inheriting a farm from their grandfather, having to bring the farm back from ruin, planting crops, harvesting livestock, and interacting with villagers.
The Harvest Moon series has been around since 1996, and has had many spin-offs and sequels throughout the years. Many people point to Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town as the best game in the series (released 2003, available for play on Gameboy Advance), while Story of Seasons (2014; Nintendo 3DS) is also billed as a huge fan-favourite.
The Harvest Moon games are console-only—sadly you can't play them on PC/Mac without an emulator—but there are several titles to choose from, and with game play so similar to Stardew, it's an easy fit for SDV fans!
2. Rune Factory
Rune Factory is a direct spin-off of the Harvest Moon games, and was actually described by the game's producer as, "Harvest Moon where you wield a sword." Given that Harvest Moon is already terribly similar to Stardew, that automatically makes Rune Factory similar too.
Again, game play revolves around farming, but you can also defeat or defend monsters in dungeons (tame them to collect goods!), go mining for minerals, fish, and interact with villagers.
Rune Factory is nice in that while the game play is pretty similar to both HM and SDV, the art style is different (anime, rather than pixel art) and the combat-side of the game is pretty unique and intriguing.
3. Animal Crossing
If you really enjoy the home decorating, collecting, and friend-making parts of Stardew, then you'll likely love Animal Crossing.
AC is another long-standing game series, which first started out back in 2001 for the Nintendo 64. The game play is centered around you as the main player, and you live in a village filled with anthropomorphic animals. You can make friends with the animals, catch bugs, collect fossils, fish, and buy thousands of decorations for your home, and clothing to dress yourself and the animals in. Game play is also in real-time, so the hours pass in game just like real life, and different events occur according to the time of day, with seasons and holidays also matching up to their real world counterparts!
There's a number of titles in the AC series, from the former most popular game, New Leaf (2012, Nintendo DS), to more recent titles like the free-to-play mobile game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and the mega-hit release for the Nintendo Switch called Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
4. Dragon Quest Builders 1 and 2
Dragon Quest Builders might look like a Minecraft spin-off, but I'd say it's more like Stardew than Minecraft. Sure, there's blocks for building and mining, but the graphics are 3D and smooth, and there's other things to do besides building.
You can interact with the villagers (not as in-depth as SDV, though- no relationship building), and build their houses, restaurants, shops, and more. There's quite a bit of combat too, and castle defence, but nothing terribly hard. There main story mode has 5 chapters to complete, and there's also a free build mode, where you can build to your heart's content without any combat/castle defence.
There's a ton of crafting in the game, so if you liked crafting in Stardew, you'll love it here. You can craft everything from building materials like roof pieces, and bricks, to furniture for the homes, food, and clothing for yourself and the other villagers. Then you can decorate the homes you've built or make a restaurant for the villagers to eat at! The original Dragon Quest Builders is fantastic and a great starting off point, but I highly recommend its sequel, Dragon Quest Builders 2, as it adds a lot of improvements to the first version of the game!
5. Craft the World
Like its title suggests, Craft the World is a game mostly about crafting. You're in charge of a colony of dwarves and its up to you to help them mine underground, build a fortress, protect them from evil monsters, keep them feed, happy, and alive, and eventually help them move on to the next world by defeating dangerous monsters underground.
The mining aspect of this game is what's most similar to SDV. So if you really enjoyed mining in Stardew, you'll really love it here. There's different minerals to mine, and then craft with- you can smelt them into blocks, craft tools, weapons, armour, furniture and more. Oh, and there's also a bit of farming/animal harvesting, but certainly not as in-depth as Stardew!
I really enjoy Craft the World- I've played over 70 hours of it since purchasing it. It's similar to SDV with the mining elements, but also vastly different enough that it doesn't just feel like you're playing the same game again.
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is an RPG game for Windows, which puts you in the shoes of the main character, Recette, who's job is to run a shop out of her home to pay out of her father's debt. You have to go into randomly generated dungeons to collect goods to sell, haggle and bargain with customers, and decorate her shop.
This game is similar to SDV in the dungeon crawling style, combat and collecting aspects. If you ever wished you could run your own shop in SDV alongside Pierre and Clint, this is the game for you!
Starbound is what I'd probably describe as Stardew + Terreria + space. The game puts you in the shoes of a space explorer (you can choose from a variety of species, from human to alien), where you can travel to millions of procedurally generated planets, explore space, collect items, fight off enemies, help NPCs, build a home and/or a colony for other explorers, farm, craft objects, and more!
This game isn't exactly like SDV, but there's a lot of similar elements in terms of the crafting and interacting with the other NPCs. I've played MANY hours of this game, and I would highly recommend it- there's so much exploration, creativity and more! This game was also developed and published by Chucklefish (the same publishers of SDV), and the art-style and music definitely has a similar feel.
8. Graveyard Keeper
Stardew Valley but make it goth.
Okay, not quite, but that's sort of how I'd describe Graveyard Keeper. The game allows you to play as the main character, who's in charge of taking care of a cemetery. As him, it's up to you take care of dead bodies by performing autopsies, embalming, cremating, or burying them, restore the old cemetery by digging graves and placing headstones, give church sermons, craft items, mine for stone and other materials, fish and cook food, and fetch items/perform tasks for the people of the village. The game is open-ended, but also has a pretty interesting storyline to follow through, as well.
The game's developers (Lazy Bear Games) have said it's directly inspired by both Stardew and Harvest Moon, and you can clearly see that in the game play, but the premise is unique and spooky enough to give it a different spin and a change of pace.
This is another game I thoroughly enjoy- I own it on both PC and Switch and have played several hours on both. It's also similar to SDV in that the game only saves when you sleep, and you know how "dangerous" that becomes when you're hooked in a playthrough; "just one more sleep, just one more sleep..."
9. My Time at Portia
My Time at Portia is somewhat similar to Stardew Valley in both plot and game play. You start off in the town of Portia, and it's your job to restore your Pa's old workshop, grow crops, tend to animals, mine, craft and befriend the villagers.
Sounds familiar, right? However, MTAP has some exciting elements to it, including festivals, commissions you can do for the villagers, more in-depth crafting, and more. In fact, I'd say that crafting is more of the main point of the game, rather than farming like Stardew.
You guessed it- this is another favourite of mine and one I own on both PC and Switch (noticing a trend here?). Game play is really engaging, and I also really love the art style- it's a beautiful game, with so much to see, do and experience!
10. World's Dawn
World's Dawn is another farming life sim, inspired by both Harvest Moon and Stardew. The game puts you, yet again, in the place of a newcomer to town, taking over an old farm and being tasked to get it running again. There's some of the same game play elements available: crafting, farming, mining, fishing, tend to animals, cook, make friends, and find love.
Out of all the games on this list, this one is the MOST similar to Stardew- so much so that you might feel a bit of deja vu while playing (interestingly enough, however, World's Dawn was released just one month before Stardew was!).
Even still, there are a few differences that make World's Dawn worth checking out. Fans have praised the relationship-building in the game, and have said that the NPCs (32 of them!) are in-depth and well written. There also mini-games (including racing with livestock) and other cute, charming surprises.
11. Travellers Rest
Available on Steam as an early-access title, Travellers Rest is another charming Stardew-inspired game. You're put in the shoes of an innkeeper, and it's up to you to brew beers, make meals, tend to customers in your tavern, book them into the rooms for rest, and of course, run a farm.
As I mentioned above, this game is in early-access, which means the developers are still working on it and creating new content. The game as it is currently (August 2021) is fairly complete: you can easily run your tavern and spend hours brewing different beers and waiting tables, but it's a bit content-light for me personally. That being said, the game has recently switched developers and has received a big overall in graphics and steady updates.
I recommend this game to any other SDV lovers- obviously, there's farming, but there's also the aspect of cooking and crafting, and the serving part of the game brings back memories of games like Diner Dash, so you're likely to find something to enjoy!
We don't know much about Witchbook yet, but the information that has been released so far is promising!
The game is being developed by Chucklefish- the same studio which released Stardew Valley- and has a very similar pixel graphic style as SDV. It's been described so far as Stardew Valley + Harry Potter. The game is set in a town with witches and wizards, and you can play as a student in a wizarding school.
There's no release date set for the game yet, but you can follow its development on the official website.
© 2019 Brittany Brown