Games like Stardew Valley are challenging but fun simulation games that focus on building and management. Conflict, if it exists, is primarily against the environment or nature. The struggle is more about survival.
Inspired by the Harvest Moon series, the player created character inherits a plot of land and house once owned by their grandfather in the small settlement of Pelican Town. The farm is overgrown and the player must work to clear it, tend to livestock, and grow crops, to generate revenue and expand the farm.
In addition to the normal farming routine, players can also fish, cook, craft items, explore mines and caves, and battle the creatures inside them. Quests allow them to earn rewards such as money, seeds, and tools. They can also interact with fellow inhabitants of Pelican Town and even marry a local. All of the above activities must be carefully balanced against the player’s health and exhaustion level as well as the game’s own internal clock.
If Stardew Valley is your thing, perhaps you’ll enjoy some of the similar games on our list.
10 Best Games Similar To Stardew Valley
World’s Dawn is game set in a sleepy little seaside village, similar to that of those seen in the Harvest Moon games. Enjoy over 30 hours of gameplay in this fun and quirky simulation game. Explore Sugar Blossom Village and meet its endearing and entertaining inhabitants.
There’s plenty to be done around the village. Help others to fish, farm, mine, harvest, cook, forage, and even organize festivals. Fall in love with a local and customize your farmhouse. Explore the surrounding landscape and uncover hidden secrets.
Rune Factory 4
Another entry in the popular Rune Factory series, Rune Factory 4 is set in the land of Selphia where due to a series of unfortunate events; the player is welcomed as a member of the royal family. From there on they must take on the responsibilities of the crown prince and work to improve Selphia.
Rune Factory 4 offers a variety of tasks and activities. The player must balance farming with other jobs such as attracting tourists, dungeon crawling, and even hunt for a spouse to marry! Success in the game requires careful balancing of all factors. Characters from previous games in the series will also make cameos.
A series of popular farm simulation games, Harvest Moon follows a young boy tasked with running and maintaining his absent father’s farm. The farm has fallen into disrepair so the boy must restore it by splitting his daily routine between farming, foraging, fishing, and raising livestock.
The game is split into day and night with farm tasks only possible during the day. At night the only place accessible is the bar where players can chat with NPCs. Players can improve their tool collection, adopt pets, and get married.
This 2D adventure sandbox focuses on exploration and combat. The gameplay evokes memories of classics such as Minecraft and Metroid Prime. The player starts with three tools in a unique procedurally generated world. Using their shortsword for combat, their pickaxe for mining, and ax for woodcutting. Using these they can harvest more resources and craft items. They can also battle enemies and hunt monsters.
The game encourages building and NPCs can be sourced to occupy structures, with merchants, nurses, and wizards all available as allies.
Play as a survivor of the destruction of Earth in a lone space shuttle. This vast sandbox universe is yours to explore, using the shuttle to ferry yourself from planet to planet. Exploring rewards the player with new weapons, armor, and items, as well allowing them to discover new settlements to visit and trade with.
As well as offering story-based missions and quests, Starbound also allows the player to terraform the land, farm and sell crops, build settlements, and even charge rent to traveling NPCs. The procedural generation ensures that no two playthroughs are the same. It is a space adventure unlike any other.
Investigate the mysterious events following the fall of Doomstones across the once peaceful world of Reveria. Fight monsters and explore the world. Choose from one of twelve Life classes, with the option to swap between them as you need. Unlock bonuses and new skills as you fulfill the king’s request to investigate the strange occurrences across the land.
Rimworld is a construction and management simulation game set on a frontier planet where three characters from a crashed starliner must now struggle to survive. Each character has their own distinct personality and attributes which add to the personal nature of the story.
Central to gameplay is the AI storyteller which is affected by the game difficulty, events, and progression. Random events will frequently be thrown at the player such as wandering colonists, merchant traders, pirate raids, or solar flares.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing is a series of life simulation games in a world populated by anthropomorphic animals. The player is the only human in an animal village. Gameplay is open-ended and there is an indefinite number of tasks to accomplish. Socialising, farming, and minigames are all part of the series.
New Leaf is a progression as it allows players to choose from one of four villages to live in. They also become the Mayor, granting them powers to add facilities and buildings to the village in addition to ordering new laws.
A city building strategy game, Aven Colony is set on Aven Prime, an alien planet many light years from Earth. Players are responsible for managing the development and success of the colony. The game offers both a campaign mode with a selection of missions as well as a sandbox freeform mode.
The game has a day/night cycle with both aspects affecting gameplay. Environmental conditions and alien dangers can also threaten your colony. Research, morale, and resources must all be carefully managed to ensure the survival of Aven Colony.
Survive in a harsh wilderness after becoming trapped. Exploit the environment and its inhabitants in your struggle to survive. Craft, hunt, farm, research, and fight to live. Choose from one of several characters trapped in this dark and disturbing world.
The day-night cycle hampers the player’s actions. While they can explore and forage freely during the day, nighttime brings monsters and an invisible menace, forcing players to stay near a light source. This unique mixture of roguelike and survival gameplay is equally challenging and rewarding for players.