Yes, adults can play Stardew Valley. Anyone over the age of 12 can play Stardew Valley. It’s a fun and engaging game that allows adults to let down their hair for a minute and be creative.
The game is also quite relaxing (as long as you don’t play the fishing mini-game or enter Skull Cavern) making it the perfect cozy game to snuggle up in a blanket with and let loose.
There’s this weird stigma around adults playing games that look adorable and cute, especially with grown men. There’s this belief that adults should only play games that ‘look’ and ‘feel’ adult like Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, but that’s absurd.
Adults should be able to play whatever game they like, and that includes Stardew Valley. Despite harboring a cute and pixelated aesthetic, the game itself is actually pretty complicated. There are even a few adult themes sprinkled in the game.
If you’d like to know more, keep reading!
Who is the target audience of Stardew Valley?
The target audience of Stardew Valley is teens and young adults but the official rating of the game is PEGI 12, which means it’s playable for kids 12 years and up.
That said, any adult at any age is more than welcome to play the game. The game has a large and supportive online community that can help you if you feel a little lost with the game’s mechanics.
At most the game is peaceful, save for the monsters you have to fight in caves and islands. The main gameplay is the farming that you have to do in order to save and improve your grandpa’s farm which is pretty intuitive once you get into the game.
If you truly want a peaceful run without having to deal with monsters, there are a couple of mods you can add that’ll take care of the monsters while you tend to your plants.
The intended audience of Stardew Valley is those who are into farming simulation and were fans of the old Nintendo Harvest Moon game (which was one of the inspirations of the game). That said, regardless of who the target audience is, if you wanna give Stardew a try, you’re more than free to do so.
If you’re not really sure about the game, have a look at its trailer:
How many people play Stardew Valley?
Many people play Stardew Valley. In fact, it’s a popular game among streamers. According to Activeplayers.io, which keeps up to date with the number of players a game has, Stardew Valley has over 500,000 active players.
Stardew Valley has an average monthly player of 700,000. There’s no telling how many of those players are adults but in a poll done in a Stardew Valley forum, 50% were in the age range of 20-30, and 19% were in the age of 30-40. (Take that poll with a grain of salt though)
Here are the statistics of players Stardew Valley has from January 2023 to March of 2023:
|Month||Average Monthly Players||Monthly Gain/Loss||Average Daily Players|
Does Stardew Valley have any adult themes?
Stardew Vally deals with a few minor adult themes such as suicide, depression, alcoholism, gambling, and abuse. Although nothing is ever too graphic and most of these are only mentioned, it’s still important to know what you’re getting into to avoid any potential triggers.
Spoiler alert for those who have not yet played the game and trigger warning! I will be talking about the game’s plot in detail as well as talk about suicide, depression, alcoholism, and gambling in the next couple of paragraphs.
The game deals with a lot of mental health issues like suicidal ideation, depression, and PTSD. One of the game’s characters (and marriage candidate), Shane, is seen in the game to be struggling with alcoholism and depression.
When the character is first introduced, he will act grumpy and annoyed toward the player. As you progress in the game as well as get to know Shane, you will discover that he’s struggling with alcoholism and depression.
In one particular cut scene, you’ll find Shane nearly passed out drunk at the edge of a cliff, contemplating jumping. You, as the player, will then have to talk to Shane and make him realize that life is worth living.
While Shane doesn’t actually ever jump, regardless of whether you help him out or berate him, the sight itself can be a bit stomach-churning.
Another character in the game also struggles with mental health issues. Although he doesn’t get introduced until the player is in Year 2 of the game, when he does get introduced, he struggles with PTSD from being a war vet.
Gambling is also present in Stardew Valley. Later in the game, the player will get introduced to the “The Mysterious Qi” quest. Once completed, the player will then unlock the Casino where players will be able to gamble Qi coins (which are worth 10g in the game).
With Qi coins, the player will be able to buy several decorative items as well as a Rarecrow. Of course, in order to gain Qi coins, one has to gamble (unless you’re already stinking rich at this stage of the game).
While this one is very minor and fans, to this day, still argue whether it actually exists in the game (my personal opinion is that it does), one plotline in Stardew Valley implies an emotionally abusive relationship between mother and daughter.
The characters Pam and Penny live in a trailer with Pam being the mother and Penny being the daughter (also a marriage candidate for the player). Pam is one of the town’s alcoholics, often seen lurking in the saloon getting drunk, meanwhile, Penny is the town’s voluntary (and only) teacher.
Once you get to know either character, you’ll find that Pam is cruel to Penny as a result of her alcoholism and often yells at her for basic things like cleaning. This is a form of emotional abuse and although they patch things up later in the game, it can be a bit discomforting to the players.
Is Stardew Valley good for your brain?
It’s a relaxing farming simulator styled in cute pixelated art. Although there are a few times in the game that gets your heart racing, at most, the game is relaxing and peaceful.
It’s also abundant in many lovable characters, some of whom you can marry! With many games requiring players to constantly be on the move and worry about attack and defense stats, the only thing you have to worry about with Stardew Valley is if you’ve watered the plants that day.
This can help ease the stress in players and let them relax and have fun. However, just with many other things, too much of Stardew Valley can be detrimental. At the end of the day, Stardew Valley is a video game and video games can be addicting.
If you’re not careful, you may end up facing issues like:
- Poor sleep or insomnia
- Behavioral problems, including impulsive actions
- Loss of social skills
- Less time for play
- Eye strain
- Neck and back problems
- Difficulties with work or school
Wanna know why video games are so addicting? Have a look at my other article here!
- Stardew Valley is a game for everyone, including adults! Anyone over the age of 12 can play the game.
- The official rating of Stardew Valley is PEGI 12 which means players over 12 and up can play the game.
- Stardew Valley has an average monthly player of over 700, 000 and an average daily player of over 200,000.
- Although not that graphic, Stardew Valley has a couple of adult themes such as depression, suicidal ideation, PTSD, alcoholism, abuse, and gambling.
- Playing Stardew Valley is generally seen to have a positive effect on the brain, however, too much screen time can be detrimental.