As we head towards the end of the year, we’re all rather tired, sore and hoping to make it to 2017 unscathed. So while the team tries to find some me time ahead of the new year, we’re going to count down our favourite games from the past twelve-ish months or so. We’ll go through all our favourites every day, leading to our overall Game of the Year award winner, before starting off 2017 in fine fashion. Enjoy!

StardewValley_9-1024x587

Farming simulators aren’t new. Neither are farming simulators with an RPG flavour. But Stardew Valley isn’t just another Harvest Moon re-hash, as it’s colourful world stands out not just in what you can do, but why you’re doing it. If anything, it plays like the perfect marriage between that quaint country escape and RPG rich farmers dream and a Minecraft inspired adventure, and that’s why it’s on this ‘best of’ list.

Stardew Valley is a very special game. Before you know it you’ll be obsessing over the upkeep of your farm, saving gold and, moreover spending gold. With so much to do in this quaint little valley, boredom is simply a term that doesn’t exist within this game. ConcernedApe has created a beautifully simulated world that’s worth every little bit of grind.  

– Sunita. Read her full review here.

We go on a lot about quality over quantity these days, or how many games try to pack in a lot of content for the sake of having other things to do. Stardew Valley’s strength is its abundance of options, the ability to go through an entire game without barely following in the footsteps of another player. You can go down the mines, focus specifically on your farm, maybe try your hand at a little romance … the possibilities are endless. To the point where time becomes irrelevant and work starts calling you asking where the hell you are … not that I have any experience with that. None at all!

Whilst this nomination is specifically for its original release, Stardew Valley also hits consoles for the first time this week. Both PS4 and Xbox One owners will be able to share in the joys of this little gem, though we will be sure to share our thoughts on the ports some time soon. It should be noted, however, that the planned Wii U port has since shifted to a Nintendo Switch launch, so keep an eye out for that.

Congratulations Stardew Valley, our second Best of 2016 nomination, joining fellow nominee FirewatchCome back tomorrow for our next nominated game, and stay tuned for some personal looks back on the year that was then, before the end of the year, find out which game will take out our gold (plated) PN2 Game of the Year award.

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