Website: Untold Tales
Genre(s): Family, Casual, Adventure
Platform: PlayStation 5 (also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch)
Release Date: 30/05/2023
A code was provided for review purposes
I had no idea what Everdream Valley was all about when I picked up the code to review this game. I enjoy going in somewhat blind on most games, and so all I knew was that it looked pretty cute and seemed to be a nice chill game. How did I find my time in Everdream Valley? You’ll have to read this rapid review to find out.
A Review with a Difference
When I review a game, I usually ensure I complete it. At least the main storyline, and obviously, some games have no true ending, such as my reviews for AEW: Fight Forever or NHL 23. Everdream Valley provided me with a different sort of experience. I have played more than my fair share of hours in this game but have yet to finish the story. I should have done it, but I haven’t. It’s important that i put that in there right now.
I’ve spent far too much time tidying, farming, and generally enjoying myself in the game. While the games look nothing alike, I found Everdream Valley to have the same effect on me as Stardew Valley. Borth provided ample storyline and possible adventures. However, both also give players ample room to craft and farm and generally relax.
I fell down a rabbit hole with Everdream Valley, and it quickly became my go-to game for a bad day or when work was feeling a bit too much. I’d load it up and milk my cows, shear my sheep, and rearrange a few crops.
A Cute and Cuddly Farming Experience
I really enjoyed the aesthetic in Everdream Valley. I found the entire experience to be a wholesome and warming one. The premise is simple: your mother drops you off at your grandparents’ dilapidated farm for the summer. Over the course of the summer, you are given various tasks, tools, and items to get the farm back up and running.
There are broken fences, litter everywhere, a score of lost animals, and a myriad of mysteries and problems to be solved.
But the very best part of the game…
You can pet the dog!
In fact, you can pet all the animals, building up their trust and friendship. In fact, your bond with your faithful pup is crucial to progression, and on some nights, you even become your dog and are tasked with a range of duties, such as chasing away wolves trying to get your flock of sheep. I really wasn’t expecting the animal interaction, and the first time I took control of my dog, I was a little confused. However, it’s a neat little touch that helps Everdream Valley stand out from the crowd somewhat.
Happy Little Graphics
Without getting unnecessarily technical, I will simply say that Everdream Valley is a game of happy graphics. They don’t take themselves seriously, and you can fit entire trees into your pocket for replanting. None of that matters, however, because I was sucked into the game and happily surrendered myself to its charm. I loved walking around picking up litter and collecting anything and everything I could. Scouring the farm, slowly, everything found a place, which became immensely satisfying.
I enjoyed exploring the farm and making it my own so much that my own experience supplanted the need for storyline progression. When it came, it was organic based on my gameplay rather than me following each task as and when it was given to me. I’m sure in the real world, my grandparents would have been furious with me, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case in Everdream Valley.
Calming Music Makes for a Relaxing Experience
I am not usually one to comment heavily on music in games. I often play with only half an ear listening, but in Everdream Valley, the music had a buoyant charm. A string orchestral style of music that enchanted every day, only to be replaced by the soothing natural sounds of the night as soon as the sun went down. The juxtaposition of the two was subtle but worked perfectly to create a balance that kept both audio types fresh.
The music was subtle in this game, and I think anything more intrusive would have been to its detriment. You might be tempted to lower the volume and listen to your own playlists, but there are subtle audio cues given in the game that are vital.
A Little Gem of Game
I might not yet have finished Everdream Valley, but I have certainly gotten many hours of enjoyment out of it. I’m enjoying taking my time on a game and not feeling as if I am dictated to by the need for stringent story progression.
I like planting crops and keeping a farm running. Is this the best game for that type of gameplay? Probably not. But it is a game that offers it in abundance with a calming feeling that you cannot put a price on. The storyline is fun and definitely an enjoyable aspect of the game, too. I’m just playing the game my way, and it’s refreshing to find a title that reminds you that it’s okay to have that attitude.
Everdream Valley is by no means perfect. It’s a smooth enough experience gameplay-wise, but the controls are a little clunky, and I think a little more information on how to interact with certain things would not have gone amiss. It’s relatively self-explanatory, but it would have saved a bit of wrong button pushing in the early going. The main issue I experienced was with the different types of interaction and tool selection. It was very easy to grab the wrong tool, hit the wrong button, or perform the wrong task. The latter was mainly an issue when you had items in close proximity. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve disassembled a fence when I wanted to pick up a bit of litter.
Overall, the issues I had with Everdream Valley were minor but, at times, were rather frequent and caused annoyance more than interruption.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can get your copy of Everdream Valley from the PlayStation Store today.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.