A well-known indie success story born of dissatisfaction with the Harvest Moon franchise, Stardew Valley is a title that has sold over ten million copies across the many platforms it's appeared on. But does it truly live up to its promises and deliver a sublime indie experience, or was this house just built on hype?
Harvest Moon was a fairly late release for the SNES platform, but it became a cult classic for its relatively novel take on role-playing games - relatively little violence, no experience points or dungeons, just your character managing a farm and building up relationships with townsfolk, which can eventually culminate in marriage if you so wish. It found an audience and over the years had a number of sequels and spinoffs, becoming Natsume's flagship franchise. However, later entries began to suffer from stagnation, which ultimately led Robert Barone to develop a game that would come together in the way he'd long wanted it to.