Everdream Valley First Impressions
2022 and 2023 have probably been overloaded with farming and life simulation games. There have been dozens that have released on Nintendo Switch alone, and even more on Steam. More often than not, many of these games never make their way to PlayStation or Xbox, but that isn’t the case with Everdream Valley.
Everdream Valley is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam on May 30, 2023, and to Nintendo Switch sometime in June. As I had heard very little (probably nothing?) about this game prior to getting a press email yesterday, I wasn’t expecting much. Is this a great game in this crowded space in 2023?
Off the hop, I wasn’t impressed at all. You got a really cheesy and odd cutscene about you moving out to your grandparents farm while your parents stay back in the city. You aren’t excited about spending your vacation on the farm, but you don’t have options so you are stuck.
The game then just drops you in. At first I thought this was a pretty lousy way to start a game, but quickly realized this was going to be a learn-at-your-pace experience. I wasn’t really limited by anything when I started the game, and although the game pushes you to do specific things (via tasks from your grandparents), you still have freedom to do almost anything!
I recorded a commentary free premier for my YouTube channel, and figured I would play for 25 – 30 minutes, and then shut it off. I ended up playing for 3 hours, and it was a really good and surprising 3 hours.
The gameplay loop is really great, with constant quests from grandma and grandpa to keep you going. Within an hour, you will have your own pet, fruit trees, crops, cows, sheep, and so much more. This game gets moving quick, and the faster you complete the various tasks for the folks in the Valley, the faster you will gain different things. There is crafting, repairing, cuddling, playing, and so much more. It’s a fully fledged farming and life simulation experience, and not one I was expecting.
That doesn’t mean this game doesn’t have a few odd issues. I had some audio issues when trying to record gameplay, and had to open and close the built in video recorded to get the audio to work correctly. There are also little gameplay hiccups that get annoying. If foragable items fall to close to something else, you can’t actually pick them up. Instead, you will be asked to do another task altogether, like dismantling a fence. It’s minor, and rarely was an issue, but it was still there.
There were also moments when I hit the jump button and sent myself soaring into the air. I’m not sure that was the intent when adding a jump button, and that really just made me chuckle a bit. It wasn’t game breaking.
I’m early on, only a few hours in, but there is a ton of content here to enjoy. For a game that seemingly came out of nowhere, I’m a bit shocked by the experience. There are so many garbage games released on Nintendo Switch, and the seem to follow a similar pattern.
No major announcement, just a week before launch and then, BAM! The game is available. This is the case here, but this is not a bad experience. In fact, it’s actually really, REALLY good. Kevin Austin will have more in his review later this week, but for now, I would say this is one worth preordering!