As a fan of Stardew Valley maybe it doesn’t surprise anyone that I’d pick up a game llike World’s Dawn. A young farmer moving to a new idyllic village full of lovely people, some singletons too, with a bunch of different activities to make money and get yourself into the heart of the village. It has everything I want from a game and more…
I love the game so very much. I’ve owned it for not that long yet already the hours are ticking up, I’ve messed up sleep patterns and get depressed having to leave to go to work because I’m leaving my quest to romance Sparrow or earn enough money to buy a second chicken.
Like all games of the genre it is very easy to get addicted to the repetitive nature of the game. You wake up, do some chores, sell as much as you can and sleep. Every day you sit there hoping the haul of crap you’ve tried to sell will make you loads of money, you love seeing your savings go up and up because you know that you’ll need it for the smallest of things from food to more seeds. You get so caught up in this cycle that real life time flies out the window and suddenly you have 11 hours of game play on the clock yet you’ve actually got nowhere.
It does everything that Stardew Valley does and doesn’t do it better or worse. My first proper go at the game made me feel like I preferred it to Stardew. The character portraits are anime styled making the characters more lifelike and beautiful then Stardew, its much more simplistic, you have a plot of I think 40 squares already assigned for farming, already have a barn you just need to save up to buy the animals for it, you get to do chores for local stores which gives you money every day and it was much more easy to get to know and befriend the local villagers. Mining is the biggest simplification, whereas Stardew turns into a dungeon crawler-esque type game the second you enter their mines this is just a 5 level mine and your biggest threat is ignoring your health level and having to go home. Even the quest for the spirits is easier, instead of spending at least a whole year trying to fill gaps of things you fish, mine, farm or whatever you just have to befriend people, fall in love or just be a good person in general. Only two and a half seasons in and I think I had at least three of the spirits behind me already.
There was also just that little more to it. The random events happened more often and you usually have a mini-game to play along with it. Whilst the spirit quests are simpler you also feel a urgency to do them to fill in the empty houses whereas the Community Centre in Stardew just felt like something you wanted to do to complete the game in a way. The fishing is harder because you can only catch one fish per hour until you complete one of the spirit quests and bring back the fisherman and even then you have to work your ass off to upgrade your net to slowly let you fish more and more per hour. The payback for fishing isn’t as high as it is in Stardew either and you get nowhere near the same amount to sell even with 5 fish per hour. Whilst the mine is smaller it also doesn’t give you as much either. Its easy to make a plan and stick to it in Stardew to make lots of money, not so easy in World’s Dawn.
I think that leads to its biggest downfall.
I’ve been trying to write a review of this since I was about 2 hours in, as you can see with every attempt I added on the hours. There was something niggling away in the back of my mind that I just couldn’t shake. Whilst I was addicted there was something I didn’t like. I thought it was the fact that I tried to get a relationship with Sparrow instead of Quint so I restarted the game and it hit me right away.
It isn’t a game that I’d want to replay.
Learning how to do things and figuring out how to make money was a struggle that I enjoyed but the second time around it just loses a lot of fun. Whilst I have 11 hours of trying to woo Sparrow I have about 10 minutes in my quest for Quint and as I thought I wouldn’t want to return to my miserable life with Sparrow I saved over that game. The thought of struggling along to redo many of the things I did in the first play just made me uninterested and though I want to get closer to Quint and see how he slowly changes I also know from Sparrow that the dialogue pool is very limited, something that is similar in Stardew but you don’t really notice, so it probably wouldn’t be that interesting in the end either.
Whilst I do want to return to “complete” my journey there and I do have 18 more achievements to unlock the need to play the game has disappeared. If I had wrote this review at 2 hours I’d still be here telling you how much I love the game, and I honestly do, but with more time and a second game I can honestly say you need to make the most of the first game really.
It is beautiful though, the whole world is absolutely gorgeous, the characters are really fun and interesting too. The dynamics in the village are the same as all games in this genre and it has a real happy, feel good atmosphere.
But whilst I can and have raked up over 140 hours on Stardew Valley I don’t think I’ll get anywhere near even 50 with World’s Dawn which is a shame because I did fall in love with it.
Worth every penny.