Although it is easy to believe that Stardew Valley was born from a vacuum to become one of the most popular indie games in the world, it just isn’t. 2016’s hit farming sim comes from a long line of spiritual inspirations, specifically the harvest moon franchise. One of Stardew’s Creators Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone’s goals with the game were to write a love letter to the giants of the farming simulation genre and create a game that would be seen as a worthy successor.
Several years and millions of copies sold later, it’s safe to say that it achieved that goal. Stardew has created an ocean of farming simulation fans who are eager to find their next comfortable simulation adventure. If you enjoyed ConcernedApe’s masterpiece on Nintendo Switch and want more in the same vein, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the best games similar to Stardew Valley on Switch.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
This one really is a no-brainer. A lot Stardew fans already know Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the Switch iteration of Nintendo’s popular and long-running life simulation series. New Horizons takes the player character and their animal town to a deserted island, which the player is tasked with exploring and designing to their liking.
Other activities include fishing, catching bugs, collecting furniture and decorating your home, and befriending the islanders. A post-release update added some simple crop-growing mechanics, making it feel even more like Stardew. If you were a fan of cultivating relationships and designing your farm in Pelican Town, you’ll enjoy New Horizons.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town may look like a brand new game, but it’s actually a 2003 remake Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Towna die harvest moon most popular titles in the series. The reason behind the new name is a bit complicated; Long story short, publishers XSEED and Marvelous own the rights to harvest moon franchise but not the name”harvest moonhimself. Natsume, the ancient makers of harvest moon, own the rights to the name, but not to the games or their characters. This resulted in two separate series of games created by the two companies.
Among the more recent releases of both game lines, Story of Seasons titles have a slight advantage. Friends of Mineral Town lets players experience all the joys of the original game, lovingly remade in 3D. It allows players to do almost all the same activities as Stardew Valley, including growing crops, raising animals, befriending townspeople, and exploring mines. If you are interested in where Stardew Valley draws its roots from, Mineral Town Friends is an excellent choice.
Story of the Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
The other recent entry in the Story of Seasons franchise is Story of the Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. It has the same major mechanics as Friends of Mineral Town, but it does give players a bit more freedom over how they build their farm and collect resources, which means it goes more along the lines of Stardew Valley than previous Harvest Moon titles.
Olive Town Pioneers features over 200 unique in-game events for players to participate in and a variety of new characters to befriend and romance alongside the now familiar mechanics of farming, crafting, and fishing. It is quite similar to Friends of Mineral Town, so there’s no reason to play both unless you’re a megafan of the genre or really looking to scratch that Stardew itch.
slime breeder varies a bit from the established farming simulation formula. As aspiring rancher Beatrix LeBeau, players venture to an unknown planet and make a living collecting and raising slimes. The game has an adorable and cuddly 3D art style and lots of fun slimes to collect, making it a great choice if you like the cute aesthetic of games like Animal crossing.
slime breeder also has a bit more gameplay options than Stardew. Players can choose from Adventure, Casual, and Rush modes, which influence how they farm, explore the wilderness of their new planet, and build the biggest slime ranch this side of the galaxy. If you ever wished Stardew had a little more “gameplay”, slime breeder could scratch your itch.
My time at Portia
what if Stardew Valley happened after the apocalypse? My time at Portia features all the usual farming simulation mechanics, but takes a few liberties with the setting. By setting up their farm and workshop, players aim to become the biggest and best craftsman in the aptly named town of Portia.
In addition to growing crops, raising livestock, and expanding your farm, you can receive commissions from townspeople, strengthening your relationships and reputation. It’s a great way to make the friendship mechanic that has become so ubiquitous in the farming sim genre feel deeper and more meaningful. The game was also inspired by Studio Ghibli, so movie fans like Taken away as if by magic find a lot to like here.
All other titles on this list are 3D titles. If you’re more into the 2D pixel side of things and like your humor a bit darker, look no further than Guardian of the cemetery. This simulation game lets players run and manage their own medieval graveyard, befriending both the living and the non-living.
fans of Stardew’s infrequent narrative choices will also find plenty to like here. Cemetery keeper features a variety of what the developer calls “ethical choices” players will have to make, but don’t worry, the game never loses its sense of humor. There’s also plenty of usual exploration, crafting, and resource management to be found.