Everdream Valley Review: An Escape to the Farm (PS4)

The word "everdream" is appropriate for the farming game Everdream Valley, and you'll find out why in this review. Everdream Valley is one of those games that gives you the chance to escape from life for a while, working on a farm and exploring a dream-like world.

Everdream Valley Review: An Escape to the Farm (PS4)

Everdream Valley is one of those games you can easily get absorbed in right from the beginning. I was initially wary about playing this game because I haven’t played a farming game since Harvest Moon on the Nintendo 3DS. I decided to give it a go though – and I’m glad I did. I’ve put hours into this game and I’ve still got tons to do. It’s easy to lose hours into Everdream Valley, a new farming game from developer MoonEaters. This review for Everdream Valley will explain why you should think about getting it, even if you’re not a big fan of farming games.

Everdream Valley is now available on PC, PS4 & PS5 for $24.99 USD. The game will release on Nintendo Switch soon.

Everdream Valley - Release Date Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Games

Story – Everlasting Summer Vacation

It’s summer vacation, and you the player have been dropped off at your grandparents’ farm by your mom. They arrive to discover that the farm is rundown, having fallen into disrepair and disorder since the grandparents got sick recently. It needs lots of work, with just a few crops to start you off but no livestock except for some chickens and a cow (that’s escaped). You can change all of that though. Young fresh energy is just what your grandparents need on a farm that is in desperate need of help.

Your mom drops you off at the farm in the beginning.

Your mom drops you off at the farm in the beginning.

You progress through the game via a series of main story quests. You can unlock a ton of new stuff, including access to new areas, new livestock to raise, new tools, and other things such as clothing, crafting recipes and cooking recipes. Completing the main quests is important if you want to unlock new gameplay and help your farm grow. Your main focus should be on these, but there are plenty of side quests to keep you occupied as well. Needless to say, you will never have nothing to do in Everdream Valley.

As you play Everdream Valley, an unusual-yet-intriguing story plays out. Whenever you get a new animal on your farm, you dream that they’re talking to you when you go to bed that night. They’ll tell you about a girl who used to live in the valley, who could speak to the animals. You can find out more by completing more storyline quests. This gives you another reason to keep playing.

You get dreams like this, when the animals speak to you.

You get dreams like this, when the animals speak to you.

Gameplay – Plenty of Fun to Have

Honestly, I didn’t expect to get so sucked into Everdream Valley. Since playing it, I’ve found myself getting addicted. I get a lot of satisfaction from completing tasks, whether they be quests or just doing jobs around the farm, or discovering a new place to explore. Everdream Valley makes it very hard to stop playing and finding stuff to do. 

Taking Care of Livestock

One central gameplay of Everdream Valley is raising and taking care of livestock. There are so many different animals, and you unlock them as you complete quests. You start off with a few chickens, then you can coax a lost cow back to the farm, and before you know it, you have a whole host of animals on your farm. These include sheep, goats, alpaca, ducks, pigs, and horses. There’s plenty more animals too, such as boar, beavers, frogs, mice, butterflies, and other bugs. Plus, there’s aggressive geese who will attack when you’re close by – and wolves! You won’t want to encounter these beyond the safety of your farm after dark, as I found out the hard way early on.

During animal quests, unlocking a new animal is exciting, but it does mean herding them back to your farm. Sometimes they’re miles away from your farm, and there’s no other way to get them there other than running behind them or leading them along. This can be time-consuming, but once they’re on your farm, they will stay there. You can also buy livestock at the merchant, although you’ll need plenty of cash to afford them.

Once an animal is settled on your farm, you’re tasked with taking care of them. You’ll be kept busy with them, especially as your farm expands. All animals have to be kept fed, and you must feed them before you can do anything else with them, such as milking them or shearing their wool. I was pleasantly surprised by these interactions, as they serve as quick mini-games, timing you on how quickly you can milk a cow or goat, or shear a sheep or alpaca. It makes the farming experience feel more real, even if you have 10 sheep to shear, not to mention the alpacas. Animals can also get sick, but they never seem to die, so you’ll have plenty of time to cure them with medicine. You also don’t slaughter animals for their meat, and you can name them if you choose. Generally, animals aren’t too laborous to care for, and you’ll still have time for all the other activities this game has to offer.

Tasks such as milking cows and goats is a bit more than just pressing a button and an animation playing out until a bucket of milk is produced.

Tasks such as milking cows and goats is a bit more than just pressing a button and an animation playing out until a bucket of milk is produced.

Crafting and Building

An activity linked with animals is crafting items. These are usually practical items for your farm, and you unlock them as you progress through the game. You can make, for example, chicken coops, fences, hay bales, animal medicine, furniture, and much more. You can’t make this stuff out of nothing though. You’ll need to gather materials, usually wood, which you can get from chopping at trees or pulling down fences. You can also use the saw to make boards out of wood, which you’ll need plenty of. You’ll spend quite a bit of time chopping with an axe, but not so much that it takes too much time away from all your other activities. The sawing mini game can be a bit laborous, as on the PlayStation I have to move the joystick left and right to match the indicator, but otherwise it’s not too bad.

A lot of activities on the farm are hands-on, including setting up new pens for your livestock. Pens are necessary for breeding. Putting new pens together is pretty straightforward, but I did have one or two hitches. First, the game would sometimes temporarily freeze whenever I placed a fence. Second, if you accidentally put a fence in the wrong place, you can’t simply pick it up and move it to the right place. You have to pull it down, losing the fence. Unless I’ve missed something, there has to be an easier way to do this.

You can craft items for your farm such as beehives.

You can craft items for your farm such as beehives.

Sweet Dreams 

Everdream Valley has one rather unique feature: dreams. You normally experience these every time you retire to bed for the day. Sometimes the dream is chosen for you, especially after you’ve encountered a new animal or got new livestock. On other occasions, there’s a “dream lottery”. This is where you spin a big wheel and see where the pointer lands, deciding what kind of dream you’re going to have, or you might bag some money or items instead. If you’re not happy with the first choice, you get a second chance and can spin again, but once it stops the second time, you’re stuck with your choice.

Most of the dreams has you playing a mini game, and they’re all different. In each mini game, you play an animal. It might be your dog chasing off wolves, a mouse evading your cat, a magpie flying around and collecting bits of “treasure”, or gathering ducklings in a pond. These are all fun and can earn you rewards if you successfully complete them. My least favorite has to be the wolf one, as they can destroy precious fencing and steal livestock, but this is only mandatory to do early on in the game and you can hopefully avoid it in the dream lottery.

I hope it doesn't land on the wolf dream!

I hope it doesn’t land on the wolf dream!

Unfortunately, like a lot of games, there are a few bugs I’ve encountered in Everdream Valley, including one I ran into in one of the dream mini games. However, there is good news. The developers are working fast on fixes to bugs found in the game, working with the community based on feedback. Regardless of the bugs, I’ve still had a great time playing this game, so don’t let this put you off.

The Big Wide World

Your farm is set in the center of rather a sprawling world. Until you unlock the ability to ride horses, the only way to navigate is to run around. Your character can run quite fast for a while though, providing their stamina is good and they haven’t been attacked by geese or bees. It doesn’t take too long to navigate from A to B, and there’s plenty in the world. You can cut grass to make hay, chop at trees to get wood, gather fruit growing in the wild, and catch creatures such as bugs. You sometimes come across abandoned buildings, which may or may not contain items needed for quests or to furnish your treehouse. Other than this, there are no towns to visit, no people to speak to apart from a merchant near your farm. You’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere – but I quite like the solitude personally. I can just concentrate on quests, exploring and gathering resources, and taking care of my farm.

If you want to explore every nook and cranny – and complete every quest – you need to fix bridges to access all areas. Like most other things in Everdream Valley, you’ll need to work through the main quests to fix these bridges, as they require materials you cannot make, buy or find yourself. You’ll likely to be curious to explore new areas, which gives you more motivation to carry on playing. That’s one of the great things about Everdream Valley, cleverly coaxing you into playing more with everything it has to offer.

Everdream Valley has such a beautiful and sprawling world to explore.

Everdream Valley has such a beautiful and sprawling world to explore.

Graphics & Audio – Cheerful

Everdream Valley has a very dream-like feel to it, helped by its whimsical and bright graphics and music. It has a cartoonish style that emphasizes the surrealism of it all. Plus, the animals are so adorable! It can delve into the creepy dark side though. Those wolves are quite menacing instead of cute, which makes them stand out in contrast to the other animals. The world is beautifully put together, especially organic objects such as trees, grass and colorful fields of flowers. I love how the trees explode in a shower of leaves when you kick them to knock down fruit.

The music matches the feel of the game perfectly. It again has a dream-like feel to it, and is bound to give you a happy-go-lucky feeling. It also gets you right in the mood for getting down to work, exploring new places, seeing what the world and the game has to offer.

Everdream Valley was reviewed on the PS4 with a key provided by Games Branding.

Everdream Valley is not just a great farming game, but just a great game in general. It's not perfect, due to the issues with lagging and bugs that I've had, but otherwise I've had a genuinely good time playing this game. I feel this game is suitable for all ages, whether you're a child or an adult. It's not babyish to put older players off, yet it's easy enough for a child to play and enjoy. Even if farming games aren't really your thing, you should really consider giving Everdream Valley a go. You really will feel like you've escaped to the farm of your dreams.
  • Bright and fun graphics
  • Plenty to do to keep you busy
  • The perfect farming getaway
  • Addictive gameplay
  • Some issues with lagging
  • A few bugs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>