If you are in any way familiar with ConcernedApe and his updates then you will already be aware that this man does not mess around when it comes to content patches. A Stardew Valley Patch usually contains so much content, bug fixes, and quality of life upgrades that you find yourself having to dedicate a chunk of the day just to read the patch notes. With patch 1.5, let’s say that he has outdone himself.
1.5 is now available on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, And Xbox. Full changelog can be found here.
The patch introduces a new farm type: Beach. This new starting farm has increased space, foraging, and fishing opportunities. This may seem generous but it comes at the price of your sprinklers being rendered ineffective by the sand. Yes, you heard correctly, no sprinklers. It’s time to dust off the watering can and start praying for rain. The good news is that with the addition of couch co-op being available from the start, you can enlist the help of your nearest and dearest to help with that pesky watering while you go and gather supplies and mingle with the townsfolk. Unfair? Maybe. Fun? Definitely. This addition to a new-game option is great and it gives even more opportunities for players to challenge themselves with the game. My first farm will always be my go-to when I want a relaxing visit to the Valley, but having fresh options for a change of scenery is welcomed.
Speaking of quality-of-life upgrades, did I mention ducks can now swim? No? Well, ducks can now swim. It may seem like a small thing but it is little changes like this that show the sheer amount of love and attention that has gone into this update. I love my ducks.
The biggest addition to this patch has come in the form of “Ginger Island”, a tropical island that is available for players to discover and explore. Upon first glance, the island may look deserted but is far from it. You will find new NPCs, a volcano-dungeon, new terrain, new buildings, and a lot of puzzles. These revolve around an island-only currency: Golden Walnuts. These walnuts can be traded to upgrade parts of the island and to make friends with the feathery locals. The more you engage with the island, the more things you can unlock with walnuts. But, fair warning: Ginger Island is end-game content. You will need to have unlocked a significant amount in the game and even then, getting the resources to get to the island is no joke either. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. One of the things that I love doing in Stardew Valley is working towards a big project. Just be aware of this before you load up a new farm ready to go Island-hopping.
There is also an addition that will make any trophy hunters’ day: You can now exit “Journey of the Prarie King” and it will save your progress. This makes completing the game without dying a mere speed-bump rather than an almost-unattainable procurement. After hundreds of failed attempts, I was resigned in the fact that I would never achieve this platinum but this patch made me finish this trophy within an hour. Take note trophy hunters: now is your time to shine.
In true Stardew fashion, this patch is something special. Ginger island is beautiful and has a musical theme that will have you humming along as you dig, forage, and hunt for these elusive walnuts. The island is shrouded in mystery and I found myself searching every inch of the area for suspicious rock formations (or the less-than-subtle X in the sand.) It was only until I got hungry myself that I realised that I had spent the whole day gathering only around 1/5th of the Walnuts available out there. But, isn’t that what Stardew Valley is about? Being able to lose yourself in the most wholesome of environments and activities. I don’t know about you, but digging around for golden walnuts to appease a bunch of barmy, island parrots sounds like a perfect way to spend a day. Thank you ConcernedApe.
I give this patch 10/10 Golden Walnuts.