Farming

Lightyear Frontier is a promising alternative to Stardew Valley

Take a deep breath – you’ve earned it. Stardew Valley is owed a lot of credit for the way it quietly renovated the peaceful farming adventure beyond the confines of Harvest Moon, and Lightyear Frontier feels like a natural expansion of those core ideals. It’s you, up to three friends, a planet on the far edge of the galaxy, and a mech suit equipped with all the tools you could ever need to build a homestead worth splashing across social media.

There’s something undeniably relaxing about Lightyear Frontier. I don’t know whether it’s the brushstrokes of bright color, the space you’re granted to carefully farm alien crops, the miles of untamed wilderness to wander, or the cosmic country soundtrack playing behind it all, but Lightyear Frontier is the sort of experience where it’s okay to just sit and spend a while. There are no survival systems to manage, no hunger or stamina restrictions to track, nor any combat challenges to mitigate. Lightyear Frontier reigns its focus down to the essentials: farming, exploration, and discovery.

(Image credit: Amplifier Game Invest)

You’ll complete all of these activities from the pilot’s seat of your very own customizable mech-suit. Admittedly, the thing itself is pretty sticky to control in its current incarnation, but the utility offered by the suit is certainly fun to wield even if core movement isn’t. You’re able to switch out the weapon attachments as you slowly wheel around the environment, using something like the resource drill to grind down rocks and trees and then a hoover to scoop up the components at a distance. Harvesting materials is rarely enjoyable in these sorts of games, but Lightyear Frontier has tried its best to have some fun with it, which I appreciate.

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