Good news: Stardew Valley, which is out on Nintendo Switch later this week, has a very nice home menu icon. If you’re a Switch owner with a passion for aesthetics — and it turns out there’s a lot of you! — this is a huge deal, which the game’s publisher is well aware of.
“Because I know it’s really important to some people, here is [Stardew Valley’s] Switch icon,” Chucklefish Games CEO Finn Brice tweeted earlier today, shortly after the publisher announced that the game would arrive on the console Oct. 5.
Because I know it's really important to some people, here is SDVs switch icon pic.twitter.com/XOS9Ap3EaH— Tiy (@Tiyuri) October 2, 2017
The home menu icon is just the game’s familiar logo; we’ve seen it a bunch of times now, between Stardew Valley’s initial launch on PC to its most recent console ports (You’ll also notice that there’s a tease for another Chucklefish project in the picture; it’s Wargroove, a strategy game bound for Switch at some unspecified date.)
It sounds like the fans are satisfied that the Switch version doesn’t change things up, based on the responses to Brice. Reddit is similarly pleased, although much of the praise is tongue-in-cheek, considering the inanity of this whole situation.
Why does any of this matter? It has a little something to do with another indie game: SteamWorld Dig 2. Controversy surrounded the title when developer Image and Form Games tweeted a pre-release picture of the game loaded onto a Switch. Its home menu icon was ... pretty bland.
But Switch owners felt much more strongly about SteamWorld Dig 2’s appearance on the home menu, barraging the developer with complaints and begging for a change. Redditors chimed in, calling this the “worst icon” on the Nintendo Switch thus far. Part of the frustration is that Nintendo has rules on how to design for the console’s user interface, which simplistic logos like SteamWorld Dig 2’s don’t follow, according to those who have studied the guidelines extensively. Nintendo prefers more colorful icons with the game’s name featured on them, not uncomplicated icons that rely on a single image.
Image and Form replied soon thereafter to say that it would revamp the game’s home menu look; SteamWorld Dig 2’s new icon is live now.
Even the SteamWorld Dig 2 drama isn’t without precedent. When Snake Pass launched in March, it had a nice, detailed icon that featured the game’s logo. But in June, the logo changed to something reminiscent of mobile game icons: a simple, big-headed image on a blue background.
Other games follow this pattern, and Switch owners have been put off by this design aesthetic for months. It’s not what Nintendo wants, they argue; plus, it just doesn’t look great on their home menus, they say. Here’s an example:
Stardew Valley fans can take heart that the game will arrive looking all pretty for the home menu at launch, with the game’s title front and center. Chalk this drama up as one of the many charming eccentricities of Switch fans.