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How I learned to love Stardew Valley’s terrible fishing

With a little help from a famous writer

Simone de Rochefort has been producing & hosting YouTube videos for Polygon since 2016. She co-directed the upcoming documentary The Great Game: The Making of Spycraft.

I didn’t like fishing when I first played Stardew Valley. It was winter of 2016, and I was playing the game nonstop.

I loved building my farm. I loved planting seasonal crops. I loved talking to townsfolk, and going to festivals, and communing with my dead grandpa, and getting rebuffed by a gruff man who just wants chickens.

But I gave up on the fishing almost immediately.

It’s a notoriously annoying part of Stardew. The fish bob up and down erratically, the rectangle is floaty and feels IMPOSSIBLE to control, but you have to keep it moving, but not too fast and not too slow, and hopefully — eventually — the experience will be over.

Now I find fishing one of the most satisfying things I can do in games. You show me fishing? I will show you a game that goes to the top of my to-play list.

And the thing that changed my mind about it was Ernest Hemingway.

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