“Low-stakes daily rhythm” captures so much of what draws me back to SV. I’ve got an embarassing amount of time in this game. Let’s just say more than 400 hours. Started maybe 6 farms, taken 4 to the end game, and yet haven’t done all there is to do. And the game is okay with that - I don’t feel punished for my choices about how to spend my time.
I’m a big fan of the Riverlands farm for replayability. Between panning and daily encounters with treasure chests you get a critical mass of random drops, and no two runs are alike. For example, I once earned the rusty key (and access to iridium sprinklers) before I’d finished the community center. Another time I got a level 7 weapon and a level 9 ring within the first week. With food buffs less urgent for combat, I deferred grinding for a kitchen in favor of … okay, yeah, I spent that time fishing with my bunny.
Fishing with my animals. I so enjoy watching the cute sprites while waiting for the fish to strike. Sometimes they path into me - it’s as if the chickens walk up and cuddle me.
Late game fun = overlapped pathing ranges between the animals and the junimo. At one point my li’l buddies had to walk around the sleeping cat, and my heart just melted. I also enjoy watching them cross bridges.
I just figured out that I can cast my fishing line over/beyond small items like crab pots or say, a cat that flops down on my feet while I’m walking to the riverbank.
You can catch fish from tiles of a town bridge and a mountain lake bridge. Not saying which.
There are only 2 places where you can have the flower and the bee house on different islands. However, you can place bee houses on the dock.