Listen, I know the 'Souls-like' label needs to die—but RamenYum's Hard Mode Stardew Valley mod is so challenging I reckon it merits the comparison.
After earning loads of dough, mastering combat and generally breezing through their first few playthroughs of the cutesy farming sim, RamenYum wanted more. Their Hard Mode mod increases monster damage by 200 percent. It ups monster health by 50 percent. It cuts crop profits by 50 percent. And it increases crafting recipe materials by 100 percent.
"The mod's objective is to make the game more difficult without losing the general great feeling of Stardew Valley's gameplay," explains the project's creator. "It is designed to make combat more challenging without being annoying, and to make all money-making strategies more difficult without feeling too tedious or punishing. It still plays just like vanilla, but harder!
RamenYum says by upping the challenge in such a way, "every minute of every day feels more important", and that in turn even the most tedious of tasks become more rewarding—not least delivery quests in town.
More information on Hard Mode lives here. With darker nights and Halloween on the horizon, let me also point you towards Makoace's Fall Heirloom Crops Overlay and Jessbot's Spirit's Eve Mill. I like the look of those, too.