Everything that makes this new PC and Switch cozy game stand out in this Fae Farm review.
Fae Farm is a cozy game that was announced during the September 2022 Nintendo Direct and has since been featured at Gamescom 2023. With a great balance between home designing, item collecting, farming, and dungeon crawling there is always plenty to do on the island of Azoria. Unlike other games in the same genre, there is almost no downtime in Fae Farm, making it a pickup-and-play cozy game where you can't run out of new experiences to have!
Your magical journey begins here. 🌱
Step into a world of enchantment of Azoria, where every corner holds whispers of magic. Immerse yourself in a realm of enchanted homesteads, mystical creatures, whimsical quests, and experience the magic in #FaeFarm✨ pic.twitter.com/ylusWmBCoh
— Holly 🌱 | Fae Farm (@FaeFarm) August 22, 2023
Exploring New Territory
It's quite simple really. One day you find a letter in a bottle telling you to come to a new island, and off you go! After crashing your raft you arrive in Azoria and must help them solve their whirlpool problem! It's a cute little world with a bit of trifling turmoil meant to be fixed by the player. The cute island is matched in animations, art style, and background tracks that make you feel like you're in the hills of a magical Irish or Scottish hillside. As the name “Fae Farm” suggests, the game is themed around magic and fairies, while allowing you to be a simple human in their world. The creatures become more extravagant as you delve deeper into the world of magic past the humans you initially reside with. Whether you'll spend more time with the magical creatures, or the more familiar ones will be up to you!
Adapting to Azoria
As in every cozy game, there is a lifestyle cycle to get used to! While farming is one of the first things you'll be introduced to, it's absolutely not a required priority. If expanding your far into a bustling source of income is your speed, then howdy-do farmer! For everybody else, there are plenty of ways to adventure, explore, and expand.
The most satisfying progression of gameplay for me was in the dungeon exploration. Finding new materials, crafting runes to be able to travel deeper, getting rich off the ore I would smelt. The entire process of defeating baddies, and coming back to the surface with a successful haul and plenty to do with it never failed to satisfy. Now after a while, this was no longer viable, as each dungeon has a limit on depth, and then a way to advance the story. This reminded me that I was playing a video game and had to actually complete tasks, which was a good return to the status quo after too much time in the caves.
Speaking with characters around each location will give you openings to completing quests for rewards, increasing their friendship level, and some even have the possibility to romance. One of the most frustrating parts of the game may be that the wilder, more interesting characters are typically excluded from being romance partners. It was once I realized that this frustrated me that I recognized my investment in the game, and how much I'd been enjoying it for that mostly inconsequential detail to be one of my biggest gripes. If anything, it's simply a compliment as to how much the game was able to pull me in.
Farming of course! Did you really think it would be left out of the primary gameplay section of the Fae Farm review? Farming is simple yet satisfying in Fae Farm. Crops have specific growth times, and some are harvested outright, while others are plucked off of stalks that will stay where planted and shorten the growth time of crops once they are fully grown. These crops can be used for feeding animals, feeding yourself, and making both drinks and cooked foods that can either restore energy or be sold for a higher price than the resources used. Flowers also seem to be pushed as inclusions to the farming aspect of the game, with the ability to get new colors by planting seeds of different colors next to each other. These flowers however are usually restricted to just being included in events for completion or for decoration. With so much to do, it is difficult to want to put any focus on them. Animal farming is also a task included in everyday life, gaining decent resources from your animals as long as you give them easy care each day.
Making Your Own Fun
The best part about Fae Farm really is that every player is going to have a different experience. While this Fae Farm review is about the general experiences that are possible, it should be noted that all of those options can be higher or lower ranked on peoples' priority lists. At one point in the game, I was no longer farming, crafting, or collecting. I was jumping around the entire starting town trying to search nooks and crannies for all of the crafting recipes scattered around the terrain.
One of the easiest ways to find yourself lost to time is collecting. Whether fish, bugs, flower colors, or crafting items there are plenty of item classes to hunt down. The simplest of these is to walk the land catching butterflies, frogs, and even more interesting creatures later on. The more expensive collection to build is your animal collection. Your farm animals can be bred, and create new animal color combinations that get wackier as you experiment with different colors. Not only will they give you resources, but they're well worth showing off to your friends.
Get rich quick! There are so many items to sell, the easiest of which to get rich off of early on are seals. They only cost a single type of resource for the basic ones, meaning you can spend your abundance of that resource on making seals once you're far past that resource being useful. It comes with the bonus of getting to explore the mines, which is the most active part of the game.
Fae Farm with Friends!
While the game does require you to make an account with the host service, it could very well be worth it. After all what good is your expansive collection without being able to show it off? It isn't a necessary piece of the game by any means, but it could encourage players to be more active with the reward of getting to share their findings with friends. If anything else, they'll make your life easier by helping you traverse the mines without having to worry about every enemy on the floor before you can actually start mining.
Fae Farm Review – 8.5/10
While the newer “cozy game” genre may be oversaturated, at least Fae Farm is bringing some new fun to the table. It's going to be an enjoyable time even if it isn't going to be genre-defining. It can be played alone or with friends. Actively or passively. Rushed through, or drawn out over multiple sessions. It really does live up to being a relaxing game for any gamer to blow off some steam with. You can invest into a world that will constantly reflect your progression back at you, and give you small rewards along the way. Overall just about anybody can find something they enjoy in Fae Farm making it a game that can really bring friends together across genres.