There is no doubt that Pheonix Lab’s Fae Farm is a ‘cozy game’a definition that we at Gametime have begun to appreciate in the last year, especially thanks to the various gaming events we have attended. As good children of Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon, we certainly could not miss the opportunity to try it far and widegrowing vegetables, raising fantastic animals and solving mysteries.
After recovering a message in a bottle and surviving a shipwreck, we will arrive on the island of Azoria with a very respectable welcome committee: it is Mayor Merritt who welcomes us and gives us the gift of a homeexplaining to us that although the area presents itself as a pleasant place, mysteries and dangers are hidden, the first of all is a series of water whirlpools that prevent us from returning home and will be our first concern to be dispelled.
After having committed ourselves to customizing our avatar, we will find ourselves having to deal with learning the basic mechanics of the title, such as growing vegetables and finding and collecting resources of various kinds such as wood or stone. So far, Fae Farm has all those characteristics that have always characterized others belonging to the farm-sim genre without deviating from it, but it is in the relationships with the other npc that the work tries to distinguish itself. It will be possible to make friends with them up to establishing stronger sentimental relationships that can also lead to a marriage.
This mechanic is basically managed with dedicated missions, diversified for each character that respond to unique tastes and preferences. For example, there will be those who love insects and those who delight in eating elaborate tuber salads. On this point perhaps we would have preferred an extra layer of depthsuch as a greater characterization of the characters, but it remains an interesting mechanic and which guarantees an extra quid to the title.
Another element that enriches Fae Farm’s play offer is the combat system which, although it is characterized by ‘disarming blows’, can boast a simple but effective magic sector that allows you to manage the battles allocated in the dungeons with a twist more than the simple slashing left and right.
Having included combat it seems to us a design choice aimed at making the exploration of the many various mines more interesting and less tedious present in the game map which, in essence, respond to the need to procure essential resources for the manufacture of objects, workbenches and the resolution of missions.
Each area of the island of Azoria has a different dungeon-mine and each of them requires particular requirements in order to be addressed, such as the use of specific potions that allow us to defend ourselves from the particular conditions that characterize them. In this regard, it should be mentioned that our avatar has three bars (life points, mana and stamina) with which we have to deal with throughout the game experience: nothing particularly transcendental but offers a role-playing cue that we would not have expected.
The crafting sector boasts numerous options such as classic ovens for cooking or sawmills for lumber also offers more particular workstations such as small enclosures for insects and fairy animals with which to recover ingredients for potions or fertilizers of various kinds. All this play complex also has a vast range of customization of the play area that allows you to indulge yourself in furnishing your home and the garden in front of the property.
The game is characterized by a refined and colorful aesthetics which allows you to easily identify and memorize the various areas of the map. Furthermore both the alternation of the seasons and the daily passage of time are present. The first does not limit itself to changing the appearance of the places but also affects the presence of certain types of animals, wild plants and fruit and vegetable crops, the second marks the working days in a lapse of 24 hours fictitious.
The management of the quests includes the classic succession of main and secondary missions but which diversify in aims and results: in fact we can enumerate in the order of a hundred all the existing collateral activities that will make the happiness of the lovers of completionism who will not only be able to indulge in numerous assignments but do their utmost in the search for projects, in the capture of various animals and in collecting even after the conclusion of the main campaign.
Fae Farm is a title that does not arise as a work that wants to challenge the player but wants to offer a relaxed experience with which to have fun without too many thoughts.
This does not mean that it is not a well-finished game, on the contrary, it is appreciable in offering many playful opportunities. Perhaps we would have preferred more depth in what we consider the most characteristic elements of the title: in particular, we would have liked a greater characterization of the various npc precisely by virtue of the friendship and relationship mechanics present. Nonetheless, we consider Fae Farm a more than good exponent of the genre and recommend it to lovers of the genre and to anyone looking for a relaxed and fun experience.