Cozy simulation games are rising in popularity, with many pulling key mechanics from iconic titles such as Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Stardew Valley. With so many games trying to mimic the same formula, crafting something that stands out can be a real challenge – a task Fae Farm has taken on and conquered triumphantly.
The adorable, cozy, slice-of-life title will have players crafting, farming, and raising animals while using the power of fae magic in their daily tasks instead of simple farm tools. A mixture of brilliant colors, smooth controls, and intriguing challenges make every hour in Azoria a joy and reminds me of just how much I adore the cozy genre and what it can inspire.
- Developer: Phoenix Labs
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch & PC
- Release Date: September 8, 2023
- Multiplayer: Yes. (1-4 players)
- Price: $59.99
Move to Beautiful Azoria, The Views are Faentastic
Like all cozy farming sims, players must first obtain a plot of land to call home. In Fae Farm, this little slice of paradise is tucked away behind the seaside town of Azoria. After creating a character, players will find themselves at the mercy of the town’s stressed Mayor while also attempting to understand what is causing whirlpools to form in the waters around the town’s beaches. The disaster is keeping tourists from visiting, as well as boats from sailing out to fish.
It is up to you to meet with all the townfolk in Azoria, dive deep into the Saltwater Mines, and discover what is causing these issues. However, the mysteries go much deeper than expected – and players will need to visit magical realms to truly restore peace to the land.
The rich mysteries Fae Farm introduces help keep players engaged as they learn the crafting, cooking, and farming mechanics required to succeed in their adventures. It also encouraged me to fall in love with the little town and all its inhabitants.
Fae Farm Challenges Players To Get Crafty
Fae Farm makes the most of its crafting systems, challenging players to think outside the box. From the start of the game, you will need to forage for wood, soils, and rocks to build basic crafting tables. These handy stations offer more complex recipes, which can be unlocked by obtaining the required ingredients. For example, picking up tea leaves off wild plants will unlock a variety of tea recipes at the beverage station, while picking up sand unlocks the recipe for glass blocks at the stone forge.
Every crafting station is important and ensures players can create meals, decorations, potions, or refined products needed throughout their adventures. I found the crafting system for Fae Farm intuitive and enjoyable. While certain items can take a short period to finish being produced from these stations, I never felt like the duration was too long, and I especially like that each table has a place where finished items are collected. I often find myself opening the menu and pulling out a single stack of something I need rather than taking everything out at once.
Additionally, to craft bundles of useful items, players will need piles of raw ingredients. While your bag starts a bit small, storage won’t be an issue as long as you are dropping things off at home regularly. Every homestead comes with a bottomless storage shed.
Admittedly, I was anticipating giving the storage shed a fair bit of criticism – after all, what is a farming game without dozens of crafted boxes taking up space on my property? However, thanks to an excellent search function that sorts items by use, as well as an easy-to-browse interface, I have begrudgingly accepted that this is the ultimate storage solution: no boxes, no mess, just a nice shed filled with goodies.
Combat is Easy – But Not Always Magical
Combat in Fae Farm is relegated to the mines, where enemies will prevent players from collecting the ore and raw gemstones they need for crafting. To take these unhelpful roadblocks down, players will find themselves equipped with a little brown stick. This wand can be used to whack enemies, as well as cast spells once they are unlocked.
Despite the simplicity of combat, which mostly involved smashing a button in real-time when you can’t scoot around enemies, I did often find myself wishing the combat had just a bit more depth. Enemies don’t drop a ton of loot, which doesn’t encourage me to want to fight them, and the process of chasing them down to bop them on the face with my stick felt underwhelming.
Thankfully, wands can also be used outside combat, as certain spells assist in farm work and other daily tasks. I wonder if Fae Farm would have benefitted from a wand that could transform into different weapons while in the mine. Being able to channel magic through a little wand sword or a little magical bow would have been delightful and added a bit more flavor to each fight.
Farming Gets A Boost With Flowers & Fertilizer
Farming is a core mechanic of any cozy game, and Fae Farm has done an excellent job of taking a fairly simple process and making it special. Players start with access to a few basic crops: Beans, Cauliflower, and Turnips. These can be grown in all seasons, but with a dash of special fertilizer, they have the chance to transform into seasonal or Fae crops.
Additionally, Fae Farm has taken a page from Animal Crossing with the use of a diverse flower breeding system. Using the base colors of flowers, players can breed out each species in a variety of hues. This complex system includes genetics that can be viewed when hovering over each flower, and the process adds to the enjoyment of raising crops and flowers on each farm.
Decorate Every Space in Fae Farm
Fae Farm also makes use of an in-depth furniture and decoration crafting system. When getting started, this process can seem daunting. Amassing recipes can take a good deal of dedication and money, as they are either found in the world of Azoria or purchased from shops. They can also take up critical ingredients that are difficult to part with early in the game.
However, nothing replaces the charm and enjoyment of crafting leafy window panes or a cute bed to stick in your country home. The ability to change up the interior of a home to fit personal style adds another layer of detail to Fae Farm that makes hours drift away in minutes.
Fae Farm is a delightful haven of magic, color, and whimsy that captures my attention completely every time I open the game. The vibrant world of Azoria is filled with secrets that will keep curious players busy, while basic farming mechanics have been polished and improved to make slice-of-life staples a joy.
Anyone who enjoys magic, cute gameplay, customization, and a cozy atmosphere absolutely must pick up the game. It is sure to scratch every itch. Add in the fantastic character creator with diverse and inclusive options for any type of player, and Fae Farm truly is a game that has something for everyone.
|+ Takes everything good about a cozy game and makes it better|
|+ Excellent, diverse character creation|
|+ Clean, smooth controls on console|
|– Character name is stuck as your Phoenix Labs account name|
|– Combat can be a bit simple|
Gamepur team received a Nintendo Switch code for the purpose of this review.
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