The darker hours and the colder nights have led many of us to snuggle up under our sheets. What’s a better way to spend your evening than hiding away in your bed and immersing yourself in a new game? Emily talks about Cozy Grove, which was gifted to Impact as a review copy, and how it can be the perfect solution for autumn blues.
Spry Fox’s new release Cozy Grove offers the island life and real-time structure of Animal Crossing mixed with the story and wholesome character interactions of Undertale. Arriving on a deserted island, you play as a ‘Spirit Scout’, looking to earn badges through appeasing the island’s ghosts, with a roaring fire guiding you on your way.
Playing in a relatively small space, the tasks never feel too overwhelming but offer some challenge in deciphering the ghost’s requests. Even aside from the assigned quests, exploring the island itself provides the gentle amusement of a real walk through the woods as you discover secret scenery, unusual creatures and kick your way through piles of leaves to collect hidden items.
The characters I have met (so far) are charmingly written and have a wonderfully detailed backstory as to how they ended up in Cozy Grove. Their design is also equally delightful and the soft autumnal colour palette, which comes to life as you complete more quests, makes for visual joy.
It is difficult not to compare this work to other games in its genre, which are currently very popular on the mainstream market. Cozy Grove does well in areas that similar life-sim games have fallen short. The endless text boxes to click through to complete simple tasks, present in the likes of Animal Crossing, are not used here. Actions take one click, and inventory and crafting options are easy to access.
I worry somewhat about the long-term playability of this game; customisation options of the island are limited, and tasks may become repetitive. However, this is balanced out by the real-life timescale in which you wait a certain number of real-time hours to complete tasks or acquire certain items. This is certainly familiar to those of us who waited actual days for trees to grow and bridges to be built during the initial Animal Crossing release but may be more frustrating for those who love to play their games for long periods of time at once. Patience is necessary.
Overall, Cozy Grove‘s gentle, soothing score, softly sketched graphics, and purposeful but relaxing gameplay make it the perfect game to curl up beside the fire on a cosy autumn evening.
Featured image courtesy of Emily Fletcher. Permission for use granted to Impact directly by the artist. No changes were made to this image.
In-article video courtesy of @Playstation via youtube.com. No changes were made to this video.
In-article image courtesy of Emily Fletcher. Permission for use granted to Impact directly by the artist. No changes were made to this image.
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