Fae Farm is the newest addition to what is known to most as the Cosy farming simulation game. Those sort of games such as Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and My Time at Portia where you don’t need to think too much. Fae Farm presents itself as a very warm stylized game with its Chibi art-style where everyone has big eyes. The character creation for the most part is fine and there is plenty of options, however I did find the constant giggling of my character on the character screen annoying to the point I decided to have a silent character for the rest of my playthrough. My issue with the character customization is they focused way too much on other options, that they completely missed the mark with being able to name your character. If you want to play as another Alias than what your Nintendo account username is then sadly you’re out of luck.
Fae Farm takes a linear approach to farming. As soon as you land in town after a voyage you will be presented with a quest which essentially takes you through the main story. Spikey tentacles sprout any areas which you are not meant to go to yet and while the exploration in Fae Farm is pretty strong it is limited what you can do from the beginning, What I really enjoyed from the get go was being able to jump straight back in the sea from whence I came, before long I found myself sucked into a whirlpool and thrown into the air before landing next to an Item I picked up that turned out to be a recipe for a furnishing item for my house, before long I find myself exploring and finding even more furnishing recipes scattered around the first area before I have even finished the first quest. The exploration I found super interesting and comedic, especially as your character flails through the water like a mermaid and can bounce off starlit mushrooms to reach new heights.
After a few quests, you are ready to get acquainted with the farm. You begin to learn the basics such as chopping wood, cutting down bushes and mining minerals. You then can then plant crops, water them and learn the basics such as cooking, fishing and bug catching, all these activities are fun and when you do basic farm tasks you will use the correct tool automatically which can be both a blessing and a curse, when you want your farm to look good, it’s easy to unintentionally end up ruining it by cutting at a patch of grass that you wanted to use for designing. Fishing and Bug Catching will require you to switch between the two tools and can end up being a big time sink; however I find grinding in Fae Farm almost pointless and if you hoard a lot of items at the beginning of the game, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. This is due to the fact you can only sell 32 items at the market in town everyday and this is individually, so a stack of 8 fish for example will be 8 individual items that you can sell. You can create food items early on and will come in useful for restoring some lost stamina, during your first day of farming you have an unlimited amount of energy so its a good time to take advantage of that, should you wish. I also find the initial recipes you can cook straight away odd, toasted berries and grilled grass, not the most appetizing sounding of meals. There are side quests that will take you away from the main story once you reach a certain chapter in the game. These are Job quests which relate to the skills in the game. These are a great way to earn some Décor, Items and Florin which is the currency of the game.
Like some other farming sims out there Fae Farm does actually have combat but it feels very relaxed much like every other part of the game. Apart from your stamina bar, you do have a health bar and a mana bar and there’s a ton of different items you can create to help you in dungeons. Dungeons consist of enemies shaped like large discarded items come to life. I found the dungeoneering aspect of the game super fun and addictive, finding the next switch to go to the next room and gathering minerals to create a seal so you can return to the same floor straight away at a later date. Every skill also has a level with a cap of currently 20 and increasing your skills such as fishing and logging will increase the benefits in those skills making them more potent and profitable.
The world of Azoria is majestic to say the least and the wildlife and aesthetics to show it, the flock of animals they made available are all well designed and really feel like they fit the world they belong in. On top of this you can bring machinery onto your farm which will automatically produce new items through the ones originally put in. The best part about tending to your farm is how easy it is to design and also how addictive it is, you can spend many hours just crafting new furniture and designing your house as you like. These many features are what makes Fae Farm a strong farming sim.
The game is not without it’s flaws however, for me bag space was limited and the game constantly puts you in a constant state of “do I need this pack of berries that has been in my inventory since the beginning?” Well probably not but if you absolutely hate throwing stuff away it is a problem, Even with constant upgrades more often than not you will run out of bag space and for a game that has a big emphasis on collecting it is kind of a big issue. Now the game does have unlimited storage in the form of the Shed on your farm if you want to go on a big mining expedition then I recommend hitting the shed before you go. The weakest aspect of Fae Farm is easily the relationships in the game. I found most of the characters dull and uninteresting, even marrying and dating them ends up being very boring. Sure you can gift them with items but they don’t say much and after marriage it’s pretty much game over, your selected spouse has not much else to say and won’t help out on the farm either. I also found it confusing that when befriending the denizens of Azoria, a menu will tell you their likes but when giving them that Item they may not like it the next time you give it to them, on top of the relationship part of the game being lackluster this seems like a system that could be great but sadly it’s implemented rather poorly.
Apart from all of this, there is so much to do in Fae Farm and with an abundance of things at your fingertips you will always feel like you are working towards something. While the game does have it’s shortfalls it is potentially something that can be improved on in the future.
A Nintendo Switch code was provided by Phoenix Labs