Is Forager, the cute crafting game from Hop Frog and Humble, worth digging up?
Minecraft, and games of a similar theme, always seem to end up popular. Partly due to the construction element and partly due to the exploration element, these games have a way of drawing people in and keeping them playing until they don’t know where the last few hours went. Forager follows the same kind of path, and is another game you can relax on and see the hours just disappear.
You play as a nameless little man whose life you control, as the world around you changes. You start on a small piece of island with a few trees and plants, your only tool a pickaxe. You can cut down the trees and the bushes and the plants to make materials, which can then be consequently used to build new things. This is an endless but addictive cycle that will see you through the whole game. You’ll both love it and hate it, but it’ll keep you playing.
As you do more chopping, you’ll earn XP and level up, which in turn will allow you an extra point in the skill tree. This is worthwhile to unlock new buildings to create and other benefits, like new tools to build or items to make, as well as increasing the usefulness of items and materials you already have. Forager encourages you to keep playing with this rewards system, and gives you a reason to keeping chopping away and earning XP.
Once you’ve outgrown your little starting island and earned a bit of cash by farming gold ore, you have the opportunity to expand. Each of the squares of land around you can be bought, and has a new plot of ground to explore. It could have an old man with a quest, a museum, a pool with a night time secret or maybe a puzzle that will give you a treasure chest when you solve it. You won’t know what is on the land until you unlock it, so this adds the element of surprise as well as encouraging you to keep playing until you have the whole world to explore.
Forager has a cutesy retro kind of look which is hard to not like. It draws you in with the nostalgic vibe of a time gone by, and simplistic graphics mirror the gameplay. It’s easy to pick up and play, save and come back to whenever you want, and a great game to play on the go in the handheld mode of the Switch. The colours are bright and the music is bouncy; Forager is an enjoyable game for multiple senses and doesn’t disappoint.
Platform: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PC
Developer: Hop Frog
Release Date: April 18, 2019 (PC), July 30, 2019 (Nintendo Switch)