- Developer: HopFrog
- Publisher: Humble Bundle
- Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Release date: April 18 (PC) July 30 (Consoles)
- Price: $19.99
- Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
- Review code provided: No
Forager is an action-adventure game where you start on a small island alone, with only your trusty pickaxe as a tool, and no objective other than survive.
The game presents itself with a minimalist voxel artstyle, and very relaxing music, the sprites are simple and cute, and even the biggest ones, bosses and structures, are simple enough so that when you see them you instantly know what you are supposed to do with them.
The music is adequate, there aren’t any bad tracks, but none of them are memorable, even though i played around 17 hours, I can’t remember even one song of the whole playtrough.
When you start the game, the only things you see are trees, rocks and some brushes, ans on your inventory there’s a normal pickaxe, so naturally, you have to start gathering resources. The game gives you a small tutorial about resources, building and crafting, but most of the game there’s nothing telling you what to do.
Once you level up, a skill tree is unlocked, with 4 different paths, resources, technology, magic and economy, with it you unlock new buildings and tools that you will be able to use moving forward. The speed in which you level up is pretty natural, until the last levels, where you will almost certainly need specific items to speed up the process.
When you start getting money the game begins to open up, and you can start buying islands, where you may find NPC’s with sidequests, dungeons, towers or puzzles, most of these gives you orbs to upgrade one of your stats, but you’ll likely use them just to level up, since most enemies are harmless and you can recover health using food anytime you want.
The most unique parts of the game are the dungeons and the “galaxies”, each of the four dungeons are pretty unique and have their own mechanics and bosses, and altough they are pretty simple overall, they are really enjoyable, the only problem I had was with the the cristal dungeon, which had pretty bad framedrops if you didn’t reset the lasers to the original position after using them, the rewards for completing the dungeons are magic wands that have no other use outside of the dungeon.
And the galaxies are small rooms with puzzles that can go from easy to pretty difficult, but there isn’t a single one that feels impossible, so it’s a nice change of pace from the constant grinding and farming.
The most underwhelming part of the game was the food, since very early on you get to a point where you don’t care for food anymore since it’s so abundant, and on the endgame, you don’t even have to eat to stay alive, since there are lot of perks and passives that constantly regenerate your energy.
Most of the game so far is pretty laidback and relaxing, but once you finish every dungeon and puzzle, the gameplay changes from adventure to idle, since what’s left is sidequests, the museum and automatisation.
Almost all of the sidequests that the NPC’s give you are fetch quests, where you need to find an specific amount of certain items and bring them to the NPC, some are pretty easy, others require a lot of farming or luck to get.
The museum is a place where you put different items on set categories, and when you finish one of them, they give you an stat up orb, and if you finish all of them, they give you a badge. The items can go from food, to electronic components, which are the most grind heavy item in the game.
And automatisation is the process of creating mining rods, power plants and drones so that the materials are recollected without you interacting with them. The problem I had with this part of the game is the amount of steps it takes to do one thing, for example, to make a power plant, you need electronics, which need plastic to be made, which needs oil, which needs to be stored in a bottle, which is made from glass and string, which is made from sand and cotton, And when you use a bottle, it dissapears, so you need to constantly gather glass and strings to keep making bottles. Easily, to get every item, I had to make more than 500 bottles.
Since when an ore is destroyed or an item is created there is a sound to let you know, when you automatize everything it will be pretty annoying to hear all the sounds at the same time, with the screen shaking with each destroyed ore, and all the items you get appearing constantly on the right side of the HUD, with no option to turn it off, and the chaos of everything on screen, can lead to framedrops that can get pretty annoying.
The last item you get is the obliterator, which is a power drill which instakills all enemies, can destroy most structures and cand destroy the land of the islands, but since the materials you need to build it are 100 of 2 of the most expensive and grind heavy items on the game, there’s almost nothing you can do it with, since at that point you will have almost everything that the game has to offer.
In the end, Forager is a pretty and relaxing game, in which you can lose yourself griding for hours on end, with a lot to offer, and with no sense dread, so that you can play it for extended periods of time, or on short play sessions, but some minor framerate problems and tedious endgame end up taking away from the overall experience. There are 2 content updates planned for the future, a farming and battle expansion, and I’ll probably revisit the game once they are out.
Duration of playtrough: 17 hours, all items, dungeons and sidequests.