You may say, Elliot, what are your farm sim bona fides? Well, I remember going into an EB Games in 1999, looking for Harvest Moon 64. You may say, Elliot, what is an EB Games? Well, EB Games is a brick-and-mortar store. You may say, Elliot, what is a brick-and-mortar store? I kid, but for real I went to an EB Games back in 1999 and was laughed at for asking for Harvest Moon 64. The guy behind the counter said, “You actually want to farm?” He laughed; I left without Harvest Moon 64. Thus, my future was set in stone. As soon as I started at Gaming Nexus, I began my sweet, sweet revenge of reviewing any farm sim that came my way. Sure showed him.
I play farm sim games like they are going out of style. I am always on the hunt for the next one to sink my life away into. If only I could have some wealthy unknown distant relative who has willed me the deed to their unkept acreage of land. I was hoping that my next fix would come with Fae Farm.
There’s no distant relative or mysterious death that brings me to the island. Instead, it’s a wacky mayor who spends her time throwing bottles with messages into the ocean, hoping to attract some newcomer to the island. Well, you fall for the old message-in-a-bottle routine and get into your boat. Of course, whirlpools destroy the boat, forcing you onto this magical land of Azoria.
Fae Farm is colorful and jumps right out at you. Appearance-wise, it is easy to see Fae Farm as a basic and simple farm sim, with its bright colors and characters who, on appearance, seem full of life and personality. My initial thoughts were that this falls in line with an over-the-top social media website farm sim. That’s not fair, it’s also not accurate. Fae Farm does a lot of things right, and, even though I have not had a chance to try the multiplayer, I am excited to dive in.
I enjoyed the character creator, being one of the better ones in the genre. Choices are not as crazy as some games, talking about the recently released Starfield and Baldur’s Gate 3. You get four body choices, six choices for eyes - all of which you can change the color of the eyes. Head, facial, and voice features are also better than just okay. While I couldn’t fully make myself (the beard options were not great) I got close, close enough to feel happy with the options.
Fae Farm has a lot of tutorials, especially right out of the gate. Almost every quest early on is trying to teach you some part of the game. I didn’t feel it was necessary to read all the tutorials that are placed in your handbook the moment you start; even newcomers to the genre won’t need to read them all. The first handful of quests act as a tutorial to learn tools and machines. Anytime you learn something it’s put into the notebook you carry, always there to reference, but you won’t need to. Nothing in Fae Farm is meant to be hard. I don’t mean not challenging, just that you can do it, fake it till you make it, but don’t worry, you’ve already made it. It’s also more enjoyable to just learn as you go. I had a better time, and having any experience in a farm sim will have you feeling the same.
The genre of cozy games is growing, and Fae Farm fits that bill of cozy; not just cozy, but welcoming to everyone. There is no rush or pressure to do anything. Play at your own pace, discover what you feel like discovering, or just farm. It doesn’t matter, zero pressure. There are things you can work towards, like finding and going through one of the four dungeons on the island. You can romance other villagers or just get to know everyone a little better. With the no-pressure game style comes the welcoming factor. Even the skin tone choices you have available to make are great and very accommodating to everyone. I also want to mention the option to choose on of three different pronouns. It’s great, welcoming, and exactly as it should be.
Fae Farm does a lot to make farming a breeze. For starters, you select the correct tool to use automatically, no need to shuffle through a menu to find the item. I love it. I’m not an idiot, neither is my character; I can select the correct tool without any effort. Gathering is a big part of gameplay, and just a single button gets it done more often than not; I love it, too. Lets me focus on other stuff, doesn’t use too much time in my day, also doesn’t use too much energy. Lastly, never had an issue with Fae Farm selecting or doing something I did not want it to do. A great mechanic that I will now want to see become a mainstay of the genre.
I love the farming, I love the exploring, I enjoy interacting with the inhabitants of the island. Crafting is never something that I get really big into. Neither is decorating. It’s just not something I want to spend hours on. But Fae Farm has it, and it looks and works well. I can’t complain about the gameplay feature; you can craft anything and everything. Design your home the way you like, it’s all there.
Dungeons have unique themes to them. There are four, which can sound like a lot, or not, depending on how you approach farm sims that offer a secondary game experience. Most of the new farm sims have something other than farming. Fae Farm makes it feel like the farming becomes secondary earlier than I would like for it to. I love to tend a garden, love to see it get bigger and expand, love to add animals into the mix. Fae Farm does that, but makes it so easy and quick that I know it wants me to spend my time in other ways, like dungeons. Dungeons are fine, just fine. Different from one to the next, but bland and repetitive once you are in said dungeon. It’s not bad or awful, it just is. I enjoyed the first couple, but by the time I got access to the fourth one I was not as drawn into that part of the game.
Only being able to have one optional quest to follow at a time is a big drawback. Romance, odd jobs, or friend quests are there, but you can only pursue one goal at a time. None of them crazy or take too much time. But forcing me to see one out all the way through before I would start another isn't great. Do I have to do that? No, but I feel like I need to. You can track a different quest each morning you wake up, but why leave things hanging?
Load screens on the Switch are long. Long enough to watch a TikTok, or two. I’m ok with that because once you’re in the world it runs pretty smoothly. I’ve had hiccups, nothing game breaking, and nothing that didn’t clear itself up as fast as it showed up. I haven’t had the chance to play the multiplayer part, something that Fae Farm is pushing as a big part of the game. I would love to play with three other friends, if I could convince them to sink time into the game. I don’t think that would be a problem, Fae Farm has a lot to offer, and it is fun.
While there is plenty of farming to be done in Fae Farm, labeling it as a cozy game might be more accurate. There is plenty to do, see neighbors, explore dungeons, build, craft, and farm; but there is no hurry to see all the content. Fae Farm just wants you to be there, doing whatever it is you want. Some elements, like automatically choosing the correct tool to use without having to go into a menu is excellent. Same can be said for all the character choices. Others are not so great; only tracking one side quest at a time when there are a handful to choose is frustrating. Still, my time with Fae Farm has been great, and it will be the farm sim I go to when I have free time for the foreseeable future.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I'm pulled towards anything that isn't driving or sports related; having said that, I love a good kart racer. I Can't get enough RPGs, and indies are always worth a look to me. The only other subject I pay any attention to is the NFL (go Colts!).
While writing about games is my favorite hobby, talking is a close second. That's why I podcast with my wife Tessa (it's called Tessa and Elliot Argue).View Profile