When maintaining a farm, even a virtual one, there’s no shortage of tasks. In farming sim role-playing game Fae Farm, you can grow crops, mine, explore dungeons, and decorate homes. While all of this can be a lot to manage by yourself, Fae Farm will have a multiplayer experience at the heart of the game. Based on a recent hands-off preview of the game, players should expect a magical, cozy farming simulator with an extra casual approach on the farm sim genre.
Fae Farm is a multiplayer co-op game from Phoenix Labs where you explore and create a home in the fantasy world of Azoria. The game’s cutesy cottagecore feel isn’t exactly characteristic for the studio — Phoenix Labs is best known for creating the monster-hunting game Dauntless — but the team brings its expertise in designing co-op experiences to a new genre. Fae Farm will support up to four players either playing online or locally when it launches on Nintendo Switch.
Friends can “seamlessly” drop in and out of co-op. To achieve that seamlessness, Fae Farm has features that will update your friends on any story progression that’s happened while they’re logged out, and another that lets any player be the host. As our preview host ran around and showed us various features like fishing or farming, others in the co-op session ran around the town with no issues, engaging in activities and fishing side by side.
Jumping into Azoria, you’ll see a colorful and bright world with an art style that fuses a 3D look with stylized graphics that look like brush strokes. The visuals set a playful and light tone that lends the world a magical feel. You play as fairies that look like a chibi Lego character with round, stubby features. As we watched our guide explore the world, we saw many graphical and animation flourishes. Characters would jump, twirl, and spin effortlessly, giving platforming a whimsical look. As the character fished, we saw it get jerked around, and even pulled into the water by a big fish.
While there are dungeons for players to complete, they appear to be rather laid back. Fae Farm product head Isaac Epp said during our preview that the team didn’t feel “a super strong desire to make this a Souls-like experience.” Each dungeon is designed to be beaten multiple times for the sake of collecting resources. Your character is able to unleash melee combo attacks and magical attacks, but most enemies appear to be beatable with light button-mashing. The preview showed a honing triple fireball that easily took down monsters.
Typical to a game in this genre, each character has three main power bars to manage: health, stamina, and mana, and can earn experience points that will allow you to level up aspects of your character like magic or tool usage. (The developer gave an example of leveling up your pick ax swing so that you get stones in fewer swings.) In addition to your character, you will also be able to level and upgrade tools which will expand the kinds of resources you can gather. For example, you can upgrade an ax so it can cut down harder wood trees.But there is one other unique leveling system: As you decorate your homes —you are allowed to have multiple — you will be awarded “cozy points” which will then further upgrade your character and better prepare them for the dungeons.
It’s 2022, and games like Stardew Valley and Minecraft have gotten many updates that have both increased the scope and number of activities you’re able to do in those games. Both examples have ballooned to include dozens of complex systems that cater to hardcore fans. On the flip side of all this is Fae Farm, a game that appears to bring the casual side of the cozy sims back, and will even allow you to invite a few friends to join in on the fun as well.
Fae Farm is headed to Nintendo Switch in the second quarter of 2023, give farm sim RPG fans a chill option leading into summertime.