Forager Review

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Developer: HopFrog Publisher: Humble Bundle

Meeting the Turnip King

Do you enjoy foraging? Do you love discovery? Do you love meeting random characters with strange one liners and a character who never speaks? Well this is the game for you! But seriously, forager is a wonderfully crafted indie game with a very simple concept behind it. You forage, craft and explore. As you go through the game you learn more and more, find easier ways to craft objects and build your arsenal to take on the creatures lurking in the dark. It is a game similar to the likes of Minecraft and Terraria, but it contains a more humorous heart and a few clever puzzles to solve.

Beginning you on a lonely island with nothing except your trusty pick axe (it’s a special pick axe that can also chop down trees and cut wheat) and you have to gather basic resources such as wood, berries and stone; in order to build things like fish traps and furnaces. As you play through the game you gain experience to level up – unlocking new structures and abilities – soon opening the doors for yourself. You also gain money which allows you to buy new islands to explore – some hosting a puzzle to solve, some a creature or two to fight and some with a charming character and a quest. I loved buying new islands and discovering what they held and not often I was ever disappointed with what I found. The pace of the game to begin with is slow, easing you in to find your feet without being over-whelmed but within an hour you start to get into a rhythm of managing your resources. Once you are a few hours in you will have learnt tricks in order to maximise your key resources like wood and coal, and even learnt ways to gain money quicker or find gems. Patience is rewarded greatly within this game.

Demon boss spraying out more demons

Like a lot of these kind of games, the combat is basic and without much challenge. Even the later bosses were pretty straight forward, blasting them with my lightening wand or chipping away at their health with my sword. I never died once during the game since fish and meat restore your health quickly so I never truly felt threatened. I felt more like the enemies within the game were more a further avenue for resources.

What truly stands out in this game are the puzzles and the developers clearly put some time and effort making the puzzles rewarding without feeling impossible. There are plenty of different puzzles within the game, some easier than others, but all rewarding once completed. Some puzzles were mazes filled with skeletons, some were riddles leading to a certain item and one was a simple shot with an arrow (simple once I had worked that out). No puzzle in this game made me feel too stupid and hopeless, which is the perfect difficulty in a puzzle.

Later in the game when your island is full.

Stunning pixel graphics has always been an attraction for me in the indie scene and Forager is a perfect example. HopFrog have done a wonderful job crafting the different characters within the game and the different structures that you can build. The entire game has a fantastic charm to it. The flaw I have discovered with this game, and this could be isolated to the Switch, is the processing power needed once your island becomes more populated. I am in the later stages of the game, after playing for a number of hours and my Switch is struggling to deal with how much is on the screen at once time. Fortunately I have hit a natural end but this issue did contribute to speeding up that timeline.

Overall, I will give this game a solid 3.5/5 – I got this game for £8 during the latest Switch sale and it was definitely worth the price. If you would like an easy but satisfying game that certainly won’t break the bank, then I highly recommend this game.

3.5! But I don’t have a badge for that….yet!

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