Crafting has been a major component of many games in recent years following the massive success of titles like Minecraft, becoming an integral feature in both AAA and indie titles alike. One such game developed by an Argentinian studio called HopFrog is Forager.
In Forager, you take control of a cutesy pixel character and are tasked with gathering, collecting and managing various resources. You start out in a small square of land, littered with rocks and trees to mine and chop. Once you’ve harvested the available material and constructed a starter base, you will have accumulated enough gold to purchase adjacent squares of land, expanding the world and giving you access to additional material.
After expanding rapidly, you will be able to construct facilities such as furnaces and structures that will allow you access to a whole host of mechanics. This game moves at a rapid pace and soon enough you will have a vast area of land to play with! You can harvest and farm crops as well as keep various farm animals, who you can befriend by caring for them. You can also make use of a fishing rod or automated traps to catch underwater organisms. Not all creatures you encounter are friendly, however! You can face off against monsters and animals with weaponry that you can create with your resources.
As you expand, you will uncover different biomes, such as cactus ridden deserts and spooky graveyard lands. Each one of them offers unique opportunities for hunting and harvesting, which you’ll need to optimize your expanding empire. After upgrading your skills and equipment, there are dungeons to explore which are riddled with monsters and loot. Some even have puzzles to solve, reminding us of classic dungeons from The Legend of Zelda series. While you are alone at first, there are some NPCs you’ll encounter and you can even recruit them to join you on your subterranean adventures. Much like Animal Crossing, you can construct a museum and stash your rarest finds for display.
The art style is incredibly simple but absolutely bursting with color! The one issue we encountered with the visuals came down to the late game when there was so much activity on screen at once that the clutter made it difficult to make out what was actually happening.
You can sell almost any item in the game and after several hours, it is completely possible to have a complex system of factories and machinery to automatically harvest the rapidly regenerating resources. If that doesn’t sound appealing, why not settle for a quaint farming town with a selection of charming animal companions? You can customize your empire through the placement of decorations or the construction of a road network to get around much quicker.
Since this game moves at such a rapid pace, it will generally take you around 15 hours to complete the main objectives. But there is no reason that you can’t get double or even triple that time by exploring every dungeon, crafting every facility and hunting every creature.
Forager is a game that is absolutely brimming with things to do, moving at a high pace as you harvest, hunt and forge your way through the colorful indie experience! It is a very satisfying gameplay loop as building up your base and leveling up your character is particularly rewarding. While the dungeons are simple in layout, some of the puzzles are fairly memorable, resulting in a welcome distraction from all of the resource gathering that is undoubtedly the main focus here. At times, there is extensive visual clutter than can be confusing and distracting, although this is only a result of building large automated systems that sprawl across your capitalist empire.
We enjoyed the game, even if at times it can start to feel repetitive. It is not the definitive experience in the crafting genre but it is certainly a welcome addition and a relaxing distraction!
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