Unlike my PlayStation 4, my Nintendo Switch is a family console. A console everyone plays, we all play together and it gets used all the time. Since I bought it back on launch day you will struggle to find a day it was not used by someone. Since we have had Forager this has been amplified tenfold, everyone loves it, is completely addicted to it and we have to fight for time on this quirky little indie game.
I had heard of Forager and seen a few screenshots, I knew I would like it but thought I would just pick it up at some point, perhaps in a sale. I then saw a video of someone playing it and immediately requested a review code. Since then my Switch has been on constantly with someone in my household Foraging away. It's a very simple yet rewarding game, let's get into it then shall we
Forager is a building, collecting and farming type game that we have seen many times over the years. However, Forager does do a few things differently that really make it stand out and give it a voice of its own. Firstly, the world is split into islands and you must expand, using your own cash to find new items, areas and even dungeons. It's great to buy a new plot of land and find something brand new. It really is quite unique in this sense.
Secondly, and probably my favourite thing about Forager, is that there are no time constraints or seasons. It gives the whole game a very chilled outlook and takes a lot of the pressure off what you are doing. Forget what you are doing? It really does not matter. You don't pass out at certain times, you don't need to sleep and it's all very relaxed and stress-free. I adore that and you can really explore, farm and collect resources without worry. It's brilliant.
Another thing I really like is the fact that Forager does not hold your hand, you are given a brief and to the point tutorial at the start then you are left to it. No fluff, no messing, just go and explore, build and expand your empire in all directions. Quite often I did not know where to get a resource from or how to make something, I just carried on and eventually it came to me. There are a few islands I still don't know what to do on but I am sure it will come with time. It's a very dynamic game and it's beautifully designed.
There is so much to do in Forager, it may look simplistic in screenshots but it is anything but. You have numerous skills to unlock, you pick one each time you level up and they fill out a massive interconnected grid. These skills relate to everything from new buildings, to new recipes and even give passive bonuses such as more resources gained. There are feats to unlock, a massive amount of equipment to build, magic, combat, dungeons, a museum, I would literally be here all day listing it all and I have not yet discovered everything there is on offer.
The amount of content and stuff to do in this game is insane and as soon as you think you have a grip on it, it throws something new at you. Where games like this excel are when you have your little checklist of things to do and spend hours doing so or more likely, spend hours doing something else until you realize you did not do what you initially set out to accomplish. Before you know it the whole afternoon has gone by but you have built some new buildings so it's not a complete waste and it was so much fun.
What does not help is how cute the game is, everything is so bright and crisp. Everything is so well designed and so pleasing to look at. Its the same with the sound, I had to turn the music up initially because I thought it was too quiet but the whole sound design is again, superb. Little sound effects let you know when you have caught a fish or when your forge has finished churning out a new item for you. These sound effects really dig into your brain, each chirp brings you a little happiness and some new items or resources to discover. It's all extremely addictive.
Along with the great gameplay, great music and beautiful graphics, Forager is also littered with nods to other video games and easter eggs. There are unlockable skins and items from a wealth of other indie games. I will not spoil any but if you are a fan of easter eggs and nods to other video games like me, you will be very pleased with what you get in forager. It was always nice to unlock a new hat or skin when performing certain in-game feats.
Another item you can unlock are storyboards that are accessible from the main menu. It's only a small feature but the first one especially really resonated with me. It tells the story of the creator of the game and his trials and tribulations in getting Forager to market. It's a great little tale, it really makes you realise what some indie developers go through and how lucky we are to have this adorable little game.