‘Forager’ game review: Mine, craft, explore, and repeat in cute idle scavenger game inspired by ‘Stardew Valley’ for the Nintendo Switch and PC

Tribune News Service

Never stop hoarding as you build equipment, buy land and expand the world in indie developer HopFrog’s cute 8-bit RPG-lite

Tribune News Service |

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Forager plonks players down in a colourful pixilated world filled with things to collect. Immediately, they can start clicking around them on the various things on screen. On the beginning island after players start a new game, the entirety of the world stretches out before them. There’s so much to do, and so little time. The only thing to do is to start doing it.

And so players are handed a pickaxe and told to start digging. For the first stretch of the game, they’re expected to harvest until their fingers bleed. It’s a lot like Minecraft, only players are building up to an incredible number of different goals they’ll eventually complete. As they spend a while tapping away, they begin to see a figurative path forming before them, and the game nudges them toward it.

Players have got a limited inventory to begin with, so they won’t be able to carry as many items as they need to make the progress they want to. It also takes forever to get into the groove and harvesting can take a long time.

Eventually, as players work their way through the rocks, trees, and other resources, they’ll run out of space. That’s when they need to use up some of the coins they’ve earned while clicking, harvesting, and earning experience while completing tasks. They’ll earn additional tiles added to the map that come with unique resources.

As players continue to level up, they’ll earn more experience and skill points that they can allot into four different pools: Industrial, Economic, Farming, and Magical. Spending skill points in these groups will ensure players unlock additional structures to build on their little plot of land and see their character progression climb.

Occasionally, players come across puzzle tiles that require them to figure things out to earn goodies and experience. Some map tiles have non-playable characters that will offer quests to complete. Later on in-game, there are dungeons. While they’re exciting to see pop up, they aren’t challenging, and they’re some of the more bland pieces of the game.

Forager is a game that’s meant for short bursts of play. While it isn’t without a few faults, it’s an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon or two with, then return to later in the week to see how much more players can take on.

Edited by Ginny Wong

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