Game Review: Cozy Grove

The first time I discovered Cozy Grove, I was scrolling through Twitter one night and came across a number of people who I followed talking about the game. I saw it described as a game to play if you liked Animal Crossing New Horizons and Stardew Valley, both of which I love. Initially I thought that I was looking at the next piece of content for the Don’t Starve games. Oh, how very wrong I was.

At this point I still knew virtually nothing about the game at all but went on to find out more. I ended up pre-ordering the game on Nintendo Switch a few days before its official launch.

Here’s a little bit of information about Cozy Grove

“Welcome to Cozy Grove, a life-sim game about camping on a haunted, ever-changing island. As a Spirit Scout, you’ll wander the island’s forest each day, finding new hidden secrets and helping soothe the local ghosts. With a little time and a lot of crafting, you’ll bring colour and joy back to Cozy Grove!” Spry Fox 

Features:

  • Beautiful, dynamic, hand-drawn landscapes that come alive when you help a spirit in need.
  • Dozens of memorable characters and spirits for you to find and befriend. Each spirit has a unique, extensive story for you to unravel over time.
  • Collect spirit animals, craft decorations, go fishing and more!
  • 40+ hour campaign filled with side quests, designed to span months of playtime.

I was so excited to check out Cozy Grove on the Nintendo Switch that the run-up to its launch felt like it lasted forever. As I was sat waiting for the game to unlock, there was something about the game that struck me as familiar. It left me puzzled for a few days until I finally realized what it was. Some of the characters in the game were inspired by those from other games by Spry Fox games including Alphabear and Triple Town, both of which I have played before. I felt slightly silly that it took me so long to put two and two together.

With that moment aside, I was ready to start exploring what Cozy Grove had to offer. I was introduced to my Spirit Scout self and set about my adventure. I can easily say that I knew I would enjoy this game from the get go.

I’ve been enjoying a lot of real time games lately and Cozy Grove has around thirty to sixty minutes of quest based game play each day which is perfect. It gives me something to look forward to after work. Of course, you can continue to play after completing all of your daily quests by doing a variety of activities including fishing, crafting and collecting items from around the island.

For me this works really well playing in smaller bursts rather than trying to complete everything all at once. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming in a new game when there is so much to do but Cozy Grove does it perfectly with pacing you through the main story. It can sometimes feel hard to be motivated to play because you can only play so much of the story at a time but honestly, this isn’t a bad thing as it just makes it exciting the next time you jump in and play.

There’s something about filling the world with colour and the contrast between the different areas that just works perfectly together. I’m always looking forward to who I’m going to meet next in the game and what kind of quest they have for me. The fact that each and every character I have met so far has their own stories and unique characteristics that help bring the story of Cozy Grove alive.

Over time, you make progress towards a number of different Spirit Scout Badges as well. I loved this aspect of the game, and it felt incredibly nostalgic to me as I grew being a part of Girl Guiding in the UK and was forever striving to collect as many badges as possible.

Now, I can’t forget to mention the games soundtrack and art style. The soundtrack is lovely and chilled out. I really can’t say more than that. It’s so relaxing that I’ve found myself almost falling asleep to it at times! As for the hand drawn art style, it’s one of the reasons that Cozy Grove caught my attention in the first place. The sheer amount of detail in the game from the characters to the smaller island details and everything in between is purely beautiful.

The only negative that I’ve experienced (and was able to quickly fix thanks to the official Discord server) was a few issues with my frame rate. I soon discovered that this was due to my game being installed on my SD card for my Nintendo Switch. After moving it over to the console storage I noticed a big difference and my frame rate improved immensely.

As for my overall thoughts on Cozy Grove, I can’t fault it. I look forward to playing each day and frequently find myself wondering about what is going to happen next. I feel that I have a long way to go in establishing myself in Cozy Grove properly but for the most part, I’m enjoying what I’m doing and what I’ve experienced so far. I’m definitely interested to see what Spry Fox have planned for the future of the game but for now you’ll find me fishing somewhere on Cozy Grove!

Cozy Grove is out now on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

6 thoughts on “Game Review: Cozy Grove

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