Boy, if I had a cent for every life simulation game that touted a tropical island setting and a myriad of social activities to partake in, then I’d have accrued just short of a thousand or so bucks by now. Just as well there’s another one in the pipeline, then — an animal-centric island sim that’ll look to bring the best of Animal Crossing’s wholesome aesthetics and My Time at Portia’s in-depth crafting elements, of all things. That’s Critter Cove, in a nutshell, and if what developer Gentleman Rat has been bragging about turns out to have some amount of truth behind it, then fans of the restoration-type scene are bound to be in for a good time with this one.
So, what more do we know about the so-called Critter Cove, other than its recurring themes that relate to some of the most popular life simulation games on the market? Well, here’s what we’ve been able to extract since first catching wind of it earlier this year. Critter Cove: what is it, really, and when can we expect to see it wash ashore?
What Is Critter Cove?
To put it short, Critter Cove is a life simulation game by Gentleman Rat, an indie developer based over in Las Vegas, US. In a similar vein as the acclaimed Animal Crossing: New Horizons, its premise is centred around a remote island—a world in which players must renovate and expand in order to attract new citizens and unlock better opportunities and biomes to restore. That’s all bread and butter material, and quite frankly, a blueprint that we’ve grown somewhat accustomed to these past however many years. It’s similarities are so on point, in fact, that even the devs have described it as being “Animal Crossing on the high seas.”
“Dive into the world of Critter Cove, a life simulation game where you rebuild an island town alongside a huge cast of charming townsfolk,” Gentleman Rat adds. “Set sail and explore a vibrant and mysterious archipelago. Discover relics, craft items, and make new friends. Your new life in this cozy island paradise awaits!”
Going by the blurb that was posted by Gentleman Rat earlier this year, Critter Cove will centre its journey around, well, Critter Cove — an idyllic realm that’s just about reached its tipping point. As a new arrival on the once-loved tropical island, you will have to rebuild from the sandy shores up, using all in your power to restore the heart of the cove and establish a sense of community among its newfound residents. As for how you go about threading it all together is another question — and one that only you, the ever so sprightly overseer, will be able to answer.
It’s a life simulation game at heart, so expect plenty of wholesome encounters with the inhabitants of Critter Cove to help progress the narrative. There’ll also be an extensive crafting system that’ll let you build, renovate, and design your own landmarks in any way you see fit. Add the fact that there’ll also be copious amounts of quests, activities, and challenges to partake in, and what you’ve essentially got is an ocean-packed city-building sim with all the same bells and whistles as any popular alternative on the current market.
“Employ your engineering skills to improve the town, bringing back shops and community spaces,” the blurb adds. “If the Caring Community Commission approves, you’ll lift Critter Cove through the ranks, unlocking new buildings to renovate, new items to craft, and new features to enrich your town!”
“Embark on an adventure to far flung islands, or relax and spend the afternoon fishing,” the description continues. “Take on quests and crafting orders from the locals, or decorate your house exactly how you want – it’s up to you!”
As it’ll also be an open world game with several biomes to explore, you can also expect to set sail in a vessel of your own design, too. So, if you’re after something that’ll keep the hours of play racked up, then say hello to your new home away from home.
Krillbite Studio first lifted the veil on Critter Cove a little over a month ago, at which point it shared with its fans a short teaser outlining some of the key features and its advanced crafting mechanics. Going by what the team posted, we can expect to see the game go live in its Early Access state on PC before the end of 2023. A release date for the console ports has yet to be announced.
The good news is, Gentleman Rat did actually post a sneak preview of Critter Cove earlier this year over on its social and steaming channels. Interested in catching a glimpse of what’s to come? You can check out the most recent trailer of the game above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Critter Cove will be launching on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam at some point in the latter half of 2023. In addition to its console launch, it’ll also be gearing up for an Early Access release on Steam, which you can sign up for here.
While we can’t say for sure when the console versions will be available, we can say for certain that PC users will be the first to taste the nectar, so to speak. According to the devs, it’ll be arriving on Steam first, and will eventually come to all other platforms at a “later unspecified date.” So, if you’re looking to get first dibs on it, then be sure to register your interest over on Steam today.
If, by chance, Critter Cove has just about caught your attention, then why not check in with Krillbite Studio over on its social handle for all the latest updates here? While we don’t know when exactly it’ll launch, we’ll be sure to let you know just as soon as the penny drops right here on gaming.net.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Critter Cove when it releases on consoles and PC? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.