I’ll be honest, I had only just about finished sowing my final seed at Sandrock when I received the invitation to uproot and cart over to review Fae Farm. Needless to say that, me being the cultivation-loving green thumb that I am, it didn’t take much to scoot my shovel and gloves along to the next plot of land and start anew. And yet, in spite of everything, I still didn’t really know what to expect from the winged creatures and the whimsical world of Azoria — other than the fact it’d foster an archipelago of crops, dungeons, and, well, fairies. But boy, that was certainly enough to get me rolling and onto the next boat ride over.
At its core, Fae Farm bears all the same familiar seals that we’ve seen countless times before: gardening, fishing, bug collecting, and a whole lot of organic camaraderie between wholehearted folks in a tropical paradise for a home. Oh yeah, we’ve seen it all before — but did this stop me from wanting to experience it all over again from a different perspective? Not even in the slightest, no.
Having spent dozens of hours pouring heart and soul into the soils of Azoria and plucking it dry of all its content, I can just about say that I’ve “mastered” all of the tricks of the trade. Or at least, I’ve hacked through just enough to consider myself a faithful prospect, anyway. But let’s take a few steps back — to the first few hours within the confines of Azoria and its fruity biomes.
Welcome to Azoria
Before we go ahead and knuckle in on all the intricacies that Fae Farm employs by the boatload, we’ll go ahead and set the scene. What is Fae Farm, really, and how exactly does it compare to other farming and life simulation games of its kind? Right, so in case you skipped out on the initial announcement trailer that aired a little over a year ago, Fae Farm is a life and farming simulation game (shock horror) in which you take on the role of a fledgling farmhand bound for the fairytale world of Azoria. It is here, as one of the world’s budding adventurers, that you must forge your own legacy, develop everlasting friendships, and even find true love for the sake of having someone to relay your troubles with.
To put it out there — Fae Farm is an enormous game, to the point of it having thrice as many UI menus and extracurricular activities than I initially anticipated. And when I say activities, I’m not only referring to harvesting the daily cream of the crop or tipping a hat to the odd neighbor, but battling through dungeons, mining for ores, and tackling thousands of fetch quests and puzzles for like-minded community members. Add the fact that there’s also the case of having to find someone to wed, as well as an entire home to furnish and maintain — and you could say that, as a game, there’s plenty of bang for your buck right there on the slate. And boy, you'd be right.
Fortunately, there isn’t any form of impending doom that hangs on the horizon in Fae Farm, so you needn’t worry about reaching some sort of milestone before the clock strikes midnight, or anything like that. But if not a looming threat — then what?
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
Contrary to popular belief, the point of Fae Farm isn’t to cultivate a plot of land. Well, it is, but that’s about 30% of it, weirdly enough. In addition to building your own home and crafting decorations and what have you, you’re also tasked with plowing through several layered dungeons around the biomes of Azoria. This isn’t an overnight ordeal, though, as each dungeon actually takes several attempts—all of which involve having to make use of new or upgraded tools, materials, and equipment. Surprise surprise, the only way to secure said equipment is to bond with the locals and complete quests for them. Cue the forty-hour montage!
Of course, there is a story to follow in Fae Farm, so there’s always a sense of purpose in everything you do — if only slightly. That said, at no point are you forced to follow the guidelines and go from A to B; you can do that in your own time, and essentially divide your spare hours into activities of your own choosing. As it turns out, though, there is so much to do in Azoria, that it’s practically impossible to just have a lazy day and leave the duties until the next. Annoyingly, there’s always a seed to sow, flower to pick, or couple of bucks to accrue — and that pattern sticks like glue from the moment you first plant roots, to the second you depart the realm of Azoria.
Sure enough, there’s never really a dull moment in Fae Farm, as the world itself is pleasantly charming and crammed full of color. And while its NPCs are a little drab and motionless, the streets and boroughs around them are nearly always bursting with life and vigor. And so, from an artistic point of view, I can’t really fault it.
But Where’s the Energy?
Don’t get me wrong, the characters in Fae Farm look fantastic, and immediately bring me right back to those My Sims days. Having said all that, the residents of Azoria aren’t quite as bubbly as those tucked firmly away in the double decade-old entry; if anything, they’re actually rather dull and purposeless. Even your chosen spouse—the pride and joy of your life—is about as energetic as a microfiber cloth, and often relays all of the same dialogue back to you, regardless of what you’ve done for them in the past.
Sure enough, there are a lot of people to befriend, and an absolute truckload of quests to undertake for each of them. Unfortunately, though, much of the actual dialogue is whittled down into short replies and lazy reactions. Due to this, I for one found it difficult trying to win over the entire crowd — not because they didn’t like me, but because, you know — I didn’t like the fact that they had nothing more to say.
Meeting the neighboring characters is one thing, sure, but then there’s also the case of finding a partner. These side quests, as simple as they are, don’t add a great deal to the overall plot, though completing them does give you an additional tick for your checklist. For the most part, though, you can go about your day and not pursue the idea of finding love. It’ll also save you a whopping 10,000 in cash, too. And folks say you can’t put a price on love. Pfft — tell that to my bank account and the cardboard cutout spouse that meanders around doing absolutely nothing whatsoever.
When all’s said and done, there’s a reason why you chose to brush up on the details surrounding Fae Farm: you have an undying love for quirky farming simulation games. And that’s good, truly, because peel back all of the winged layers, and Fae Farm is actually one of the quirkiest, cutest, and most wholesome of its kind. And yeah, it’s a little densely packed compared to other roomier open world farming sims, but at the same time, it’s also enough to give just about any die-hard completionist a run for their money.
What’s good about Fae Farm is its durability; it’s drawn-out and fleshy enough to keep the vast majority of thirsty farmhands clocking hours for weeks, months, and perhaps even years. At just thirty or so hours, I was able to chomp through the breadth of the story, and yet for the life of me I still couldn’t predict what the conclusion would be, let alone when it would even take place. Was this a good thing? In parts, maybe, although to be honest I wasn’t quite expecting to dive into a behemoth-sized RPG with a quadrillion or more elements to wrap my head around.
Fae Farm is a lot of things, that much is true. But at its heart, it’s an enchanting experience that’s both beautifully designed and widely accessible—two key ingredients that make up just about every award-winning simulation game ever made. Sure its NPCs are a little wooden and a lot of the talk is cheap, but as far as gameplay goes, Fae Farm hits the nail on the head surprisingly well. Bottom line is, if you’re after a quality farming sim with a dozen or more beating hearts to boot — then you’ll be pretty happy with this one.
Fae Farm Review (Switch & PC)
A Plot Worth Cultivating
Fae Farm is a worthy adversary to just about every quirky farming simulation game on the market, and is arguably one of the bulkiest, most enchantingly magical of its kind, too. Sure, its characters could do with a slight tweak or two, but for the most part, Fae Farm is an excellent choice for those looking to sink their teeth into something utterly wonderful and durable.