An island full of dead bears doesn’t seem like a cozy place, but it often does. I spent some time with Cozy Grove Today, Animal Crossing-ish life-sim is where you play scout camping on an island where a horrific bear massacre occurred sometime in the past. (This isn’t Sharia or anything, but I suppose it was a massacre because the island is home to an amazing number of ghost bears.)
I don’t understand all the details yet, but the Ghosts (yet) are very friendly and optimistic considering they are dead, and they definitely keep me busy with tasks and chores. While the ghost bears help with their needs, which usually includes finding some missing items on the small, crowded island, they will become happier and the island around them will get hotter, encouraging more ghosts to appear.
There is a flying bear (not owls) that acts as a ship’s captain, and wants some extra feathers to help it keep warm. The postman bear wants to find and return some parcels, which will lead to the opening of a post office on the island. Another ghost bear can help you crafting items and one can offer hints if you are having trouble finding hidden items in the world.
To help you as you explore and search for lost items, dig up objects with a small shovel, dig through leaf piles, shake trees to take out fruit, and cook items in conscious camp fires to create new resources. Everything is totally cool, and the soothing soundtrack makes for a more relaxing experience.
My favorite thing about Cozy Grove is that I finally meet a video game dealer who pays good money for things. In RPG, I get used to cooking a batch of foods and bringing them to the seller, and I say to them, “Wow, that’s two gold.” But I took some cooked veggies to the dealer in Cozy Grove – it’s not a dead bear but a live fox with a mouse sitting on its head, although it must be part of the bear because it’s huge – and he gave me nearly 2,000 coins to them. Thanks, colossal fox! You are officially the best dealer in a game ever.
Besides bringing items to the ghosts, you can earn coins by selling your items to the merchant and buying items like new clothes, scarves and hats, and you can work on improving your campsite, which starts out as a mere bed but can be upgraded to a tent and then a cabin. But progress isn’t something you can just sit there and grind.
As Rachel noted in her preview, Cozy Grove is executed in real time and there are some tasks that cannot be completed in one session. For example, a modern campfire loved eating in ghost logs (those logs are also ghosts, seriously, what the hell happened on this island?) That I was given when I help a dead bear with some quests. Campfire asked for six records, and I have five, but I can’t get the final spectral record until tomorrow, like it does on the actual tomorrow. There are still activities like hunting, gathering, and cooking that I can do, but I can’t sit there to grind up the little Cozy Grove without coming back another day.
Maybe that’s okay in the end? As much as we love setting aside games for hours at a time, it can be a good (and probably healthier) game to play a game for half an hour or so and then check back in the next day for another short session. According to the developer, there are over 40 hours of Cozy Grove, and in mini-sessions “designed to span months of playtime.”
Not sure Cozy Grove is totally jam, but it’s super cute and if you’re looking for an Animal Crossing style game for PC this is a game you should keep in mind. It is available now steam And the The epic store.