Review | Cozy Grove

LifeisXbox’s Cozy Grove review | Welcome to Cozy Grove, a life-sim game about camping on a haunted, ever-changing island. If you are a fan of games like Animal Crossing, and you are looking for something new, then Cozy Grove might be your new go-to game. In Cozy Grove, a game by SpryFox, you play as a Spirit Scout. You are sent to a seemingly empty island. Except it’s not. There used to be a bunch fo inhabitants and all that’s left now are their ghosts. It’s up to you to scout the island on a daily basis, fulfil quests of the local ghosts, and hopefully bring them some peace.

We played Cozy Grove for 10 hours on PC. This game is also available on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and iOs devices.

What we liked!

  • Gameplay | Cozy Grove is played in real time. If you start playing at 8 pm in the evening, it will also be 8 pm in the game. The game is thus meant to be played for a little while on a daily basis over a long period of time. For me personally, it was about 30 minutes to an hour a day. You’ll spend your time getting quests from the local ghosts, meaning you’ll have to search for a bunch of stuff, craft new items and bring it to them. At some point, your work for the day may be done, and you’ll have to come back tomorrow for new tasks etc. You can, of course, always catch fish, dig up piles, or look around for as long as you want. Resources do run out eventually, so you won’t be playing for hours a day. I honesty had a hard time quitting Cozy Grove every time my daily to do’s were over.
  • Island spirits | Following the spirits their journey is actually quite intriguing as well. Every time you help them with a task, their story advances a little, and you get to know more about them. Your ultimate goal is, of course, to help them move on. In order to move on, you have to help them come to terms with something that happend in their past. Some might not be too eager to tell you about it at first, but with time and patience, all will fall into place. The various stories and characters have a way of sucking you in, making leaving the island always a little bit harder!
  • Customisations | When you begin playing Cozy Grove, you get to create your own little character. There are only a few customisations available (skin color, eye color and hair color and style), but they suffice. Definitely because the hair styles have fun on them: emo hair that ‘makes you look cool’ or medium dreads where ‘the envy from the other scouts is palpable’. Cozy Grove managed to start off on a funny note and I can definitely appreciate that. Throughout the game, you can also buy new clothes and change your look at any time. Mr. Kit sells new items every day, so if you don’t find something that appeals to you in the beginning, not to worry, just come back tomorrow! You can also decorate your little island with various items, and each one is as cute as the next!
  • Achievements | I’m not always the biggest fan of achievements, but Cozy Grove found a way to make me excited about them! There are quite some Steam achievements, but there are also ‘achievements’ in-game, but they are actually called badges, since you’re a scout afterall! And these are quite interesting, since these award you coins or other valuable items. This made the achievements/badges feel way more interesting and useful.
  • Graphics | Cozy Grove has beautiful hand-drawn graphics. It’s an absolute pleasure to walk around on the island and to just admire the artstyle. And here’s the fun part: the island ‘comes alive’ when you help a spirit in need. Wait, what? Yeah, I know! As you can see by the screenshots in this review, sometimes everything looks bleak, doesn’t it? Well, if you help a ghost with their quest, everything will be coloured in, and the part surrounding the spirit will feel more alive. It’s a very cute way of showing that you’re really helping these wanderers on the island, and I absolutely loved it.
  • Sound | Cozy Grove is a very relaxing game to play, that’s for sure. Now, a game like this requires, in my humble opinion, a relaxing soundtrack as well. This is yet something else that Cozy Grove did perfectly. The music in the background is so, so very soothing, it’s simply amazing. It contributes perfectly to the calm atmosphere that Cozy Grove already creates with its gameplay. I’m usually a big fan of voice acting, and even though hearing everyone talk would be a lot of fun, I didn’t miss voices at any point during the game. The only voice acting you’ll hear is some rumbling sounds coming out of the spirits their mouths when they’re talking, and it’s enough.
  • Automatic saving | I’m so glad I could just start and quit this game super easily. You never, ever have to save your progress yourself. You can close the game at any time, it’ll quickly save everything you did and the next time you open it, you just continues from where you left off.
  • Hints | When receiving a task from a spirit, you’ll get a little guidance as to where to look for a certain item. For example it may say ‘I saw this near three skulls’. Knowing there are a few places that have three skulls on sticks, you are a little wiser as to where to go looking. The island is actually rather small, but finding certain items can still prove to be more difficult than expected. If you’re still stuck, or you’re just feeling rushed because you don’t have a lot of time to play a on a certain day, then you can always go to Charlotte and ask for help. For a mere 100 coins, she’ll show you where the next hidden object is. However, if you have multiple quests running, you don’t get to choose which one she’ll help you with though! Can’t make things too easy, now, can we!

Somewhere between

  • Still missing | There is nothing major missing in Cozy Grove. I never really had a problem with anything (besides some bugs that I mention in the section below) and got a smooth gaming experience. However, some extra features might be welcome in the future. For example, crafting items has to happen one by one, instead of being able to craft, for example, 5 pieces of a specific item at once.

What we disliked

  • Minor bugs | I encountered some small bugs while playing Cozy Grove. For example, at one point everything on my screen disappeared. My inventory, my quests, my coins, everything was simply gone. The escape button didn’t seem to work either, so I had no choice but to force quit the game. Luckily there is automatic saving, because I would have been less amused if I lost my progress. I also had a bird who asked for a specific food, but the image of that food was glitching so it was hard to see what the bird really wanted. All in all, the bugs were kept to a minimum. I did read on the Discord server that the mobile version of Cozy Grove had a lot more bugs, so be aware of this if you’re considering playing it on your phone.

CONCLUSION

88%

I remember when Animal Crossing: New Horizons released a year ago and how obsessed I got with playing it. Now that Cozy Grove exists, I just know it’s going to be the same all over again. Cozy Grove is such an exciting experience that guarantees hours of fun spreading over a long period of time. It’s definitely an amazing game for a small price!
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