LifeisXbox’s Fantasy Friends review | When I received a review code for Fantasy Friends, a game by developer Just For Games, I was initially excited. A cute little game with various pets to take care of? In a colourful world? I mean, I’ve always been a fan of taking care of pets both in the online and offline world, so what could be better than this game? Unfortunately, I quickly figured out that this game is not tailored to my age, but rather to younger kids. Fantasy Friends reminds of the popular 90’s game Tamagotchi but also brings back memories of my time with Nintendogs on the Nintendo DS. I got a bit nostalgic, even if it lasted only for a little while.
We played Fantasy Friends for 3 hours on the Nintendo Switch. This game is also available on Steam and PlayStation.
What we liked!
- Creatures | You’ll be hatching and taking care of a total of 12 cute little creatures, including a hedgehog, a unicorn, and a panda. The creatures are all very cute and you kind of start to love them since you’re looking after all of them. Each of these animals has its own adjusted house. The hedgehog lives in a mushroom, the dragon/dino lives in a big cool, yet cute, looking egg, and the monkey lives in some sort of treehouse. All your animals will start as babies, and after a while, they’ll grow up so you can start playing with them. Because you can choose their names, you feel more connected to them.
- Gameplay | The gameplay is quite straightforward: you breed animals, keep the eggs warm, and after they’re hatched, you take care of them… forever? At first, you can feed your baby pets with a bottle, give them love by rubbing their bellies, combing them, and washing them. When they grow up or evolve, it gets a little more ‘complicated’ since you’ll need to make their food and you’ll also get a chance to play with your pets. A little indicator above their houses will show if their stats are low, so you’ll know when to give someone food, or give them some love. By doing all of this, you gain mana, which is quite important, but I’ll tell you all about this in the next bullet point! Besides this, the gameplay doesn’t have a lot to it. Sometimes a notification will pop up saying a treasure is buried somewhere in the forest, four piles of dirt will appear, and you just click them until you find the treasure, which is always the same: 500 mana. Animals can also get sick, but that’s solved quite easily as well by giving them some medicine, which you just happen to have at all times. Besides this, houses might get dirty so you’ll have to clean them, and weeds might start growing so you’ll have to take care of those as well. The gameplay is very, very simplistic, and most of the time you’re just waiting around until your pets need to be taken care of. I do believe this game is aimed at children, and not at people my age at all.
- Mana | Mana is very important in Fantasy Friends. You’ll need mana to buy new eggs (you cannot get more than 12 pets), customizations, and decorations. You’ll earn this critical currency by keeping your eggs warm, taking care of your pets, and finding a treasure chest occasionally. However, in the beginning, it’s rather difficult to gain mana, and you might get a little frustrated because getting enough mana goes so very slow.
- Customizations | In your main house, you can buy customizations for your pets. This way, your animals can get different skins, which is a fun addition. You can create the animals according to your own style. After an animal is grown up, they get their own item store and wardrobe. This way you can further customize your beloved pets. Why not buy your koala a cute little hat or some cool glasses? In this little store, you can also purchase various items that you can use to take care of your pet: brushes, sponges, and items to play with. Buying a heart-shaped sponge to use instead of your boring-looking starter sponge is very charming, but it doesn’t really have any other purpose besides looking cuter? The ‘upgrades’ or new items you can buy feel pretty useless this way. You can also buy decorations to make the forest look a little more… childish, I want to say. There are several stars painted on the grass, and on every star, you can place an item, which of course, you’ll have to buy first with your mana. Decorations include giant ice cream, a pink cloud, flowers, a frog, and a book.
What we disliked
- Bugs | I encountered bugs a few times when playing Fantasy Friends. The first time was when I tried playing with my cat. I threw the ball, she went to go get it, got back to me, and that was it. I could not do anything anymore. I had to force quit the game and thus lose progress, in order to get it to work again. This particular bug happened a lot, and not only with my cat. So, every time a pet needed some playtime, I was already dreading going to the play area because I knew I had a big chance of getting bugs. Besides this, I experienced some glitches when I was petting my pets. You use a little hand to pet them and rub their bellies, but the hand often disappeared into the animal, which doesn’t really happen in real life when I’m petting my dogs, you know.
- Repetitive | You’re basically doing the same things again and again. I don’t really feel like Fantasy Friends is very rewarding and everything felt repetitive quite fast, definitely after I hatched all eggs and had every animal living in their little houses.
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂