Forager, the idle game by developer studio HopFrog and publisher Humble Bundle, started out as a competitor in a jam. The game soon got picked up by a huge fanbase of over 200.000 players (Yes! 200k) who enjoyed the prototype. Inspired by games such as Stardew Valley, Minecraft, and Zelda, you start out with nothing but a pickaxe and a small island, and make your way to build your own future! Forager entered Steam in April and already received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, so I’m sure as hell ready to review this one!
- Pixel art: Let’s start with the obvious, the art in this game. You travel through a colorful world of biomes (or islands) with a cute little fellow. Simple pixelated art and fast movement make have provided great gameplay. The graphics for the dungeons and new islands you discover are also enjoyable. Each island has its own ‘thing’, like a big ass tree with your house in it, or a random rainbow on an island. The dungeons are rather basic but still fun to uncover.
- Skill tree: Something we usually don’t see in these types of games are skill trees. Forager took a different direction and implemented a skill tree with four basic skills. This way, it’s up to you which skills you deem as important, and thus upgrade first. The skill points needed to upgrade your skills are retrieved by leveling up. The leveling up is also indicated very clearly on the screen, on top of your screen. It’s actually really nice that you get a clear indication of how fast the leveling is going, etc.
- You’re in charge: It’s entirely up to you what you want to focus on. Do you enjoy farming? Go ahead! More of a capitalistic merchant kind of person? Go for it! This is quite nice since it often happens that people don’t enjoy certain parts of games. You’ll probably get engaged in all the activities a little bit, even if it’s just to get familiar with them, but after a while, you’ll find yourself focussing on certain aspects. This is a personal process, which is definitely making this game addictive to many.
- Fun to play: All in all, the game is just a fun way to pass time, without actually setting a goal in your game. You just explore, farm, craft, and so on and you could just do this as a way to relax honestly. The relaxing part seemed to be in conflict with the addictive feeling this game brings (just one more island, just one more dungeon, just one more… oops it’s three hours later). However, the simplicity, combined with a complex background, makes this game perfect for all kinds of players.
- Involvement of devs: This is a bit beside the actual game, but I’d like to mention this still. The game used to know a lot of bugs and has been in development for quite some time. The developers decided to work together closely with the community, looking at their feedback in detail. This honestly shows. With even the smallest bugs being fixed quite fast, and the upcoming idea of a multiplayer mode already in the making, the developers feel just as charming as the game itself.
- Price: Forager is definitely a great game, yet the price tag of €20 seems a little bit much sometimes. Certainly, since this is just a game without a real goal to work towards to. If you’re a fan of this genre, like me, you probably won’t really mind paying the price, but if you’re just trying out this genre, I wouldn’t really recommend this one if you haven’t got a big budget to spend.
- Dungeons: There are dungeons, yay! Dungeons are basically what a lot of people live for with these types of games. They’re surprising, interesting, and at some challenge. Or they should. The dungeons themselves are fun to go through, but the puzzles seem rather simple. And honestly, so do the enemies you encounter in the dungeons, although this seems to be a problem throughout the whole game (as you’ll soon find out when reading the ‘what’s bad’ section). It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the dungeons, because don’t get me wrong, I did! It’s just that a little more challenge would have been welcome.
- Enemies: Why are there even enemies in this game? I feel like they are there for the resources and not then to create some extra challenge. The patterns in which they move, like the green jelly thingies, are just soooo predictable, it’s not even fun anymore. The only way you’ll get hit is probably if you’re not paying attention to the game, and even then you might not get hit. It’s just so easy to either avoid or kill your enemies. At the beginning of the game, there is enemy spawns during the night. I honestly avoided killing them for three nights in a row and started killing them on the fourth night and had no problem facing any of my opponents. I could just carry on with my game as if they weren’t even there. Too bad, because I like some threatening challenge.
- Now what?: Okay so you spend the whole game grinding, and then what? Like I mentioned before, there isn’t a real goal here. So, if you’re looking to really ‘achieve’ something, you better not get involved in this game. If you’re looking for a fun way to pass your time and enjoy a game, this should be in your library. I enjoy both kinds of games, but sometimes during the game, I was thinking ‘okay, but what am I working towards here, besides buying all 49 islands’. It’s not a fun thought, BUT I have to admit it never got me to quit the game.
★ Score: 80%
Forager is a fun idle game that will surely win your heart over. Even though the game isn’t perfect and lacks in some aspects (like the simple enemies and puzzles), it’s still quite a gem. The addictive gameplay and simple yet bright and beautiful pixelated art will definitely win you over in no time. With the prospect of a multiplayer mode and active involvement of both the developer and the community, I’m sure this game will only get better and better.
Developer: HopFrog Publisher: Humble Bundle
Played on: PC
Time to beat: 15-20 hours
Perfect for: fans of Stardew Valley, Minecraft, Don’t Starve,…
Steam Game Store link: Click here
Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂