Are you looking for a new farming sim that maintains fan-favorite elements of the cozy farming sim genre while adding a new twist, specifically magic? Let’s head straight into our Fae Farm review to showcase one of the latest farming-sim releases. In terms of gameplay, music, story, and characters, Fae Farm has a lot to offer, and it’s well worth checking out for fans of the genre.
In Fae Farm, you set off on an adventure to find a magical island and, despite your ship sinking, you actually manage to reach your destination. The island gives off a striking first impression as everything appears to be thriving there. Even the whirlpools that surround the island fit with the overall ambience, and there’s nothing to fault with how the game sets out its worldbuilding.
Fae Farm starts as you’d expect; you’re given a house, a set of tools, and a vast world to explore. There are trees to cut, ores to mine, crops to farm, and animals to take care of. While the early game is very standard and by-the-book, you progress through it fairly quickly. This is because you’re primarily just following a story, as shown in your quest log.
You’re free to explore and do activities on your own, but the main story quest serves as your indicator of what to do next. One helpful feature in the early game is that you don’t have to switch between your main tools (sickle, shovel, pickaxe, and axe). Simply interact with the item in front of you and depending on whether it’s a tree, rock, grass patch, or pile of dirt, your character will automatically select the right tool. It’s refreshing in its simplicity.
However, there seems to be less focus on farming and animal husbandry and the products only sell for a low price at the market – significantly lower than mining materials. Combined with the fact that animals need constant attention (petting, feeding, brushing, and fresh air), it means some parts of the early game feel more like a mandatory chore than a rewarding task. Especially since the petting/brushing indicator would sometimes take a few extra seconds to show up, I had to spend a big part of my day trying to find and pet all animals.
As you progress further, the twist that makes this game stand out becomes more apparent: magic. There are various magic elements on the island, including evil thorns, unique creatures, potions, and various abilities. Thus, while it keeps the classic and fan-favorite elements that made Stardew Valley shine, it includes some new additions, similar to Wylde Flowers.
This helps add some interesting twists to the game, especially in the late-game experience when unlocking new areas and materials. There are various unexpected elements in the story and gameplay to keep you engaged while you wait to see what’s coming next, so Fae Farm manages to keep you engaged throughout.
However, magic elements are fairly limited, and other than some magic here and there, the game does little to stand out from the classic farming-sim formula. While that’s not necessarily bad, Fae Farm doesn’t stray too far from other similar games. If you’re not invested in the story, this can make the game feel repetitive and more of a remaster than an original game with new content.
In terms of graphics and performance, Fae Farm does an amazing job. It runs smoothly without FPS drops and the graphics are simply stunning for the kind of game it is. NPCs and characters feel unique, and the world is vast, cozy, and colorful.
As for music, the soundtrack manages to fit the mood appropriately. The music is spot on with slower and sadder tunes during rainy days, cheerful notes on sunny mornings, and intense, fast-paced tracks during combat.
One of the best parts of Fae Farm – and something that wasn’t added to genre-king Stardew Valley for a long time – is that it launches with multiplayer. Up to four players can work together on a farm and progress the game significantly faster. Considering that most farming sims didn’t have multiplayer at launch, the co-op feature is a big plus for Fae Farm.
While there aren’t many bugs in general gameplay, during my Fae Farm review I had to deal with one game-breaking bug that caused my fishing rod and staff to disappear. This made it impossible to progress certain story quests or explore the mines and there was no way to fix it other than restarting my save file.
The developers are working hard on quick updates, so this should be fixed by the time you play it, but it’s something to be aware of, and it would be unethical of us not to mention it.
Overall, Fae Farm is a solid addition to the farming-sim genre that looks amazing but doesn’t manage to stand out much in terms of gameplay and quality-of-life content. If you’re looking for a contender to Stardew Valley with better graphics and a bigger focus on the story, Fae Farm is definitely one of many games you could try out.
Fae Farm: A cozy farming sim with great graphics, gameplay, and worldbuilding, but it doesn't stand out much from other similar games and feels more like a remaster than an original game in places. – Harry Mourtzanakis