Forager - wow, I'm addicted.

Forager - wow, I'm addicted.


Forager is an absurdly addicting game where you start with building a small base on a tiny island, gather resources, and buy neighboring lands to expand your manufacturing empire. 

I have the game on Steam and I couldn't turn away after several hours of playthrough as there are apparently other things that adults must do. Ugh. Responsibilities!

PROS:

CONS:

It's easy to pick up, but difficult to put down! (top)

Forager is easy to grasp: the player goes around mining rocks, chopping trees, harvesting resources in order to build structures to craft more items. Expanding is imminent and thus you're set. There's no need for a tutorial as pressing each key taught me what it does. And once I got into building my structures, I knew I was hooked. Forager is easy to pick up, but difficult to put down. So I rubbed my hands and went to work.

Premise looks promising. (top)

Resources spawn in random places. The game also seems to know what resources I lack, so I don't have to grind for what I immediately need. Players can get hungry, but hunger is not an issue at all -- berries are abundant, trees drop oranges, and fish traps can be quickly set at the onset. Forager simply encourages the player to build, explore, and expand -- to uncover the story behind the game.

What's interesting is that it has other modes of play and more content in development. Thus I haven't even scratched the surface. 

Build and Battle (top)

The player isn't pressured to upgrading their tools, but I knew that an upgraded axe or weapon would be nice. Enemies would spawn at a certain level and battles are simple. I would carefully approach each enemy and pound them from a safe distance. The enemies also would attack my structures occasionally, so in addition to drops, I had to ensure that my land is safe. Seeing those healthbars on my buildings (meaning they're damaged) is annoying. It's brilliant how these elements come together as simple as it is: I need to build and expand my base, but to do that I need resources and make sure that my land is safe.

Mighty Portable (top)

It's the perfect game to play on the Nintendo Switch. So even though I have it on Steam, I bought it for my Switch as well. And it's worth it -- so worth it. Forager is the perfect game for my busy schedule, as playing during my break would be enough to significantly make a progress in the game. The grind for resources is rewarding as I witness how my empire would slowly grow, one island at a time. There are also decorations available, so the game is pretty much a canvas for those players eager to show off their base on the Internet. A little bit of time, whatever time invested into it, is enough. And the player doesn't get any penalty at all if they miss a day or two. It's a not a chore to play the game -- which is how a game should be.

It seems we're having white meat tonight.

There's a beet that follows me around. It's a kawaii petto.

More free content coming up (top)

The developer, HopFrog, unveiled its roadmap in the game and the future content looks good. This a positive for replay-ability and investment into the game whether timewise or moneywise. More content is always good for a game. Modding is also supported!

One pet per play (top)

For the cons! 

A Beet spawned as my first companion, which is the most unique pet in the game I'd say. I was hoping I could spawn another pet since I can command my Beet to stay or follow. So I can imagine letting one pet stay on one island and have the other follow. Perhaps a mod would fulfill this wish. Knowing how vigilant the modding community is, maybe it's just a matter of time.

Pets don't do much, but it's quite lonely frolicking around by myself. Pets gather nearby dropped resources and they teleport to the player if they get stuck. It makes sense, because the pets are simply playing fetch. And game pets always teleport - as a feature. If they don't teleport, it's a bug.

Love that Beet.

No Multiplayer (top)

There's no multiplayer (yet) as of writing this article, however the multiplayer aspect is mentioned on the roadmap. Let me say that multiplayer is definitely NOT a big con as the game's main point is YOU. Forager's charm is its encouragement for the player to pursue of building their own dream island at their own pace and on their own schedule. I actually feel that this game should be singleplayer, but folks can become foragers together right?

Hold one key for most of the time (top)

Mining, harvesting, and gathering resources would have me hold the Y button on the Switch. Since controls are simple, it's a lot of button holding. Upgrading those tools make resource acquisition easier and faster. But holding that key is how it is to extract most resources. Doing this repeatedly is the grind.

FPS Bug on PC? (top)

I did encounter one issue while running the game on my desktop. On my first try, the fps seemed limited to 30fps which significantly slowed down every movement in the game. I felt that the game was semi-unplayable. I checked the video settings in the game and I can't find any option pointing to v-sync or fps. The game should run without a problem on my i7-7700k, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce 1070x2. I thought it may have to do with the NVIDIA driver itself, so I tried checking to see if I could force the game to run at 60fps through the NVIDIA Control Panel and Voila! IT WORKED! Just check out my screenshots.

It's coming along just fine.

Conclusion

Forager is a fun game. I absolutely love how it playfully pushes players to build and expand their base. I don't have to be worried about the incidental 'hunger', and it seems that the game itself is aware of what resources the player needs. The player isn't pressured to grind in order to fulfill upgrades, so it feels like I'm playing a game -- not doing a chore. While there is the lack of multiplayer, Forager has been introduced as a singleplayer experience. The graphics has its own charm and controls are simple. Forager is an addicting game which can be played at any pace as progress is achieved one way or the other. I recommend playing Forage and give it a very POSITIVE feedback, a 5/5.
THE HARVEST GAMER
Sam1, a portmanteau for someone, is an aspiring novelist in the romance, comedy, and horror genre. He is a university graduate with a degree in Business Administration and Applied Computer Science. He is an indie game-developer on itch.io and also an avid gamer. He currently works as an Exams and Adaptive Technology Coordinator.

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