Cozy Grove - Switch Review (Video)
"Cozy Grove doesn't ask much of the player; it just wants you to stop by for a half hour a day to say hi, help a buddy out and perhaps catch a fish or two before you go."
Welcome to Cozy Grove, a peaceful island filled with nature, a campfire and, uhh... ghosts, of all things. As a Spirit Scout, you'll tend to the needs of the ghosts that continue to inhabit the island. Craft new items with the materials you find and advance the story day-by-day in a game designed to be played in short bursts.
If you're not in the mood to read, you could always watch our video review below...
Cozy Grove is made to be a relaxing time; it doesn't require quick reflexes nor does it demand too much of your attention. The aim of the game is to keep the peace (so to speak) by tending to the ghost inhabitants on the island. Their requests tend to revolve around exploring the island and gathering specific resources (branches, mushrooms, etc.) and yet, these requests will grow increasingly challenging once you're able to craft and purchase new items.
Upon completing requests, you'll earn Spirit Logs which you can then throw onto the elegantly named, sentient campfire Flamey. Doing so will increase Flamey's reach to reveal more of the land, which then reveals more ghosts for you to fulfill their requests (and so the cycle continues). The unique side to this is that Cozy Grove encourages playing in moderation as you can only collect so many Spirit Logs per day - and when I say 'per day', I mean real world days. Cozy Grove is designed to be played for 30-60 minutes each day, allowing for the game's entirety to be completed within a couple months; media outlets were only given codes a couple weeks early so it's safe to say that I've only experienced a fraction of this game's content, but the general consensus is that the game aims to be an experience that the player accompanies and grows alongside.
This game's biggest shortcomings are its technical issues and quality of life clunkiness. For such a simplistic presentation, I was suprised to see not only consistent frame rate dips but also, long loading times and jarring draw distances. These issues don't cause as much damage to the experience as it could have considering it's not exactly a fast-paced action game by any means, but it reduces the quality of its presentation substancially. In addition, navigating menus and knowing when you're in reaching distance of something (or someone) to interact with is cumbersome. Placing objects down on the ground is awkward and it took me quite a number of attempts to realise that when doing this, the object will be placed directly around you, meaning that you are in the centre of where it will be placed. Logic would dictate that it'd be placed in front of the character, just like in most life simulation games, but this made decorating my campsite to be a much more tedious process than what it would have needed to be.