It’s time to start a new life. Building a new life can be hard but the effort will be worth it. Staxel is your own personal paradise; create a character, build a home, farm crops to sell at the local market and earn the respect of the townsfolk by completing their requests. As you grow your relationships and make new friends, you’ll unlock new luxuries that will allow you the  ability to expand your land and subsequently, your creativity.

The Good

After you’ve named your new kingdom, you can choose whether or not you want to play in standard mode, meaning shop items cost actual in-game currency to buy. Or, you can play in creative mode which allows you the complete freedom to build wherever you want, get any item you need for free and having the extra benefit of flight and ability to destroy almost

anything with your shovel. This choice really depends on what you’re looking to get out of Staxel; either you’ll want to play as the developers intended by earning a living through selling crops that are grown at your farm and build up your establishment one brick at a time - or you can forget all that and just do what you want without any needlessly wandering or work. The choice is yours!

After you’ve chosen your desired mode, you can then create a character from three different species: Caith, Elf and Human. Then, you’ll pick your gender: boy, girl, stances which there are two, skin colour, hair style and eyes, some clothing options.

Once you’ve finished customising, you’ll meet a girl called Farm Fan who gives you a brief overview and a few quests to complete in order to learn the basics before she leaves you to your own devices. While learning the mechanics, I did run into a few problems, mainly how to construct a barn (but more on that later). Starting off slowly, you’ll learn how to grow crops and sell them at the market which will allow you to fix-up your old rundown farm and start making decisions to build and expand it. You’ll fix windows, dabble in interior design (which I just love in these types of games), buy seeds and plant and water them every day until they grow big and strong. These crops, as is the case for most farming simulators, can be sold for money in order to expand your farm. As you grow better crops, you’ll earn more cash and start being able to buy more luxury items from shops and markets in town.

There’s also a day-night cycle, a friendship system and completing requests for townsfolk will earn you better relationships, rewards with different characters. Plus, you even play online with others - how cool is that!

TL;DR

  • Standard & creative modes
  • Classic farming sim fun
  • A fun story
  • Online play

The Bad

While Staxel leaves you to discover at your own pace, it can be a double-edged sword as things can be a little difficult to grasp to begin with. I know that this is a typical trait but there’s a lot left unexplained at the beginning apart from a brief overview and I found that my first few minutes was me just stumbling about attempting to grasp how things worked. My biggest issue came when I was first trying to build a barn; the game did not make it clear on how to do this properly and I spent far too much time trying to figure it out. This could have been easily fixed by a simple video tutorial or more detailed descriptions.

TL;DR

  • Lack of detailed tutorials.

Final Score: 8/10

Like other games in the farming simulator genre, Staxel allows you to use your creativity to explore, farm and build your own farming community; it will consume your time with even the most mundane of tasks. The draw is to improve your homestead, care for your animals and forge new friendships with the townsfolk. Staxel may have stumbled a few times with its mechanic tutorials but I’d advise to be persistent with it as you’ll find a game that is fun to relax with over a weekend free of real-world stresses.

Thank you for checking out our Staxel switch review, thank you to Plukit for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

For more reading, check out our review of Lone McLonegan: A Western Adventure.