Winging It

HIGH So many things to do!  

LOW So many things to do…  

WTF I spent like 20 hours on this game, where are my wings?!

If Animal CrossingHarvest Moon, and Stardew Valley had a baby and strapped fairy wings onto its back, Fae Farm would be the resulting creation. Developed by Phoenix Labs, Fae Farm is a farm life sim with a fantastical twist. Its charming characters, multitude of activities and quests, and whimsical aesthetic make for a pleasant experience, but its striking similarities to others in the genre left me a bit disappointed. 

Fae Farm is a farm life simulator with an RPG flair. Players are not only responsible for cultivating a thriving homestead, but they must also interact and cultivate relationships with the townspeople. 

What initially drew me into Fae Farm was the sheer adorableness — one of its most endearing qualities. The characters are very cute, and I loved taking the time to get to know them. I fostered as many relationships as possible, and the dopamine rush I experienced when an acquaintanceship developed into a friendship was palpable. I spent a lot of time running errands and dungeon crawling in order to become friends with Cleo, the resident island travel extraordinaire. Time consuming? Maybe. Worth it? Probably not. 

I also found Fae Farm’s temporal structure comforting. Like most titles of this kind, the timeline is divided up by seasons, and because this is, first and foremost, a farming sim, players are responsible for raising and caring for livestock while growing and harvesting seasonal crops, all of which are constantly changing.  It typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete one day, and necessary farm work is pretty straightforward and quick. However, players must also complete quests for eccentric townspeople, explore dungeons that lie just outside the magical town of Azoria, and potentially find and marry their special someone, all of which encompass Fae Farm‘s most time-consuming activities. Players can also invite friends to their world in multiplayer mode should they choose to do so. 

I must admit that I found myself a bit overwhelmed by Fae Farm’s expansiveness. It took me a while to get into the swing of things, and the initial quests took quite a bit of time for me to get through. The laundry list of things Mayor Merritt–the first character players encounter–is very extensive, and I quickly discovered that I could not progress without completing these tasks. So, players who might want to jump right into farming may find themselves frustrated, as there are several steps to complete before the meat of play becomes available.

Because I am an MMO girly at heart, I was also a bit disappointed with Fae Farm’s dungeon component. Dungeons are accessible early on, but it takes a lot of work to complete them. Players must ensure that they are properly equipped with food and potions to keep themselves alive, as well as craft magical seals to save their place on each floor. I almost always ran out of rations while dungeon crawling and often had to leave to accumulate the resources I needed to create these seals, which was frustrating, to say the least.

The biggest elephant in the room, however, is that I spent roughly twenty hours playing Fae Farm and never got the chance to spread my wings and fly! Since the word “Fae” is literally in Fae Farm’s title, I expected to be able to become a fairy from the jump. As I played on, I soon found out that I would have to log an ungodly amount of hours before I would even come close to getting my wings. Such a bummer.  

At the end of the day, Fae Farm is just like any other farming sim. Its conceptual design incorporating fairy elements is innovative in theory, but its inability to make good on its whimsical promises is where it falls short. While I did enjoy exploring Azoria’s world, I doubt that the prospect of fairy wings at some point in the future will be enough to keep me coming back for more. 

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 

—Taylor Pryor

Disclosures: Fae Farm is developed and published by Phoenix Labs. It is currently available on the Switch and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 20 hours of play went into this game, and the game was not completed. There are multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E10+ and contains Fantasy Violence. I will say that all of the violence in the game occurs in the dungeons where players must attack and defeat enemies to progress to each floor, but the violence is not gratuitous or explicit by any means and there is no bloodshed.  

Colorblind Modes: Colorblind modes are available

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: Fae Farm offers subtitles, but they cannot be resized. Audio cues are not necessary for game progression and controller vibrations can be modified. Therefore, the game is fully accessible

Remappable Controls: This game’s controls are not remappable

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