Bite Sized Reviews: Fae Farm

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Bite Sized Reviews: Fae Farm

It’s a strange experience when our gaming tastes change. Ten years ago perhaps, I was all in on The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Fable. I still live and breathe those games to this day, but I’ve branched out a lot in the last few years. Farming sims, walking simulators and virtual novels are all genres I’ve grown to love in recent times. Back in the old days when I was a smol bean getting heavily into gaming, I wasn’t heavily into them. Stardew Valley started it for me, so we can blame that little bowl of addiction!

Welcome to another episode of my Bite-Sized reviews! It’s been a wild week while watching Gamescom with keen interest. Starfield, Streets of Rogue 2, Phantom Liberty? Oh boy. This past year has been like gorging on an amazing buffet of games. Starfield might have to wait, as my poor laptop isn’t the spring chicken it used to be unless I can play it on the cloud. Either way, a lot is happening right now and I’ve got a ton of upcoming reviews, interviews and other pieces to feature. Still waiting on the ‘big’ news, but will see how we get on.

Anyway, let’s kick things off! I was originally going to cover two games in this episode, but there are a few question marks surrounding one. So it’s just going to be the single review today.

Fae Farm has been anticipated for a while it seems, and it launches on September 8th on Steam. I feel for every game launch that’s released around the time of Starfield and the like, but at least Fae Farm is a cute farming game and not a space sim!

In Fae Farm, you play as the happy, go-lucky lady who gets to live in a large, sprawling village. It’s like many other games in the ‘farming sandbox’ lifestyle. We’ve got magical powers in Fae Farm, however, so that’s a plus. I was only able to play to Chapter 4 in this pre-release version, so like most of my game coverage, there are my early impressions. However, there’s a lot to like in this. While the 40USD price tag may seem steep for some, this is a full-release title, not Early Access. What you see, is what you get. There was a price drop after initially being priced at 60 USD, which would have been a tall ask. With all the financial issues around the world, gaming prices are always a difficult topic. It’s just a little something to mention.

I also love the quality of life features introduced so far. Unlike most games in its class, the game automatically knows what farming implement you need. None of this annoyance of rotating through a menu to pick what implement you need — it just lets the player do their job. It’s a great feature that I can’t think of in any other farming game. There are some items you do need to filter through: like the butterfly net, the fishing rod, or the magical staff, but that’s just the click of a button. I would love to see all farming games include this feature.

Fae Farm also gets rid of another of my pet peeves — saving! A lot of games only save at the end of the game day. Even my favourite farming games like Stardew Valley, Roots of Pacha, and Traveller’s Rest have this mechanic. It’s probably not the end of the world, I just prefer having control of when my game data is saved. Wylde Flowers saves automatically as you play (and it’s probably the best farming game I have ever played) but Fae Farm’s open save system is a breath of fresh air. It’s such a little thing, but it goes a long way.

So there’s all sorts of magic and things to do in Fae Farm. In my four chapters of playtime, the game took me through the easy-to-learn tutorials — working out how to farm, craft, and fish, getting rid of some horrible thorny things blocking my access to the map, and forming friendships. Like most games in its class, there’s a host of characters to meet and befriend. With so many people to speak with, I wish the game had voice acting. From my early impressions, Fae Farm’s characters aren’t up to the standards of Wylde Flowers or Stardew Valley, but they have some interesting dialogue. My opinions on them will likely change.

Overall performance in the game is solid. When I first booted this on a desktop, it was in a strange resolution, but a quick change in the graphical settings fixed all that, and I haven’t had any issues since. The keyboard and controller support all work great, and I’ve run into no bugs so far. The character can move around like someone bouncing on the moon, so you can safely jump off cliffs into lakes and such. My testing on the Steam Deck was also decent. When I first booted Fae Farm up, the framerate was low until I went into graphical settings and changed the preset to automatic. From there, everything ran buttery smooth. It even passed my low-watt challenge with flying colours. With a 3W TDP setting on 40hz, I managed to keep my framerate a stable 30FPS, with an average power draw of 7 Watts. That gave me a hefty battery life of around 6 hours — not bad!

To conclude, Fae Farm is a solid farming sim that oozes potential. There are a couple of things to note, such as requiring a third-party account for multiplayer, but there’s no need for any accounts for solo play, which is a good thing. Fans of this genre will be happy with what’s on offer, and I’m excited to see where Fae Farm takes me next.

Exceptional quality of life features that every farming game should take note ofA fairly high price tag for this genre of game: not overpriced, but something to consider
Nice visuals and great movement mechanics make for an exciting, enjoyable gameplay experienceRequires a third party account for multiplayer
Tutorials are well-balanced with excellent pace: gamers won’t be bored while carrying out the tasksA couple of early issues recognizing my hardware/screen resolution, but this was fixed once recognized
The farming and building mechanics aren’t new, but are well-refined
Steam Deck performance is overall positive

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TheThousandScarAuthor/Blogger/Cartographer/Streamer/Narrative Game Writer/I play far too many games. |

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