Demo Disk

“Demo Disk” – Forager (2019) [Switch]

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Demo Disk is a series of first impressions posts for new releases and quick opinions.

 

 

Yesterday, I drove past the hillside where I proposed to my wife among the wildflowers. The flowers are all gone now; they’d be dead anyway since it’s summer. In their place, a sea of silver bakes in the sun. Solar panels. I felt a tinge of guilt at the industrialization (the rape of the natural world) but the irony of writing that on a computer which could possibly be receiving electric power from those solar panels is not lost on me.

With Forager, there’s that same sort of guilt, especially since the old man who lives in the tree tells you that the land is being plundered by pesky pirates with pickaxes. Ah well, the name of the game is Forager so that’s exactly what you will do. Even the old man asks you for items you can only snag while pickaxing!

Industrialism aside, but still on the subject of shame, Forager instantly feels like a guilty pleasure you’ve always had and have been unable to kick. It does at least for me, someone for whom Forager seems custom-designed. I am a huge fan of games in the vein of your Harvest Moons and Rune Factories, your Minecrafts, Terrarias, and Stardew Valleys, and yes, even your Farmvilles (I fully admit to sending requests for coins from other Facebook users, to my great shame, but hey, guilty pleasures die hard).

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Behold!

Forager is pure loop. The golden loop. Harvesting resources unlocks new crafting opportunities, which in turn create new needs for resources, and so on. With every level up, you pick your way through a skill tree that unlocks new buildings and abilities. You even unlock the map, purchasing new lands piece by piece. There’s (thankfully!) plenty of automation, as well, so provided you watch out for your character’s stamina bar and keep them well-fed, you can rake in the dough, the ore, the crystals all you want, setting your forges and factories to auto-pilot.

It’s really a crafting sim paradise. Curiosity and a constant flow of new gadgets and gizmos to try out keeps gas in this collect-a-thon’s tank. These are the kinds of games that keep me up late at night, into the wee hours. I’ve already put a bit of mileage into it. If anybody needs me, I’ll be creating an empire out of leather, lumber, and iron ingots (i.e. building that sea of solar panels).

Are you a fan of this kind of game? Don’t feel bad. The start can be slow going before you get a hold of automizing features and bone resources, but if you’re like me and there’s a wretched dragon in you that loves collecting shinies and hoarding them, or conversely converting them into all manner of architecture, then you might just consider picking up this title. It’s been well optimized for home consoles. Plus, it’s perfect on the Nintendo Sw—-

 

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-The Well-Red Mage

 

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4 replies »

  1. I like this new format as sort of a pre-review review, and will exercise using it in the future…

    On to the game though, this sounds rather intriguing. The golden loop… that perfect balance of time spent vs. just enough reward… hoo boy. That is a good spot to get to if you are a game designer. As a big fan of Stardew Valley, I will have to check this out. Another game to add to the list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know you were a Stardew fan! So know up front that the farming elements are very minimal and there are no relationship systems at play. It is, as its name suggests, completely about foraging for resources and all systems are geared toward that being more efficient and convenient.

      It was fun for me to try the new Demo Disk format, and it didn’t make me not want to write the full review. A concern I indeed had.

      Like

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