Game by: HopFrog and Humble Bundle
Game for: All Ages
Our Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Review by: Kelly
Forager is a fun new PC game from indie publisher HopFrog. I played an early build of Forager when it was still free for download from HopFrog’s website, right after it was made a couple of years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it then as great little casual crafting game, but boy has it grown up for its full release on Steam.
Forager is a resource collecting, building and crafting game set in a semi-randomized world made up of small islands.
It has a top down viewpoint and all the resources, items, characters, buildings and enemies are beautifully animated 2D sprites with a pleasing and relaxing color palette.
Forager starts your character out on the central island with a basic pickaxe and backpack, as well as some trees, rocks and bushes to start harvesting for resources. Resources constantly re-spawn on all open areas of ground in the game. Additional islands are purchased for gold coins that you either collect in the world or make with technology and buildings.
As you unlock islands in Forager, you gain access to dungeons, puzzles and NPC quests. These add variety to the video game and give you something to do beyond collecting resources and building stuff.
There are 5 biomes in the world. They range from the snowy sheep filled Winter Biome in the north, to the demon infested Fire Biome in the south. Each land has its own unique resource spawns, enemies, and a dungeon. The only exception is the starting Grass Biome. Instead of a dungeon it houses the Museum.
Forager has a balanced, tiered equipment system. The system allows upgrades to the tools, equipment and weapons. The simple combat is fun and gets crazy near the end game when you’ve got a fully upgraded sword, equipment, and a mob of droids following you around. One downside is that at times there is so much going on it can be hard to keep track of.
Struggling to keep up with the activity in the game shows when it comes to resource production. When you have a ton of furnaces, factories, sewing stations and other production structures, the right side of your screen is a constant stream of information. As you stack your production on top of resource collection from mining rods, and your drones auto-killing everything, that active stream gets hard to read.
The rapidly changing stats make it difficult to tell when you’ve collected enough resources to complete your quest or Museum collection. The sound effects for collecting all of that stuff can get overwhelming, and even annoying, so I tend to turn the sound down while playing late in the game. I hope the developer will fix this later on by changing how resource collection notifies the player.
Completing the Museum collections are a great way to guide your technological rise. All of the items required eventually show up in the Marketplace given enough time.
You can earn upgrade orbs for your character to increase your damage, add more health, or immediately level up. Leveling up in Forager is how you advance your technology, as each level grants you a skill point that you can use to unlock new items, tools and resources.
The skill page is laid out in a grid formation. At level one, you only have access to unlocking the four center skills in the eight by eight grid. As you unlock each skill, all of the adjacent, undiscovered skills in the grid become available to unlock.
The randomness of island spawns and this versatile skill layout allow for some limited replayability, allowing you to rush for skills to build your economy in different ways during a playthrough.
I recommend Forager if you are looking for a fun and relaxing crafting and collecting experience. It’s adorable and throughout the game you unlock special art and comics from the creator that tells the story of Forager’s developer and shares part of HopFrog’s heart.
It’s clear Forager was a passion project born out of pure love and a need to share the designer’s creativity with the world. Although the endgame can be a little nuts and overwhelming, Forager is overall a fantastic indie video game title with fun achievements and puzzles to solve.
I’m happy to say I was able to complete all the achievements in one play-through with about twenty hours of game play. Forager is appropriate for younger gamers as well since it has no gore. Every monster and resource just explodes when you deplete its health.
Forager is well worth an inclusion in your gaming collection and you will get hours of enjoyment out of it. Happy foraging!
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