When it comes to lovely games to spend my evenings with, I often go for slice of life adventure games, where I can just relax and be a part of a village — one that doesn’t have loads of issues going on. Hokko Life feels like a fusion of Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, which is a really good mix for someone like me!
Hokko Life is a game with a pretty open-ended design. You have just traveled to this small town and have been offered a bed for the night. Upon waking up, you can decide if you want to stay here, and then start building up the town. You’ll need to make your home, then start making new places for other people. Many of the townsfolk would also like help with various things around the town, giving you short missions and little tutorials to help you on your way.
When it comes to playing the game, at first it’s pretty simple. You’ll be chopping down trees, building new houses, and watching your town grow. As it gets bigger, special characters will start to appear at the local tavern, where you will then invite them to join your town, bringing their shops and helping your town further. The various villagers have their own personalities, and you can get as many as you’d like to invite and build houses for. They often want tasks done like items delivered to someone else in the town or possible redecoration of their items or in their homes.
Sleeping in Hokko Life will then bring the next day about, where people often have more tasks for you to do, new members that want to join your town, or houses completed and ready for you to let someone move in. Unlike Animal Crossing which is real time, this allows you to move forward the story, quickly building up houses and getting your town in shape. It also takes a few days for resources like trees to re-grow, which are often needed.
When it comes to actually customizing things within Hokko Life, there is an interesting system for crafting furniture. At first, you can follow blueprints that make a specific piece, but soon you can start actually moving bits of wood and resources around, to create whatever you want. You can then add in decorations, paint pieces and do so much more to create your own customized items! It’s a big building project, which is interesting, and eventually you can unlock a shop that allows you to upload your designs for others to purchase in this world, or enter contests around specific themes.
Hokko Life is a wonderful little slice of life adventure game, where there are a lot of options to make things unique. Or just, simply, not. I am not a real fan of actually creating furniture in this way, but it does give a lot of control over your design and creation — possibly exactly what those who have sunk years into Animal Crossing are looking for. I also found that the game itself sometimes gives you tasks that involve customization, but with little instructions on how to get the resource needed, which leads to tasks staying there for ages.
The only other issue I had with Hokko life was the lack of a bed. When you build any other house in Hokko Life, it comes with a bed — but you are stuck on the ground in a sleeping bag. I find this to be wild! You cannot even purchase a bed from the town’s shop. Instead, you need to wait ages to unlock a bed, then find everything to build a bed. Or, you can steal. You can actually take anything out of any house and just keep it. I feel like this is morally not okay, but at one point one of my villagers had given me a bed, I thought, but it turns out they just wanted two beds (one to be customized) and both left in their house. I then stole his other bed. He does not need two beds while I am on the floor after hand-building and editing his bed. Nah.
Hokko life is fun, it’s a great game for younger kids to play and older people who want a break from things that feel challenging. You can develop your town, get to know the characters and build up your relationships with them as well.
Hokko Life is out now on PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Play Station.
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