Palia is a newly released ‘Cozy MMO’, as dubbed by its developers at Singularity Six. After having played this game since its alpha 2 stage back in July 2022, it’s certainly starting to meet that description.
In Palia, you can expect to discover all manner of comforting and familiar activities, such as; House Decorating, Fishing, Cooking, Bug Catching, Mining, Hunting, Foraging and Gardening. And with all of these paired with the relaxing world setting of Kilima Valley, the local village, you can look forward to a completely immersive experience that honestly just feels right.
Within Palia, you’re immediately placed in the village of Kilima Valley as a Human, with the catch here being that Humans mysteriously vanished thousands of years ago, and now, the elf-like Majiri and cat-like Grimalkin populate the Earth. Right off the bat, you’re welcomed into the community and given a plot of land of your own. You can decorate this plot to your liking. Want to create a camping ground filled with large tents? Go for it. Create a fully decorated house with up to thirty housing add-ons? Not a problem.
This plot of land is yours to fill as you please, and with up to five separate housing plots, there’s no reason not to experiment with all kinds of designs. This plot is the central point for getting stuff done in game. Gardening, decorating, making materials and storing your earned treasures are just some of the activities you can engage in while at your plot, and that’s without even mentioning the roleplay possibilities here.
Now don’t get me wrong. With the number of possibilities available to you right off the bat, all bundled in an easy-to-understand kit, you may start planning what rooms you want for your house, and going mad with furniture crafting. But there’s one thing to keep in mind:
Your progress here is heavily limited by money.
Money-making in Palia has been a struggle for quite some time for players, with any potential money-making schemes getting quashed quickly and brutally by the developers. One such example of this is the recent addition of Starstones. Whilst originally selling from anywhere between 2000-8000 gold, most players jumped on this as a new easy way to get the high amounts of gold required to develop most skills. But just ONE patch later, most of these high-selling Starstones had their selling price HALVED. This can, understandably, often make you feel frustrated — which obviously doesn’t align with the “cozy” description of the game.
That being said, where this game thrives best is not by approaching it from a ‘gamer’ mentality, but by approaching it from a more laid-back perspective. You may feel the urge to rush through and progress in various skills in record time but that just simply goes against what was intended, which is a relaxing, slow-paced MMO that you can play with friends or by yourself after a stressful day at work or school.
It’s easy to spend hours upon hours getting absorbed into the world, hyper-focusing on a particular skill or game mechanic to achieve what you set out to do, which speaks to the quality of Palia. But, this can lead to burnout which can be hard to recover from. However, with bi-weekly updates and a constantly evolving storyline, you may find it challenging to take Palia at a slower pace.
Overall, my final thoughts on Palia — as it currently stands having just been updated to 0.174 — is that this game is truly one-of-a-kind. The developers have clearly spent a lot of time envisioning what they want the game to be, and taking steps to get it there – regardless of overall public opinion on how the economy is being balanced.
Some features need tuning and improving upon but with a very vocal community, and a receptive development team, I have full confidence that this game will continue to exceed expectations and turn into the game that players have been dreaming of since Palia was first announced.
Palia is available now, in Open Beta, for PC via Epic Games. It’ll be coming to Nintendo Switch when it launches.