Who doesn’t love a good “Where are they now?” story. Really we just want to see that everyone is living their best lives despite the purported drama that initially put them in the spotlight right? However, it’s not typically something we ever get to know when it comes to the tales weaved through video games. Sure, there are sequels and spiritual successors that sometimes answer our burning questions, but then the character just ends up in another pot of hot water and their happy go lucky after story is now back in video game nightmare-land. Well the fabulous indie dev Sean Young had the idea to take that elusive tale and make it the focus for his recently released title, Littlewood.
In Littlewood you are a hero fresh from the epic fight that saved the world. Except you’ve somehow lost all of your memories! Luckily, you’re world-saving sidekicks are there to help you put the world back together in this charming sim adventure game. World peace has already been achieved, but is this little hero in for a long life of rinse and repeat or are there still plenty of thrills waiting to be uncovered?
I’m no stranger to the management/sim category side of video games. I love em! They are my comfort food in video game form. I’d been excitedly watching the development of Littlewood for quite some time now and there was no doubt in my mind that this game was going to be a banger for sure. Those adorable Pokemon/Forager type graphics, the melodious soundtrack, and the creative looking gameplay all seemed like a win-win to me.
I wasn’t able to jump on it as soon as it was released a few months ago, (I know – sad violins) but once I was finally able to, boy you can bet your buns there was no hesitation on my end! I’m always on the lookout for new games like this that just let you sit back and enjoy that sim life and Littlewood fit that bill perfectly.
Stacked up against similar games I’d say Littlewood keeps a lot of those time tested and beloved mechanics while still being a refreshing take on the genre. There’s plenty of farming, fishing, mining, cooking, and crafting, but there’s also the added fun of rebuilding your little town from the ground up.
You’ll start off with your two best buds and just a handful of prebuilt structures. As you attract new residents they’ll all want a house to call their own. Some may even want to open shops as well! Every facet of your town is customizable right down to the land itself. You can raise or lower the land, make ponds or rivers, put in roads and even plant and breed flowers.
Eventually the residents will want specific things for their houses or even want their house to be in a specific place. Most of these things will cost mucho materials and that’s where all the fishing, farming, mining and crafting comes in. At first you’ll only have access to one mine and one Whirlybug (who will take you to the forest) but as you improve your skills you get three of each plus extra fishing and bug catching spots.
And no adorable sim game would be complete without a little romance. Any of the sweet citizens who live in your town are romanceable, even the dark wizard who caused this whole mess! He’s lost all of his memories as well and since you’re the good-hearted legendary hero, you of course welcome him with open arms, even if everyone else doesn’t. Together you start to unravel what happened and if it will ever happen again.
There’s nothing I like more than seeing innovation within my most treasured genre. Littlewood hit that nail on the head with perfect form. I loved the fact that the day/night cycle was attached to your energy bar. So, there was no clock ticking down while you toiled away each day. Instead as you run out of energy the day slowly turns to night. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep you’ll have less energy and therefore less day, but eventually you can buy energy upgrades and even a gold watch to wind back your day for more time. It’s not something I’ve ever seen before and honestly it was kind of refreshing not having to worry about what time it was. The day was done when you were done.
A minor complaint would be surrounding the random appearances for specific items. When you need a certain fish or bug to fill a requirement you can be waiting day in and day out for that one particular material to spawn. I’ve been picking slime apples for the entire game and it wasn’t until the very end that I finally got a golden one. Luckily none of the merchants needed it but it was one of the last things I needed to finish the museum. Same with the golden carrot. I say it’s a minor gripe because obviously it’s possible to collect everything it just takes time and a bit of luck, but when you’ve completed everything else and are now just waiting to get lucky with fishing or gathering it gets a little disheartening.
This is an easy 100% recommendation. If you like this genre then Littlewood is one you’re not going to want to sleep on. It breathes new life into an old, tried and true idea and I am here for it all the way!