You know you’re playing a good farming simulator when you’ve spent the entire day setting up a plot of land with fences, flower beds, pathways and farming spots and littered the entire place with pointless accessories just because you want the place to look “cute”. Fae Farm leans as far into an addictive farming simulator as I could have ever hoped for but its touch of magic and fantasy helps push it over the edge to make it feel familiar but refreshing.
After being swept up in a storm, I landed on an island inhabited by normal people and magical creatures, and within a few hours, I was given a farm to tend to. Of course, this meant chopping down all the trees and cutting through all the weeds in an attempt to make the dilapidated land look somewhat functional.
Far Farm makes the mundane farming tasks easy thanks to its automatic tool selector which meant I just had to go to an item and press a button, and the game would pull out the tool I needed. Be it a pickaxe for rocks, an axe for trees and wood or a knife for grass. It is seamless and saves a lot of time. It let me focus on the more important things such as flirting with every villager I found, scouting the island for new crafting recipes and delving into the many dungeons that act as a fantastic break from the general gameplay.
While Fae Farm takes a different approach when it comes to combat and exploration, any farm simulator nut will find its rinse-and-repeat gameplay approachable. Items are made with crafting materials found and farmed in the many different ways you can do it. The game also relies heavily on selling whatever you don’t need to make money to upgrade your tools and purchase new ways to make new things.
This general gameplay feels great and the slight nudges up the “economic farming industry ladder” definitely make the time invested feel worthwhile. From starting with barely anything to having all the tools, crafting objects and recipes available, Fae Farm expands the more time I spend in it and how well I micromanage my resources.
Technically, a day in Fae Farm lasts 18 minutes of gameplay. I woke up at 6 a.m. and had to be in bed before midnight. Just like in real life, there’s never enough time in the day to get what you need done. Fae Farm doesn’t overwhelm with objectives. Sometimes quests from residents allow for a 5-day period where I had to figure out how to make something before a festival or new season kicked in.
I was a bit annoyed by how little the game explained at times. I spent a few real-life days exploring a dungeon by going from the first floor and walking down to the last each time I entered. Little did I know, that once I placed a seal in the alter, I could then teleport to that level each time instead of spending a literal day going from floor 1 to 24.
I also had no idea that festivals had limited-sale items and that I had to find the vendor to purchase them. So I missed out on a lot and I wasn’t as productive as I could have been for the majority of my playthrough. But that came with some positives too. All the dungeon crawling meant I had loads of materials in my backpack and I wasn’t ever short of money.
The island is full of stuff to see and do. People have daily quests and I could give items to them to enhance a friendship. Most of the time, these friendships result in dates and then possible marriage. Everyone in Fae Farm is obviously desperate to get wed and at one point I had a few random people ready to take my hand. As a result, I just stopped talking to people to avoid coming off like a creepy, romantic freak. Your character instantly gives off romance signals even if you just want to pick up a quest.
Fae Farm also makes it easy to craft items as the warehouse feature is bottomless. So I could throw anything in there. Be it food, animals, insects, rocks, gems whatever. When I went to craft an item, it would then pull it out of storage instantly too. This was a lifesaver.
The game’s weather system is also as expected. Hot days exhaust more energy and my character would often get fed up and stop doing something to express his frustration with the heat. The same goes for cold and wet days. I could drink a juice or tea I crafted to give me protection against the weather but it was limited to a set number of hours and didn’t feel worthwhile.
Fae Farm also has a neat character stat system that ties directly to the items I had in my house. Certain items had properties which would increase my health, mana and energy. Depending on the number of “cozy” items I had would depend on how much energy my character had each day. Again, this expands over time and I could increase my house size and further expand all my stats.
Stats are important depending on the situation. When dungeon delving, these were as important as ever. Here, each level gets tougher and is scattered with minerals and items. However, enemies called Jumbles, which are abandoned items people didn’t want (Toy Story PTSD set in) deal damage. I could then hit them with my magic staff and even cast magic to fight back. But magic costs Mana and getting hit took health.
At first, I thought Fae Farm would be a breeze. Enemies were easy to kill and I barely lost any health. However, later in the game things got intense and I was forced to invest in my health items at home and carry potions to refill my resources while in these deadly dungeons. They are also great places to farm minerals which sell for high value when polished. I will admit, I had to force myself away from these areas because they get incredibly addictive.
There’s also a lot of magic in Fae Farm. The island is actually inhabited by fairy-like creatures and there’s an entire world consumed by Miasma that I got roped into saving. Of course, it also relies on crafting a bunch of stuff and repeating the same objectives over and over again to proceed with the story and unlock more locations.
While the chore of questing gets tiring in Fae Farm due to its shallow objectives, the need to unlock new items and crafting opportunities kept me going throughout my time with the game. There were quests that provided a massive list of boring to-dos but whatever I was doing while going about this list, always benefited me in some way too. Either it was XP earned to unlock new tool upgrades, materials picked up on the side or exploring a new location.
I won’t go as far as to say Fae Farm reinvents the wheel here. It is a fun farm game with a spin. There were some head-scratching mechanics and some parts of the game felt a bit rushed and overlooked. For example, the romancing system just doesn’t work. You can’t speak to someone and rush off on a date a few days later. This doesn’t get in the way of the game but it felt shallow.
I also had issues with saving my game. I would save and exit the game only to load back in on the same morning without any objectives completed. I played this on Switch and its pick-up-and-play approach can’t rely on playing the full day of Fae Farm just to ensure the game saves correctly. I was also a bit iffy with how little the game explains certain mechanics.
With that being said, I did enjoy my time with Fae Farm. My evenings in bed were spent foraging for items and tending to my farm. I especially enjoyed playing the night away as it rained in the game. The soundtrack the the raindrops combined to produce a beautiful melody that soothed my mind after a long day of work.
If you enjoy Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing but feel like those games need a little magic, fantasy and action then Fae Farm is it. Even if you’re looking for a new farming sim, this makes for a fun time. There’s also a four-player online mode available which I wasn’t able to test given the early access review process. But I do intend on giving it a go.
This Fae Farm review is based on a Nintendo Switch code provided by Nintendo. The game launches on 8 September for PC and Switch. It starts at R1185.
Fae Farm is charming and its fantasy meets dungeon-crawling approach is refreshing. While its quests lack inspiration, it makes up for it with its addictive farming and fantastic quality-of-life mechanics.