It feels like forever since Littlewood first appeared on Twitter. From the very first moment Sean Young began tweeting about his upcoming RPG we were immediately hooked by those familiar Stardew Valley overtones and the promise that relaxation was high on the developer’s agenda. Fast forward who knows how many months or years and we finally have in our possession a bonafide copy of this dreamy little delight, and let’s not beat about the bush – we’re thrilled.
That Wizard came from the Moon!
The game opens shortly after the events of a horrifying battle, a war in which you were the prevailing hero. But after standing toe-to-toe with the gnarly sounding Dark Wizard, all memories of your former life have been wiped from your brain. Instead of living the life of a gallant hero, you instead begin to slowly piece back together your life, with the help of a few friends, slowly rebuilding your life while helping to build a brand new, easy-going, settlement.
Farming, mining, and building are fundamental elements of Littlewood, such is the farming sim way. But rather than comfortably fitting into the usual pigeon-hole of a specific genre, the game brings with it a magical aspect that the player discovers with each passing moment of spring. But unlike goliaths like Stardew Valley, this is not simply a farming game, so if you’re here to plant your potatoes and spread your manure only, then you’re in for a surprise. But stick with it.
Littlewood is also about town management and the day-to-day running of your settlement. This is where the comparisons to Animal Crossing come in. Players can customise every aspect of their town, from who lives next door to who, to the placement of rocks, trees, flowers and even mountains. You also have a market to sell your findings, and welcome travellers who bring both mirth and merriment aplenty.
Now it’s time to rebuild your town
There are a few different mechanics thrown into the Littlewood mix, but Sean Young and the team at SmashGames have taken time to make sure each of these works in unison with the others. Under less watchful eyes this game could have been an utter mess, but instead it is a fully immersive simulation experience that really helps take your mind off things during such uncertain times.
Perhaps the only real criticism with Littlewood would be there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Days in your settlement are far too short, and some tasks eat up huge chunks of your time – time that could be better spent exploring nearby locations for magics, tools and resources. There’s also the very real pain of staying up too late, which means you’re too tired to do much the next day. When you’re character hasn’t had his or her usual 12 hours sleep then anything they do takes far longer, throwing away any chance of productivity. Perhaps a patch might be an option going forward that allows the sun to keep his hat on for just a little longer? Or maybe they could just make the coffee a whole lot stronger after those late nights!
Littlewood is the kind of game where there’s no rush to do anything, because who needs to rush now that the bad times have all gone away? This is what life is life after the events of the main story. What does Link do once he’s rescued Zelda? He probably just chills in the long-grass and enjoys the serenity of a job well done. No one demands anything of the hero because this is their downtime, and by picking up a copy of this fine title you too can bask in the glory of a life where nothing much happens, and that’s just the way we like it.
This is a beautiful looking, slice-of-life addition to any Nintendo Switch collection, and is available now in the NA store. The EU-Region Switch release is expected soon.