Forager is an open-world crafting, adventure, and exploration game inspired by popular titles like The Legend of Zelda, Stardew Valley, and Minecraft. The game begins on a square-shaped island filled with trees, berry bushes, rocks, and ore deposits. Armed with a basic pickaxe, you’ll harvest stone to craft a furnace, which uses raw materials to create coal, brick, ingots, and other needed resources. Next, you’ll gather and process the resources required to craft a forge and a sewing station, which allow you to craft items of greater complexity.
As you play, you’ll gain XP and level up, and you’ll choose a new skill to learn with each level gained. The skill tree is arranged in a square, with the four corners being Industry, Foraging, Economy, and Magic. Focus on expanding one particular skill, or opt for a more balanced approach—the choice is yours!
In Forager, your goals are capitalism, colonization, and expansion. You’ll gradually earn money that allows you to purchase neighboring islands, which can be connected to your home base with bridges. Your land will be filled to the brim with resources ranging from ore deposits to trees, flowers, gravestones, and more. At first, harvesting resources is slow work, but as you progress, you may craft better tools that make things move much more quickly. In fact, if you play long enough, you will likely reach a point where things move so quickly that playing Forager feels like being trapped in a tornado—in the best possible way.
Forager is extremely addicting for several reasons. First, you can play and play and play with virtually zero downtime. This is unlike Stardew Valley, which forces you to go to bed every night. This is also unlike Don’t Starve, which generally compels you to stay put while you wait for night to pass. In Forager, you don’t have to stop playing when night falls. In fact, Forager never really forces you to take a second to breathe, wait, and be patient.
Second, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your items or running out of space for them, since items stack infinitely. And if a stack of stone is sitting in your vault, any collected stone will go right to that stack in your vault. This means you don’t have to worry about collecting items in your inventory and moving them into your vault for storage; this process happens automatically. Forager’s system for collecting and storing items is a literal game-changer. If you’ve ever felt stressed trying to manage your items in games like Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve, you deserve to experience the serenity of Forager.
And finally, any fan of foraging games knows that foraging is inherently addictive, but Forager has managed to master the genre by creating the most addicting foraging game we’ve ever encountered. Whether it’s the controls, the animations, or a combination thereof, we do not know, but gathering resources in Forager is immensely satisfying, and the satisfaction only increases as you gain access to better items that make the foraging process move more quickly.
We should note that Forager is a fairly simple game when compared with titles like Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve, so it might not offer the same level of replayability. However, there are plans in place for Forager DLC—including Farm Life, a Combat Update, and Hard Mode—and we have a feeling there’s even more DLC to come after that. So for $19.99, we think you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Forager is destined to be the next big hit on the Switch indie gaming scene, especially for fans of foraging and crafting games. It’s got everything you could ever ask for: vibrant pixel graphics, a pleasantly subdued soundtrack, cute and friendly creatures, and the satisfaction that comes with exponential expansion. Plus, it’s directly inspired by some of the most beloved video games of all time. Forager is one of our favorite new indies of the year, and if you find its premise even remotely interesting, you should buy it immediately. Just be prepared to develop a potentially crippling addiction.
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Developer – HopFrog
Publisher – Humble Bundle
Genre – Adventure, Simulation, Strategy, Puzzle
Size – 135 MB
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.