A Cozy life awaits…
If you’re tired of paying off your debts to Tom Nook but still want to enjoy the island lifestyle, you should take a trip to Cozy Grove. The life sim game has a lot in common with Animal Crossing. You camp on an island that’s filled with cute animals, run errands for them, and exploit local resources. There is a bit of a twist though, as the game trailer proclaims: “Surprise…it’s haunted!” You play as a Spirit Scout (a bit like a Girl Scout, only spookier) helping out the local ghosts. Sound intriguing? Before you head into the land of haunts, make sure you study up on spooks with our list of Cozy Grove beginner’s tips.
Cozy Grove is available on multiple platforms, including Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Although its similarities to Animal Crossing might suggest that it’s best suited to the Switch, its playstyle is arguably just as well fitted to mobile, so consider giving it a go on iOS.
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True to the spirit of many life sims before it, Cozy Grove lets you customize your Spirit Scout upon starting the game. Don’t fret too much about this though — you have the option of later changing your clothing and appearance. The character customization tool includes eight skin tones, and clothing styles are not tied to gender. In fact, there are no gender options at all which makes your avatar gender-neutral by default.
Sign of the times
In an interview with IGN, the developers of Cozy Grove explained that they didn’t want the game to demand a huge time investment from players. There are daily limitations on what you can accomplish, so sometimes the only way to progress is just to wait till tomorrow. If you’re ever stuck in the game and unsure if there are still actions to take, go visit the sentient fire Flamey, who will tell you when you’ve maxed out all the tasks for that day. There are ways of time traveling to side-step time-gated tasks, but this comes at the risk of save file issues.
Filling your honey pot
There are a lot of bear-shaped spirits in Cozy Grove. One of the most helpful is Charlotte Pine, who you can pay to locate an object you need for a specific quest. This leads us to another thorny issue: money. Below are a few methods for filling your coffers:
- Help ghost bears: if you complete a ghost bear’s quest, this furthers the game story, restores colour to the island, and provides you with money too. Remember that some quests have time limits and others can only be completed over several days.
- Claim badge rewards: as a Spirit Scout, you collect badges by reaching certain milestones and taking part in extracurriculars like crafting and fishing.
- Donate to the Captain: Captain Snout is a collector who will reward you with cash in exchange for items you find around the island. You can also burn some of those items to get a new variant to be donated. Any duplicate items can also be sold to the shopkeeper fox, Mr. Kit.
- Imp requests: the imps on the island will initially run away from you, but you can interact with them after a few days. Get the item that’s shown in a speech bubble over their head and throw it to them (otherwise they’ll flee). Once an imp has the item and displays a heart above its head, it’s safe to approach and receive your reward.
- Recycle: ghost bear Francesca DuClaw will eventually present you with the recycling feature once you’ve completed a few of her requests. This allows you to return items to their base forms, such as furniture into resources. Gemstones, naturally, can be recycled into money.
Once you unlock crafting through Jeremy Gruffle, you’ll be able to make all sorts of items. Decorations that you receive or craft have different traits. However, plants and animals on the island have opinions about traits — if you place decorations with a trait such as “spooky” that a presumably goth plant likes, then it’ll produce more resources for you to harvest.
Color me impressed
Cozy Grove has a greater emphasis on narrative progression than Animal Crossing. As you complete tasks and advance the story, your greyscale island will slowly transform into a technicolor idyll. While it may encourage you to color within the lines, Cozy Grove offers a departure from other entries in the slice of life genre.
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Article author: Florence Smith Nicholls can be found on Twitter via @florencesn