Fae Farm Preview

Published: June 16, 2023 1:58 PM /

Previewed By:

the key art for Fae Farm

Cozy farming sims have had a big renaissance since Stardew Valley came along, and it’s even usurped Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons as touchpoints of the genre. Phoenix Labs, known for creating Dauntless, is joining the barnyard party with its upcoming release: Fae Farm. I got a chance to check it out at Summer Game Fest, and it’s proving to be more than just your average farming sim. 

Fae Farm has all the classic genre staples you’d expect. You live on a farm, harvest crops, explore caves and forests, and befriend villagers. What makes it stand out, however, is that Phoenix Labs is dedicated to lots of little quality-of-life updates that make things easier, faster, clearer, or all of the above.

The main character fighting an enemy in Fae Farm

For example, when you’re harvesting a large group of crops, you can cast a whirlwind spell that pulls everything toward you, as opposed to grabbing each one individually. When you care for your animals, a little checklist shows up next to them, to let you know if you’ve pet them, fed them, and so on for that day. You can even jump in this game, which actually opens the path for shortcuts. Who needs to run down stairs when you can jump down a hill? 

As you’d expect, there’s a lot of crafting involved in Fae Farm, which also a lot of material gathering in all the right places. For the most part, from what I saw, this game will clearly tell you where to find everything you need. Whenever you talk to an NPC, some of them will have a dialog option to give them an item, which clearly tells you what item they’re looking for while streamlining the gift-giving process.

While it’s too early to say for sure, it seems like the whole idea here is about cutting down on time spent on a wiki so you can stay immersed in the world of Azoria. While that might be a turn-off for some genre fans who like figuring out the mystery, Fae Farm is taking a more casual, laid-back approach.

The menu of home decor in Fae Farm
Collecting and placing home decor directly contributes to your stats.

The demo started me a bit further into the story. Throughout the game, you’ll unlock multiple farms around the map, and I was on the second one you could get. After getting a taste for the farming mechanics, my next goal was to build a new piece of furniture in my home. Aside from contributing to a place I could call home, furniture and home décor directly translates to stat increases. 

It’s a Persona-like marriage of seemingly separate systems that really rounds out the overall experience. Sure, I could build out a cozy space for the sake of building out a cozy space (which is a reward all its own, to be honest), but now it has the added benefit of giving me more health, mana, and stamina.

The ruins in Fae Farm

Of course, I only had a short time with Fae Farm, and with farming sims, you really need to sink in a lot of time to get a feel for the holistic picture. I haven’t really gotten a chance to meet all the villagers to know how they are, though from a glance at the map, there’s definitely a lot of them. I could see the art style turning some off too; it does have a slight Mii-like quality. 

However, my early impressions are pretty promising, and this is coming from someone who’s played hundreds of hours of Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, and Stardew Valley in his life, among others. I’m not sure if it will become another pillar of the genre, but it’s accomplishing what it’s setting out to do: be a cozy, no-stress space to decompress. 

We don’t have to wait too long to see the full game, either. Fae Farm hits Nintendo Switch and PC on September 8 for $59.99. 

Fae Farm was previewed on a Nintendo Switch at Summer Game Fest Play Days. Screenshots were provided by Phoenix Labs. 

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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Fae Farm
Game Page Fae Farm
Phoenix Labs
Phoenix Labs
PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date
September 8, 2023 (Calendar)