SunnySide Review - Buggy but Absolutely Worth It

SunnySide is a leap for the genre despite problems

Published: July 2, 2024 9:30 AM /

Reviewed By:

promo image for SunnySide

If you thought you were done with cozy farming sims, think again – SunnySide takes everything people thought they knew and loved about the cozy farming genre and flips it on its head. Gone are the days when you’re watering individual plants with an outdated watering can. Welcome to 2024, where people can order their seeds online and text their friends to meet up. 

SunnySide is a modern twist on the farming simulation games that players know and love. Combining more in-depth mechanics of the Farming Simulators with the cozy classics like Stardew Valley lets developers RainyGames create a unique, standout game. Between stellar story-telling, farming/ranching, battling, and relationship-building, SunnySide has earned a spot in the genre for pushing things farther than anyone else has. There are so many little details all around that elevate it. 

Unfortunately, an abundance of bugs and performance issues make it incredibly difficult to get into. The game is held back from soaring as it should, but if you can get around them, there’s a truly special game waiting underneath. 

Welcome to the SunnySide

riding on bike in rain in SunnySide
SunnySide is visually stunning and has a lot of charm.

As a new resident in SunnySide, the player buys a nearly empty piece of land to start a farm on. The only thing available is a shed with a few tools, a water pump and hose, and a tent from the neighbor. The friendly townspeople are willing to help the player get set up for success, teaching them everything from cooking to woodworking to farming. 

The little town feels alive – people are constantly walking everywhere, they’re changing clothes with the seasons, they have their own lives, and they aren’t relying on the player for anything. The characters are unique enough to stand out, both in design and personality. There’s every kind of store that a small town would have, and as someone who grew up in a small town, it feels like home. 

The little details of the people and the town already set it apart. The way they interact with the player also feels genuine, along with how the player builds relationships with them. Getting close to people involves texting, meeting up anywhere around town, and spending time together. For each character, spending time together looks different; players can write poetry with Sebastion or fly drones with Hiro. 

battles in SunnySide
Battling with spiritually-charged talismen is another outstanding area of the game.

These interactions feel realistic, and getting to know the characters reveals that they’re written well, too. 

There are also events pretty consistently, such as festival days or farmer’s markets where the player can interact with everyone as they come and go. Additionally, the farmer’s market is how players can sell anything they get their hands on in a way that still feels pretty realistic. If someone was trying to make a living off the land today, renting a booth and selling things would be a solid start. 

As the game continues, players can make deals with townspeople to source different things for them. The natural progression of building both casual and business relationships is unmatched by other games in the genre.

Deep farming mechanics

small farm in SunnySide
There's so much freedom in SunnySide that players can choose what kind of farm they want to have. Pick a specialty or have a variety, it's up to you.

Starting from the literal bottom feels satisfying in a way that other cozy farming sims don’t point out. While you may have a dilapidated house in other games, at least it’s a house. And it’s easy enough to get a few pieces of wood to upgrade. In SunnySide, players are given a blueprint as a pity gift, but they have to source everything from screws to glass to put it together.

The farming and ranching itself is reminiscent of Farming Simulator. There’s a lot of deep planning and thought behind how and what you’ll plant. With the internet’s array of seeds to choose from and different types of plots and seeds, there’s plenty of depth. Bringing this level of depth to a cozy farming game isn’t unheard of, but it’s a nice touch that gives players an actual choice in what they want to plant.

It’s all in the details

SunnySide claw machine play
Minigames are a fun part of certain hangout interactions, like the claw machine.

SunnySide absolutely nailed the details of the genre. There’s so much that players can delve into and explore in-depth, all while having total customization of things like their phone case, its background, and even the notification sound. 

The story blends into the gameplay naturally, and it doesn’t feel like any specific gameplay is forced. Instead, players have to tackle multiple different things to make it in SunnySide, which is the goal from the start anyway. 

Everything in SunnySide is cohesive and feels natural, and that’s because of the attention to small details in every aspect of the game. Whether you’re praying at the local shrine to upgrade your skill tree, making friends to further the story, or creating the most amazing strawberry farm in existence, everything comes together naturally and beautifully.

The unfortunate reality of bugs

taking pictures in SunnySide
Taking pictures of birds and bugs is actually part of SunnySide.

Unfortunately, bugs are everywhere in the game. It’s easy to fall through the world when loading into areas or get stuck somewhere. This happened at least once every two hours of gameplay. However, SunnySide has several mechanics in place for resetting things. For example, players can respawn where they last slept at any given time. They can also summon their vehicle if it gets stuck no matter where they are. 

These fail-safes are great, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the issues are glaring and abundant. It also doesn’t account for visual bugs, like characters facing the wrong way in a conversation or suddenly appearing/disappearing. 

A great game with lots to get over

Despite the major bug problems, SunnySide is a game that shines in its genre. There’s nothing quite like it, and the overwhelmingly well-done parts of it are worth getting around the bugs for (especially when it's so easy to get around them). 

The wonderful character development, seamless and natural storytelling and gameplay, and perfectly polished details are far better than the bugs would suggest. Future updates could make this game shine even brighter. However, even with the bugs, SunnySide is such a leap for the genre that it’s worth investing time into. It's a game I'll be returning to over and over again for some time. 

SunnySide was previewed on PC using a copy provided by the publisher over the course of 20 hours of gameplay - all screenshots were taken during the process of review.

Review Summary

SunnySide may be full of bugs, but the amazing attention to detail in the gameplay loops make it a standout title in the genre. (Review Policy)


  • Town full of life
  • Farm freedom like no other
  • Attention to detail in every aspect of the game


  • Littered with bugs

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Brittany Alva profile picture
| Staff Writer

Brittany's been gaming since she could walk -- literally. A doctor told her parents to get her a handled console to improve her hand-eye coordination… More about Brittany