I've been waiting soooo long for an Animal Crossing style game to land on PC.
There was Castaway Paradise but that game felt really, really "meh", and of course there is the Australian Dinkum that's out in Early Access right now, but before that... I've been keeping my eye on this little indie game called Hokko Life.
Today I received an email from Steam telling me that it had departed early access. Oh my word! A game has actually EXITED, LEFT, DEPARTED from that horrible thing known as early access! It's a miracle!
I raced to the store page, saw that they had a release sale going on, and hastily bought it. Woo! I opened it up, checked the settings page, it recognised that I was nottttt using a controller. That's a good first step. So many indie PC games these days require controllers and it shits me to tears. (I just randomly had an Australian pub-rock song from 1999 enter my head)
I made myself a lovely little character, hopped on a train, and soon found myself in... wherever I am. Hokko? I don't know. But we'll soon find out!
First things first, I arrived in this town at 8:30PM in-game-time (no real-time clock in this, thankfully) and there were only two buildings and I couldn't enter either of them.
Finally after running around back and forth, not knowing where else I could possibly go, the Inn opened and I could go inside. I think, for a person first starting, the Inn should be open straight away because I had no clue. None.
I went inside the nice and cozy establishment, sat down at the bar and ordered myself a late night coffee, told the fine folks that my name was Kaelci, and then they had the audacity to refer to me as 'they.' It's one of "those" games.
I can look past that as I'm playing. But I really wish I had the choice to declare myself a female. All this woke talk about inclusivity and blah blah blah blah and they completely remove the right to a male/female persona. Sure, include 'they' but don't completely remove 'him/her'. UGH.
I soon finished conversing with these two animals and went upstairs to go to sleep. The next day, I was told that I could now meet the other villagers!
Turns out the other villagers, at the moment anyway, are an alcoholic pig who is levitating off his couch in the above picture and a skater dude pig.
But I met them and explored the surrounds: an overgrown area with three dilapidated houses, and a nearby beach. I was unable to go anywhere else so returned to town where, at the Inn, I was asked if I wanted to stay and live here.
Sure, why not? Replied my little 'they' who obviously can't see red flags when they're thrust into her face. XD
So, I was given an axe and now I could clear away all the fallen tree trunks so I could prepare my new abode out of one of the dilapidated houses.
And soon my new house was complete.
I noticed that when I had finished building my house it was Tuesday, and when I woke up "the next day" it was actually Thursday. 🤔 It appeared that I had slept an entire day away. I'm not sure if that's a bug or intended.
Either way. I guess it doesn't really matter in a game like this. It's not like Stardew Valley where every day actually matters. I don't think, anyway.
Now it was time to learn how to craft items and how to place them. I was tasked with asking the two pigs what type of things they wanted in town and of course they had no idea. One was like, "Uh, maybe flowers?" and the other was, "Uh... a fence, I guess?"
So I made those items with the help of Sally the Dog who had been hiding in her workshop this entire time and placed the new items around town.
Then I built a bridge and placed it so I could deforest more of the region for my crafting and town redesign. Muahahaha.
It was then that the Innkeeper gave me a list of things I could do to earn merits, which I guess is how I unlock some things? Because Animal Crossing was never on PC, I never played it, so if this was a thing in that game I'm a complete noob and will slowly work it out.
To honour my child labour (because apparently my character is a kid), a real estate agent decided that she would set up office in town and use my abilities to make herself rich by convincing more people to move into town.
I'm hoping that I'll be able to like, paint peoples houses or something, because at the moment all of the houses look identical.
I'd just like to mention, again, that I renovated the above house for the bunny rabbit on Thursday.... annnddd... after the game made me sleep after a "thank you cutscene", I woke up the next day on Saturday. Missed another day.
Not gamebreaking! But that it happened twice now, after building houses and after a house-related cutscene, seems like a small bug.
Turns out this creepy giraffe will actually buy my stuff now. Apparently he... "knows a guy." Sounds legit. 🤣 Haven't seen anything I'm able to buy with this cash just yet, but I'm sure it'll be useful for something. I doubt this small utopia has taken leave of all of its Capitalism.
The creepy giraffe gave me some flower seeds for free and I started adorning the town with my flower planting skills.
The keyboard/mouse controls are good. I'm really pleased with that. What feels weird though is selecting my tool with R, digging a hole with E, selecting a seed with R, planting it with E. I feel that a more 1-2-3-4-5-etc setup would've been far more beneficial, but I guess it wouldn't have been controller friendly then.
Keyboard controls still feel good though, just need to get used to this method of selection.
I soon realised that in order to buy things, I had to look at something that's actually displayed in the shop then choose to buy it if I so wished.
There was nothing that took my fancy just yet, and now I'm wondering how often the stock changes. So I raced to bed to see if there was a new rotation for each day.
...and, there was not. After looking at the Hokko Life wiki, apparently it is meant to rotate each day. Soooo... another bug? I guess. It IS fresh out of early access! Day One Bugs are to be expected. As with any game these days.
Soon the new real estate office was built in town and I visited with our new realtor. Thankfully I discovered that it was here I could change the outer appearance of people's houses! New walls, new roofs, and there were also different styles of homes available for differing resources and prices to diversify my burgeoning town!
Apparently you can change the appearance of the houses by interacting with a sign outside of the house... but I'm not seeing any signs. Maybe that'll come later... I'm still kind of in the tutorial I think.
I can see that the houses I can build from the real estate have the white sign on them, so maybe it's only the ones I build I can change.
While roaming around the area looking for trees to chop so I could build my first house, I ran into a strange goat lady who was obsessed with bugs. She gave me a net so I, too, could capture and revel in the majesty of bugs!
I can collect them and they're recorded in my collections book, and then I can sell them for money. Woo! More money!
With my money and wooden planks in hand, I returned to the realtor and together we walked around until I found an ideal location for my first house to build from scratch. The cheapest one that looks like every other house in the neighbourhood!
As we can see though, it will have the white sign on it. I hope the prebuilt ones will have a sign out the front of them soon so I can customise them also. We'll see.
This house will be built in a couple of days apparently.
Anyway, the game seems alright so far. I know I haven't really touched much of it yet, apparently there's full on farming and being able to buy new clothes, fishing, proper personalised decorating of your own creation, tournaments, seasons, events, explore other places, etc.
This is just the first impressions of my first few hours in the game.
Sooooo farrrrrr... I'm more enamoured with Dinkum than I am this, although this seems to have a lot more available. (Of course it does, Dinkum is still in early access and is very recent to boot.)
I can see myself getting right into this though and creating and decorating a full-fledged village. I've seen many screenshots of other peoples creations who were playing in the early access and it does seem quite impressive.
I feel as though there are still a couple of bugs to weed out and that there'll probably be a couple of patches during this first week of proper release, and that's when I'll probably open it up again, after a couple of patches.
Overall though, it's a chill game and gives off a pleasant vibe. Keyboard/mouse controls are intuitive thankfully.
At the moment, when it comes to indie games, kb/m controls are right up there on my list when it comes to judging something. For example, the new Cult of the Lamb? It's a good game. I mostly enjoyed the demo. But the kb/m controls are godawful, it clearly feels designed for controller, and I'm not going to buy it just because of that. So I'm grateful this feels good on proper computer designed controls.
You can have a look at Hokko Life at the steam store here:
Until next time! 🙃