Maoski   United States
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Hokko Life is an indie version of Animal Crossing without time flow in real time. It recently released into Early Access with core mechanics in place but still needing a lot more work. Despite that, the game is quite fun and I look forward to seeing what the final product will shape up to be. It's a good game to dive into now so that you can hop on the forums and Discord channel in order to give input to somewhat contribute to the further development of this game. Please keep in mind that this game is primarily created by a single developer who is very responsive to suggestions and is working on frequent updates to help fashion the game into a better experience.

There's a minimalist story, in which you, the protagonist human character, falls asleep on the train and wakes up in the rural town inhabited by bipedal humanoid animals who you can befriend. (If it's sounding familiar by now, I think it's intentional.) Without a place to stay, the innkeeper offers you a small room to stay and keep some of your belongings, in hopes that you will stay and help make the town better. The game starts with only two neighbors/villagers, and it's up to you to slowly expand and invite more villagers to settle.

The gameplay is focused on several different elements, all of which are casual and essentially stress free.

1. Designing and Crafting play a huge part in this game. You can practically design and create anything you would like, from utility items to decorate pieces, using the crafting materials that can be found in-game. The in-game designer/creator tool doesn't have the best UI so it's hard to see what you are doing at times. Nevertheless, this will get most of the players to spend hours trying to create some cool-looking pieces. You can also create paints and fabric dyes, wallpaper, etc. to fully personalize how the town appears to you inside and out--from interior design in the homes to external decorations and statues.

2. Town Building is also something that you carry out bit by bit. Now keeping in mind that this is limited in function at this time, as you can build 4 different houses and each one can only house one resident. The biggest limitation is that the houses cannot be moved once they are built and only face forward at this time.

3. Tasks given by the villagers will come along, especially when more of them move into town. This is usually something fairly straight forward, such as giving an item to another individual or obtaining an item that's easy to get to. Other times you will have to provide a quantity of a craftable supply. And from time to time, you will also be asked to design and to place a piece of furniture in their home. This last bit sometimes can get a bit time consuming if you start pouring in creative juices in trying to design the next best thing. These tasks often have a number of days limit attached to them, but there is no penalty for not making the deadline, the quest/task just cycles out and will come back again later. Sometimes you are just unable to get the supplies needed in time, and that's okay.

4. Exploration and Resource Gathering are inevitably linked together, as when you start, your area of movement is very limited and you have to use those resources to explore more and expand the available locations that you can visit. With more regions progressively opening up, you will have more materials and more land to use. Ultimately the resources go back to materials needed for mostly the designs and crafts that you will do.

5. Collecting is also to be expected, as you will be fishing for a number of fish and catching insects (butterflies) also. The butterfly catching is easy and effortless, and the fishing is probably the only aspect of the game right now that involves any kind of reflexive button presses in its mini-game format that's fairly easy once you get used to playing it.

Easy to use a keyboard and mouse, the controls that you might want to use are displayed on screen when it comes to that, so it's easy to figure out what to do. Controller works well for the most part, including the item design, but there are times when you will need a mouse and keyboard and the game will tell you. I imagine that full controller support will be an eventual goal.

The game has adorable design, and you can create almost anything if you put your mind to it and have the resources.

Music & Sounds
Seeing as you will likely end up spending many hours playing, the music can become a bit repetitive. It's not difficult to turn off the music if you so desire and play other music in the background.

Almost everyone who is remotely interested should be able to play this game. It's casual and adorable, with a heavy emphasis on personal design.

Current Early Access price is $19.99 base, which I think is reasonable for the game overall. Currently it needs some work still, so only buy in if you want to try it now and maybe contribute to the game's on-going development. The core mechanics are there, but the developer is making frequent updates both in planned content and also to fix problems and implement suggestions from players.

Some Suggestions
1. It would be great to be able to generate blueprints to save for the items that you design instead of only being able to copy/edit from created items in the inventory.
2. Villager identification for quests/tasks. It is very tedious to run around and talk to each one of them just to see if they have something for you to do that day.
3. In addition, a quick map to show where each villager is would be awesome, since they are always wandering around and sometimes are difficult to find to trigger/continue/finish a task.
4. Hopefully this comes around soon, but currently the houses that you build are permanent, and when they are put in, they cannot be rotated. So everything in town has the same directional orientation and I had misplaced a couple of houses so as to block off chunks of land that I could otherwise use. It would be great to be able to more customize the housing locations. This is going to be especially important when the planned farming update comes in.
5. There's a way to share with other players your designs, and that's in the works. It currently only allows sharing of 5 designs so it would be nice to eventually get Workshop support and people can create and share whatever they wish instead of having the heavy restrictions.
6. Craftable storage units or allowing users to maybe put clothing and other supplies away would be so much appreciated. Currently when I don't use something I toss it all over, and fortunately the game saves whatever you toss on the ground, so it's a big deal. The backpack inventory is all you have, and even fully upgraded, is not nearly enough slots for what you might want to hold.

My very first play session is recorded here:

Hokko Life is an impressive indie game made mostly by one person. It has some rough edges but has enough core mechanics for people to play it as a casual game and also to spend many hours with the designing tool. The game is rather shallow in terms of other content right now but hopefully that will change. Nevertheless, it is fun and will likely only get better from here. Definitely check it out some time!

Score: 8/10

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.

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cacrobia Jun 12 @ 4:29pm 
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mark_wr Covenant May 2 @ 12:24pm 
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mark_wr Covenant Mar 26 @ 12:49pm 
🌾 ❝𝑀𝓊𝓈𝒾𝒸 𝒾𝓈 𝓌𝒽𝒶𝓉 🌞𝓊𝓇 𝒻𝑒𝑒𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓈 𝓈💮𝓊𝓃𝒹 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒.❞ - 𝒱𝑒𝓇𝒶 𝐹𝒶𝓇𝓂𝒾𝑔𝒶 🌾
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mark_wr Covenant Mar 21 @ 7:43am 
🐔 🐎 𝒮𝓅𝓇𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒽𝒶𝓈 𝓇𝑒𝓉𝓊𝓇𝓃𝑒𝒹. 𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝐸𝒶𝓇𝓉𝒽 𝒾𝓈 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒 𝒶 𝒸𝒽𝒾𝓁𝒹 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓀𝓃🌸𝓌𝓈 𝓅🌞𝑒𝓂𝓈. - 𝑅𝒶𝒾𝓃𝑒𝓇 𝑀𝒶𝓇𝒾𝒶 𝑅𝒾𝓁𝓀𝑒 🐎 🐔
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