Cozy Grove is Animal Crossing’s chilled out, haunted neighbor

Every day I log into Cozy Grove, the color has actually been drained pipes from the otherwise plentiful island. The rich plant — high evergreen, blooming fruit bushes, and twisted vines — is covered in grey. This takes place each time I log off; the world I worked to colorize gradually fades back to these soft tones.

Cozy Grove, established by Spry Fox, is a lot like Animal Crossing: New Horizons — the computer game all of us sunk much of our lives into throughout 2020. Nintendo’s island-life simulator was inevitable, with life on a deserted island developed to be whatever you desire it to be. As long as you gather adequate resources to develop it out, obviously. Cozy Grove’s resemblance to that can be viewed as a benefit or a difficulty for Spry Fox; its island-life video game will constantly be compared to Nintendo’s, however that likewise provides gamers a minimum of a little familiarity with the category.

A ghost bear talking to a Cozy Grove Spirit Scout

A ghost bear talking with a Cozy Grove Spirit Scout
Image: Spry Fox/The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild

And Cozy Grove has something that New Horizons does not — a really clear structure. Gamers get everyday jobs from the spirits around the island, each of which has a clear objective. These missions are various every day, and they all add to developing relationships with the spirits around the island.

Cozy Grove is the ideal video game for anybody that’s ever gotten stressed by Animal Crossing, due to the fact that my objectives don’t feel frustrating or limitless, a clear contrast from how I felt a couple of months into New Horizons.

A relaxing, haunted island

Relaxing Grove is set on the titular island, populated by a group of whimsical, dead, bear-like animals that have actually been stuck there a while. I’m a “Spirit Scout,” something of a lady scout, who gathers badges to be shown on her green Spirit Scout sash. The objective is to do Spirit Scout things — like assisting the island’s ghost mail-bear discover lost mail — to bring life back to the colorless island. The elegant ghost bears offer me spirit wood after I assist them, and a sentient campfire called Flamey takes in the spirit wood, and the flames brighten the world, turning it complete and rich. It’s here that color returns to the world, and it takes place in such a method that you can feel the heat expanding around you. Flamey’s light likewise exposes brand-new parts of the world and spirits to assist, broadening the scope of the island each time.

A normal day’s worth of Cozy Grove for me takes about a half hour, running around from spirit to spirit, constantly with a clear job at hand. If I can’t discover something, there’s a spirit who can assist there, too — pointing me in the best instructions of whatever I’m trying to find. I never ever invest too long pondering on what to do or where to go.

Anybody that’s played New Horizons will recognize with the sorts of errands essential to finish the spirits’ jobs. Much of the time, the spirits have actually lost things that the gamer requires to discover around the island. There’s a great deal of fishing, collecting resources, and gathering products. These jobs can be completed within a half an hour approximately the majority of the time, specifically if I simply need to do something like discover a dish book that’s been stowed away in a stack of leaves, however often a job can need me to visit throughout several days. State, for example, I require to bring salt to the spirit baker on the island. That can just be acquired through Cozy Grove’s store owner, and I’ll need to wait if it’s not there on the day I require it.

It assists, too, that Cozy Grove’s writing is wonderful; it records the exact same heat of the video game’s animations however puts it into words. There’s humor there, too, which includes an additional aspect of interest to the otherwise rote jobs. The benefit for finishing these activities is more of the video game itself, and its lovely characters.

It’s OKAY to log off

Among the more fascinating features of Cozy Grove is that Spry Fox doesn’t appear to wish to keep the gamer there throughout the day. Flamey will inform me that there’s no more spirit wood offered after a particular point, and I’ll need to return tomorrow to continue feeding him.

I’m happy that Spry Fox motivates me to log off. The majority of the time, a minimum of. However the world of Cozy Grove is so lovely that I frequently wish to invest more time there. Sometimes I putz around for a bit, cleaning up my campsite and adding new decorations, or collecting extra resources so I’m overly prepared for the next day’s tasks. But I don’t feel compelled to stick around after my tasks are finished, partly because there’s just not enough to do.

Cozy items on Cozy Grove’s island

Image: Spry Fox/The Quantum Astrophysics Guild

While I desire to invest more time on the island, I appreciate that Cozy Grove doesn’t want to capitalize on all my time. There’s no Stalk Market equivalent in Cozy Grove which means there’s no stress that I’ll miss out on Timmy and Tommy’s good, good prices. I like that I can play Cozy Grove in short bursts, and like New Horizons, it’s become a daily sort of ritual — my virtual, comforting chores. I loved my time in New Horizons, and that’s why I chose to spend hours and hours each day tending to my virtual island. However after some time, it occasionally became chore-like; there were times I felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work I had to do to manage Sears, my island, and I wasn’t alone in that.

That’s what ultimately makes the daily bursts of Cozy Grove, something I can be embedded in for 20 to 30 minutes a day, a perfect balance for my life right now. New Horizons was perfect for its time in 2020, but my brain needs something even simpler today. Playing Cozy Grove in a meaningful way only takes a small period of time, and it’s something I don’t need to dedicate precious mental energy to.

Better yet, due to the fact that of that, it’s a routine that I look forward to every day.

Cozy Grove will be launched April 8 on Nintendo Change, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. It’s presently offered on Apple Game. The video game was evaluated on Windows PC and Apple Game utilizing download codes supplied by The Quantum Astrophysics Guild and an individual Apple Game membership. Vox Media has affiliate collaborations. These do not affect editorial material, though Vox Media might make commissions for items acquired by means of affiliate links. You can discover extra details about Polygon’s principles policy here.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.