Thank you Humble Bundle for sending us this game to review!
Forager is a cute game where your character has to forage for food and materials to survive and expand their home. There isn’t much of a story in this game outside of some unlockable comics. Sadly, they don’t scale well or zoom in enough to be readable on the undocked Switch’s screen. Even without a plot, there is still plenty to do and the game does give you some advice on starting by building a furnace and a forge to get you going.
The furnace is used for crafting coal, brick, iron and gold ingots, steel, and cooked meats. The forge is necessary for creating coins, keys, arrows, bows, jars, pickaxes, bows, swords, and amulets. At first, you start off with a plain pickaxe which is multi-purpose and used for mining, chopping down trees, gathering food, and attacking/killing enemies.
As you forage, your energy meter will begin to deplete. You must eat to regain energy. You also start off with three life hearts that can be replenished with certain cooked meals or by talking to faeries. Mined gold can be crafted into coins which can be used to purchase more parcels of land which can be connected via bridges that you build.
There are several different biomes and dungeons to explore. If you're into helping princesses, you can do that too. The dungeons have treasures, enemies, and bosses to contend with. The risks are great, but the rewards are greater. More life hearts and better weapons await you if you’re daring enough to venture inside.
Though there is violence, this game isn’t bloody or gory. Some of the enemies are undead and you will gain the ability to summon skeletons after completing a particular dungeon. Magic and alchemy are possible to do if you unlock the skills in the technology tree. Every item you scavenge and make earns you experience. With every level you gain, you can unlock a new skill.
Along with leveling up and learning skills, you can get some quests from NPCs you meet. There is also a museum on one of the islands that rewards players who can supply samples of all of the collectable and forgeable items. In lieu of achievements are feats which a player can attempt to unlock. All in all, there is plenty to do. More updates are promised including new biomes and multiplayer gameplay.
While there's plenty to keep you busy, this game can run on autopilot once you unlock automation technology in the skill tree. Banks will generate coins, droids can do grunt work, and mining rods will automatically gather and send goods straight to your inventory (provided you have enough slots). Though there is some guidance on technology unlocking, it is possible to unlock technology that you can't really use yet. For example, I unlocked the ability to create droids before having the factories available to assemble them in.
For the most part, Forager ran great on the Switch. The touchscreen support works great. I did run into an issue where I got stuck in a dungeon. Thankfully, the game autosaves frequently so I didn’t lose much progress when I restarted the game. If you like games like Minecraft, Terreria, or Stardew Valley, you’ll probably want to give Forager a shot. I look forward to future updates for this game!