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Paige FTW: ‘Littlewood’ Makes Big Impact

If you ask, I’ll tell you my kind of game is the RPG.

But if you take a closer look at the various playtimes spread across my games, you’d notice a second trend: disproportionate amounts of time sunk into titles like Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, Harvest Moon: Animal Parade and Stardew Valley.

Yes, that’s my secret: I love tranquil farm sims. They’re just so relaxing … and addictive. The objective is not skill (which I generally just tend to lack), but optimization — refining something until it reaches peak efficiency and appeal. That is my thing. That is exactly my thing.

So when I heard Kickstarter darling Littlewood was finally releasing, I was all in.

Littlewood focuses a little less on the technical skill of farming, mining, fishing and the other staples of sim life in lieu of a more design-centric approach.

You are the hero who vanquished a dark wizard and saved the world. But you’ve lost your memory. So, you start rebuilding a little village from scratch, hoping that you’ll meet someone or trigger something to break through your amnesia.

From here, you have control over the landscape and town layout. You can move streams, lower elevation and lay new paths however you please. You can modify everything. The townsfolk assist by giving you new building and furniture blueprints, as well as suggestions about where they’d like to live in the new town. You spend most of your time gathering materials to upgrade and situate your new home just the way you want.

The controls are simple and require very little skill. For the most part, you’re just mashing the “confirm” key to do everything from chopping down a tree to cooking. This is sometimes a little dull, but since the point is managing your limited stamina to achieve your myriad objectives, I find I don’t really mind.

I’ve sunk quite a few hours in and have barely scratched the surface of the game’s potential. At a reasonable $15, it’s an easy gamble for lovers of the most neurotic kind of relaxation.

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