Fantastic Haven is a lovely Zoo Tycoon type game where you run a safe haven for magical creatures. As people move towards more advanced technology, their desire to live in harmony with the magical creatures wanes. This puts the balance of magic under pressure, and it’s up to you to restore that balance. Take in magical creatures that are injured or endangered, and restore them to health. Then, release them back into the wild to help restore the magic of the world. Even try diplomacy and education to teach humans about the importance of these creatures. It’s not an easy job, but it’s worth it!
I had the pleasure of playing the demo for Fantastic Haven and I have to say, it was SO short. I got a very small taste of what the game is about, and it left me wanting more. Building facilities necessary for taking care of animals, as well as advancing your research is great for game progression. Hand-crafting the biotopes needed to house the magical creatures is fun and lends a sense of creativity outside of building what amounts to a village with your buildings.
It’s apparent that, despite the short demo, Fantastic Haven will be fully involved and perfect for spending a day gaming. You conduct research, build golems to help you in your tasks, care for the creatures’ medical needs, build biotopes, feed creatures, and much more. It has a very apparent depth to it. However, that means there are menus upon menus for you to navigate. That by itself is fine.
Many complicated strategy and management games have that. Fantastic Haven’s research menu, building menus, creature menus, etc. are common enough. The only problem I found is that the text is TINY. It’s difficult to read, which makes it difficult to accomplish things in the game. The lack of tutorial was mildly frustrating, too. I don’t know if that was demo specific, but I hope so. The starting quests ask you to pan the camera, move around the area, and similar. It doesn’t tell you how to do that, though. So, if you’d never encountered using Q and E to turn a camera, you’d be totally lost and unable to progress the quest line.
That said, Fantastic Haven is absolutely beautiful and offers an immersive storyline along with its game play. I could see myself spending hours upon hours perfecting the layout of my village, negotiating with humans, and carefully building biotopes for creatures. It’s a magical adventure that calls me to play!
I’ll hold off on rating the demo, since they’re not always accurate to what the final game will look like. Just know that I think it’ll be a worthwhile game!
You can find Fantastic Haven on Steam, where you can Wishlist it. It’s not projected to release until Q2 of next year, though. There’s also plans for releases on Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox!