Town Building, Exploration, Combat, Looting, and Villagers to Befriend/Romance
Solo developer Vasilis at Kappa Bits and publisher Merge Games just announced their new game Pixelshire. This 2D farming and life-sim reminds us of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, especially with the newly added feature of terraforming.
When you settle into this town on the continent of Arcadia, you not only get to build your home, but also get to design the homes of your neighbours. However, like us, you’ll probably spend most of your time carving out rivers, creating hills, and making paths with the landscape.
Aside from forming and growing the population of the town, you can master skills and trades. For example, tending to livestock, growing crops, mining, woodcutting, fishing, cooking, and brewing. To sell these items you’ve made or collected, you can put them in your own shop!
While exploring through procedurally-generated islands with enchanted forests, mountain jungles, and more, you’ll fight enemies, find hidden treasure, and clear dungeons. On these adventures, you can even get the villagers you have befriended or romanced to join you!
We’ve been following Staxel for quite some time now, which you can see in our article about the demo here. Plukit, the developers, were kind enough to give myPotatoGames a copy of the full-release on Steam to review with the new updates you can read about here. If you’re looking for a great sandbox game to spend hours and hours building and farming, look no further! Feel free to relax and explore a plentiful island, and build a wonderful town that villagers will want to move into.
Character Creation and Tutorial
You start with naming your farm, creating your character, and going through your settings. I was really glad to find out that you can switch from first-person view to third-person. With third-person you can also choose to make your character more transparent if you find they are in the way. A great new addition is Selfie Mode where you can take a moment to view your character from the front. This is a most welcome change as I was a little bummed at first to create my character and dress them up, only to not be able to see what they look like ever again.
Meeting Farm Fan and Azila
Talking to Farm Fan is basically your tutorial as she will guide you by showing you around the town and around your farm. You get your choice between a cat and a dog as your first pet when asked by the tavern keeper Rowan. Farm Fan will show you how to place your new pet house and bowl for food. She will even show you how to plant your first crop. Afterward, you’re sent over to Azila to learn how to build your first barn. I would have appreciated a lot more hand-holding for this part because I had no idea what to do even with recipes.
Building Your First Barn
If you’ve played Minecraft before, then you should be pretty familiar with how to build stuff in this game. However, as a newcomer to voxels and using building blocks, there was a lot of trial and error for me. Thankfully, you can use your hammer to smash and restart without losing your materials. I decided to look at what the other pre-existing buildings looked like and got an idea of what type of blocks to use. I was able to smash them up a little to see what they’re called and what’s underneath. However, this gave me a little anxiety because I was unsure if I could replace everything correctly.
All buildings have a signpost in front of them (or totems) that you can view and see what the base requirements are in order for that building to be considered complete and function properly. I’ll save you a significant amount of time and money right now by telling you that you don’t necessarily need to build on top of the display lines, just within them. Also, you can do the bare minimum to start out. Sure your barn needs a roof but as long as you have four corner posts it will hold up, rather than having it completely closed off. You can also save yourself a few blocks by making windows and leaving an entrance as farm animals cannot go through doors.
I’m not sure whether this is intentional or not but your cows will wander as far as possible even with the small fences all around your farm. Thus, they will not know to eat out of their troughs and will become sad and not produce their regular resources. Therefore, you must either build a much taller fence around their barn or put blocks under the small fences for more height.
Taking Care of Animals and Crops
As far as I can tell, animals will not die if you forget to feed them. The only drawback is that they will not give you anything. For example, you cannot milk your cow if they are hungry. Your pet will also occasionally give you gifts such as furniture or clothes. In addition, your cows will poop and you can use that “splat” to make manure for your crops. You’re welcome. Manure will help speed up the growth period of your crops as the out-of-season ones will wither at the end of the month. Make sure to water them every day (you can buy sprinklers) unless it is raining out. It’s actually really adorable to watch it rain block-y raindrops. Eventually, I would like to be able to purchase pigs and chickens but I’m focusing on making money.
Shopping and Foraging
The most notable feature of this game, compared to other farming simulations, is that there is no stamina drain. Therefore, you can farm, build, forage, catch bugs, and fish to your hearts content! A few tools will be given to you by villagers. You only need to go buy a pickaxe, scythe, and a bug net from the General Store. Animal food, crop seeds, furniture, and more can be found at the General Store whereas blocks, recipes, stations, and building materials can be found at the Building Store.
For a few specialty items that continue to rotate, go to the supermarket in town and find a few merchants there. This is where you can sell your items such as bugs and flowers to start earning Petals (currency).
You’ll be spending an enormous amount of time chopping down trees, breaking stone, and digging up dirt. To save time with the trees, you can make sure to chop them at the bottom of their trunks so that the whole tree will fall apart. I also created myself a quarry with steps where I can easily access all the stone and dirt that I want that’s buried underground. I’m unsure if stone will respawn but trees need to be replanted. Furthermore, I noticed that when you are wacking some stone, that the further away it is, the quieter the sound effect. This is an impressive feature.
Getting and Befriending New Villagers
One of the things that frustrate me the most about Staxel is how expensive everything is versus the amount of money you can make. To have new villagers move into your town, you need to talk to the mayor to open a quest. Building my first home for Emilia was very expensive (about 20k) and very time-consuming. To be fair, I built her a very massive home. Several hours later after filling her home with the required furniture, I spoke to Emilia and got some rewards. She then gave me a signpost to start building her a Patisserie as she is a skilled baker.
As far as other mini-quests go, you can pick up items that have been lost, such as socks, and return them to their rightful owner. If you don’t know who they belong to because you haven’t spoken to them first, go to Rowan and ask him about some rumors. The villager will reward you with items in return. Continue to build your relationship with these villagers by talking to them, completing quests, and giving gifts. Eventually, they will ask you to complete specific Friendship Quests. Become best friends and they can even move into your house! There is no marrying or romance in this game but all villagers are unique and interesting to speak to. Just don’t steal from their cash registers!
Calendar Days and Festivals
Pay attention to your clock and transport yourself home when needed. It’s always best to go to sleep when your display shows the moon which I’m assuming indicates that it is midnight. You can wake up tired and sluggish which only gets worse throughout the day. This is a status debuff which you can get from not only sleep deprivation but other things as well that I still need to discover. There are 30 days now in a month with added festivals and events.
During the latest Easter event you could find Easter Eggs around the island and receive chocolates or candies from them. Eating a green candy for example gave me a speed boost buff. Once I start cooking with stations I’m sure the prepared food will not only give you a better resale value and make for a great gift to a villager, but can also give different status buffs.
Rare foraging items and building materials have been added to the game such as star bits that fall from the sky at night and that are used to upgrade your tools. Other examples are the blue crystals you can mine from a cavern. The cavern is one of many new islands called Portal Islands that will appear in the town during select days. You can check the calendar mounted on your wall at home to see which days you can access them. The calendar also displays when you can do the monthly festivals. There are three festivals to take part in: Fey Masquerade, Pumpkin Festival, and Snowdust Faire. I’m unsure why there isn’t a festival in the summer but these ones add a welcome change of pace.
The first festival you can take part in is the Fey Masquerade in the Spring. A giant pink castle will appear and you will be able to talk to the Fey Queen to undertake a quest. You must run around the island looking for rare mischievous fairies (which will appear red instead of blue). They will be hovering above flowers and can be caught using a bug net. The queen will give you back the items the fairies stole from her such as building blocks for you to make repairs to the castle.
Each room will also have requirements that need to be fulfilled such as needing certain furniture. It is not at all obvious that you need to read the signposts in front of each and every room and start rearranging furniture between them. I ran out of time to complete this festival but now I know what to look for it might go a little faster next time. I also don’t think anything is stopping you from keeping all of the furniture to yourself.
Controls and Menus
The journal in your menu is very useful in remembering which quests need to be completed if you forget. In your inventory you will find all of your recipes but I liked how you don’t necessarily need to have them to create things. You can experiment with different materials on the building stations and see what will come out of it before going through with it.
If you get lost, you can open your map which gives you an overhead view of the entire island. You’ll see a face icon of all of the villagers and your animals with their current locations. You can also see if there are any star bits around. Moreover, you can speed things along by walking your character toward those icons without having to exit out of the map.
Storage and Inventory
The controls are fairly simple when you get used to them and you can easily cycle through your inventory with the items you have in-hand. You cannot expand your inventory but I later found out that you can place all items on bookshelves and inside of crates. You can even put these storage items outside for easy access to food and tools. Build yourself a tool shed even as there are no limits to your creativity! Putting items down improperly however will have those said items disappear after a while.
Speaking of placing items on shelves, it looks adorable but it isn’t very functional in stores. Sometimes it can be hard to find what you are looking for as you have to hover over the items but I’m told you can later buy a catalog. What would have been helpful here is to be able to zoom-in to the shelves and not have to worry about other people walking in front if you. People can also be in the way when you are trying the build stuff on your stations.
Staxel offers all the customization and exploration you could possibly want. A few extra festivals would have been better but there are so many things to do in this game that you can play forever. If you want to experience this game for yourself, head to Steam here.
As you all probably know by now, my favorite game is Animal Crossing. Through all of my adventures, I always really enjoyed bringing my fossils, insects, fish, and paintings to Blathers’ Museum and visit Celeste too! There’s just something about seeing my collections on display that make me a pretty proud potato. I’ve also been recently enjoying playing Two Point Hospital and arranging, designing, my rooms from the ground up! That’s why Mondo Museum, developed Viewport Games and published by Kitfox Games (Canadian studio), coming to Steam in 2020 has me tuber excited! In other words, Mondo Museum is a management sim that challenges you to construct, administer, and curate your own museum.
About Mondo Museum
Mondo Museum is a management sim that challenges you to construct, administer, and curate your own museum. Choose what items to showcase, draw in the crowds, and grow your collection of cultural, artistic, historical, and scientific displays to expand from a humble exhibit hall into a world-class institution! This isn’t your average museum. This is Mondo Museum.
Construct a Museum: Create your own unique layout by placing exhibit halls, gift shops, theatres, and more. Then customize the look of each room with different floors, wallpapers, windows, and decor. But plan carefully… wouldn’t want to get lost in your own museum.
Choose Your Exhibits: Mix-and-match 100+ items across multiple collections, from Dinosaurs to Space Exploration. As your museum gains prestige, you’ll unlock new artifacts from around the world to play with.
Put Your Creativity on Display: Dive into an accessible modding system to create your own exhibit items to share on the Steam Workshop. Or download collections made by other players to spice up your museum.
Keep Calm and Curate On: Stay on your toes because you never know situations you might encounter. Meet the demands of a visiting VIP and they might loan you a rare exhibit, but keep an eye on that shaky-looking dinosaur skeleton…
Manage Your People: Attract visitors, address their comfort, make sure they exit through the gift shop (cha-ching), and manage their experience for maximum prestige and profit! Hire staff like researchers, conservators, and docents; they’ll keep your displays informative and, more importantly, intact.
Science and history are super cool so I wanted to know what are the items you are most looking forward to exhibiting in your museum. These items include: dinosaur skeletons, Ancient Egypt artifacts, space exploration equipment, and more!
If you haven’t yet heard of Garden Paws, it’s a farming simulation RPG created by Canadian indie developers Bitten Toast Games. We here at myPotatoGames have been playing the game on Steam but you’ll also be able to play the content-complete version on the Nintendo Switch December 2019. This game has been one of our favorites this year if you want to check out our previous review.
Spring 15 Easter Egg Hunt
We’ve given you a list of tips for beginners, and now we’d like to share with you all of the Easter Egg locations in the town of Florens, including screenshots. Spring will be the first season you start with and every single year on Spring 15, Ester comes to town with the most amazing of prizes! If you’ve played through several years, like us, and get excited every time Spring comes along but you can’t quite find all of the eggs, well this is the guide for you! However, if you haven’t unlocked every new villager in Florens so far, know that there may be spoilers ahead.
If you want to try and find them on your own, you have until the end of Spring to do so but know that if you find all 20 eggs before, Ester will give you a bonus 10 Tickets! You’ll also want to do this all in a day or two as there is no indicator of which egg you found and haven’t yet found. There is an in-game achievement tracker but it only displays the amount you’ve found. Keep all of the eggs in your inventory (which you’ll probably need to expand at least once) and open all of your eggs at the same time.
Some eggs are rarer than others and will contain better randomized prizes as well as some Tickets. These prizes alone are worth the effort but on top of that, once you’ve collected enough Tickets, you can trade for select Easter-related prizes. You’ll probably need to save up and try again next year for the bigger prizes. Now onto the hidden Easter Egg locations!
All 20 Easter Egg Locations
At the town gate, on the other side of Charlie, inside a wood bush.
Climb inside the walled part of the town’s gate, go past the treasure chest to the other open edge.
Hidden inside one of Malu’s cabbages behind their stall. Malu is the one that sells cloth.
Go to Boris, the one that sells backpacks and storage upgrades, and find the egg directly behind their stall.
Next to some crates directly behind Abby’s stall. Abby is the one that sells crops.
Inside a Plant Fiber near Ester. Go past Ester and just beyond the first tree near the hill at the bottom where there are stones.
Inside of the well in the middle of the town square.
Inside a Plant Fiber just behind Miller’s wheat farm. You may not have unlocked Miller yet so go near the pond at the second cave in the town.
Inside the town’s first mining cave, go to the left next to a torch you can light. Nestled in between a giant pointed stone and two other little ones (inside the inner edge of the pond) is where you’ll find the egg.
Inside the exact same cave, jump on either the minecart or the lower stones to get to the very top right-hand corner above a tunnel entrance that you cannot enter.
Inside the pond on the opposite side of the Plant Fiber cave entrance in town. You may not yet have a dock there yet but you can see the egg submerged underwater inside some seaweed.
In the same pond area in town, jump on top of the stones to the Plant Fiber cave entrance. The egg is a bit hidden by the grass.
Go directly behind the Mayor’s house (next to Beltran) which is on a bit of a hill. The image below may look a little different if you haven’t upgraded their home to the Town Hall. Either way, it will be in the middle near the sign on the wall,
There’s an unused red-roofed home right across from Beltran, the town’s Blacksmith, Go to the back where there’s a door and find the egg under the steps next to a large tree,
If you don’t yet have the Wanderer and his house/Museum, you’ll want to climb one of the tallest hills in town close to Mr. Jones. It’s inside one of the Plant Fiber bushes just below the highest point on the side facing Mr. Mooney.
Inside the closest water bucket behind Mr. Jones and in his chicken coop. You can jump over the fence where it’s lowest or stand on something to glide over.
Right next to Mr. Jones’ house in the front there are two buckets and a barrel. The smallest bucket has the egg inside.
Inside Mr. Mooney’s barn area there are three stacks of hay next to the entrance. You’ll find the egg wedged in between there.
Across from Mr. Mooney on the beach facing some islands, you’ll find an egg under a bench.
Go all the way back around to Frank’s little balcony at the back of his house. You’ll need to climb the hill next to them to either glide or do very well-timed jump to be able to reach this egg.
Trading Tickets for Easter Prizes
Now you’ve found all of the Easter Eggs in Garden Paws! The prizes range in Ticket prices (10, 25, 75, etc) for the following items: several skins for your character, different colored bunnies (i.e. purple) for your habitats, balloons you can hold or use as decoration, decorated egg-shaped storage items, an egg tree, a bird bath, a large egg centerpiece, several aprons and crowns/hats, and a large blue flower fountain.
We hope this guide was helpful to you and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave us a comment! Next time we’ll be making a post about the newly added Summer Festival which includes several mini-games and summer prizes! Save up your coins because you’re going to need them!
City builders are the go-to genre if you want to relax and lose yourself for hours. There’s something the MyPotatoGames fam loves about being able to build a town or world and watch it flourish. Add in some gorgeous graphics, and the ability to colonize space…Before We Leave, in development by Balancing Monkey Games, definitely has our attention.
About Before We Leave:
Your people emerge from underground to a world they’ve forgotten about. You have to rebuild civilization, which includes an assortment of fun tasks. There are resources to manage, huts to build, and potatoes to harvest. Once you’ve expanded your world, you can expand across the universe.
By expanding through space, you’ll create a multi-planet system of colonies to care for. The needs of your civilization aren’t going to be your only concern. There’s a reason your people were forced underground – disasters. These disasters left their mark on your planets and with improper management, they can once more cause issues.
On top of that, there are ancient guardians – remnants of your ancestors – that will challenge cities and demand attention. Oh, and the space whales. Yup, there are giant planet-munching space whales floating about.
Watch the announcement trailer:
There’s no set release date yet but the game will be coming to PC. You can wishlist it now on Steam. You can also follow development updates on Twitter and the dev blog.
We love talking about city-builders of all shapes and sizes! For the city-builders with a love for animals, make sure you’re up-to-date with Planet Zoo. Love to micromanage? Two Point Hospital is coming to consoles!
LEGO has been at the forefront of wholesome games for decades. Now, they have joined forces with mobile producer and developer Nimblebit LLC to create LEGO Tower. We can’t wait to dive into this virtual brick building experience!
About the Game:
LEGO Tower is very similar to Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower. Your main objective is to build the biggest and best tower you can. Each floor fits into a different category. These range from residential apartment floors to restaurants, gyms, and more.
Instead of Tiny Tower’s “bitizens”, you have LEGO minifigures. Your minifigures live and work in your creation. You can customize the appearance of your minifigure residents and assign them jobs.
The biggest difference seems to be the graphics. Instead of Nimblebit’s signature pixels, the graphics look like LEGO pieces. What is really neat about this is the potential customization. In Tiny Tower you had a forever growing gray skyscraper with an orange crane on the top. In LEGO Tower your tower can be green with a dinosaur on top or red, mimicking LEGO’s NINJAGO collection.
Like Tiny Tower, you can visit your friends’ towers. It seems friendship is important to the game, as you have the ability to gift friends materials to help them build.
There seems to be a focus on collection in LEGO Tower. You can supposedly collect “hundreds of unique minifigure pieces.” There are also hidden characters you can find, along with unlocking vehicles.
As of May 1st, 2019, Calico: Magical Girls Running Cat Cafés, successfully raised $70,634 with 2,721 backers! That is over 200% past their goal! If you missed our news about this game, you can get caught up and learn more here. With more funding came more customization options such as furniture, potions, outfits, and animals. Most importantly, the project hit 2 of its stretch goals to implement amazing new features! See below for what’s going to be added to Calico.
The first stretch goal was a character creator at $45,000! Now you can make your own playable character with several customization options. This includes skin tone, body type, gender, hair color and style, as well as outfits!
Secondly, you now can dress up adorable animals in their own little clothing items, such as collars, hats, and bows! In addition to that, you also have the option of creating your own cats and dogs! You’ll be able to customize certain traits like fur color and size.
If you are as excited as we are at myPotatoGames for the release of this game (year 2020), you can continue to help support CatBean Games by getting these adorable shirts and tank tops here. Stay tuned with us as we keep you updated on Calico! Now we leave you with this adorable animation from their Twitter page.
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ans of the RollerCoaster Tycoon games (which simulate theme park management), will be pleased to learn that a similar game entitled Parkitect is now available to play on Steam.
Parkitect is a sandbox theme-park construction-management game for Windows, Mac, and Linux. After a two-year early access period, the game was released worldwide yesterday, 29th November 2018.
Developed and published by Texel Raptor, Parkitect shares the premise of RollerCoaster Tycoon games: To build a successful theme park. Players are able to build rides, design and manage the park, and tasked with keeping their guests happy.
Parkitect differentiates from RollerCoaster Tycoon in that it offers players features such as:
Hidden staff-only areas
A branching map system
Parkitect can be purchased on Steam, where it currently holds a 9/10 rating and has very positive reviews, for a modest price of $29.99.
With the abundance of negative reviews expressing disappointment in Atari’s RollerCoaster Tycoon World, could Parkitect be destined for success like the popular 2016 game Planet Coaster?