If you need your fix of living in a quaint town filled with anthropomorphic animals but can’t bear to see Tom Nook’s slimy little face for one more minute, Hokko Life may be for you.
Out today on PC and consoles, Hokko Life is all about settling down and beginning a new life in a small town. A very small town, actually: when you arrive, there’s only a handful of residents, and a few buildings for you to explore. But get to know the residents, and they’ll soon task you with enhancing and expanding the town around you. Starting with renovating a house for yourself, you’ll soon be building houses for newcomers, and before you know it, your new town will be thriving.
Perhaps a little more mission-driven than Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Hokko Life still shares plenty of DNA with Nintendo’s ever-popular life sim. This is a game that puts your creativity first, allowing you to buy furniture items and decorate your own (and others’) as you see fit. Heck, even the text boxes and fonts used here feel eerily familiar.
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But that’s not to say that Hokko Life is simply derivative. It has plenty of its own soul and flavour. You can design single items of furniture from scratch here, for example, painting them and adding personalised flair. There’s also a different pace, with much of your progression tied to tasks given to you by the residents of your town. But ultimately, the goal is the same: design a thriving community that’s a joy to spend time in.
The usual tasks you’d expect of a life sim are present in Hokko Life, too. You can spend your time farming, fishing, gathering flowers or chopping wood, or catching and collecting insects. There’s also a mine to explore when you progress far enough, and a calendar filled with weekly and seasonal events, designed for those players who truly want to immerse themselves in, er, Hokko Life life.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what Hokko Life has to offer, but it’s safe to say that fans of life sims will do well to try it out. It looks great, it’s filled with adorable characters for you to meet, and with so much to uncover, it’s a game that could keep you going back for months to come.
Hokko Life is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.