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Littlewood

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 8 - 2021

What happens after a hero finishes being heroic?

 
Gamers are often obsessed with being the hero, ever working towards taking down the big threat to whatever world they are protecting. But what happens once the threat is gone and life returns to normal. This is the premise for SmashGames’ Littlewood, a relaxing farming sim, town building, crafting game that takes place once peace has been returned to the land. After some time on Steam, Switch players are now able to kick back and enjoy hero retirement in Littlewood.

 


 
Fans of games such as Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon will see a lot of familiarity in Littlewood. But rather than just being left a derelict farm by a relative, Littlewood has a much more interesting back story. Essentially, Solemn was under threat from an evil wizard, but a hero stepped up and saved the day. Now that the threat is gone, life returns to normal, but the hero of the story has lost his memory, so while everyone else knows exactly how heroic they were, the hero has no idea. Still, a hero has got to do something, and so the player can set about building up the town, attracting new NPCs and generally living a much more peaceful life.

 
Not that this newly non-heroic life is going to be quiet. Littlewood is packed with things for the player to do, and almost everything that the hero does will cost stamina, moving them ever closer to having to pack up for the day and get some sleep. With limited stamina at the beginning of the game, the player will have to carefully plan their days to make the most of their time. From chopping down trees or catching bugs, to mining, fishing or planting and growing crops, there is something to fill a few moments and progress in building up the town and attracting those new villagers. Carrying out these tasks is made easier than in many games as the appropriate tool is automatically chosen for the player, and the hero will improve in each activity the more they do it.

 
Outside of these core activities, the player will also be able to craft items or cook food, with the chance to upgrade the crafting stations along the way. The villagers that have arrived, some of which will open stores, may have tasks that they want the hero to carry out. Just because the hero is retired, doesn’t mean they can spend their days in a rocking chair whittling wood. For Animal Crossing fans, there is even a museum that the player can stock with samples of all the different objects or creatures they have found on their journey. As if that wasn’t enough to keep players involved for hours, Littlewood features its own Magic: The Gathering style card game called Tarott Monster, with new cards hidden throughout the world. This little side game is surprisingly fun and can quite easily become the core goal of the player.

 


 
With changing seasons come a variety of events in the town, some of which offer some nice rewards for participation, and also the perfect opportunity to chat with the villagers. The amount of effort that has been put into the NPC personalities is quite impressive and each character stands out. Fortunately, chatting with NPCs is one of the things that doesn’t cost stamina so players are free to mingle to their hearts content. This works well as the game has a romance objective should the player choose to settle down with a special someone. It’s great to see a hero get the life they deserve.

 
From the off the player is able to get their hands dirty with some landscaping, messing with the layout of the town to the point that each players town will be something quite unique. To further add a touch of originality, the player is able to decorate villagers’ houses, dropping in new items of furniture to make the whole town look nice.

 
It really is impressive how much there is to do in Littlewood. However, it almost feels like a shame that the hero is not doing what they do best, being heroic. There is no threat what so ever in the game and the worst that can happen is being inconvenienced by the monsters in the mine. But Littlewood doesn’t really require a hero, just someone who isn’t afraid to get stuck into the tiresome business of collecting wood or harvesting crops.

 
Littlewood uses pixel art visuals to great effect, creating a world filled with character and a brilliant cast of individual NPCs that will grow on the player. Detail may not be spectacular, but it is easy to distinguish NPCs and different areas of the world.

 


 
Littlewood is the perfect retirement plan for out of work heroes. There is peace and tranquillity to be found in Solemn, even as the player works their hero from dawn to dusk. The game manages to pack in pretty much everything that life sim fans would want, from farming and fishing, to the search for companionship, and it does it all very well. Overflowing with charm, and perfectly suited to the Nintendo Switch, Littlewood is the laid back experience that players will end up losing many hours to.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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