Hokko Life it’s a game published by Team17 after one year in Early Access. It is a title that takes inspiration from other titles, like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley. Unfortunately, however, the game made by Wonderscope fails to hit the mark, due to a series of factors ranging from “Why”The player has to do certain actions, up to the graphical aspect. But before going into the details of the gameplay and appearance, let’s find out in the review what Hokko Life is all about.
Changing your life has never been easier
How many times have you wanted to change your life? In Hokko Life you can do it! The life simulator starts with the creation of your digital avatar, which will decide to change your life and move to a very small village, probably to escape from the oppressive and ultra-fast life of metropolitan cities.
From the very first bars of the game, you can see the inspiration for games from the Animal Crossing franchise: during our test we had the sensation to be playing Wild World during the opening cutscene, which sees the avatar in a bus in the rain looking out the window. A very melancholy scene, but that smacks of a “new beginning”.
As soon as you arrive in the new town, you will have only one option: go to the local café to talk to Oma, an elephant and his regular customer, who has the shop opposite. After listening to a couple of poorly written dialogues, it soon becomes clear that Hokko Life fails to capture the player’s attentionjust as the two aforementioned main competitors of the Team17 game manage to do: this marks the beginning of the end of the fun.
Little of everything does not do much
As explained above, Hokko Life begins with character creation, and the options you have are quite limited. On top of that is added the fact that every single element is so thin that it doesn’t make much difference. Last but not least, the graphic style chosen by the developers is so flat that it almost wants to conclude quickly so as not to look into the spiritless eyes of your character.
It will be possible to change the hair, their color and also add colored streaks. Obviously there will also be the choice of eye and skin color, but everything focuses on the character’s face. So, don’t expect to be able to modify the body of your avatar. The differentiation between man and woman is all in the options that we have listed above.
This is where your adventure begins, but first of all you will need a home. You will then start with a very simple quest that will give you tutorial for the basic mechanics of the game. In fact, you will be given an ax with which you will have to split all the trees and trunks that you will find in the village area, in order to collect enough wood to make one of the abandoned houses more welcoming.
Exactly as it happens in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (of which you can read our review here) the more the village becomes habitable, the greater the chances that a new inhabitant will be added to the population. All this is really fun, in addition, Hokko Life also takes inspiration from the downloadable content of the Nintendo game and will give you the opportunity to modify the homes of your inhabitants, but only after they decide to come and live there.
One thing that’s really interesting about the game, though, is the fact that furniture and other elements of the house are customizable right out of the box, so you can throw out all the creativity as an interior designer you have inside, all with a really simple and intuitive HUD. Unfortunately, even this thing is quite castrated, because even if it will be possible to customize everything, the number of furniture and tables is very smallwhich could make house design really boring after a while.
To get the furniture you want you will need to craft… but you may quickly lose the will to do it. The motivation is soon said: the process is really tedious. Sure, usually collecting elements to build something is boring in many games, but some manage to find a trick or create a gameplay loop which makes everything much more satisfying. This is not the case with Hokko Life, because during the adventure you will get projects that will require a certain space and elements to be built. So you will have to wander the map looking for what you needAnd sometimes the game is not worth the candle: the quantities needed could be too many compared to what you want to build.
Within Hokko Life, however, this is not the only thing that is done. In fact, as also happens in other similar games, there will be the possibility of fishing (although many complain of a bug that prevents you from doing so) and the capture of insects. Moreover, it is also It is possible to modify the village by adding lights and embellishments, so as to make the place where you live even more inviting and welcoming. Above all, things involving the capture of animals do not give any kind of satisfaction other than something purely personal, which is quite demeaning.
A small note on the graphic aspect of Hokko Life was made at the beginning of the review. The character that will represent us seems rather dull, as will the others, but as regards the NPCs there will also be an aggravating circumstance: they are rag puppets that instead of looking cute they are truly terrifying. The reason is their very being completely devoid of wit or expression.
One of the most important elements of this type of game, as they are often games without a lot of sounds and that do not have voice acting, is the soundtrack. But in this case we can say that it is really dull and that fails to accompany during the adventureindeed, it is often too repetitive and boring. The effects are spot on, as they are very few and simple to make or find from other libraries, but they do their part and are well integrated within Hokko Life.
The animations are rather woody, and during our test we also found it difficult to succeed hit tree trunks due to hitboxes: You have to be in a certain position, and even if logically the ax should hit the target, it often won’t.
In conclusion, we can only say that Hokko Life is a title worthy of sufficiency. Although it could be a good title for a boy – or a girl – approaching the world of gaming for the first time, it is much better to rely on the most cute titles.
Hokko Life (Tested on Switch)
Hokko Life is a life simulator very similar to Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, but it can’t hold a candle to the two titles for a variety of reasons ranging from gameplay to the technical sector of the game. Although the idea is really good and it has even been a year in Early Access, the developers have not been able to make a title that is worthy of the sufficiency. Hokko Life quickly shows its side and leaves room for boring, something that a title of this type does not really need, given the nature of the genre, which many would call them simple and repetitive.
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