Coming at you from Fictive Studios and Mad About Pandas, Forever Forest is an adventurous game where you play as a charming masked creature – who looks halfway between beast and human – who wants to bring the light back to it’s cursed dark land. Your journey takes you through several landscapes from forests, poisoned waters, and cold deserts.
The first thing that caught my attention about Forever Forest was its charming art and aesthetically pleasing design. The menus are simple and minimalist and gameplay is overall easy to learn.
The ambient music that follows you as you trek along is by the strongest element of the game – soothing melodies that are reminiscent of soundtracks found in games like Stardew Valley add to the mysteriousness of the forest and the secrets waiting to be discovered as you uncover more of the map.
In order to survive the journey, you’ll need to hunt other critters and berries for sustenance. Keeping track of your health meter at the bottom of the screen (two triangles that almost resemble an hourglass) is vital because a stomach only lasts about a minute or two – which can be sort of annoying when you’re trying to head somewhere on the map and suddenly get super off track trying to find a berry in the dark.
The graphics in Forever Forest are another strong point. The ever-changing map and little details like dust or leaves blowing in the wind are a nice touch. The overall look of the game immediately drew me in with it’s enchanting and unique feel.
In order to restore light to the land, players must seek out temples and ‘unblock’ the light within them. It’s a magical effect, to see the surrounding woods in all its glory, but unfortunately, the aesthetically pleasing effect is about the only reward you can expect from the game.
And this brings me to the one disappointment I had with Forever Forest. After the wonder wears off, there really isn’t that much to discover. As a fan of enchanted forests all around, I had high expectations coming into Forever Forest. Seeing as it was labeled a role-playing game as well as a survivor, I expected the intriguing backstory to expand. It was a world that captured me right off the bat and I wanted to know more about it.
However, instead of the story continuing on via cutscenes or conversations between critters, for example, the player must complete a number of ‘tasks’ (which are really quite simple; eat ten berries, hunt five brown critters, survive for twenty minutes) in order to unlock more story. The thing is, I discovered this by total accident after concluding that the beginning was probably all the story we were going to get.
Sure, I was happy to be proven wrong and find that there was more story to uncover, but wished it didn’t take me pulling out of the game and sifting through the Tasks menu to get to it.
In conclusion, Forever Forest’s strongest point is also sadly it’s weakest. The story’s promise of an enchanting and cursed wood with lots to explore is fulfilling in the first bit of the game but in the long run, there isn’t as much to discover as I had hoped. The methodical way of the game coupled with the calming music does make for a stress-relieving play-through because it’s admittedly easy to get lost in! So if that’s the type of game you’re looking for, then Forever Forest is for you.
Have you played Forever Forest yet? If not, check out the trailer down below and let us know in the comments what you think! Released January 14, Forever Forest is out now on Switch!