Game: Hokko Life (Early Access)
Genre: Casual, Indie, RPG, Simulation
Developers | Publishers: Wonderscope | Team17
Price: US $19.99 | UK £15.99 | EU € 19,99
Controller Support: Partial Controller Support
Release Date: June 2nd, 2021
Early Access code used, with many thanks to Team17
Hokko Life is a new indie simulation game, released on Early Access by developers Wonderscope and published by Team17. A little bit of trivia on the name of the game: did you know that Hokko is a mash-up of two Japanese terms: hoko being warm and feeling good and hokkori being warm and fluffy or soft?
We published an article earlier in the year about the upcoming release of Hokko Life. which you can find here.
Early Access Play
Since we published the article I’ve had the opportunity to play the Early Access build of Hokko Life on Steam. It is taking its inspiration from games such as Animal Crossing, though it isn’t a clone of Animal Crossing, it is pretty similar in a lot of ways.
As the game starts you get to customise your character as you like. You can change the colour of your, eyes, hair, skin, either choosing from the presets, or there is also a set of red-green-blue sliders for you to play with too. Clothing wise you can change your top, bottoms, shoes, hat and face, and head items such as glasses.
Asleep on the Train
After that, your character gets on a train and falls asleep. When you awaken the train has reached its last stop, the town of Hokko. The town has had some pretty bad times recently as many of the residents have left town. The train doesn’t reach Hokko very often. Turns out you are stuck there for a while so you decide to help revitalize the town to bring it back to its former glory.
You are greeted on your arrival in Hokko by cute, cuddly anthropomorphic animals. Your starting villagers are randomly generated and in all, there are 24, with the games solo developer Robert Tatnell stating he looking to increase the number of animals available in the game throughout the Early Access campaign.
By building houses it is possible to invite new residents to join your community. Over time more and more townsfolk will sign up until you eventually have a thriving community on your hands.
Craft, Fish and More
In Hokko Life there’s a stronger emphasis on crafting and detailed customisation than other community-life sims. You eventually have free use of the towns Workshop where you can create and craft all sorts of items. and the homes of the residents till your heart is content. The crafting system is pretty intuitive even in this early build of the game.
You can decorate the town, the residents’ homes, walls and clothing with many more options. Most interesting of all is that players will be able to sell their creations to other players in a future update. Head to the forest or the abandoned mine to chop mine, and dig for resources. Take what you’ve collected back to town and craft them into materials you can use in your own designs.
In Hokko Life you can also fish and catch bugs in much the same way as we have seen in other games like this, and complete fetch quests for the residents. There is a shop and a hotel at the start of the game these are the only two buildings in the town, but as your town grows more building get added to it.
Since it was the early access build of the game I got to try out, you would expect some rough edges to the game and there are. The game has crashed a few times and dumped me back to the desktop. Hopefully, through time these wrinkles will be ironed out and Hokko Life will run better than it does now.
Solo developer Robert Tatnell should be praised for managing to develop such a game on his own and has ambitions to add to the game as time goes on. I’m looking forward to a few lazy afternoons in Hokko spent with a net or pole in hand, catching and collecting the critters crawling around town.