Lucie’s Potager Review

Game: Lucie’s Potager
Genre: RPG, Simulation
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, (Windows))
Developers | Publishers: Stellar Advent
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $19.99 | UK £16.75 | EU € 19,50
Release Date: February 16th, 2023

Review code used, with many thanks to Stellar Advent.

Lucie’s Potager is a shop simulation game based around plants, developed by a two-person team, Stellar Advent, in Australia.

Look After the Potager

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
Letter from Grandad

You play as Lucie, a young squirrel whose grandfather is the town’s mayor. Lucie receives a letter from granddad inviting her to town. When she arrives, she discovers that Granddad has given her his shop and garden so she can spread her love for plants and flowers.

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
Help grandad bring more shopkeepers to the town.

Since Lucie was a youngster, she has always loved plants, and with your help, she can turn the Potager into the shop of her dreams. By selling flowers and fruit Lucie’s reputation increases, you earn money to upgrade your shop, and more customers will arrive to visit the shop.

However, to make Lucie’s shop a success, you’ll need to forage for flowers and seeds. In addition, you will grow the flowers in your garden and eventually craft the best products for your customers.

2D World

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
Seasons change

Lucie’s Potager is set in an ever-changing 2D world where the seasons come and go, and the days fly by quickly. It also has a day and night cycle where you go to bed to rest and regain stamina.

The shop has a back garden, where you will plant flowers. Once they have bloomed, you can collect the flowers or fruit and sell them in the shop. Fertilizer is available to buy to speed up the growth of the plants.

Expand the Shop and Garden

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
Plant flowers and fruit

Inside Lucie’s house is her shop; there is also a basement. Once you progress and collect enough money, you can talk to grandad, who will sell you expansions for your shop and basement. The basement is where you can place machines such as an Oil Maker, Soap Maker, and more to make food, cosmetics, and clothes.

There are a few towns on the map where you will meet NPCs and accept quests to complete or play a game of matching pairs with an NPC. Afterwards, you can explore the map, gathering seeds and flowers.

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
Expand the shop and add machines to the basement.

You earn money by selling your stock in the shop and adjusting the prices as needed. You can also increase the size of the shop by adding more counters to hold more stock for customers. In addition, you take shopping orders from customers who will pop back and collect their orders, earning you more money and increasing your reputation.

A Few Niggles

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
Filling the shop with stock

Lucie’s Potager has a nice relaxing gameplay loop of exploring, gathering, stocking the shop and selling your products. It’s a simplistic game which I did enjoy playing. However, the more I progressed in the game, the cracks began to show, leaving me with some niggles about Lucie’s Potager.

In the shop, you can only put one item on each shelf, though the game does say you can press the X button to add more than one item. But pressing the X button never worked for me, meaning all my shelves were filled with single items.

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
You can not move the camera, so your view sometimes gets blocked.

Added to that, once an item is bought, that shelf then remains empty. To fill the empty shelf, you must close the shop, fill it with stock, and reopen it for business. That means the shop is constantly opening and closing as you close to refill the shelves. I should be able to fill the shelves while the shop is open. Having to close to restock the shelves is tedious and not very player friendly.

Short Days

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
You can’t move too far on the map before this message pops up….frequently.

Furthermore, the days are short, as in really short and go in quickly. Even exploring the map, time goes by quickly. For example, you move from one point on the map to the next point, and a few seconds later, you go to explore a different area, and you get a message saying it’s too far to travel today. When that happens, you are often sent back to the nearest town to sleep.

The simplistic style can be seen in all aspects of the game. While exploring the map, you will only find 3 or 4 items at the most to gather in each area. Furthermore, the few towns in the game are sparsely populated with only one or two NPCs. You can only speak to the NPCs when the storyline dictates it. Since there isn’t much of a story or any chat from the NPC, it makes it all feel empty, and as you can’t talk to the NPC, you don’t build any rapport with them.

Visuals and Controls

Lucie's Potager LadiesGamers
go exploring

The visuals of Lucie’s Potager are 2D, and the change of seasons is well represented in the surroundings. The colours of Autumn are lovely and vibrant. I especially liked the Candied Forest with the candy trees in bright colours that pop out of the screen.

The game is controlled by the joycons, other than the X button while filling the shop with stock; as I’ve mentioned, the rest of the controls worked well.

lucie's potager LadiesGamers
Busy shop with multiple lookalike customers

Conclusion

So, taking everything into account, Lucie’s Potager has a relaxing gameplay loop of pottering around the garden, gathering and selling in the shop. However, the relaxing loop is broken by the short days and the inability to travel far on the map. I wouldn’t mind the short days so much if the areas I’m exploring had more resources to gather; then, it would be worth my time to go and explore. I can’t help thinking about the $20 price tag in the eShop; Lucie’s Potager is up against some stiff competition from much better simulation games that are already released.

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure  I'm not sure

 

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