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Fae Farm Switch review - A court of spells and turnips

Here’s what we think of Fae Farm on Nintendo Switch after spending hours in this year's most anticipated mystical farming game that's packed with promise.

Fae Farm review: a person on a farm with a love heart above their head

Our Verdict

Fae Farm is a delightful, addictive, and unique farming game with a lovely art style and interesting world. Though the price tag may seem heavy, it’s worth it for fans of the genre who crave a new agricultural adventure.

Welcome to Azoria, my dear traveler-turned-farmer, where a plethora of produce awaits you and potential friends are at every corner. Set down roots on your new farm and get to work meeting locals, mining, foraging, fishing, and so much more in Fae Farm.

So, what is Fae Farm, exactly, and what does it offer? Well, it’s a farming game with a very cozy feel, set on the isle of Azoria, where humans and fae live side by side. You arrive and find yourself in charge of your own farm where crops and critters can prosper, like the adorable Mamoos that look like Highland cattle, and Chickoos that love a pat on their head.

It’s not all green-thumbed goodness, though – there’s an intriguing story weaving throughout your to-do list that takes you to different areas of the island, where quests await your assistance. There’s foraging to do, fish to catch, and three big mines for you to work your way down while hunting for ore and avoiding enemies shaped like everything from pocket watches to statues and even violins.

The combat in Fae Farm is simple to get a hold of, but you should arm yourself with plenty of potions to get an edge against enemies and protect yourself from harsh environments. You’ve also got a magic staff, too, that comes with its own arsenal of helpful spells like a deployable whirlwind, or the charm to make enemies stop attacking you for a hot minute.

Fae Farm review: the construction mode featuring farm plots and machinery

When you’re not smacking statues in the mines, you can settle into a routine of planting, watering, and picking tons of crops on your farmstead. Better yet, you can place lots of helpful machinery to polish gems for sale, weave wool from your Woolyhorns, or bake a myriad of recipes. Placement of these items is so easy – simply open your menu, pick the recipe, and put it down. No running from storage to the placement area like in other farming games, all the required materials automatically come out of your inventory.

Once you’re feeling a bit tired, you head into your wee home. You can decorate it with a catalog of items that give you extra health, energy, and mana as you wake up, and of course, make it look cozy and homely.

But enough about that – what’s truly great is the Fae Realm. This mystical area unlocks as you work through the story, and provides a second farm for you to tend, complete with your own fishing spot and another house to deck out. Here, your crops remain watered for longer, and special fae produce is grown. Plus you can house Spriggans and adorable Lunens native to the Fae Realm as your livestock. There’s also a central area with merchants and a sprawling wood brimming with catchable critters surrounded by rivers to fish in.

Clearly, a lot of love from farm game veterans has gone into this game as some mechanics are genius, and provide a very smooth experience in terms of daily farmstead duties. For instance, if you stay out late into the night catching fish, or tilling soil, you don’t get penalized for it. You simply wake up the next day in your home without losing anything.

Speaking of tilling, as you’re doing your farmly work, your active tool automatically swaps to the one you need. If you face a tree, you’ll use the axe, or if you’re by dry crops, you whip out the watering can. This is a very helpful development as it means I don’t accidentally hoe up my prized potatoes before they’re ripe.

Beyond the tools you hold, there aren’t any upgrades for your farm – now, before you start yelling and questioning how this game is worth its salt in the farm genre – it’s because it makes you get creative with potions and spells. It is Fae Farm, after all. There’s a sadness potion that waters crops as you walk, a whirlwind to collect more crops than you can shake a stick at in one go, and… a jar of bees to craft. No, I’ve not figured out what that one’s for yet, but the others are incredibly helpful. Plus, potions are super easy to craft and can sell for a pretty penny, too.

Fae Farm review: a player being chased by bees

Fae Farm is easy to play and has a constant and engaging loop of tasks to do on your farm, in the mines, and while collecting ingredients for potions or food. Some of you may not love this idea, but boy, I do. My day often looks like this – “Ah, I need a few fresh greens, fish, and some ore for a friendship quest… better head to the forest, the mines, and then the ocean! But, wait, I need to tend all my farms and feed my animals. I should also cook some food to sell and weave some materials. Oh, and pluck out any grown crops.” It continues in this way until midnight when my character magically transports home and the day ends, content with how many errands I finished.

While I found nothing bad about Fae Farm, there are a couple of things that the developer Phoenix Labs could improve. As you begin the game, your character uses the name of your Switch account – so despite all the other customization options, you may be stuck with an odd name that doesn’t fit the world.

The relationship-building side of Fae Farm is… there. I did woo and marry an eligible bachelor after flirting with a couple of other willing townsfolk, but once you tie the knot, there’s no more progression or much reason to speak to your wedded partner. Dialogue tends to get a bit repetitive when talking to anyone, too, as they all mention the recent quest you’ve completed to help the town. While this isn’t a huge issue for me, some players may feel let down that there isn’t a robust social scene to play through.

During a preview of the game back in June, I found some muddy graphics after a while of playing. I’m very pleased to report that I’ve not seen any performance issues like this while playing the full game. The initial loading of the game takes about a minute, but once you’re in, everything runs well.

There were a couple of tiny bugs that didn’t really affect the gameplay outside of making animals act a bit strange, but the developer has already fixed these with a pre-release patch. No longer do I have my Cottontails getting stuck between machinery and fences. I greatly appreciate this fix, and hopefully, it makes for a smooth release.

Fae Farm review: two mamoos and a player outside in winter

I feel I must address some concerns coming from the community ahead of launch to quell some rumors and put minds at ease. First – Stardew Valley has – for better or worse – changed our expectations of farming games, thanks to its, quite frankly, too-low price tag, and an enormous amount of content. It’s hard for any other game to keep up.

The issue I see most mentioned about Fae Farm is the cost. I agree that $59.99/£49.99 is a steep price for any game, even triple-A titles like Pikmin 4, and it’s annoying that the Switch hasn’t received the price change that went live on Steam, bringing the game down to a reasonable $39.99. However, there are some titles costing the same or more that have much less content and perform worse, so I feel the cost is not completely unjustified as the full price does include all future DLC, too.

No, I’m not being coerced into saying this – I just really, really enjoyed the game. I feel like Fae Farm could definitely benefit from a demo on the Switch so that you can try it before spending the full price, but all I can do is recommend it to anyone interested in the game.

Another issue that hits closer to home with farming-genre veterans is the lack of a shipping bin and restriction on how many items you can sell a day. To begin, you have four tables with eight slots for singular items. While some items sell for a helpful amount of money, this does impact how much you can earn at any given time, even with the further two produce stalls unlocked. Though – again, not made to say this – at no point did I run out of money. However, I will admit I’m frugal with my purchasing of house upgrades.

The shipping especially may get updated in the future as the backlash, particularly on Reddit, has been noticeable, but no one can say for sure right now. Selling an entire stack, or even a stack of up to ten items would be very beneficial. Plus, you can stack in your inventory, so it would make sense to implement this while bartering our beans.

Fae Farm review: two characters on a date inside a tavern

Moving along swiftly, let’s look at the multiplayer side of Fae Farm. You can play with up to three other players, letting you run through the mines and mires together. Perhaps I don’t trust my friends enough to run a farm with them – plus, I only used Animal Crossing New Horizon’s multiplayer to flog stuff on Nookazon – so I’m not sure how Fae Farm’s multiplayer side goes. I can tell it would be very beneficial for being in the mines, especially at later levels where you can get dogpiled by enemies. Back on the farm, though, everyone better keep their hands off my beets.

Fae Farm is a fantastic addition to your farming-themed roster of games, with an added mystical twist to give a new taste to tilling soil. I’m well into year two and still have tons to do and some story ahead of me, even after 40 hours in-game.

Not every farm sim player wants a collect-a-thon and we all have our different checklists for what makes a good and worthwhile game – Fae Farm just happens to tick almost all of mine. I’ve not fallen for a game this hard in a long time and shall continue to farm my purple fairy potatoes in peace for the foreseeable future.

Fae Farm is definitely going on our list of the best farm games you can play on Switch and mobile, and we’re considering it for gardening games, too…