Sometimes you just want to say, ‘screw it, I’m going to escape to an adorable virtual world where I can run a lovely farm in a small idyllic town,’ and with the way the world is right now, I feel this more and more, but luckily, that’s where titles such as Fantasy Town come in, though, unlike games like Stardew Valley, there’s a bit of rebuilding to be done.
You start Stardew on a farm that needs work done, and you build it as you go, but there’s a fully established town just down the road – that isn’t the case in Fantasy Town, as a troll attack has left the village ravaged, but all the citizens are safe, and that’s the important thing. Still, you come to this place as a very reluctant mayor.
I say reluctant, but that only applies to having the mantle of mayor. Otherwise, your spritely character (Grace, in my case) is more than happy to help the town rebuild, which is the purpose of Fantasy Town. To not only restore the place, but perhaps surpass what it once was, and allow it to thrive.
Of course, to bring the town back up to code, you need materials in order to repair the damaged buildings, but luckily you start out with just enough to get you up and running – if there’s one thing Fantasy Town has, it’s a great tutorial section that serves as a fantastic introduction to the game and its mechanics.
In order to construct a building, you need to enter the shop. The button is at the bottom right of the screen, and then go into the section you wish to choose a building from. For example, produce structures allow you to create buildings such as a BBQ house, bakery, and weaver’s mill.
While repairs cost materials, creating buildings requires gold coins, and a bit of patience, given the more high-end constructions take considerably longer to complete. Of course, the payoff for this is great. These places give fantastic goodies that can further aid the town and its economy. Plus, it’s hard to feel bitter about building homes for people.
As you complete more tasks, harvest food, and rebuild the town, you gain experience points, which in turn allow you to level up, and as with any game of this variety, a new level offers rewards, allowing you to take this place to new heights. Honestly, it’s nice to watch the town grow. I feel a certain sense of accomplishment, and enjoy the peace that comes with this sort of title.
Aesthetically speaking, I find Fantasy Town’s graphics to be adorable, and a joy to look at. From the second the game got going, I had a soft spot for it, and that does come down to its charm, which increases tenfold as you rebuild the devastated town and take it to new heights that the citizens could only dream of before.
Speaking of citizens, they play more of a role than you might expect. When you create new buildings, such as a bakery, you need to select a manager to run it. Of course, the further into the game you get, the more prospective hires there are, and each has a star rating and the potential to have an ability, which can make them more suitable to run certain properties.
Then, there’s the title’s performance. On my iPad Pro, Fantasy Town runs splendidly. There are no performance issues to speak of, for me at least. At no point did I get the boot, and believe me when I say that happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. There are also no hiccups, such as stutters, to speak of either.
Furthermore, the UI is great, everything is laid out perfectly, and the tutorial once again does a fine job of letting you know where everything is, at no point does the design of the UI feel intrusive to the game as a whole – something I always appreciate, as it’s not uncommon for a clunky user interface to ruin the immersion you might otherwise feel.
My one complaint about Fantasy Town is that it can feel monotonous at times, but that’s something I find with a lot of games like this, the waiting for things to be ready, including crops and buildings, can grind on me when I just want to get on with it, but that’s very much a me problem, and I know some players may enjoy a grind of this calibre. If I’m grinding, it’s in an RPG.
All in all, I’d recommend Fantasy Town to anyone, especially if you’re after an easy-going game with a peaceful atmosphere that feels rewarding as you go. However, those like me that can deal with long periods of monotonous work and waiting around, just have another game on standby. Fantasy Town does deserve your attention, even if it goes elsewhere while stuff is building.