Forager is an open-world adventure game that was developed by the game studio HopFrog and published by Humble Bundle. The game was released in early 2019 for PC but is also available on multiple consoles and for mobile devices.
In Forager the player needs to obtain resources hat spawn throughout the world to build new buildings, items and tools. The world can be expended using money and you’ll unlock different biomes this way. These offer new materials that can be used to craft better gear. Buildings are used to refine raw materials. There are also puzzles that can be found on certain island and you can fight against the enemy monsters around the world.
We know that there was a scandal around the game and its lead developer who was apparently blaming his team for the poor state of the game while disregarding improper working conditions and payment. This is why I want to mention that this small review is only focused on the gameplay and not the people behind the game. In general we distance ourself explicitly from the potentially unacceptable happenings behind a games development and focus on the for the player important parts (e.g. the gameplay). If you’re interested in the details of the scandal check out this article from NintendoLife covering the incident.
Things I like about the game
What I really enjoy and at the same time also hate a bit is the fact, that you can progress in any direction of the game. I, for instance, focused on getting a stable supply of fish going by installing fish traps in the water and building an furnace to fry them. On the other hand you could go right into mining ores or killing monsters. Or just start farming money to get rich or spend hours of your time using the carpentry station to build beautiful furniture and design your environment.
The skill tree also shows this freedom of progressions. If you acquire a certain skill you unlock more and more that are part of the same category. But you’re able to choose skills from all categories.
Progression also allows you to make parts of the game easier like mining ores with an automated miner or installing big weapons to defend your base from monsters. The more you progress through the game, the more advanced your equipment becomes. At some point you can even craft drones that help you with your tasks.
Although you get more advanced the requirements for new gear also grow with your progress which makes the progression curve feel well balanced but also a bit “grindy” towards the end of the game.
What I really enjoy, is that you’re able to play at a difficulty where dying doesn’t really matter and you can just continue playing your game. Fighting is way more fun this way as you don’t have to worry much about not succeeding in your first try of a boss fight.
On the other side you can also increase the difficulty to match your wishes. Even to a point where your game is completely over when you die, similar to the Minecraft hardcore mode.
As the game wasn’t updated since 2020, the community has created many mod using the forager modding API. These mods change parts of the game and can make your playing experience easier. Mods apparently don’t effect your achievements progress so you should be able to acquire all the normal achievements easily. All mods can be found in the steam workshop.
What could be improved
What’s missing and what also was promised is the Multiplayer Mode. This update was canceled after the scandal we mentioned above and will probably never come to forager. There is a community mod called PenPal but it requires you to open ports on your router and also could destroy your game saves.
In addition to that I was mildly infuriated, that the option to turn off the item popups is simple not available. This leads to your right half of the screen being permanently clustered with text which decreases your ability to see the right edge of the map immensely.
The game isn’t updated anymore and was solely used as what feels to be a cashgrab from the developer HopFrog. We hope that the promised updates return in the near future but we sadly don’t really don’t count on it.
I would recommend picking up the game when it’s on sale or even from a third-party key seller so you don’t support the dev as much as possible. You do need to be aware, that the game is a finished product and can only be enhanced through mods. If you really take your time to complete every little thing you’ll probably spend less than 80 hours on this game.