I always am interested in what new games are coming out on Apple Arcade, and when I saw Cozy Grove, I was instantly drawn in by the cute graphic style and the fun look of it. Hearing that the game is similar to Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley - I instantly wanted to play.
Cozy Grove has you playing as a spirit scout - a girl scout who deals with spirits who are trapped in the world, looking to make peace with their surroundings. These ghosts aren’t spooky or scary in any way and come in the form of big blocky animals - who all have their own memories, stories, and ways to help you.
Cozy Grove GameplayWhen you first get to the island, the world is quite grey. There isn’t much color, but this can soon change as long as you help the ghost spirits who are trapped there. They talk about another spirit scout, from a time long ago, who couldn’t actually help them, but I am sure you can do a better job. When it comes to exploring, you can walk up to ghosts and hear small stories from them, giving you quests to help them out. Some of these quests are time-limited, giving you a little less than a day to help the ghost out while others stick around until you have completed them.
Completing these quests increases your friendship with the various ghosts around your island. You will learn about a tree ghost, who looks like a bear, and insists that the trees talk to them and a mail ghost who actually gets letters for you every single day. In the middle of your island, you have your own camp which can be upgraded, you can add decorations all around, and can start raising birds that give you mysterious stones.
Every time you find a new object, you can log it with a sailor bird spirit on the island, who will then give you rewards and document the items for you. As your inventory and storage at your camp are limited, you might find yourself with too many items anyway. There are coins to be earned, the ability to upgrade your camp, and a shop that has new items every day for you to take a look at and sometimes trade for.
Complete the badges, get rewardsAs you are a spirit scout, you can complete different badges, through general gameplay, which rewards you with even more coins and items. Though, each day is limited. You can help each of the characters if they require help, then dig up holes, check leaf piles, mine rocks and slash shrubbery - if you have all of those tools - before the people of the island tell you there is nothing left for you. This limited play, which only lasts around 15 minutes, then asks you to come back the next day, to dip in for a little bit, before being done on your island.
I am not quite sure how I feel about this limit to how much I can do each day - it does mean that I do not miss a day, as I want to see where my island goes and what needs to be done next. It’s satisfying watching the world filled with colour and helping the spirit imps get the items they want as well. It’s fun to help these characters with their cute stories and see what has caused them to be stuck on this island and why they have been haunting for so long. But I do wish I could spend more time with them and that I could get further before running out of stuff to do.
During the time you do spend on your island, you can also fish, craft, and smelt the various items you do have by burning them in your fire. There is no limit to these activities, however, with limited storage, I didn’t find myself spending too long fishing and finding new items after playing for a few days straight. You can download Cozy Grove from the App Store.