|a game by||Plukit|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.3/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Sandbox Games, Games Like Harvest Moon|
Farming games seem to be all the rage in recent years. Perhaps they are thriving off the success of Stardew Valley that hit the indie developer jackpot. All present were retro graphics, rewarding, and easy-to-accessing. Staxel, while sounding like a tabletop game to play when drunk, seeks to take farming games to the next level. First glances of Staxel present something oddly familiar yet intriguingly different. Are developers Plukit going to manage to capitalize on the farming simulator rage? Or is this going to be another carbon copy of Stardew Valley with a slightly different color palette, narrative, and mechanics? Let's dive in to find out!
Welcome to Minecraft Valley!
The first thing that jumps out of you is the graphics and colors. Almost immediately, this game comes across as an amalgamation of Minecraft and Stardew Valley. The visuals are blocky, the color palette and animations scream Stardew, and the whole concept of the game centers around a sandbox farming simulator.
It's easy to scream clone at the beginning of the game, but Staxel has concerted an effort to stand on its own terms. Environments do feel different than others with the elimination of combat. It channels a more zen-like and focused farming game. Building mechanics are similar to that of Minecraft, but that is about as far as it goes. The crafting mechanics are very detailed, which may provide a point of intrigue for many. The effort needs to be made in accomplishing building goals through trade and barter - not just exploring the wilds. There's no strict narrative, nor are there any forced objectives - but that does not mean Staxel is a bore in this instance.
The game is refreshingly charming, even though it doesn't hugely deviate from core farming simulator mechanics. There's a lot to gain from NPC interactions - the challenges of construction, making money, and showing off to your friends. Much like its genre family - Staxel is a peaceful addition where its build makes for calm and content gameplay.
Stacking a Sanctuary
Staxel does what it's meant to do pretty well. It is a palatable farming simulator that provides enough challenge to keep things interesting - yet doesn't strain the player into making life or death decisions.
It offers a therapeutic touch with diverse farming styles and demanding objectives if you want them. This is arguably one of the better farming simulators on the market.
Anyone really seeking competitive aspects from their game like Minecraft probably won't enjoy Staxel too much, however. The lack of combat, exploration, and rewards does detract from a more game-like experience. The gameplay is a bit overzealous on the focus of earning money - a lot of players have to do that outside the game already. It's easy to see that people will play Staxel for a while, never to return. Arguably those few hours are pretty enjoyable, though.
- A well-crafted amalgamation of Minecraft and Stardew Valley with its own unique features
- Crafting and building mechanics are excellent
- Varied approaches can be taken in gameplay
- Making money is initially frustrating
- No combat
- Doesn't have much incentive to come back to the game after a little while
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP