Hokko Life – Preview
Follow Genre: Social simulation
Developer: Wonderscope
Publisher: Team17
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

Hokko Life – Preview

Good: Has a lot of potential
Bad: For now it feels too much like a copy-paste project with tedious tutorials and bugs
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

To immediately get this out of the way: Yes; Hokko Life is basically a knockoff version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It even goes so far as to actually employ identical mechanics for many of the items that make up an Animal Crossing experience. To further emphasize this, the world is also inhabited by animal-esque villagers, and you’ll also have to make a nearly-forgotten village popular again. While we went from one deja vu to another, Hokko Life does try its very best to further expand the crafting system of AC, which is a very good reason for creative minds to keep their eyes on this project as it evolves. For now, the game is still very rough around the edges.

To basically sketch the story and setting of Hokko Life, it can all be boiled down to your chosen avatar being stuck in a nearly forgotten hamlet in the middle of nowhere. You sadly fell asleep on the train, and you wake up at the last stop. Welcome to no man’s land, population: 5(ish). You get offered a small guest room to stay in, while you wait for the next train. Nonetheless, soon you find yourself right at home amidst the furry inhabitants of the village, making it your mission to make this nearly-forgotten town relevant again. The story value so far is a bit slim, as well as the graphical quality of the game. While things look fairly okay, some animations look dodgy, and there are so many clipping errors still present in the game. Some accessories and other designs do look a lot more complex than in Animal Crossing though. The sound design is also quite simplistically handled.

As stated in the introduction, we will not be diving too deep into the overall copy-paste design of Hokko Life. Fans of Animal Crossing will find themselves right at home in the core gameplay loop of Hokko Life, as this is also basically the same as it is in Nintendo’s franchise. You’ll dedicate your time to clearing up a somewhat ill-managed town, you will plant flowers, harvest wood and iron, bond with your villagers, and most importantly, craft new items for this world. It is in the latter that Hokko Life tries to be a lot more original than its source of inspiration. The game will soon throw you into an expansive crafting system where in some cases the sky is the limit. The controls somewhat feel a bit awkward in this department, however, especially when playing with a controller. Nonetheless, those lacking an in-depth crafting experience in AC will certainly find it here, as it is already quite fleshed out for an Early Access game. The controls outside of crafting feel adequate enough for everyone to get the hang of the basic mechanics quite quickly.

Sadly, even with the crafting system in place, Hokko Life, in its current state, feels a bit empty and most of all, boring. Right off the bat, you’ll find yourself uselessly skipping time by hitting the sack early, as there is simply nothing to do. The game does not have quickly regrowing plants, easy access to buying your own house, islands to explore, or just any proper objectives whatsoever. Even the villagers that are already present at the start literally ask you requests (which have to be completed in a matter of days) you can never fulfill at that point. To make matters even worse, the option to sell items is locked until you finish certain objectives first. Those immediately going in spring-cleaning mode, will find themselves having a full inventory, no option to sell, and no way to store excess items anywhere. This is a huge design error and flaw, just like the lack of quick-to-complete objectives at the start of the game. The game is also very slow in terms of earning money, to the point that you are grinding to pick flowers or catch a few butterflies or fish for some extra pocket change. You can, however, funnily enough, steal the property of all your neighbors and sell their items for a quick buck. This will result in your furry friends having an empty house they dwell in. Then again, we think one of our starting villagers didn’t really mind, as during our first encounters he was actually stuck in the corner of his house, with the furniture completely blocking his way out. It’s things like this that show that this one-man project still has a long way to go.

Conclusion

Hokko Life has a lot to like on display, and it does try to differentiate itself from Nintendo’s IP by adding a lot more options in terms of crafting. Sadly, the current build feels slow, has a lot of design flaws, poor mechanics, and just feels a bit bland as a whole. That being said, with the right polish, love, and attention, this could be a great PC alternative for people who do not own a Switch, and also want to experience an Animal Crossing-like adventure. What truly makes this one stand out is its expansive crafting system. We do hope some tedious game options get removed, such as locking the option to sell items till a certain point, or literally having to skip time during the tutorial phase to complete tasks, as everything else is locked at that point.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Hokko Life - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.