[PlayStation 4] Cozy Grove Review
Cozy Grove from the Quantum Astrophysicist Guild and Spryfox is a casual game in which you’ll help the residents of an island in a very peaceful adventure on PS4. Check our Cozy Grove review!
Welcome to Cozy Grove, a life-sim game about camping on a haunted, ever-changing island. As a Spirit Scout, you’ll wander the island’s forest each day, finding new hidden secrets and helping soothe the local ghosts. With a little time and a lot of crafting, you’ll bring color and joy back to Cozy Grove!
As Cozy Grove begins, you’ll start your journey by customizing your new avatar. You’ll then be sent to a small island, the titular Cozy Grove. There’s a sentient campfire there (!) which welcomes you by you saying that this island has been forgotten and needs to be remembered. From there on, your goal will be to remember the island and its inhabitants, helping them along the way by completing a series of quuests.
Cozy Grove’s inhabitants are actually ghosts, and each one of them is introduced slowly over the course of the many days you’ll be playing the game. I’ve mentioned days, but not in the sense of “game days.” Cozy Grove asks that you play during a ton of real-life days. This makes for a very unique experience since you won’t be able to marathon your way through the game and will end up playing day after day for around 15-20 minutes at a time.
As for the actual daily content, you’ll help each one of the island’s inhabitants mostly by doing some fetch quests for them. The island opens up progressively, but even when it’s completely opened, it stays rather on the small side of things. Thanks to this, finding a specific hidden item somewhere doesn’t take really long. You’ll always get a clue to find the item, or you can always pay 100 coins to get a direct clue that points you in the right direction. As you complete quests for each ghost, they’ll be remembered more and more, filling a set of heart-shaped containers, increasing the island’s size, as well as bringing back some of its lost colors.
You’ll also obtain tools that will help you with your daily chores. For instance, you’ll quickly obtain a fishing rod that will allow you to fish in the nearby waters. You’ll also get a shovel and a pickaxe that can be upgraded with stronger materials as you progress through the game. Speaking of which, you’ll also be able to use the sentient fire to burn items and get new items, such as cooked mushrooms, refined ore, or charred fish.
The game’s presentation is great, and everything looks like it has been hand-drawn. The audio is from A Shell In The Pit, which is a great fit for this particular experience. It’s composed of soft melodies with guitar and piano. On the accessibility side, I thought that the text bubbles in which you get multiple choices for your answers lacked some contrast, making them hard to see. Something I did run into is that the game’s framerate does chug along, and the more color you bring to the island and the more items you use to decorate your camp, the lower the framerate will be. This is not an action-packed game, so the slower framerate is not a deal-breaker, but it’s something you should consider.
One issue I do have to mention is the incredibly long loading time. This game so far beats any loading screen I’ve ever seen on PlayStation 4. Even though the actual world is not that big, between the time the game is loaded from the main screen and when the island is shown on the screen, you’ll be waiting for around 4-5 minutes to start playing on PlayStation 4 and around a minute and a half on PlayStation 5. This is an issue because the game is built with the core concept of playing it between other releases and coming back every day for 15-20 minutes at a time. Having to wait five minutes before you can play for 15-20 minutes is far from ideal. A patch is in the works to speed up loading times, but there’s no word on when this will land.
There are a lot of trophies in this release, with a list split into 58 Bronze, 3 Silver, and 1 Gold trophy leading up to your Platinum trophy. They are awarded for progressing through the story, playing for at least 90 separate days, and for playing through four different seasons, along with completing every single quest the game has to offer. It’s a huge list of requirements, so you’ll be spending a lot of time with this one if you want to add that Platinum to your collection.
Cozy Grove is a beautiful game that offers a charming daily experience since you’ll run out of things to do in about 20 minutes every day. I liked how the game was presented, and discovering new islands ghost bears is great. The different quests eventually got a bit redundant, but my major issue with this game was its performance on a standard PlayStation 4. The game takes more than four minutes to load, and once this has been taken care of, the framerate isn’t stable and stutters around when things get too crowded.
This Cozy Grove review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by The Quantum Astrophysicist Guild.