Yet another cute pixel art game blesses us with its presence. Games usually begin when the evil villain starts to cause mayhem; however, it’s a little different in Littlewood. Instead of struggling with the last boss fight and its minions, the game invites you to a more laidback experience.
The world of Solemn is now at peace after your victory over the Dark Wizard. However, there’s a catch—you can’t quite remember anything. With fuzzy memory on hand, it’s now your job to continue the hero role and rebuild your town. As days go by, you’ll meet new characters and have the ability to chill with them—and no, there’s no ice spell here. Expect to wake up to many character events and special festivals in Littlewood as things unravel in the game.
Littlewood is a relaxing little game where you build up your town, engage in a variety of activities, and interact with the various NPCs. You’ll be able to grow crops, catch bugs, chop wood, mine ore, gather materials, craft items, sell items, and go fishing. The game provides the tools to build up your town the way you see fit with a simple construction menu.
The game runs on a day to night system where your physical actions determine how quickly a day passes. Time passes by with each of these actions such as chopping a tree, flinging a net, or reeling in a fish. The game begins slow, especially if you lack the knowledge of what to do, but that’ll eventually change as you uncover more abilities. At that time, there will be only so much you’ll be able to do within an in-game day. Regardless of this, Littlewood remains a game you can play at your own pace.
To build up your town, you’ll need various materials. To get these materials, you’ll have to enter new areas to acquire them before the day ends. Hunting for materials to better your town will feel as though time is not on your side. This is because of how quickly days end in the game. Time is measured in EXP and each action you perform gains you this EXP. Crossing your EXP quota for the day will start you off with less in the following day, insisting that you go to bed before such an event can occur.
Your days will mostly involve deciding on what to do, crafting new items, and earning the game’s currency. Once you’ve acquired enough of the two, you’ll find yourself going from shop to shop donating these items. It’s a rinse and repeat cycle that surprisingly doesn’t get old too quickly. However, it can certainly reach that level after the first two in-game years when the objective shifts to 100% completion. It’s certainly a game you’ll be able to play for months to come, but it’s for people who are serious about collecting and completing everything the game has to offer.
Littlewood is filled with NPCs. It may not seem so at first; however, you’ll notice how that changes as you dig deeper in the game. They won’t be bland, either. They don’t go above and beyond with their scripts, but it’s sufficient enough to maintain the interest as you play. You won’t hear them blabbering out the same six-word line each time you choose to interact with them.
Talking to NPCs won’t be their only worth. What brightens this game during a dark night is the ability to have a character tag along with you. Whether it be going on an adventure or taking a stroll through the town, they’ll follow you wherever you go—without question. They each also have their own friendship level with you. Pick your poison, flirt a little, go on dates, and eventually marry the character of your dreams regardless of their gender.
The NPCs in the game will have their own requests for you to complete. Through the quest board and house decor requests, you’ll be able to fulfill their needs and reap the rewards that follow. There’s a decent number of requests to tackle as the days go by. It will take time to obtain the required items and it does encourage the use of the game’s currency well.
The game’s name is Littlewood and the “little” part of its name was no joke. There aren’t many areas to explore in this game, but the pacing in which you unlock them makes it far from disappointing. You’ll often find yourself revisiting the same areas to complete specific objectives. Combined with how short days are in the game, you may not even be bothered by it.
Newly uncovered areas have always felt rewarding for the work that’s been put into unlocking them. Traversing the newly discovered areas after being limited to the previous feels like a breath of fresh air. The new areas in this game aren’t for show, either. They’ll be added to your daily-visit consideration list so that you can interact with more NPCs, donate items, and partake in possibly new activities.
Fast-travel options do exist to make traveling a smoother experience. You’ll be able to teleport back to your house regardless of your location and time. The game also makes it easier to get back to the main entrance of two important grinding areas in the game. It may not seem crucial early in the game, but it cuts down on unnecessary traveling when seeking out specific materials that you need.
Building up your town is a critical part of Littlewood. Your responsibility comes down to collecting resources and using those resources to build new structures. There’s a lot of content you can utilize to bring out the beauty in your town. Raise up the land and turn it into hills, make rivers or ponds, place buildings whether they be houses or stores, and much more. The tools provided are simplistic, but the game doesn’t always hold your hand and teach you everything properly.
What can be disheartening is how you can’t use a space between your town name. It limits your options and eliminates some popular names you may have heard somewhere, such as Pokemon’s “Pallet Town”. Once you get passed that, building your town can easily become addicting. Days will go by in the game while grinding for resources and making decisions on how you want your town to be like.
Littlewood surprisingly gets a little in-depth with its character customization for a pixelated game. You’ll be able to change your character’s hairstyle, hair color, skin tone, outfit, and personality. Besides your hairstyle, the majority of these options are a simple color change. There’s only so much that can be done in a small pixel game such as Littlewood, but the developers have added a variety of options to choose from.
Graphics and Sound
As can be seen from the screenshots, Littlewood sports cute pixel art in a small package. Each area is worth admiring and the artwork is simply charming. The game has run almost perfectly on the Nintendo Switch for this review. The only bug-like issue that’s been encountered was pressing the flirting option during dialogue choices. Instead of it running fluidly, it introduced minor déjà vu in which you experienced pressing the option repeatedly within the same in-game day.
The game’s soundtrack works well with its charming graphics. It brings relaxing tunes to its peaceful sim-like gameplay. From walking to reeling in fish, you’ll hear a lot of sound effects in Littlewood. Although the balance between the two works great with the default settings, it can always be adjusted through the game’s settings. The only downside is that it works more of a global option rather than individually dividing them. So if you want to turn off the noise characters make when interacting with them, you’ll have to turn off every sound effect.
Littlewood is a bundle of joy in a small package. It starts off slow, but can get addicting as you discover more of what it has to offer. It’s one of those games where you can pick up and lose track of time playing, especially with how short days are in the game. Adjusting to how short these in-game days are can take a while to get used to, but it seems as though it’s essential in Littlewood to prevent the growth of boredom.
Littlewood gets an 8/10.