First Impressions on the Early Access Game Development Stage
First and foremost, may I please ask for everyone’s forgiveness regarding all things gaming and game testing – related. This review will simply cover the concepts in “Littlewood,” which I have learned through my husband and in games like “Stardew Valley” and “My Time at Portia.” So, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read!
Sean Young, a game developer based in Florida, began his first big-time life-simulation game “Littlewood” well over a year ago. Like many independently-made games, he funded his project through Kickstarter. Young asked for $1,500 originally, but his target market enjoyed his idea so much, he ended up receiving $82,061 in total!
And, if I had known about the project earlier, and how much I would enjoy the game, then I would have contributed to make the total higher.
“Littlewood” and Its Background Story
Developer Young introduced a far more fantastical element to his game’s storyline than either ConcernedApe or the developers for “My Time at Portia.” Sure…”Stardew Valley” may have a wizard, a witch, some slimes, and some shadowy creature in a sewer…and “My Time at Portia” definitely has some very interesting looking creatures to battle…but neither compare to “Littlewood.”
The gamer stands in the life-simulation game as the hero who saved the world, and then promptly lost his or her memory about everyone and everything. There are humans, including a female bestie and a, brave and smelly, fellow knight, but the other peaceful citizens are a different sort. Examples include an arrogant chef, proud of its dyed-green feathers, a strong, capable young woman, who cannot hide her half-orc heritage, or a pretty witch who struggles with her emotions. All have different personalities, and they all make the game ALIVE.
And in regard to all these creatures residing as peaceful citizens? Well, they’re YOUR peaceful residents, the people who wish to occupy your quaint little town, named Littlewood. Or, whichever name the player wishes to name the town. Much like “Minecraft,” only with the simple building instructions like in “Stardew Valley,” the gamer builds his or her own city.
“Littlewood” and Its User Interface
Thank you, thank you, Developer Sean Young, for using the controls WASD! I prefer this method over the arrow keys on my PC for two main reasons:
- My two favorite games, as already mentioned, use these keys. So, they’re what I’m used to.
- I like to move with my left hand, and use my right to make decisive gaming actions.
And, since Developer Young used the spacebar to make selections and decisive moves, the WASD movement controls make my preferred method very doable. Yay!
The menu button is a little out-of-the-way, no matter which method used. I used the ESC button over the CTRL button, because I find going up to be simpler. In “My Time at Portia,” the decision button is E, and I find that EXTREMELY easy to use and navigate to. However, as my husband said, gamers must get used to whichever controls the developers decide to use.
My One Complaint About “Littlewood”
Honestly? The one complaint I have will be fulfilled in time, or so I dearly hope! The one complaint? The game seems only half developed! I’ve played the game for 36 or more hours at this point, and so many different events, towns, and shops have yet to be developed! But, I suppose that’s why it’s called “Early Access.” And it’s the first time I’ve played early access, so I must learn patience.
Some spelling errors exist, but they’re easy to glance over. And for a little bit, while I selected one option in the menu bar, I would end up in a different section than I intended. This seemed quickly caught and fixed, though.
In regard to the story, specifically the compliments option, many of the AI characters seem to respond to compliments regarding their physical appearance. Maybe I’m weird, but I find that a bit awkward. Could more “meaningful” responses to more “meaningful” compliments be added?
Overall First Impression of “Littlewood”
For gamers who enjoy peaceful, easy-to-play games with storylines, this is an AMAZING GAME! It’s fantastical enough to keep the player interested, and simple enough for young children to play. Simple in regards to the fact spacebar automatically selects the tool required for the hero to perform an action.
Time and the hero’s energy are linked into one spacebar, which I’ve never seen before, and neither has my more-experienced gaming husband. However, it allows for the days to progress quickly. And the player learns his or her levels with AI characters and action abilities when the hero goes to bed each night.
AND, now for the kicker! GAMERS CAN SAVE AND QUIT AT ANY POINT IN THE GAME!! Neither of the main life-simulation games I play do this, so the feature makes “Littlewood” much easier to play during any time of the day!
So, pick up your copy of “Littlewood” and be the hero of your own village! Much more needs yet to be added, but I’m more than willing to play this game further down the road. And I’m looking forward to all the towns and events!