Fae Farm Review – Earn your wings

Reviewed September 7, 2023 on Nintendo Switch


PC, Nintendo Switch


September 8, 2023


Phoenix Labs


Phoenix Labs

As an enjoyer of tasks that most people consider menial and boring, I have always been a major supporter of the farming sim genre. I’m always raptly waiting for the next release in the Rune Factory or Harvest Moon series and blatantly ignoring every open-world AAA experience unless it includes a cooking minigame as a bare minimum.

Suffice to say, Fae Farm has been on my radar for a very long time now. It was originally announced in a Nintendo Direct back in September of last year and was one of the standouts among the many farming sim announcements at the time. Both because of its bright, clean art style, fantasy setting, and emphasis on multiplayer gameplay.

Fae Farm is a bit of a mixture of all your classic farming sim openers. You’re tired of your life and looking for a new destiny when you hear about a small island that could be the perfect place to start. Your shipwrecks just offshore of the island of Azoria and you wash up on shore. Luckily the townsfolk are happy to take you in, give you a free house, and set you up with a farm. Wish fulfillment at its finest.

The initial main goal you are given is to find a way to stop the whirlpools off the coast of Azoria, preventing anyone else from having an accident like your own, and allowing trade to once again enter and exit the small colony. All while working on your own little slice of paradise in your downtime.

The fae part of Fae Farm doesn’t make much of an appearance until you reach chapter five of the game after you have already solved the issue with the whirlpools and can move on to much grander things. This comes a little too late, in my opinion, as by the time I finally started learning more about the magical side of Azoria, I was already getting burnt out and feeling like my progression was getting nowhere. Once I finally hit that fifth chapter, my interest did come back very quickly, but just know that it can feel like a bit of a slog getting there.

Once you get settled on the island, the next week or so is what I would consider to be little more than a long tutorial, similar to the early days of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, days in Fae Farm are not real-time, so when you have completed all the quests offered for one day, you can at least send your character off to bed early and complete another batch the next day without having to wait around.

“Where Fae Farm really shines is in its visual presentation…”

It’s a slow opening, that’s for sure, though it does a decent job of teaching the basics. Farming is most similar to the modern 3D Rune Factory games, with cute little animations for planting, watering, and picking crops. It’s your standard fare; plant as much as you can reasonably water each morning without completely running out of energy. You are also able to fish, catch bugs, and raise animals on your farm.

While each of these activities is fun, I was a little disappointed to learn that Fae Farm doesn’t have either an Animal Crossing museum equivalent or a Stardew Valley community center equivalent which means that both fishing and bug catching feel a little hollow. This is a real shame, as the collection aspects of farming sims are well-loved by most fans of the genre, and the game takes enough inspiration from Animal Crossing that I was already instinctively saving my bugs in my storage shed, just waiting for the museum to open so I could deposit them… only to find it never happened.

Fae Farm does add a few good quality-of-life improvements to the genre though; it uses a similar tool upgrade system to Stardew Valley that allows you to improve your tools so you can water multiple crops at once, or chop down trees in one swing, but Fae Farm has a magic meter alongside your standard energy bar, and using these abilities only drains your magic, not your energy. So you are able to use your special abilities as much as you want and still have your regular stamina bar left if you have some more work left to do.

It also negates the need to switch between different tools while farming; the game will automatically switch to the axe if you lock onto a tree, or the pickaxe for a rock, and so on. It’s a small change, but certainly a very welcome one. I was also a big fan of the addition of a jump button. It’s never super necessary, but I love hopping around so it was a big plus for me. There is also an unlockable high jump that you gain partway through the main story which is a lot of fun to use, because the second hop is more of a twirl than a jump and it feels great to control.

Another thing that some people will be glad to hear is that the game does not punish you for staying out too late, or require you to return to bed at the end of each day. You certainly can do this, and going to sleep earlier nets you a bonus in the morning, but if you are still outside by 12:00, the game just ends the day and starts the next with you back in your cabin. I personally found this a little hand-holdy, though I am a sicko who loves working around time constraints, so take this criticism with a grain of salt. You might actually find it improves your experience depending on how easy-breezy you like your farming sims.

Finally, one of the neatest changes in my opinion, is that your character is able to water an entire 9-plot of crops while staying completely still. If you position yourself in the middle of a 3×3 plot, you are able to hold down the button to water the plants, and then direct your character to water specific plants using the analog stick. They will rotate on the spot and can reach any of the plants in that 3×3 plot without needing to move. It’s a small change, but makes it so much easier to water your crops if you have run out of magic and need to do it manually.

There is a lot more to do in Fae Farm than just farming. Alongside your standard dungeon delving, fishing and cooking, Fae Farm takes a decent chunk of inspiration from Animal Crossing: New Horizons by giving you the option to build both outdoor and indoor furniture to customize your farm. You aren’t able to decorate outside your farm, but even still, the amount of freedom that you have is quite impressive.

You can craft, and then dye pretty much all furniture, and there are also floor decorations that work a bit like Animal Crossing paths, but with far more variety and use cases. If you are interested in making both your home and your farm a visual feast, Fae Farm definitely gives you that option. It’s also smart enough to allow crafting from whatever you have in your storage shed, instead of you needing to have the correct materials in your inventory, which is a welcome change.

As mentioned, as in most modern farming sims, Fae Farm has a big emphasis on dungeon delving. There is one dungeon that you can unlock within the first few days of starting the game; it’s only 25 floors deep, but what makes it interesting is how you unlock the ability to teleport to floors you have already visited. Each floor has a space for a seal to be inserted into a pedestal, which will then make that floor accessible by teleportation, but the catch is that you need to craft the seals yourself, often with materials that you won’t find until you are a little deeper in the dungeon. The other big thing is that you have to place the seals in order; you can’t set one up on level 11 until levels 1 – 10 already have one, and as you go deeper, the seals will require more advanced materials and become more difficult to craft.

I also love that when teleporting to a floor, you are able to view a list of what resources you can find on that level and how likely you are to encounter them. It saves a lot of time if all you need is some copper and you just want to jump straight to the floor that you know will have the most of it.

The only other major thing to spend your time on in Fae Farm is side quests and character relationships. There are many characters that you can bump into in Azoria, and pretty much all of them are likely to hand you a side quest at least once. Unfortunately, this area of the game is where I think it falls the most flat.

Every character in the game is incredibly generic, spouting recycled lines of dialog every time you speak to them. Many of the characters share dialog too, so on some days, five of them might tell you that spring is a great time to find mussels on the beach. I didn’t see much variety with the romance options either. The game alarmingly told me that I had been flirting with one of the characters for three days when he was still just talking about how much he misses snow, but hey, spring is nice too! This is a line of dialogue that I heard from at least three other NPCs, but I wasn’t flirting with any of them apparently.

I did go on a few dates with this character, and those provided at least a little more insight into them as a person. He does pottery, he likes frogs. He likes frogs more than he likes pottery but frogs aren’t a job. I was pleasantly surprised, but after the second date was over, he once again told me that spring is a great time to find mussels on the beach. It was like whiplash.

I suspect that this might have something to do with the fact that Fae Farm really wants you to play it multiplayer. I noticed very quickly that pausing the game in the mines does not stop enemies from attacking you, which is a strange choice unless you are thinking about it from a multiplayer perspective. In multiplayer Stardew Valley it’s the same, even though all enemies on screen usually freeze during single-player runs. I wasn’t able to play with anyone else during my review period, and so despite the fun I was having, I found Azoria to be an incredibly lonely, and oddly isolating place.

Where Fae Farm really shines is in its visual presentation. The game is incredibly bouncy and vibrant with cute animations for the characters and an utterly gorgeous use of colour. Character customisation is a lot of fun too, there are multiple body types, lots of cute hairstyles, and a very broad color palette for skin and hair tones and the game also does not tie your pronouns to your voice or body type which is always great to see.

I think it’s a big step forward for 3D farming sim experiences in this area alone, much of the recent fare from Story of Seasons or Rune Factory has done little to impress me visually but Fae Farm has style in spades. The character models are the only part where my feelings are mixed, I get extreme MySims vibes from them and I do think this is largely due to the characterisation (or lack thereof) issues that I mentioned earlier and not necessarily a fault of the art style. Were the characters a bit better developed I’m sure it wouldn’t bother me, but with how it is now, it’s big MySims vibes.

Fae Farm’s environmental design has no such issues. The world uses a lot of rounded shapes and designs that are incredibly appealing and a delight to explore. It becomes even more enticing once you reach the fifth act and are finally able to venture into the Fae realm where the world is covered in unfamiliar flora and fauna and shaded in the gorgeous deep pastels. It might be a deep cut, but it scratched the same itch as Kingdom of Amalur’s environment design, and that says a lot.

Unfortunately, the music isn’t really anything to write home about. It’s all perfectly serviceable, but I wouldn’t call any of the songs earworms and the second I stop playing I can’t remember them at all. I wish there was a bit more identity to the soundtrack, as it does come across as pretty generic, especially when compared to the game’s general aesthetic.




  • Cute and bouncy animations
  • Lots of quality-of-life improvements
  • Gorgeous enviromental design


  • One-dimensional characters
  • Very slow to start
  • Feels a bit lonely playing solo

Fae Farm adds a lot of great quality-of-life improvements to the farming sim genre and makes magic with its soft and comfy art style. It’s unfortunate that it falls short in a few important areas such as the interactions you can have with NPCs, because the rest of the game is incredibly solid. It does also take a long time to get going, and those first days in the game will feel a bit like a slog, but once you start uncovering the more fantastical side of the island there is a lot of amazing stuff to discover. If you are looking for a new farming sim to try, especially one with magical elements, Fae Farm might just scratch that itch.