Littlewood is now available on the Nintendo Switch. In my time with the game, I can tell you that this feels like the most natural place to play the game. While sitting at a computer is superior in many ways, the relaxing nature of the game on Nintendo’s handheld is unparalleled. Unlike Stardew Valley, this game very rarely gets so intense that you need to sit up and fully concentrate. I found myself playing on the sofa while relaxing, in-between work breaks, and even while cooking.
The story of Littlewood is simple. You’re the hero that saved the world, but you can’t remember it. There are no villains to fight, in fact, there are very few enemies in general. Instead, you’re living the life of the hero after the main quest is over. Now you can sit back, relax, and rebuild the homes of those who were all a part of your quest. You’ll start by placing a few houses, bringing a couple of friends into the village. As the days go by though, you’ll be adding businesses, enhancing the offerings of the various outlets, and making a town that outsiders come to for pretty much everything.
There’s nothing complicated about making each house because collecting the resources you need is the main part of the gameplay. Each day you’ll be doing various tasks, and the day runs out as your energy does. When you sleep, the game advances, and there’s more for you to do. That might sound a little dull, and to be fair it’s nothing adventurous. That’s not the point of this game though, so the relaxing take on the story fits really well.
On top of building houses, you’ll be collecting resources from around the fantasy world filled with interesting locations, and chatting away to everyone who visits your town. As I pointed out earlier, every task, whether investing in a business, picking a weed, or moving between locations, all take energy and time. This is a nice mechanic that shows you how much time you have left before the end of the day. If you sleep in a bed, you’ll have more energy the following day. If not, you’ll have to settle for less.
The game mechanics aren’t clear at first, but they reveal themselves as you explore every aspect of the homes and businesses around you. Talking to people will see you earn new items to open up new activities, and soon you’ll be gathering so much that you have no time for anything else. The market is a particularly cool place. You can list all the items you want to sell in the day, and by the next day they’ll have been purchased. You use the currency you’re awarded to enhance businesses and buy additional land for your town. You can even spend it on policies that will enhance the town.
Interacting with NPCs reveals a relationship system. You can even have one of them tag along with you to upgrade their experience. Before you ask, yes, you can definitely marry them. As with any life simulator, this is the end goal of the entire game. If you play as I do.
Looks and Sound
Littlewood has an understated look that blends the visuals of the early Zelda games with Stardew Valley. It won’t blow you away, but that isn’t why you’re playing it. Here you have an engrossing game at a reasonable price that doesn’t look like it has assets that were half-baked in development. A lot of love has clearly gone into all the design aspects of this game, and that shows when you’re 10 hours in and aren’t sick of looking at the screen anymore. I must say that nighttime is a particularly beautiful time in Littlewood.
The sound design is nothing to write home about. I’d have liked some more variation in the music, but this is pretty much what you get with every life simulator. To be honest, I played with the sound off most of the time, and it never took away from the experience.
If you love Stardew Valley and other similar games, then you’ll enjoy this. It’s a low-fi version of all of those farming simulators and life simulators with the essential mechanics boiled down into a tiny package. You might think that you’ll be done with it quickly, but I can tell you that this game will very easily eat up all of your spare time if you’re willing to invest in it. Don’t let this one pass you by if you’re looking for something fresh instead of yet another run in any of the most popular life simulators.