A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This life simulation plants you on a mysterious island, and you're tasked with performing various missions for the residents there, which are primarily friendly ghosts. You're here to help everyone and bring joy (and color) back to Cozy Grove.
Positive Role Models
You assume the role of a "Spirit Scout," who washes up on the shore of a small island, Cozy Grove. You get to know the living residents, which are mostly animals, as well as ghosts who each have missions for you to accomplish. Your character -- which you can customize with desired skin and eye color, and hair style -- is positive because you want to help everyone, and through your actions, help to add color to the island, as well.
Ease of Play
Cozy Grove is a "casual" game, and thus is easy to play whether it's using a fingertip on a touchscreen or game controller. There are very few timed elements to reduce pressure, and the game has a simple top-down view of the island. That said, sometimes the main character could get stuck in an object, such as a rock or tree.
There isn't any profanity, but some of the comments and letters might be mature in nature (even if trying to be comical), such as "Oh look a letter! I want to disembowel you with a thousand skeletal hands."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The game has one or two more references to characters drinking alcohol, but isn't seen in the game.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cozy Grove is a downloadable casual life simulation for Apple Arcade, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. It might be described as Animal Crossing meets supernatural and mythological themes. You must perform tasks for the ghosts that inhabit the island, craft items, fish, tend to the land, raise pets, upgrade your tent, and much more. While suitable for tweens and teens, parents should be aware there are ghosts and spirit animals, some odd references to violence ("I want to disembowel you with a thousand skeletal hands!") and a couple of references to drinking alcohol.
Is It Any Good?
This life simulation is as charming as it is relaxing. On one hand, Cozy Grove is similar to the popular Animal Crossing games that let you explore environments, meet a memorable cast of characters, craft items, fish for food, and tend to your surroundings. But Cozy Grove includes a more supernatural and spiritual theme, since you're perfoming tasks for ghosts, each of whom have stories tied to the island and its history. Much of your time will be spent performing tasks, moving about the island, and by accomplishing these tasks for these quirky inhabitants, you'll begin to paint the island with color. Tasks take about 30 minutes in total, and to keep you on your toes, the island respawns items or key areas (like a spot to dig using a shovel) over time. It's a slow burn, but it's not boring, as searching on the island is fun, as is decorating your campsite. Plus, the dialog with the characters keeps you engaged, and the graphics and music are top-notch.
As for the downsides to Cozy Grove, there's a lot of repetition in your tasks, since many of them requires you to scour the island and collect items for someone. Too bad the developers couldn't add a wider variety of challenges to partake in. As such, you may tire of these mini quests and decide to put the game away for a while (in fact, you'll be told to come back tomorrow, as if the game is telling you to put it down for the day). Also, some of the tasks are a little laborious, such as trying to find leaves near a bush, beside a tree, in a part of the island without color yet, so it can all blend together until you look closer (like a Where's Waldo exercise). Shortcomings aside, Cozy Grove is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time, and is highly recommended for those looking for an Animal Crossing-like digital diversion, and with a more mysterious and ghostly twist.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.