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Forager

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Forager Game Poster Image
Repetitive resource gathering that's hard to put down.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There are no negative or positive messages. The basic premise is simply to collect resources and to build up your little plot of land with what you’ve gathered.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There’s not much character development, though the function of the main character actually decreases as the land develops.

Ease of Play

This is about as easy as it comes. Players simply move around the map, collecting resources and using those resources to build and evolve in ways to further improve the collection and building process.

Violence & Scariness

In the course of gathering resources, players will use their available tools and abilities to also hunt animals for meat, to harvest plants that are presented as talking creatures with happy, smiling faces, and to defend themselves from the occasional monster attack. Nothing graphic is shown, and targeted creatures or animals disappear when killed or harvested.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Forager is an adventure/simulation game available for download on Windows and Linux-based computers, as well as PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. Players begin with a small plot of land from which they collect various resources with which to build and expand. Players forage and build simply for the sake of doing so, with very little character development or motivations. Forager is a simple click-based game with elements of inventory and task management. There's some minor violence, particularly when hunting animals for food, but nothing graphic in any way. Animals, plants, minerals, etc. simply disappear when harvested and respawn later.

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What's it about?

FORAGER is a game which challenges players to live off the land, and to build and expand your world with creative use of the resources you’ve harvested. Starting with just a small plot of your very own, you’ll need to mine rocks, chop trees, and gather some food to sustain yourself. From there, you’ll use your skills to craft new additions to your island getaway, increasing your productivity while expanding your available harvesting options. As your island continues to grow and evolve, you’ll need to expand your lot to cover more ground, eventually moving from a small, empty isle to a grand empire filled with new technology and wonderous crafts. All of these items will work together like a well-oiled machine to keep you productivity high as you discover new puzzles to solve, hidden secrets, and dungeons to explore.

Is it any good?

In most games, collecting resources is little more than a means to an end, or a bit of a side chore to serve as a distraction from the main game. Forager, on the other hand, makes harvesting those precious goods your main priority, and the game is all the better for it. Things start off simple enough, with players on a tiny island clicking on the occasional tree, rock, or bush to collect wood, stone, and fruit. Before long, though, you’re crafting new buildings and items, which in turn unlocks more harvesting options and more complex crafting materials. After collecting enough money and resources, you can expand your island and continue the cycle, opening up more of the game in the process.

Make no mistake about it, Forager’s gameplay is about as simple as it comes, but it’s also more than a little repetitive. Outside of some basic inventory management and crafting, most of your time is spent just clicking on things to attack, harvest, or collect. In fact, the more you play and the more you build, the less you’re actually needed. Things like mining rods, ballista, and even droids can handle most of the harvesting and defense duties, freeing you up to explore nearby dungeons or solve different puzzles you might stumble across. Admittedly, this means that late in the game, you can’t help but feel a bit useless. But Forager is more about the journey than the ending, and that journey to the end is so surprisingly fluid and strangely addictive, you just can’t help coming back for more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how industrialization helps with quality of life. What are some of the ways that technology and industry have made our lives easier over the years?

  • What's the appeal of easy-to-play and simple looking games like Forager? What do these games offer that compare to some of the bigger budget, more complex and detailed gameplay of AAA-style competition?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love crafting

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