Let's get Buzzy | Apico | Nintendo Switch.

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Publisher: Whitethorn Games
Developer: TNgineers, Ellraiser
Nintendo Switch Review

Bees! That's right bees, they're an important part of this world and if they die out we are in big trouble. What a better way of highlighting this than making a video game based around their life cycles and how they have an impact on the world was such a boss move in my opinion. My home is full of bee decor, seems a big weird but I love them, and that's why when I saw this game in the Switch store i knew I needed to get it, even more so when I realised i could own my bees and breed them. Apico comes from the team over at Ellraiser who are siblings making cute games together.

Apico is a game where you play solely as one character, you have been invited to your grandparents home in Port Apico where your grandmother now lives alone after the unfortunate passing of your grandfather. Luckily for you, your grandfather was a beekeeper which means you can now take his place doing what your grandfather loved in life. On top of that the game keeps you busy by combining resource gathering, biology, and beekeeping minigames, the developers took real life and gave it a twist within this chilled out cute game! I'm fascinated by bees which makes playing this Apico all the more worth it, players get a chance to learn types of breeds and plants which work in your favour when it comes to breeding which not only gives you different breeds but the pollen can give you different types of honey when using the right equipment.

There are times where I had to wait in order to go to a certain part of the map and access hives, this was due to not having correct equipment unlocked, things like this take time due to the nature of the game, it's not meant to be rushed you're meant to enjoy the process of beekeeping whilst learning along the way. For some this may seem boring, for others like myself it may be just what a cosy gamer needs. That being said, there is no real order to how you play, of you want to concentrate on breeding one type of bee that's fine but beware you may need to explore to find the right bee to cross breed it with.

The map is full of different Biomes which are home to various plants, bees and people, the different climate makes it a happy place for a lot of them to live and moving them back to your home will disrupt that happiness causing them to be too warm, or too cold and even too angry. To combat this you can use something like a heater to warm them up but once again you will need to unlock this by progressing further in the game. My way around this was to use my boat ( I unlocked this by chopping down trees) and visit the bees in their natural element until I started to cross breed with a bee that wouldn't be happy with that climate, that left me in a sticky situation. 

Developers have given NPCs pronouns which is becoming more of the norm within gaming these days, I see nothing wrong with it. One of the NPCs is a little fox called Mothenese, they have a very unique purpose, they are a composer and sell players music to play on their jukebox, they like other NPCs can be picked up and moved around the map making them more accessible to players. The game also features over 30 different breeds of bees which will keep players busy for hours, I'm not even joking when I say that, breeding bees takes a lot of research and time.

Is it a co-op game? Yes! Up to 4 people can join in and play making the process a lot faster, it means you get to work together as a team helping the bees but wait there's more back in November the developers announced a new update for butterflies, they cleverly named it "I can't believe it's not Butter(flies)" the reason for it is because there is a margarine called " I can't believe it's not butter", I love the developers humour! Players can create mods and use them, from what I have read on Reddit there aren't a huge amount of mods right now which means people should have a go at creating some for players to try out. 

Personally, I prefer playing this game alone. I enjoy being able to learn and create my own bee world for myself that I have all the control over. I have spent countless hours falling in love with Apico which says a lot for the game as a whole, there is still so much more to explore and do. I've heard that early on there were some bugs where the game would freeze, I'm happy to say I've not experienced any of these issues it's been smooth sailing for me. Apico can easily be compared to Stardew Valley due to the design but other that it's in a league of its own, it can be a great learning tool for the importance of bees in this world which is something more people need to be aware of. Apico is available on: Linux, macOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/ X/S, have a buzzing time!

Have a cosy day


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