While certainly a pretty relaxed and family-friendly affair, the lack of direction and structure can also make it feel a bit aimless
Given the abundance of farming/cultivation sims out there in the wild it pays to try to differentiate yourself from the pack. In that regard Everdream Valley does a reasonably good job, going for a pretty cute overall look and building a generally pleasant and colorful 3D landscape to explore. You’ll be spending some time with your grandparents and it turns out their farm has seen better days, meaning that they could really use your help. Where the problems arise a bit is that once you’re there, for being a kid who doesn’t know much about farming, you’re given pretty minimal direction and are left to mostly discover what you should be doing on your own. The game definitely runs into the double-edged sword of providing you with the opportunity to explore and do things at your own pace, and I think it takes a hit from the fact that it simply doesn’t feel like it grounds you with enough structure and understanding before doing so. This can lead to some wasted days trying to come to terms with how the map somewhat poorly tries to help you find your quest objectives, the fact that everything is quite a bit more spread out than you may expect, and your movement given the ground you often need to cover is sluggish at best. There’s plenty to enjoy here if you’ve got some patience, and it would help if you’re more of a genre veteran, but despite its friendly appearance and demeanor newcomers may struggle and feel lost as they try to wrap their arms around this open-ended and not terribly instructive experience.
Justin Nation, Score: