Playing Staxel you can see the thought process that produced it all around. Take the general visual style of Minecraft, though in this case a bit more refined with voxels, and mix it with some flavor from the farm sim camp ala games like Stardew to make a game that would be akin to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of family-friendly goodness. That was, no doubt, the idea. In execution though? It’s nice and actually looks pretty good, but there just isn’t much of a “soul” to any of it and nothing that really makes it stand out. Also, being honest, farming activities are simply clunky in a 3D space and the need to be precise can be a bit of a drag, so that Zen-like satisfaction loop you get in the typical top-down cultivation sims also suffers a bit even if you enjoy them. While there’s no doubt it manages to present the familiar in a different form, so there may be people who’ll enjoy the ride, the lack of anything of substance that’s new and exciting makes it easy to pass on.
Justin Nation, Score: