It’s a dream as old as the modern world – weary of daily life, you pick up your belongings, hop on a train, and head toward a small town ready to welcome you into its folds. You’ll spend your days farming, exploring, raising animals, wooing the townsfolk… and being called forth by majestic dragons to change the world?
Well that part might be a little bit different, but it’s your fate when you find yourself in the vibrant little village of Sun Haven – a cute, lively town surrounded by dangerous woods with plenty of secrets.
Sun Haven, currently in early access, brings everything to love about farming sims and everything to love about rpgs and fantasy adventures, and smashes them together in a strangely comfy adventure sim combination.
The gameplay will be familiar to anyone who’s played farming sim games in the past – you pick up seeds, farm a little, and as you make more and more money you can afford to do more and more as well. However, Sun Haven takes the adventure aspect and makes it just as important as your crops – there’s danger approaching Sun Haven, and in order to thwart it, you’ll need to explore the forests, fight creatures, and even find hidden communities in the wilderness.
It bears reminding that Sun Haven is still in early access and is very likely to go through quite a bit of growth and refinement along the way, but I’m already pretty happy with the experience. Each day you get plenty of time to check your farm, visit the town, and venture out into the forest or mines. I haven’t found myself hurting for time most days, though you’ll of course still need to watch the clock. It’s well balanced, and while I struggle quite a bit with the combat and would love to see a better tutorial added sometime, it’s a relief to know that you don’t have to rush away first thing in the morning to get anything done.
What I love most about Sun Haven though is its character creation and cast of characters. You aren’t stuck choosing the same old “male” versus “female” when creating your character – you just get to create whoever you want. They are who they are and they look how they look. Even better, they can connect with anyone. This small touch is really freeing, and I love that all options are available to your character without sectioning them into unnecessary boy/girl styles and features.
The cast that you can meet and befriend is pretty sizable – personally I’ve fallen in love with Catherine, a rabbit-eared witch who thankfully dealt with my endless supply of seashell gifts before I found things she actually enjoyed receiving.
There’s a lot more to love here – from the exploration aspect to the wide range of decorative items you can pick up, to the selection of pets (you can have more than one!) – but really if a fantasy farm adventure sounds like your type of game, I suggest you pick it up and get going! The Early Access is still very playable, and for players who want to get involved, there’s a pretty active discord to connect with other players and the devs as well.
Not quite sold on early access projects? Don’t worry – we’ll be covering later updates and the final release so you can see how it shapes up! Afterall, Sun Haven is counting on us (and our little farm!).
Order Up! is a weekly column featuring indie-focused reviews, news, or interviews! We like old games just as much as new ones and are always looking for something to check out. Have a game recommendation, a project, or a company you want to talk about? Email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter @ArcanaChance