Hokko Life Hokko Life PS4 Review PS4 Review

Hokko Life Review (PS4) – A Sterile Start Gives Way To Cosy Charm In This Cute Community Sim

hokko ps4 review

Hokko Life PS4 review. Build it and they will come. That’s the mantra behind cutesy community sim Hokko Life, but is it worth the effort? Wonderscope’s Hokko Life is a friendlier Animal Crossing. It does all those Animal Crossing things, throws in a few Stardew Valley bits, and doesn’t make you wait a whole actual day to build something and there’s no money-grubbing git trying to cripple you with debt the minute you get into town. It out-wholesomes its inspiration to the point it kinda swings around into creepy cult territory. Just why are these anthropomorphic residents so bloody keen to give you a house for nothing, and make you convince others to join their dead little town? It’s just a Wicker Man/Crypto Bro away from being a confirmed Cult Sim.

Hokko Life PS4 Review

A Sterile Start Gives Way To Cosy Charm In This Cute Community Sim

Before I end up going down that rabbit hole, I better get back to what Hokko Life actually is. You are a person who falls asleep on a train journey and ends up in the equally sleepy town of Hokko. After meeting a couple of the residents (a pink elephant and a giraffe) at the local Inn, you get asked about staying on a more permanent basis. You don’t get much choice in the matter. It’s either, ‘gee-willickers! I’d love to!’ or deleting the game. Fortunately, there’s worth in going with the former.

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The objective is ultimately to make this pretty barren, yet cozy, town into the place of your dreams, with a rich community of bipedal animals and a whole heap of customization options to really put a personal touch on things. This is done through a mixture of collecting supplies, crafting things, and taking requests from the villagers. At first, this is pretty streamlined. You chop down a few trees, pick some flowers, and before you know it, you built a bench or something. Variations on this theme continue for the early part of Hokko Life, and in all honesty, there’s only so long you can go on repeating that cycle before needing something more, and Hokko Life really pushes its luck with that. The side-effect of this is you may find yourself checking out before the game really hits its groove, which is inarguably reached a lot quicker than Animal Crossing.

So is it down to just two choices really? Either accept the trade-off and power through to the meaty part, or construct a self-enforced limit and take it on in little chunks? I think it’s a bit of both. Powering through the first season or so and then relaxing the pace once a sizable amount of tinkering options become available. Hokko Life’s relative flexibility and freedom may be something of an initial burden, but it really makes the most of the ‘do as little or as much as you like’ mantra. It soon becomes a pleasant game to dip into every now and then, and sometimes find yourself losing a few hours to because you thought of a really interesting design for some furniture.

The item design options that you eventually get to have the capacity to be utterly engrossing. You draw up plans, drag and drop the shapes and colors of the object you want to make, and adjust in minute detail. This can be anything from clothing to homeware, and it ensures that the plainly tween town of Hokko becomes more and more a place with your own personality stamped on it. What initially feels like a shallow, sterile, and aggressively pleasant game transforms into something serene, cosy, and enriching. The whole thing is built on the ability to share your creations as well, so there’s a sense of pride to be found in making unique items for others to download and use in their own version of Hokko.

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As the town is expanded, so too do your opportunities to explore. Whole new areas get opened up, and there’s some deep and dank mines to peer into. It’s a nice drip-feed of variety from the usual town building stuff, even if it does still ultimately serve the same master when all is said and done. As seasons change, new events and challenges appear, and Hokko Life really expands its horizons.

Aside from introductions, you don’t really have to dabble in these extra bits too much, and can just focus on tinkering, building, or farming. Want to just catalog the local wildlife? Go for it! Wanna decorate your annoying neighbours house in the grimmest way possible in an act of passive-aggressive vengeance? Have at it!

If you’re willing to put the time investment into Hokko Life, and not just see it as something that needs conquering, then it has riches to offer. Understandably, however, patience may run thin before you get past a very slow start. For the most part, as Autumn falls, Hokko Life feels like a delightfully cosy escape from the pressures and expectations of most games.

Hokko Life releases for PS4 on September 27, 2022.

Review code kindly provided by PR.



The Final Word

It may take time getting to show it, but Hokko Life is a delightfully deep and engaging community sim that lets you move at your own pace. Patience is very much required to see the best of it.