If you are one of the millions who adore Animal Crossing, then this could very well become your next obsession. Studio Drydock’s Wylde Flowers is a sweet and spirited tale that immerses you into the world of farming, friendships, crafting, romances, and even witchcraft.
After moving from the city after breaking off her engagement, Tara reunites with her grandma Hazel after a two-decade hiatus. Tara has come to her aid by taking over their farm and carrying out household chores. While busy meeting the townsfolk in Fairhaven, she discovers Hazel is part of a coven that meets in the woods every night. Soon, Tara realises that she also has magical abilities.
Let’s start with the basics. Farming is the first thing you learn, including creating new seed plots and compost bins, and replenishing your watering can. Each plot must be created with items found or made. Crafting is an integral and well-implemented mechanic, encouraging you to forage mushrooms and weeds, and find ore and essences.
The farm itself can be upgraded over time with bigger plots of land and farm animals. A mine located beside the house has many different levels to source ores, although keys must be found to progress.
Witchcraft sets the game apart from it its peers. Down in the basement, you can construct a cauldron, and it soon emerges that brewing magic spells and potions is essential to the story. A tool shed (which, again, can be upgraded) has things such as a candle maker and a glass kiln – used to create items for quests or simply to sell to merchants.
The map of Fairhaven is reasonably small, comprising of the town, beaches, woods, and a place called The Gloaming. Roaming around can be a bit tedious until you unlock a levitation spell to ride your broom for fast travel – and even then, you must remember to carry levitation potions.
Other problems are mostly nit-picks, such as not being able to redo dialogue options and the fact that wood doesn’t automatically go into your inventory after chopping down trees. At least the loading times are short when entering new locations and shops. Another thing you must remember is the shops are not open every day. Opening times wildly vary, which can be a bother.
Your newfound friends dish out hearts, solidifying relationships. They can only be spoken to in certain locations, such as their workplace. It’s a shame you can’t go into their homes if you’re in need of turning a quest in. I did find it difficult to gain more hearts as a cut-scene must be found and triggered for progression. Finding these specific locations takes time, and I often struggled to further friendships (or stupidly picked the wrong dialogue options!)
It’s possible to go on dates, and there are no restrictions regarding same-sex relationships. This a very liberal experience. Characters come from different backgrounds, and there are themes of loss, love, and acceptance. Any person you choose to marry gives you a perk, which is equally endearing.
I would highly recommend Wylde Flowers as there’s a lot here to put a smile on your face, from the vast array of characters to the picturesque change of seasons. The focus on witchcraft holds a lot of appeal as well, being something not often woven into ‘lifestyle’ sims.
Fingers crossed for future updates – ideally, new quests, characters, and locations – as I’m eager to jump back in and spend more time in this magical world.
Studio Drydock’s Wylde Flowers is out now on Switch and PC. It first launched on Apple Arcade.