Garden Paws: Farm Your Way to a Virtual Paradise (Coming Soon to Nintendo Switch)
An introduction & review to the game along the first days: Meeting Townspeople, Shopkeeping, Farming, Fishing, and Raising Animals.
It’s too good not to share with the world in need of a very pretty virtual sandbox to play in. Thank you for clicking, it’s appreciated and I hope you’ll enjoy this introduction to the PC and soon to be Nintendo Switch game, Garden Paws.
There is a creative mode for constructing almost all in-game items directly from a menu, but to get the full experience start in story mode where there is a developing town on the island of Flores filled with NPCs for us to quest with.
Character creation has just a bit of variation to it… You’ve got 10 awesome animal models to choose from, which you can get for your physical desk if you check out developer Bitten Toast’s Etsy. They 3D print these cute little fuzzballs. Cat, Fox, Dragon, Chipmunk Squirrel looking thing, even a horse. These are just a sample of the skins, there’s so many more you’ll find while hunting throughout the game which can be modified into a glittery version.
The game drops you in your grandparent’s old home and all it’s got is a bed, but you can use it to sleep which cycles through days and refreshes your energy. Which you’ll need plenty of for planting, watering, chopping, mining and picking up items. A 24 hour game in day breaks down to 18 minutes in real time. 30 days in each season with 4 seasons in a game year.
Notice your action bar down at the bottom, you were dropped into the world with a hoe and watering can in hand. Pick your favorite spot and select the number key with the hoe, in the menu is an option to snap everything to a grid to help you keep the piles of soil in a uniform line, if that’s something that’s gonna drive you batty.
Once you’ve dug up some spots, select some seeds for the action bar and when standing close enough to soil it should pop up a que to “Plant Seed”. Don’t forget to water daily until plants have bloomed. Different seeds have different rates of growth. Plants will be just fine when left alone until you’re ready to harvest.
Each day between the hours of 12:00 and 18:00 players can open shop for the citizens of Florens to come take away the oodles and oodles of items farmed and forged into items or food. You can opt to spam collect purchases yourself or hire the assistant located in town for a 20% cut of the profits so you can continue to collect in the forests all day. This is the primary way for earning gold currency in the game to purchase upgrades and stuff as you’re unable to sell directly to vendors.
Basic tools you’ll need for major crafting materials which can be found in your player menu by hitting (T). When equipped in the action bar these tools can be used when standing in proximity to trees and rocks to basically explode them into things you can build with. Progressing through silver and gold axes reduces the amount of energy and swings needed to harvest.
Fishing requires bait and pole be constructed in the player crafting menu (T) using insects found from harvesting paper plants and chopping wood. As long as there is fishing bait in your inventory you’re good to go. Find yourself a nice spot on the water, click and hold for how far out you want your cast to go.
Some poles have shorter wait times to hook a fish, a silhouette for the catch will come up and you just hover in that direction with a click to catch. The starter pole is good for finding small and regular fish with some occasional rubbish. If you’re looking for bottles and soggy paper, the trash pole will find some in no time. The gold pole will regularly get you the rare fish, jellyfish, red and blue snappers with quite a few bonus gift boxes. Sparkling circles in the water mark spots where rare catches are guaranteed.
Raising & Catching Animals:
What farming sandbox would be complete without lots of animals that you can raise? Garden Paws has a variety beyond basic farm animals like cows and chickens but also woodland, wild and fantasy creatures. Many of which drop daily items like fish or furs to help you start building low effort residual gold. Animals can be put in the players accessory slot to either act as a pet or mount.
Through the game’s main quest line you’ll be helping the townsfolk further develop the town with additional shops and buildings along with the upgrades for your own farm. These shops will give you access to new materials, decorations, character accessories, eventually daily deliveries of commodities for crafting like wood, stone and coal.
This isn’t a game I just started playing, actually clocked an impressive amount of hours enjoying how much fun it can be even though it’s quite simple, actually quite a great game for kids as the only violence is pew pew with a wand to vanquish weird rock creatures in the optional dungeon. It’s got 100 levels that you can just keep cycling through for bonus loots and dungeon specific items including furniture sets.
Whether in creative mode or accepting the challenge of farming all materials in story there’s quite a few options for constructing elaborate buildings or pretty much anything a person can think up. Player screenshots on the Bitten Toast Discord are filled with innovative ideas like ferris wheels and cruise ships. Maybe you can already guess what we’ve been working on with all our hours?
Race tracks! Of course. Especially since developers were kind enough to provide us with a proper vehicle. Won’t spoil this surprise but only entice you to make it through year 4 quests for some drifty fun. You’re welcome at Leguna Paws Raceway!
A 2019 study on a similar sandbox crafting game, Minecraft, showed testing to hippocampal memory through use of the game over two weeks in four different groups that were tested. Participants were paired off into exploration of the game’s maps or building structures using resources, some which could build with unlimited materials while others were instructed to build ever increasingly complex ideas. One group was given the task of both building and exploring.
It was found that the walking groups exploring the in-game maps were showing improvement to the hippocampus while the building group, set on a featureless map, were not. This shows how important exploration in games is and the memorization of large landscapes may be.This hippocampal memory boost improves acceleration in learning and memory dependent tasks. The same effects could be happening when playing Garden Paws or other games that allow for 3D exploration and complex building. Memorizing the map for locations of animals to feed and plants to farm can help you boost your brain through exploration.
Fit together furniture to create fun room themes and create elaborate gardens using all the fruits, vegetables and flowers you’ll find in the wild. Changing seasons have their own varieties of produce and colors of flora to find, which keeps it easy to find oneself sinking a few hours into how the game unfolds. This game lends towards encouraging players to prioritize tasks because of the time allowance each day, but soooo many options to choose from including seasonal events where playing games nets bonus items. Once a player finds comfortable routines this game starts training spatial memory as we have to remember where in the heckin’ we put all those items for storage.
The developers have continually made updates to the game and added to players ability to expand on being creative. I think this will be a great addition to the Nintendo Switch library and if you don’t want to wait, you can find it on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/840010/Garden_Paws/
For the expanded video version of this article and in game builds check out the Miss Maserati YouTube channel.