I’m still stuck in and on the game, Cozy Grove, by Spry Fox. It’s something like Day 16 and things have really opened up. I finally bit the bullet and scraped up the 400,000 coins needed to upgrade Mr. Kit’s shop for a second time and have upgraded my tent (storage space) twice as well. Before I get into that, however, let me remind you that I ended the last post with a question of sorts. I had noted that I had just opened access to haircuts and didn’t know quite how it worked. I have a closet of clothes and I can switch them out whenever I want by visiting Flamey, my bonfire. Er, campfire. Would I be able to store my hair and change it at will like wigs? That’s what I thought it might be, but I also had the sinking suspicion that I might just lose my hair completely. I didn’t want that to happen because I really liked my black twisty braids, but I felt like I should try the new content. There was a cute ‘goth’ hairstyle of curls loosely tied at the nape of the neck. It seemed more Victorian or some such to me, but whatever. It was white hair and I bought it.
Me being me, the first thing I tried to do was figure out how I could change it back. I checked my closet. Nope. Storage? Nope. Mr. Kit–maybe I had to buy it back? Nope. I even tried buying the same hairstyle again, thinking it would give me my old hairstyle back. Nope. By the way, I don’t get that–why can I infinitely buy the same hairstyle? I hopped onto the Discord to ask if there was a way to get my old hairstyle back. There wasn’t. I had to hope that it would be offered on sale at the store.
This is how compulsive my brain gets sometimes. When I was told that I couldn’t get my hair back, I actually thought about restarting the game because it bothered me so much. I didn’t do it, but I did think about it off and off for the rest of the day. Then at some point it didn’t bother me any longer, but I did check out the hairstyles first things first the next day. My original haircut wasn’t there, but there was a black hair that was long and wavy. I bought it and felt much better. The picture above is medium straight black, which is close to my real hair. Not quite as long, but it’ll do for now. I still miss the black twisty braids, but I can live with this for now.
I have to say that looking at hair/clothes every day is one of my favorite things to do in the game. It’s funny because I have no interest in that kind of thing in real life, but I’m all about it in games. Back when I played Saints Row IV by Deep Silver, I changed up my looks on the regs. I loved adding tats and making my character look as much like me as possible. As long as she was wearing sunglasses, she looked remarkably like me.
Or rather, she’s an idealized version of me. I love everything about her and just looking at her picture once again makes me miss her. Is it silly? Of course it is. But it speaks to the power of representation and how meaningful something seemingly silly can be. She’s by far my favorite avatar and she would have been nigh-on perfect if I could have had longer hair. I tried out Code Vein by Bandai Namco (Anime Souls) and quickly gave up for several reasons, but the one thing they did right was have the choice to have hair down to my knees.
Ahem. Back to Cozy Grove.
It’s been interesting for my competitive/compulsive brain to have several quests I can’t complete in one day. There is a quest log on the right, upper corner of the screen that tracks your daily quests. You press Y (on the XBone controller) to bring it up and it’s very helpful. However, each quest has a picture representing it and how much you’ve done of the quest. That messes with my brain because my brain is the type to only look at what needs to be done. So if a quest is 70% done, my brain immediately focuses on the 30% I need to do.
I’m still torn about how I feel about the long-term quests. I really do understand what Spry Fox is trying to do. They want it to be a chill experience in which you can dip in and out. They want you to enjoy it at a pedestrian pace and not stress about it too much. Which is an admirable goal, but some of us thrive on stress. Also, I mentioned in my last post that I felt the balance was off. I still do. Knowing a certain quest won’t be done for several days and a previously-colored area of the map will be ‘frozen’ for that stretch of time is really a morale-killer.
I will note that the longer I play, the more mechanics I discover that cut short the time drag somewhat. For example. There are imps running around the island who vanish when you get too close to them. Once in a while, they’ll have a thought bubble over their heads that have an item/resource in it. If you throw that item at them, they’ll give you something nice in return. One day, I noticed that there were two imps with broken hearts. At first, I thought it was because I hadn’t done something for them, but then I soon realized that they wanted Bon Bons (a baked treat). In order to make the Bon Bons, I needed 2 Cocoa Beans (and other ingredients, but I had those), which were in very scarce supply. When they first showed up, I couldn’t get the Cocoa Bean at all. Then, I upgraded Mr. Kit’s store for the first time and was able to buy 1 Cocoa Bean a day. I had other things I needed the Cocoa Beans for and since I didn’t realize the full extent of the brokenhearted imps’ situation, I kept putting it off. Plus, there was a bug that made one or the other or both of the imps disappear. At that point, I sussed out that there was something more to the imps than just giving them a treat so I Googled the situation.
The deal was you had to bring the imps to each other. Since they were bugged and were supposed to be fixed in a patch, I let it go until the patch happened. I had enough Cocoa Beans to make the Bon Bons and waited for them to appear. See, what I hadn’t known and had found out by Googling was that you get 20 Bon Bons when you made it once, which was because you had to use several to lead the imps towards each other. I did it and thought, “Success!” Except, I unlocked an achievement for something like Imp Therapy Level 1, which implied there was more than one level to this quest. I had two Bon Bons (total of 40 individual bon bons) by the time I was able to do the quest and managed to unite the imps three times. Now, I have several Cocoa Beans, but not enough Toasted Nut Flour to make another Bon Bon batch. Sigh.
My overall point, though, was that I only needed one Bon Bon to do the initial reunification, not two. Another example is a quest in which I needed 8 relic ashes. You get relic ashes by burning relics in Flamey, natch. At that point, I could dowse (long story) one relic a day. In tandem, I like to give the first of anything new I found to Captain Billweather, the Blathers of this game. He archives all your new stuff and gives you rewards for them. Plus, achievements. I didn’t want to give him the new relics I found because I needed the ashes for the quest, damn it! Eight of them!
Well. I decided to burn one of the new relics and got two relic ashes from it. What? I hadn’t noticed that the relics were ranked like the fish (and other resources). Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary. You get one of the burned items for Common, two for Uncommon, etc. In addition, if you give a new relic to Captain Billweather that is higher than Common, he gives you multiple relic ashes for it. So I can give him new relics AND get relic ashes at the same time. Would have been nice to know!
That’s one thing I wished were better in Cozy Grove–laying out the consequences of different actions. I know, I know, they want me to find it out organically, but my brain is wired to freak out about this stuff to an unusual extent. I really don’t like to look things up, but sometimes I just have to. The problem is that Cozy Grove isn’t nearly as well-known or played as Animal Crossing, so I can’t always find the answers I’m looking for. I’m glad that the Discord for new players is so active. People are very helpful and really nice about it.
The game ramped up today and the new content is what keeps me coming back. Well, not the only thing. I really like ending my day by wandering around the island and fishing for fifteen minutes or so. I do all the other endless chores as I see them and it’s a soothing ritual at the end of my day. For all the quibbling I’ve done in this post, I’m still overwhelmingly positive about it. In the picture above and to the left is Arjun Bhalla, my newest neighbor and my newest bestest friend. He is my everything and I will protect him at all cost.
ETA: Ok. It seems the crying imps is an only one-time thing. Or rather the achievement is (I misread the text). But, they kept crying afterwards and I did it three times. they still cried the day after. Now, they’re gone. It’s so bizarre.