The popularity of “cozy” games shows no signs of letting up any time soon. Whether you’re focused on making friends, growing crops, fixing up a dilapidated town, or even learning how to become the ultimate cottage core witch, there’s at least one perfect game for you.
Due to the abundance of cozy releases nowadays, I find myself holding out for something truly special. I have to love it from the get-go in every department: gameplay, visuals, soundtrack – everything. After getting my hands on the recent demo for Go-Go Town!, I’m thrilled to say that I may have found the game I’ve been waiting for – something that looks to be an instant classic.
Go-Go Town! comes from developer and publisher Prideful Sloth, known for their highly-capable RPGs like Grow: Song of the Evertree and Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. This marks their first foray into the cozy games scene.
While the demo didn’t offer much exposition, the game casts players as a newly-appointed mayor of a town supposedly owned and operated by Townco. While players will no doubt want to develop a beautiful, clean town that keeps its citizens happy and friendly, Townco’s main focus is profits. It’s up to you to balance both objectives.
The demo showcased a town specifically created for this purpose, allowing players to become familiar with gameplay mechanics, the game’s core premise, and get their hands on buildings, tools, ingredients, citizens, and more from the final game.
From the very beginning of the demo, Go-Go Town! impressed me with its vibrant art style. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been playing contrastingly bleak survival horror titles like Resident Evil 4 and World War Z, but something about Go-Go Town!’s art style really speaks to me. It’s bright, poppy, and yet delightfully simplistic. The characters and environments ooze charm and the animations add to the overall appeal.
Speaking of characters, I absolutely adore the eclectic and diverse cast of humans, robots, animals, and monsters in the game. Nothing ever feels out of place, and I found myself imagining their backstories, wants, and goals based purely on their appearance and interactions with the town. It’s intriguing to think about the motivations of each character. For example, if you were a werewolf, wouldn’t you want to take a break from chasing people through the woods and instead chop down trees to make wood for homes, or better yet, open up a corner knick-knack store and sell wood carvings? The possibilities are endless.
The controls are extremely basic, and if you’re familiar with the genre, you’ll know what to do immediately. What stands out are the modern conveniences, such as operating vehicles to get around more quickly and hoses that are retractable, instantly returning to their original position. These small touches add to the overall user-friendly experience.
In the demo, the goal was to make a set amount of profit for Townco, with a basic starting setup. I was able to build shops that required wooden planks and bricks. To obtain these materials, I ventured into the mines to gather gems and iron, as well as farms and bodies of water to collect ingredients for food. I enjoyed the gameplay loop of gathering materials, refining them if necessary, and delivering them to businesses. However, I did question how long this process would remain entertaining in the final game. Would the repetitive nature of these tasks eventually become tiresome?
Thankfully, Go-Go Town! offers rewarding gameplay. Shortly after reaching my profit goals, tourists flocked to the town. Most of them spent money at the stores, but occasionally, a tourist would express a desire to permanently move to my little town. When they do, they need somewhere to live and work. With careful financial management, I was able to hire them for jobs I had previously performed. Soon, my town was bustling with woodcutters, miners, restaurateurs, shopkeepers, fishermen, and even delivery drivers.
This newfound expansion allowed me the freedom to decorate and enhance the town, making it more visually appealing and functional. I particularly loved the idea of delivery drivers transporting refined building materials to construction sites or ingredients to takeaway joints. Being directly involved in the growth of the town filled me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
The soundtrack of Go-Go Town! deserves special mention as it is simply outstanding. Prideful Sloth clearly recognizes this too, as each time the song changes, a card pops up displaying the title and artist information. Not only do you get a great new game to play, but also new music to enjoy!
Earlier, I mentioned that it’s rare for a cozy game to check all my boxes, and even rarer for me to continue playing a demo beyond getting familiar with the game. However, with Go-Go Town!, I couldn’t help but keep playing. Time flew by, and before I knew it, the demo was no longer available.
Go-Go Town! is undeniably a game I’m eagerly looking forward to playing upon its release. While it may not be pushing the genre in new directions, it excels in every aspect you could want from a cozy little town builder. It’s charming, entertaining, and rewarding. I can’t wait to make Go-Go Town! my new home.