Cuddly Forest Friends Review

With the huge success of games such as Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and Harvest Moon, alongside hidden gems such as Grow: Song of the Evertree Cozy games is the kind of genre that will always be trendy, and for good reason. There’s something inherently relaxing about sitting on a sofa after a long day at work and escaping into the world of no deadlines, or even high stakes, as well as that, ‘s the reason why Nintendo Switch has always been my preferred platform for such games.

A relaxing simulation game in which you can take care of and befriend nine creatures of the forest, Cuddly Forest Friends fits perfectly into the category mentioned above. After first being released in Japan in the year 2020 with the title Gesshizu Mori the Chiisana Nakama tochiCuddly Forest Friends is finally making its way to the West for a wider public to enjoy.

Let me begin by describing that I am impressed by the way in which this game has been played. It’s fun, and bright as well as the soundtrack is pleasant and relaxing. In a nutshell, it’s all you’d think of from a game titled Cuddly Forest Friends.


There’s not a lot to discuss in relation to the plot, but that is pretty typical of games such as this. It’s a basic enough idea that the goal in the game is to grow your Tree of Happiness which lies in the forest, by gathering ‘ happy feelings‘. This can be achieved by engaging with and taking care of your animals. It’s not exactly the same however, the game is based on the same gameplay pattern. 

Gather, Craft, and Play

Each day, you’ll receive two suggestions for items that your pet friends would like you to make for them, whether it’s food or other accessories, such as decorations or food. Then, you’ll send your animals off to collect items from several places while cheering them on with a hammer A. If you have the right materials you are able to create items that you want to make that will result in more happiness and increase the bond between you and your companions.

After you’ve gathered and created the items, your friends will want to play and you’ll be able to choose of four mini-games that will change every day in the game. Certain mini-games have the benefit of bringing double joy or stamps, which allow players to play more mini-games once they have collected the right amount of stamps. When you select a game you choose a character to play as and then compete against three other animals. At first glance, it appears to be a wide selection of mini-games. However, you’ll quickly realize that they’re extremely alike and with very limited controls the games aren’t difficult. It’s likely that you’ll become bored quickly in lengthy games.

Make Friends With Your Forest Friends

You’ll then get the remainder of days, not tied to real-time time, to play with your forest animals. You can play with them, and then decorate your forest with things you’ve made. However, the option to customize your forest is quite restricted as there are only a few slots where you can place the decorative pieces. This is a pity, in fact as the appeal of a game such as Animal Crossing is the possibility to customize your home, and I was disappointed that it wasn’t done more efficiently.

In your interactions with your animal friends, there are four barometers to keep in mind. They are the level of hunger, and happiness for each individual as well as the level of friendship and most importantly, the total happiness that the whole forest. Giving your friends your favorite foods, doing jobs for them, and rubbing them can boost these numbers and can help grow your happiness tree.

When your level of friendship with the creatures you encounter increases as you get to know more facts about them, including their preferred food items as well as their strengths in as well as others. This will allow you to better determine where to place each one, but in all honesty, I didn’t feel there was a huge difference between them when placed in their favorite areas.

After an extended period of interaction with the animals of the forest and animals, it’s time to fall asleep and the entire process begins all over again.

Final Thoughts

For me, the biggest drawback of Cuddly Forest Friends was the lack of variety. From mini-games to regular requests for items, it seems the same. I’m not sure the number of times that different creatures have asked me for the exact same thing so all I needed to do to satisfy the request was to equip it, and boom! instant happy score points. 

Its stifling gameplay resulted in very no variety, and aside from cheering them on your forest companions do most of the chores of collecting and crafting. When I play games I like to be immersed in myself in the game, however with Cuddly Forest Friends it was like having animals do everything left me feeling a bit disengaged. As you climb in the happy tree you can unlock new sections of forest and collecting stamps by playing mini-games lets you unlock additional games, but they’re all just more of the same thing, and there simply wasn’t enough to keep me entertained for longer than an hour or for a long period of time.

It’s true that Cuddly Forest Friends will be a warm and uplifting experience that has an adorable style that is sure to please those who enjoy the cozy game genre. It’s a soothing game that’s great to relax to in short bursts and is likely to be popular with younger players. However, the repetitive gameplay loop and general lack of entertainment will not retain the interest of the average gamer for the duration. It’s not difficult to say that it’s got a lot of appeals, but at the cost, it was a bit short for me.

Developer: Nippon Columbia

Publisher: Aksys Games

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: 2nd February 2023

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