Steam Community :: Brookhaven

Posted: June 16

I’ve been playing this game for a substantial time and thought it would be finally a good time to share my thoughts. I’m a farming sim enthusiast and have played a couple of games in the genre from Stardew Valley, Verdant Skies, Sun Haven, Gleaner Heights, and Harvest Moon. I did not know anything about Brookhaven, nor am I a Kickstarter backer. I bought this game without any prior knowledge attracted by the premise of a dark fantasy farming game.

Brookhaven feels like a fleshed-out early access game. There are a couple of hiccups: sometimes certain aspects of the game are unclear, and you’ll have to either experiment, look at the currently available guides, or check out the group discussions for answers. Most of the systems are pretty intuitive, and can easily be figured out. But others are not as clear. I would have preferred to have some sort of in-game tutorial, or have more detailed notes in the quest objectives: like who I should talk to, locations, or something that would give hints about the quest especially when the log starts to be filled and I don’t remember the details. I feel at the very least this should be applied to tutorial quests, or there should be some clarification in the tutorial, especially in regards to magic,

But the game is also quite charming, and fun. The art is gorgeous, the music is nice, and the characters are fantastic. They have fleshed-out personalities and interesting backstories! I have enjoyed getting to know them as I have played. The story is also quite engaging, and it’s been great slowly unlocking the secrets of the world.

There’s a lot to discover in Brookhaven, and with the number of updates and fixes, I think it’s worth it to continue exploring Brookhaven. I’m looking forward to future content and more quality of life updates. So far I’ve been enjoying every moment in Brookhaven even with the occasional hiccups and periods of time not knowing what to do.

For me, it was definitely worth my money, and I highly recommend Brookhaven to folks who like darker stories, fleshed-out characters, need a new farming sim title or enjoy fighting in 2D RPGs. But I also can understand, wanting to wait until further updates where things will likely be fixed or grabbing this game on sale. But even with this caveat, there’s definitely a lot to do in the game. Even with the hours I have clocked on here, it looks like I’ve only unlocked a small portion of content.

For a more detailed review check below for my thoughts on the main portions of the game. :
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GAMEPLAY

Dungeons: The fighting system and dungeons in this game are fantastic. I can tell a lot of love that went into building the dungeons. The puzzles are quite engaging, and even just fighting in the dungeons feels fun. In some farming games, mining/fighting can feel tedious, but a necessary chore. But the fighting feels very engaging whether you use magic or weapons. I’ve definitely enjoyed exploring the mines, especially with the quests sprinkled in. Although there does seem to be a bug that allows you to use the teleportation spell to teleport to places you can’t escape. I also highly recommend stocking up on stamina and mana potions/resources.

Unwritten Lands: Exploring the Unwritten Lands is a special event that occurs every Friday and Saturday, where you travel outside of your town, to solve puzzles to fix the Unwritten Lands. Sometimes you can fix the lands in one trip, sometimes it takes a couple of trips. Luckily, you can return any time provided you have enough travel rations. These lands are also a great resource for fishing, mining resources, foraging, or leveling up fighting.

Festivals: I wished they lasted longer than a couple of minutes, but they work well enough. The festivals are similar to other farming sims which involve: scripted events to move the plot, talking to the villagers, occasionally donating to help with the festival, and buying festival-only items. The only difference between Brookhaven and other farming sims is that there is usually an underlying aura of creepiness and dread hidden under the surface.

Farming: Farming can be a bit frustrating. Recently a crop growing chart was implemented in a tutorial interface. This includes icons of every crop by season and how long it takes to grow which is helpful, but I wish the store already had descriptions with growth times like several other farming sims already have. I think it would be great to be able to toggle the growth chart on and off, because it takes up a lot of the screen, I also found the pests (deers and crows) to be quite tedious. I understand this was implemented to create challenge and tension for the player. But even with 4 scarecrows on a tiny garden plot, I cannot prevent these animals from eating my crops. It makes farming frustrating, especially at the start of the game.

Mining: Mining feels fine, no complaints here. It’s well implemented, and you make decent money from mining.

Magic: I am 22 hours in, and I still can’t access the majority of spells, because I didn’t grow a bay leaf in spring. The spells I do have are useful and fun, like the teleportation spell. But I wish there was clarity within the game on how to access certain spells.

Fishing: Fishing is enjoyable. I’m not the biggest fan of fishing in most farm sims, but this mini-game was pleasant. Brookhaven breaks through the monotony of clicking to fish, with a mini rhythm skill check to unlock a treasure chest. You can get a decent amount of goodies, and even the occasional museum donation. .

CHARACTERS & PLOT:
I absolutely adore supernatural fantasy. It is by far my favorite genre in films, books, and video games. I’m also an avid horror fan.

I was so thrilled with the opening of the game: sacrifices and demon contracts, like that, is the coolest thing ever to see in a farming sim. Although that aspect seems to fade away with time, at least in the early game. outside of the trauma experienced by the villagers and how they are grappling with being in Brookhaven.

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