What happens to the hero after they defeat the evil that threatened to destroy their home on the floating continent of Solemn? Littlewood tells that exact tale of a hero living a peaceful life as they work hard to rebuild their town, discover new hobbies, and develop a lasting bond with the 15 townsfolk within the game.
Littlewood is a town-building game that tells the peaceful tale of the hero after he loses his memory from his battle with the Dark Wizard. It was developed by indie developer Sean Young.
The Beginning of a New Adventure!
At the beginning of the game, the player discovers that they are the legendary hero that has defeated the evil Dark Wizard and saved their world. However, there is no time for celebration as you have lost all your memories of your adventures and life as a hero.
You meet Willow, one of your former teammates who helped you saved Solemn. She is surprised that you don’t remember her or anything at all, but doesn’t think much about it yet. She encourages you to rebuild your town, hoping you will discover more about your forgotten memories along the way.
Willow is one of the first townsfolk that will encounter within the game. Throughout the game, Willow will give you quests and blueprints for you to build and develop your town. These blueprints include the marketplace where you can sell your items and your Office where you will use to unlock the town’s wish function. She will also you the blueprints to the Air Balloon Platform, so you can travel to different areas around Solemn.
On your first day, you will also encounter Dalton, who has arrived at your town after getting a letter from Willow. He asks you to build him a house and promptly moves in as well. He will give you the blueprints to the general shop, where you can buy items from him. Dalton is more of a goofball compared to Willow and will always find the time to make a joke, even if he forgets the punchline.
Both Willow and Dalton serve as the first townsfolk you will have in your town. As you progress through the game, you will unlock more townsfolk as you grow your town. Each one of them have their own quirky personalities like the fashion nova Bubsy or the witch that could destroy the entire world Lilith. You will no doubt fall in love with these characters, as you develop your relationship and potentially date them as well!
The game doesn’t have a deep story, which isn’t a bad thing. Littlewood sets up its characters nicely with interesting dialogue about the world they live in and their personal ambitions. I did wish the characters were less static as they will just stand around your town, until you talk to them. They do have brief cutscenes that you can unlock once you reach a certain friendship level, but those aren’t enough to make the characters feel alive in your town. Littlewood would greatly benefit if the townsfolk had specifics tasks they would do or help you in your daily tasks. For example, Dalton is suppose to run the General Shop, but he is never seen within the shop. This lack of immersion breaks the world the characters are suppose to live in.
Rebuilding your Town
Littlewood allows you to fully customize and build your town the way you want. All of your building will be done in Build Mode. In this mode you can create structures & buildings, plant trees & crops, and decorate your town. This mode also serves as a way to quickly teleport you throughout the town, as your character will move to the location where your placement marker is.
There are a ton of decorations and structures you can unlock either by helping out the townsfolk or finding them in the world. Some of the structures will also give you a nice bonus if you place them within your town.
Each of the blueprints will require certain materials before they can be built. A lot of the rarer items will require some luck as you won’t be able to obtain them easily right away.
Within the game you are able to:
- Catch Bugs
- Craft Materials
- Sell Items
- Play Tarott Monster
- Cut Wood
Performing these actions will give you EXP to level your hobbies up. Once you reach a certain level, you can access new items that will improve your quality of life. This can include selling your items for more Dewdrops or increasing the chances of you obtaining a rare item. Leveling up each of your hobbies to Level 99 can be time-consuming, but the rewards will be worth it in the end.
Tip: Each day, you are able to purchase various boosts for your hobbies and gain more EXP when performing an action. You can get a free one every day! The game also allows you to purchase 2 additional boosts for 200 Dewdrops each.
The game can get repetitive when you are trying to obtain a certain item or grinding up levels for your hobbies. Littlewood is best played at your own pace. There is no end content, besides unlocking all the achievements within the game.
Dewdrops are the currency within the game and is used in many ways. You can earn them by selling your items at the marketplace, cooking dishes at the tavern, or by opening treasure chests within the world.
In the beginning of the game, I found Dewdrops were harder to obtain without selling some of the harder to find items. I regretted that decision later on as I had trouble finding some of the rare items again. Dewdrops will be more easier obtainable as you develop your town and build structures that will raise the prices of your sold items.
Tip: Do not sell your Heroic Merit. Although they don’t have a purpose in the early game, they will be used for a lot of the blueprints in the late game.
Selling at the marketplace is the best way to earn Dewdrops, especially once you unlock structures that will triple the amount of dewdrops your items will sell for. This is a great way to earn money and raise your merchant selling level. The merchant action was the first hobby I leveled up to 99. It is a very easy hobby to level up as you will have plenty of items to sell.
For the long term, I don’t recommend selling most of the rare items classified as Misc. A and Misc. B. These items are usually rare and may be hard to obtain again without some luck on your side. You can obtain them through exploring the world, but the drop rate will be low until you obtain certain items in the late game.
The things you can easily sell to make a profit are the fish, bugs, and crops. These items are used in some blueprints and quests, but they can be more easily obtained then the other rare items I mentioned earlier. I would make sure to keep a couple of the rarer items, just in case you ever need them.
You can grow crops and fruit trees, making them an easy source of income. However, you will get more profit if you use them to cook dishes in the tavern, where you can sell your dishes for Dewdrops every day. Fishes and Bugs will also be more profitable if you unlock the Golden Fish and Golden Bug Statue.
Tip: Helping Dalton decorate his house will grant you a Golden Fish and Golden Bug Statue. These items will triple the amount of Dewdrops earned when selling their respective items.
Besides selling your items, you can also donate them to the museum. Completing the museum will unlock you an achievement, but doesn’t give you any other benefits. This is a major downside I found, since completing the museum does require a lot of time and effort.
Restrictions within the Game
The amount of crops and trees you can plant in your town are limited in the game. This was annoying at first as you are forced to wait until they are ready to be harvested again. Farming works differently in Littlewood compared to other farming games. Your crops don’t require you to water them and they will be harvestable again after a couple of days, no matter the season. This lets you have a steady supply of crops year round. With the amount of crops in the game, you will only be able to keep 3 of each type in your town. Even the fruit trees you can plant are limited to 3, if you want to keep an even amount of each type. Harvesting each individual once also take a lot of time and energy. This is remedied in the late game, but you will often have to waste most of your energy on harvesting all of your crops and trees.
Finding a certain item was always a constant struggle. Even with the upgrades I always had trouble finding an item that I needed to complete a quest or blueprint. One of the upgrades in the game required 8 Cavern Warts, which is hard to come by unless you delegate your time to mining. In the end, I had to resort to waiting for the shop to have them in stock to complete the requirements to upgrade the caverns.
When building your town, you can elevate the ground with the terrain tool. Littlewood also lets you add a water tile by removing a grass tile. It is not possible to place a water tile on elevated land. This places a limit on where you can build your rivers and lakes. I would like to see a waterfall tile that could connect two bodies of water on different elevations. You can also only build stairs in the front of your elevated ground and not the side or back.
Littlewood requires you to move around a lot. Whether it is to check what fishes are available on the fishing trip or what items are in stock at the shops. Going back and forward every day can be frustrating, especially when you are waiting for that one item to finally show up. Having a TV or radio in the game that you can place in your house would have been helpful. This way you can check to see what items are available for the day.
Upgrading your Town
Each of the locations and buildings in the game will allow you to upgrade them to obtain rare rewards or unlock a new passive effect. These upgrades will require crafting materials and Dewdrops. Although, most of the rewards are random, the passive effects will help you in your play through of Littlewood.
I recommend upgrading your Air Port Ballon platform first, since it will allow you to travel to new areas.
All the upgrades to the buildings and areas require the same materials. This will allow you to farm the same materials and upgrade them a lot more easily.
The Time and Stamina System
Littlewood operates on a unique time system, where time does not progress until you perform an action. This allows you to carefully plan your day and focus on what you need to get done. This game mechanic also acts as a stamina system. Once you reach a certain amount of actions, the game will enter nighttime. If you try to perform more actions after your energy bar has filled up, you will automatically pass out. Passing out does have its consequences, as you will have less energy the next day.
You will be constantly limited by the stamina system within the game. Littlewood requires you to manage your time and see which course of action you need to take that day. Do you want to spent your days mining for rocks or catching bugs? The choice is completely up to you.
There is a pocket watch item that will reset the day when it is nighttime. This late-game item will make the stamina system non-existent, as you can reduce your energy bar once it is full.
Tip: Each day, you are able to hang out with a townsfolk of your choice. Hanging out with your townsfolk will give you a chance of getting bonus Dewdrops after you perform an action.
Each season within the game is 28 in-game days. Every season, certain events will happen in the town square like mini-games or a rare items merchant. Events are limited to the ones that happen in the town square. Most days you will be busy doing your own thing. These in-game events breaks your daily routine and gives you something to look forward to in each month.
All of these events happen in one place, which can get rather boring at times. I would like to see more random events happen outside the town square.
Forging a Bond
You can create a bond with your fellow townsfolk and raise their relationship levels. Once you reach a certain level in your relationship, you can unlock cutscenes between them and other characters that depict their relationships with each other. Each of the townsfolk have a unique yet charming personality that will be sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Once you reach a certain level with them, most of the townsfolk are dateable, regardless of gender. The game will also let you marry them after going on 3 dates.
A lot of the NPCs within the game are also worth checking out and talking to. They can give you rare items or even unlock new things for you to do. The fishing trips and Catacomb Tree will be locked until you talk to certain characters in the game. Even the townsfolk will be worth talking to everyday, as they have a chance to give you items as well.
Completing all the achievements and collections within the game doesn’t give you any benefits on the Switch. This is different on Steam where you can unlock the achievements and earn a badge for your profile page. I would’ve liked a better reward for completing your achievements on the Switch. It feels rather lackluster that after completing the achievements, I didn’t get any sort of reward or prize for my efforts. The reward system needs a rework that will allow players to feel more motivated to complete the achievements.
After getting married, I was treated to cutscenes of the local townsfolk that I won’t spoil here. However, I will say that it is a great way to end the game.
Pros and Cons
|A peaceful game with a relaxing atmosphere||In the late game, Littlewood requires a lot of grinding.|
|Decorate and build your town the way you want||Difficulty in finding the items you need|
|A lot of areas to explore and many different activities to do within the game||Static townsfolk that don’t do anything until they are talked to|
Littlewood is a great game to play when you are looking for a casual town-building game after a long day at work. It has many elements of Animal Crossing, where you can decorate your town and even change its terrain. The game has many activities that will make sure to keep you busy for an hour or two. Littlewood is best played in short bursts, as longer sessions of the game will become repetitive. The developer, Sean Young, is currently developing a new game set within the same universe. I am looking forward to its development and what else the future of Littlewood has to offer.
Story: ★★★★★ 5/5
The story tackles on the interesting concept of what happens to the hero after the villain is defeated. Each character within the game also has an interesting backstory that will make you feel in love with each one of them. They all feel unique and don’t fall into the same character tropes.
Visual & Audio: ★★★★ 4/5
The pixel art helps adds a peaceful atmosphere to the game. The animations of the character are also fun to watch as they have unique idle animations that bring each character to life.
The audio is relaxing, but it gets frustrating to listen to it after hours of gameplay as the same song plays over and over again in your town. I would like more music choices to make the game feel refreshing as you go throughout your days.
Game Mechanics:: ★★★★★ 5/5
The game allows you to build your town the way to want. There are restrictions in place, but they aren’t a problem when you obtain certain items within the game. A lot of the quality of life issues I had are resolved by the time I unlocked everything in the game. There are certain features that would make completing all achievements easier, however, the game is meant for casual players that are looking to have a relaxing time and not for achievement hunters.
Littlewood has easy to understand controls. All the actions can be done with one press of a button. You are also not required to switch your tools to be able to use them.
The inventory system has all the things you will need and is organized so you can easily move through the menus to see what items you have.
Enjoyability: ★★★★★ 4/5
I enjoyed my time in Littlewood as I worked to build up my town while completing all the achievements. It did require endless amounts of grinding and luck, but I am proud of my accomplishments. I do have a minor complaint, as it was very hard to get certain items to complete the final upgrades for my buildings.
Overall Rating: 90/100
Developer: Sean Young
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