Dr Yemaya Halbrook
Cozy Grove: More player suggestions
There is no denying that Cozy Grove is a fantastic game and that the developers are doing a wonderful job addressing player concerns and suggestions. The 1.8 update added several features that we've been asking for, including the option to sort your inventory, and the upcoming summer update will add even more content. Critter catching and rock skipping? The ability to hug the bears? I'm super stoked for it. Patrice, I’m coming for you first!! The update will be out on June 23rd for hopefully all platforms at once. Even with all of this fabulousness, though, players still have many suggestions for improvements in future updates.
Sorting Clothes and Hairstyles
The 1.8 update added the ability to sort our personal inventories as well as our actual storage, but we didn’t get an option to sort clothing. Honestly, this is what I was looking forward to the most. I can sort my own inventory, albeit with some difficulty, but I really want an auto-sort for my clothing. I own too much at this point to be able to remember each item. I have an atrocious memory so having the same type of clothes next to each other will help remind me what I actually have!
Players have also asked for the ability to store hairstyles which I totally understand. What if I want to change my hairstyle for today but then I don’t like any of the hairstyles that appear in Mr Kit’s shop for the next week? There is also the cost of changing our hair to consider. Maybe have us pay for the hairstyle once, but then allow us to store them and change our hair whenever we want to? Ultimately, changing our looks everyday is something players look forward to and there are some quality-of-life improvements to be made that can make it easier and more enjoyable.
When the game first released, there were definitely some balancing issues when it came to finding some materials. The developers then made sure all players were aware that we could get the wood we need from bushes and trees, so we all bought as many trees and bushes as we could. That said, it can take AGES to harvest everything in a campsite, especially with how many flowers there are in the game. That coupled with the still iffy ‘select next’ option means it can take up to 10 minutes for me to harvest all of my trees and bushes. I don’t even harvest my flowers now unless I need the money or the flower pigment because it’s just honestly not worth my time. Some players have suggested that we have the option to harvest everything nearby. Even if that ‘nearby’ means like four trees at a time, that’s a huge improvement from having to select each individual tree and bush. I have my trees and such separated by a decent distance so it’s not as difficult for me, but I’ve seen pictures of campsites where all the trees and bushes are jammed together so I can see how it would be difficult to continue choosing ‘select next.’
We can all agree that the spirit animals in Cozy Grove are adorable, but there is some room for improvement on their mechanics. Firstly, many players have requested additional animals outside of just birds and deer, but as a game dev myself, I fully understand the amount of work that would go into that. Would it be cool if we were able to buy spirit wolves or something like that in the future? Of course. Is that a feasible request for the moment? Not really. That would require not only creating entirely new sprites but also new spirit essences which would then require either new crafting recipes or editing the recipes we currently have. Either way, it would be AWESOME if we could have additional spirit animals, but I think we can all agree that it is not something we need at this particular moment with how much work would go into it.
That said, there are a couple of improvements that could be implemented for the spirit animals sooner rather than later. For example, we can give our wonderful bears items they want from our Flamey storage, so why can’t we feed our animals in the same way? This wouldn’t be a huge deal if we could access our storage anywhere or could have all of our animals next to Flamey, but there are a few different areas to place our harvestables (I’ve unlocked three so far, I’m not sure if there are more than that?). I have an atrocious memory, as I’m pretty sure I have mentioned previously but I honestly couldn’t tell you with 100% certainty without going back and reading previous articles because I have such a bad memory! I’m not alone in this, however. If I have to go from the upper left corner area all the way back to Flamey, I can guarantee you that I have forgotten at least one of the items a spirit animal wants. What I usually do is put everything in my inventory that the spirit animals usually want and just hope I am right. Being able to feed them directly from our inventory would help with that a lot.
It would also be nice if the spirit animals always had the bubble of what they want. Sometimes I have to stop my character from moving for a bit just so I can see what the animal wants because I missed it coming down to see them. In regards with the baking, I can’t wait for the next update when the baking time decreases from an hour to five minutes. The game was developed for the purpose of having some limited playtime each day, so having to wait an hour for the food my animal wants that day slightly defeats that purpose. Sometimes they want something that requires me to make something else first, like fruit jam. Only when I get the fruit jam can I then make what it is that they want. That means that unless I log back into the game the same day or play for long enough in one sitting, those animals might not be fed for a couple of days. Decreasing the baking time is going to be awesome.
Quality of Life
There are a few small quality of life changes that players would still like for the game. Don’t get me wrong, the developers have done an amazing job with the suggestions and requests we’ve had for improvements, but of course there is always something else that can be done. I don’t think a game could ever be 100% perfect, at least not for everyone. There are some things that I might like that others don’t and vice versa. Some of the players suggest that it would be nice if we had a skip animation button for when Flamey burns things, similar to that of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where you could skip Link cooking. To be fair, who actually does that? The cooking music in Breath of the Wild is just so nice! For Cozy Grove, though, I can totally understand wanting to skip Flamey burning things. Sometimes I have silver and iron ore, vegetables, roots, fruit, fish, and relics (am I missing anything?) which can take a bit of time to burn all at once.
It would also be great if we could specify how many we want to split the item into. It’s quite a chore to split an item 50 times if you for some reason need to do that. Same goes for crafting—it’s great that we can choose how many of something we want to craft, but some players have reported issues with this on mobile in particular. I would also love to be able to purchase and bake more than one thing at a time without going through the dialogue again (as is the case for baking) or starting all the way at the top of the shop (as is the case for Mr Kit). Just a few simple QoL changes could go a long way.
Many players have reported having issues in talking to Flamey sometimes. Personally, I’ve only had this issue once before, but I’ve spoken to several people who have experienced this. Often times, they have to exit the game entirely just to be able to speak with Flamey. I’ve no idea what is causing this issue, but it is definitely something that needs to be looked at. It’s also going to be extremely difficult to ever get the break 150 tools badge once we get the master tools as they take so long to break. Now, I’m not suggesting that they make the tools easier to break. Rather, maybe decrease the requirement from 150 to 100? Or something more manageable? It just doesn’t seem like I will get this badge any time in the foreseeable future.
It’s an issue that’s been raised before, but the console performance isn’t the best. I play on the Switch myself, and it stutters quite a lot, particularly when having a conversation with a bear or when the game autosaves. I’ve also been told that it can take ages to load on the PS4. I’m sure the developers are aware of these longer loading times and FPS issues, but it is definitely something that still needs to be addressed.
The last thing I’ve noticed myself is with the flowers. The 1.8 update added the ability to see if we already have a flower and have donated it to the Captain, but there is a bug here. I purchased a peach lupine the other day and was able to harvest and donate it. The next day, I saw another peach lupine and I assumed it was different in that maybe the one I had was wild and this one was a hybrid, something like that. Turns out, both bushes are the exact same, one is just a different size than the other (which is another QoL change that would be nice—being able to see what size a tree is in my inventory before placing it). I understand programming-wise why this happened, but it is something that needs to be addressed. I don’t want to be wasting my spirit essence on new flowering bushes if I already have them. A different sized bush does not produce a different flower!
Updates in Store
Yes, there is obviously some room for improvement in a few different areas of Cozy Grove, but we must also remember the fabulousness that is to come in the summer update as well as what was added in the most recent 1.8 update. Firstly, in my previous article, I outlined some changes players suggested and Spryfox has addressed most of them. There is an addition for perpetual daylight for those of us with bad eyesight, way less collision so no more getting stuck in things, better rewards from dirt piles, etc. The summer update will add critter catching, skipping rocks, the ability to hug bears, new NPCs and more.
The steady stream of updates will continue making the game even better and the fact that the devs actually listen to their players is unparalleled. Maybe they’ll even give this a read! I’m on day 58 right now and I look forward to playing more Cozy Grove every day. It truly is a peaceful escape for an hour each day. Did I mention I’m stoked to hug my bears?