Backlog Review: Palia (Switch)

An expansive MMO community sim that’s sure to captivate you!

By Elexis Angulo. Posted 03/13/2024 11:25 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
Editor's Choice
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Beautiful graphics; Expansive map; Smooth controls; Engaging NPCs
Poison Mushroom for...
You gotta grind; No offline play option

Welcome to another Backlog Review, where we take a look at an older game that fans might have sitting waiting to be played or are still considering giving a purchase. This time we’re looking at Palia.

A brand new MMO has entered the shop, and it’s free to play! Palia is a beautiful open world, cozy community sim that you can play alone or with friends. You’re able to cook, craft, forage, fish, and farm, all while exploring the expansive world and build your home. There is also a bit of mystery mixed in with the gameplay as you work to discover what happened to ancient humans, which is what you play as. The locals are called Majiri, who you are able to converse with and befriend. Each character has a backstory to learn, and some you can even romance.

I sprinted to the eShop when I saw this game available for free. I’m a sucker for cozy games, and this one immediately immersed me in its world. Of course I spent a good chunk of my time customizing my character, which is really the best part of an RPG in my opinion, and this game did not disappoint. There is a huge selection for hair, clothing, and even color variations.

Customization was one part of what made the game work for me. I also really enjoyed the storyline that your character is literally thrown into. You appear seemingly from the void in the midst of old ruins the Majiri have been exploring. Your character is the only human, aside from all the active online players in the same server as you. Alongside this mystery, you get to build and decorate a home on your own plot of land. Outside of your plot is the rest of the world to explore. The NPCs offer their own quests aside from the main story as a chance to increase town status and friendship, and there’s the possibility of romance with certain characters. The dialogue is actually very refreshing; the characters don’t just spit the same lines at you constantly so it almost feels like having a conversation.

The activities and quests in Pali are also entertaining. Not only do you get to build your own home, but you get to hunt creatures, craft items and tools, and grow your own garden. Each tool levels up as you use it, increasing your skills in the different categories. I played this game for hours, and all my equipment is barely level 2 or 3, so it’s definitely a grind. I also did a lot of quests for different characters and it seems that friendships take a while to accumulate, which isn’t necessarily a bad trait, you just have to be persistent with quests and giving gifts. The other thing that may be a drag is this game forces you to wait in real time for some crafting and building events with no options to pay or do activities to speed things up. It can be frustrating if you’re waiting for something to be finished before you can proceed in the game, but there are so many side quests and things to do that it makes up for it.

Palia is a wonderful game with so much potential. It does almost everything I wish other similar games had done, and really well. It’s easy to get lost for hours, so definitely make sure it’s your day off or something before picking this up. Also, make sure you have a stable internet connection. Since it is an MMO it unfortunately does not offer offline play, which is probably the only bad part of the title. I’m eager to continue the storyline as well as increase my skill levels and friendships with the NPCs. I highly recommend Palia to anyone looking for a new cozy game.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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