Title: Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition
Release Date: April 15, 2021
Reviewed On: Switch
Genre: Farming Adventure
I’ve always had an obsession with farming simulators. So when I was told that Deiland would receive a release on Nintendo Switch as Deiland Pocket Planet Edition, I figured it’s about time that I explore this laid-back action farming adventure. What initially caught my eye was the focus on the day-to-day interactions that formed this plotting experience. Sadly, the soil runs a bit dry in some parts.
Deiland Pocket Planet has you play as Arco, a young boy who lives on a tiny planet named Deiland. One day, a space traveler visits and teaches him how to farm and survive more efficiently. This continues as you meet characters who happen to come across the planet. While this forms the game’s narrative, it’s more of a loose string of quests provided by each character.
Every time someone visits your planet, you will receive an alert, and you’ll direct where they land. Following the event, you’re then given a new quest or able to complete a different quest, but they’ll soon take off after. What’s frustrating is how they tell you what they want but not what you need to do to complete the quest.
One quest had me make fabric, which I was provided a recipe for. However, they neglected to tell me that I needed to build a workshop attachment to my house to create it. It wasn’t until I decided to build it out of a whim that I noticed that I now had access to new craftable items, and I was left to wait for him to return.
Outside of the cryptic quest details, the characters don’t have much to say. This makes it hard to feel like they are a part of the world or even like I am interacting with them. This is even more apparent during quests when they say the same lines over and over again. It makes the already small world feel even smaller than it already is.
Quests and everyday actions give you experience points needed to level up. This provides stats that are applied when you sleep. Stats can improve your energy, life, attack, and speed. Each option will help you in the long run, but I found that energy was the most efficient stat to increase since you can get more done before you have to sleep.
The gameplay is slightly different from other farming simulator titles. Instead of crops showing growth over a few days, Deiland Pocket Planet Edition works on a timer system similar to a mobile title. Once planted, a crop will have a tiny circle appear to indicate when it will be fully grown. You’re then able to harvest the crop and plant them again.
There is no need to really watch over your crops since an alert will tell you when they’re ready for harvest. Everything that has to do with farming runs on the Instant Pot system. You can build a well to hold rainwater that can be used to speed up growth. By applying the water, the timer will fill up by about a quarter of the bar. You can water them as long as you have water in the well, but you should only water them again until the effect wears off because you’ll be wasting water otherwise.
Seasons and days seem to fly by. Since you are the only person on the planet, time isn’t too much of a factor, and so you only sleep when you need more energy to complete more actions. The days tend to blend as you spend time gathering, getting exhausted, and then sleeping. Seasons themselves are only about a week-long where some crops can take at least three days to grow. All this makes time feel like a blur, and before you know it, you can’t grow certain crops that are out of season.
Deiland Pocket Planet Edition has random events that will visit your island from time to time, such as a meteor shower or enemy attacks. The meteor shower will come with an alert and force you into planet view without much warning. You’ll have to rotate the planet to avoid damage as the meteor hit you. Once the event ends, you can collect the meteors.
This entire process is jarring the first time it happens since there isn’t very much warning. There really aren’t any tutorials explaining the event, and it just happens at random. Monster attacks are more straightforward as Arco will exclaim that he can feel enemies’ presence, and then a marker will appear on the screen. Once killed, the enemies will drop an item, and then nothing happens.
Deiland Pocket Planet Edition is a shallow farming sim that provides you with very base-level quests that don’t really amount to anything memorable. The monotony of completing the quests and watching over crops never becomes more complex or challenging, weighing on the adventure’s lasting factor. There’s little here to experience after a few hours of gameplay, but it’s still a charming indie offering that doesn’t grow into the rose that I had hoped for.
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