After playing the recently released Cozy Grove, and loving it, jumping into a farming sim seemed fitting. I was enjoying the high that relaxed video games can bring. There’s something so satisfying about getting comfy on your couch and knowing for the next hour or so, you needn’t worry about a thing. Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition promises a time of laid-back gaming and simplistic serenity. Unfortunately, it may have gone a little too far in its promises, as while Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition is good, it lacks the depth needed to make it great.
“Everything is essentially a simplified version of mechanics seen in other games.”
Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition has a simple premise. You awaken one day on a small planet and are tasked with maintaining it. There are plots of land to farm, rocks to mine, monsters to fend off and a house to upgrade. On occasion, visitors will pass on by and offer you quests to complete, but really that’s about it. What is available in Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition is basic but nevertheless fun.
Everything is essentially a simplified version of mechanics seen in other games. Take, for example, farming. You are given three plots of land, which are all upgradeable. Each one, in the beginning, can hold one seed. You plant it and wait until it blossoms a few days later. Once it does, you harvest it and repeat the process. There’s not all that much you can do with each crop. Most of them are attributable to one recipe. Wheat is good for making bread; cotton can make thread; sunflower can make oil. It’s simple but a fun loop regardless. There’s something ultimately soothing about repeating the same process over and over again. At least, it’s soothing when it lacks any form of complexity.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for mining. While it is a monotonous process, as is the majority of the game, it takes an inordinate amount of time to garner any form of lucrative minerals or ores from it. After having mined upwards of 900 stone, I managed to gain 30 iron ore. It’s an ultimately grindy mechanic that forces you to mine for hours just to gain enough materials to upgrade one thing. And I feel like this is where Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition gets you.
“Unfortunately, Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition is a little pricey for what you get.”
For me, Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition is the most fun when you give into its loop. While mining 900 stone just to get 30 iron ore seems frustrating, its utter lack of complexity makes it a mostly painless process. Witling down your energy metre mining away at stone, sleeping and then repeating the process isn’t boring so much as it’s relaxing. Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition succeeds in its relaxing atmosphere.
The visuals are stunning at best and colourfully cartoony at worst. Its music is upbeat and cheerful. Its levelling-up system is simply a decision between two different stat boosts. Everything has been dumbed down, but it makes for an easy pick-up-and-play video game. Essentially, the perfect Nintendo Switch game.
Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition may not be the most comprehensive of games, but its charm, style and relaxed atmosphere were enough for me to get a significant amount of enjoyment from it. It is certainly no contender to Stardew Valley or My Time In Portia, but it is uniquely charming enough to warrant its own space in the farming sim alumni. Unfortunately, Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition is a little pricey for what you get. It is $19.99 / $30.00 AUD / €16,99 / £17.99. I feel like for a markedly lower price, Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition may be worth your money. But as it stands, it’s a little too high to recommend right now.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on Switch. The publisher provided the code.