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Fantasy RPG Mirthwood mixes Fable-style socialising with Stardew's farmlifery

Become the chicken chaser, again

My ever-growing backlog of farmlife sims gives me a judgemental side-eye every week, as I crawl back to my scarily silent husband in Stardew Valley. That list of Stardew-likes is becoming harder and harder to ignore, though. I’m very much looking forward to Grave Seasons (aka Stardew meets murder mysteries). I was looking forward to Roots Of Pacha (aka Stardew meets the Stone Age) before its publisher woes. And now, I’m incredibly excited about Mirthwood (aka Stardew meets Fable). Check out its announcement trailer below:

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Mirthwood places you in the shoes of a wartime refugee who escapes to the enchanted lands across the sea. You’ll then set up a homestead, plant crops, take care of your animals, and then trade with neighbouring townsfolk. You know, all that Stardew stuff.

The Fable twist kicks in with the social (or anti-social) elements. As you meet the other wandering denizens of the world, you can take the friendly new-kid-at-school route and choose to befriend people, or you can channel your inner demon and spam insults at every passerby. Fable’s NPCs each had their own weird preferences and would react to you accordingly: some would want gifts and grand acts of flattery, others would fall in love the second they smelled your farts. It’s not yet clear how the social elements in Mirthwood work, but I hope they lean into that childish fantasy. Either way, more social interactions will open up throughout the game, and being social can unlock a few side quests, too.

Apart from that, you’ll be slashing fairytale creatures in real-time combat, exploring for better loot, and levelling through specialised character classes. There’s also a dash of survival here as you need to contend with disease and the weather too. Mirthwood’s grabbing inspirations from all over the place, which might lead to some messy results, but hopefully the game will really differentiate itself with the reactive social elements (aka letting me childishly gossip, and romance, and bully strangers without consequence.)

Mirthwood is aiming to launch on PC in early 2024. You can wishlist it now on Steam.

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