Cozy Grove is the calming presence of ghost-bears that you need in your life
At the start of pandemic, there is a better than non-zero chance that you’re the kind of person to have purchased Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch. A life-sim set on an island far away where you could hang out with friends in a brightly colored, open-world was exactly the escape we collectively required. As the real world starts to reopen, a similar need for calm escapism exists. And one delightfully focused adventure is bringing it our way, in manageable, bite-sized bursts.
Welcome to Cozy Grove.
You wake up on an island in the middle of mega-nowhere. This gray, empty space isn’t what others might have seen and passed over. You’re a child with a skillset as a “Spirit Scout”—a girl scout but for survival, crafting, and helping out ghosts.
Mostly ghosts that appear to be bear ghosts.
And that a lot of other weird shit too.
It’s Lost meets Moonlight Kingdom with more than a hint of Where The Wild Things Are. And sure, a dash of Phantom Tollbooth thrown in for good measure.
Each day, you wake up on this island and find it returned to a gray nothingness. Each day, you wake up and go find all the spirits you’ve made friends with. Each day, your reconnection to these beings refills the world around you with color, with life, with belonging.
This haunted, ever-changing island keeps adapting and asking you to adapt alongside it—or to find your own sense of adaption. And I want to live in this forest until it tells me to leave.
The story, as it exists in interactions with these spirits, is one of the finest and most delighting I’ve encountered in ages. It spans everything from online-poisoned to progressive politics to stupid, stupid words that make me feel so good for being alive that I can’t stand it.
Cozy Grove has no right to be as good as it is. It costs almost nothing and you deserve to have it in your life.
The game retails for $15 on the following platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, Steam, Epic Games Store, Apple Arcade.