Cozy Grove is a single-player social simulator from developer Spry Fox for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You play as a new spirit scout (think girl/boy scout but for ghosts) who is stranded on the titular island of Cozy Grove after a storm blows away your boat. Your mission is to help the resident ghosts, who are all bears, come to peace with their lot in the afterlife and uncover the island’s secrets.
Full of wit, heartfelt moments and beautifully written NPC’s, this game has a lot to offer fans of the genre. One thing missing, though, is a tutorial! As soon as you hit land, you are on your own for the most part. To help with that, I’ve compiled a list of things I had to learn the hard way, so you don’t have to.
Time Travel at Your Own Risk
Some of you may already know, but I was surprised to learn that the game was connected to my real-world clock when I first picked it up. The trailer doesn’t do much in warning you that it’s paced in real-time like Animal Crossing. However, unlike Animal Crossing, the game can BREAK if you time travel with it. The game does warn you about this occasionally in the loading screen readouts but try to keep tabs on if your clock is set to a day you have already played through. If you try to load up a day you have already gone through in the game, it can corrupt your save file. Initially, I was nervous about playing as I tinker with my system clock for Animal Crossing: New Horizons to catch up with events.
The First Doesn’t Go to the Collection
While you might be used to sacrificing the first of every item you find to the collection like in Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley, in Cozy Grove, it’s actually better to hold onto some of the rare items before tossing them over to the captain. This also goes for giving away or selling items before doing your daily tasks too. There’s nothing worse than selling a legendary shell only for it to be the exact item you need for a quest. Sure, you can get them back from Mr. Kit, but it’ll cost you a lot more than you sold them for!
Items Don’t Have to be in Your Backpack to be Used
Describing the backpack space in Cozy Grove as “limited” is the understatement of the year. Eventually, you get upgrades unlocked through Mr. Kit (for a very hefty sum), but the start of the game is an eternal struggle between backpack and tent storage space. You don’t have to drop ongoing quest items like letters or other hidden objects to stuff your pockets with items you need to turn in, though!
Instead, leave them in your tent storage and just talk to the bear again to turn them in right from your tent. This also works with feeding spirit animals! There is no need to have the requested item on you; if you know you have it in storage, just hit the “feed” prompt. This does NOT work for appeasing imps. You MUST have the item in hand to toss to them.
BONUS TIP: If you toss an item to an imp who wants it but doesn’t pick it up, another imp can grab it and disappear with it forever. So aim carefully.
Fishing for Success
It’s easy to forget the little fishes floating just off the screen, but there’s gold in them there waters! Well,… there’s a chance of pulling up recipes and essences! Look for small oblong-shaped fish that are stockier than any of the other small fish in the water. When you hook these, you are guaranteed something special. You also have a random chance of pulling a recipe instead of a regular fish when you target normal shadows!
Don’t Get Too Comfortable with the Landmarks
When you first start Cozy Grove, you can see the entire island, but it starts to quickly grow as you “unlock” bears. While certain areas stay put, like your campsite, everything else is likely to move around as you progress through the game. So don’t get too used to looking for hidden objects that refer to “the pond” or a “dead tree” as being in the exact location every time. Places in Cozy Grove seem to have the same mindset as the stairs and portraits in Harry Potter; you can’t expect them to hang around all day!
That being said, you’ll pick up on the way that areas are referred through the mission hints. For example, if something is hidden near a tarp or workbench, then you know it’s in Jeremy’s workshop somewhere. If a mission hints at a broken helm or lighthouse, you’ll need to head over to Captain Snout’s beach!
Burn It All
This probably seems like a no-brainer for some people, but if you are new to this game style, it might seem more logical to sell items like fish whole, but that’s not true. Before selling extra fish, nuts, fruit, etc, you should always burn them in your fire. I know; who wants fish bones over fresh fish? But it really does help you bank coins up faster for shop, backpack and tent upgrades! This will also do a lot to save you space as different kinds of fish don’t stack, for example, but all fish bones stack together regardless of what type of fish they come from! The same goes for the fruit, forgabeles, etc. Keep a few rares or legendaries hanging around for missions, but there’s no need to have one of every fish.
Clear the Path
I know we just had a whole talk about inventory space, so this will seem like weird advice but pick up everything. Everything? EVERYTHING! Dance gleefully in every leaf pile, dig every marked spot and pick up all the shells off the beach. Items in Cozy Grove are seasonal and you only have a limited time to fill out that section of the collection. Items will continuously respawn throughout the day, with a better likelihood of more rare items/bugs/fish appearing once you have picked up all the common stuff. Go, collect, win!
Keep an Eye on Spirit Animal Likes/Dislikes
While Cozy Grove is all forage, no farming as far as plants go, at least, but you can still get your farming fix in the way of animal husbandry! The aim is to keep your fluffy (possibly ectoplasmic) friends happy to get the max amount of essences from them. These are used for crafting, cooking and even repairing items.
To achieve this, I try to avoid buying those who list their dislikes as other animals. You can overcome this problem by loading them down with furniture they like, but then you have to keep an eye on if they like common or uncommon and blah blah blah… Just avoid the problem babies if you can, because soon you’ll have more than you know what to do with.
BONUS TIP: If you are close to having three full hearts, pet the animal before feeding them to boost their hearts temporarily to grab that max reward.
You’ll Amass an Army
Speaking of… You’ll need a lot of Spirit Animals. Beyond just being cute, bioluminescent companions, the spirit animals are also vital for completing quests. The happier and more leveled up they are, the more they’ll produce more of the essence, but it’s the other materials they give that you’ll often find yourself scrambling for. Eggs (provided by the spirit birds) are a real challenge when you first unlock the animals in the early game. Eventually, you end up with a small army of them to keep up with demand. At the time of writing this, I have about 15 spirit birds, 10 spirit rabbits, 10 spirit deer and four of the cats (one for each room of my tent as they always dislike other cats) and I still find myself lacking essences from time to time.
Article written by Lauren Darnell (@LaurenLDarnell)