From the folks at The Molasses Flood comes Drake Hollow, a colorful action-adventure sandbox game that sets players in a fantasy world where they are tasked with protecting vulnerable creatures called Drakes against other malicious creatures called The Feral. After a short, dramatic, and uniquely animated intro, players will create a character with albeit a limited number of customizable items and apparel.
Afterward, they are teleported to the aforementioned fantasy realm by what seems like a talkative crow, though you wont actually hear him as the game does not include any voice acting whatsoever.
A Hasty Introduction
Players will then quickly have to familiarize themselves with this world by through babysitting the Drakes by gathering food items and protecting them from The Feral. Much like us humans, the Drakes can only survive with adequate food and entertainment. While the former can be done easily by gathering materials and throwing them in a cauldron, the latter will require even more crafting and foraging to create items such as bouncy balls and dolls.
The primary objective of the game is to protect and nurture these Drakes, which is a task that progressively becomes more elaborate. Your camp out is of water? Then you have to build a Well. Need more food? it’s time to plant a garden. The Feral are coming? Better prepare for a fight. Yet an admirable part of Drake Hollow is its simplistic and straight to the point gameplay and combat system. Fighting is fluid, and the animations, while nothing spectacular, are quite stable. The crafting system and UI are similar to games like Fortnite, yet it finds a way to be even more satisfying.
Later on, however, you’ll find more unique items you can use on the Drakes such as gems, which will make them grow, and in turn grant you buffs and skills that’ll help in defending the little critters. Beware, though, as unlike your character, feral creatures level up with each victory and get significantly more aggressive over time. So players will need to manage their growth while also protecting the Drakes.
Story-wise, the game maintains its simplistic nature by not offering a lot by way of dialogue, an engaging plot, or even character development. What you do get however, are some notes scattered around the map that tell stories of some of the individuals that arrived at the Hollow before you, along with information on the Hollow itself. Many of these notes are quite interesting to read, but still do not entirely make up for the lack of a linear and cohesive story.
Another fun aspect of Drake Hollow is its multiplayer gameplay, which kicks the fun up a notch by making all of the game’s favorable parts even more enjoyable with up to three friends to experience it with. I was able to play a fair bit of the game online, and I’m happy to say that it is perhaps the best way of playing through the game.
Overall while Drake Hollow doesn’t look all that remarkable or provide any groundbreaking gameplay mechanics, I still enjoyed my time with the game’s crafting system, simplistic-quick combat, and most of all, the camaraderie it offers among friends, which is great as players looking for something simple to play can pick up the game for free with a Game Pass subscription right now.
This review is based on an early copy provided by the publisher
Have you played Drake Hollow? What’s your favorite multiplayer/ crafting game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
While Drake Hollow doesn't look all that remarkable or provide any groundbreaking gameplay mechanics, I still enjoyed my time with the game's crafting system, simplistic-quick combat, and most of all, the camaraderie it offers among friends.
- Fun to play with friends
- Simple crafting system
- Lack of a cohesive plot
- Combat eventually gets repetitive