Kynseed is a title we’ve kept a close eye on following our interview with one of the designers behind the game back in 2018, whilst the Early Access launch showed a lot of promise too. Now, four years on from then, the game has finally had an official release, giving players the chance to live out their own fantasy life in this charming RPG adventure.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Kynseed sees players taking on the role of either a male or female twin (your sibling will also join you along your adventure) who has lived their life with an Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe… yeah, that’s right, like the old nursery rhyme. Everything changes though when they start to have peculiar dreams with strange creatures, whilst their Uncle Bill also has them join him on his farm to help out with everyday work. You know what this means, right? Farming sim action, with relationship-building and life choices thrown in for good measure.
That’s underselling the experience a fair bit, whilst the narrative goes a little deeper than that too. Kynseed embraces plenty of old-school fairy tales and fantasy in its world and story, with an abundance of peculiar events to see unfold as you live out your life in its imaginative little world. It’s just very player-led, with the game not necessarily giving you a deep story to see unfold, but simply guiding you on a little bit as you progress through your journey and make the choices that determine your life’s outcome.
One thing that’s worth mentioning from the get-go is that Kynseed really lets you live your life how you want to. Whilst farming and a bit of lite adventuring are at the forefront, there’s also plenty of time spent interacting with NPCs, forging relationships, getting married, having children, and… well… growing old in the world. You’ll also run your own shop to sell your crops, complete tasks for NPCs, venture through perilous locales whilst battling enemies, and raise animals, with plenty to do across the vast world to ensure each day spent is a busy one. It’s all very, very fun, whilst the range of tasks at hand make the whole ‘life-sim’ concept more believable.
“Whilst Kynseed has you doing tasks you might have done a million times before in other titles, they’re cleverly designed here to ensure the gameplay loop always feels rewarding.”
Want to know one of my favourite features? You’ll grow old and die in the game, with your legacy continuing by playing as your children. Whilst it’s something we’ve seen in other titles, the way it’s implemented here feels extra special and essentially lets you build your own family tree. There’s a whole lot to do and discover in the game, but there’s no way you’ll be able to see it all in one lifetime.
I really could write thousands of words talking about all the things you get to do in Kynseed, with the game packed with features that each bring with them plenty of depth. Even cooking gives players plenty of control over their meal preparation, whether that’s determining ingredients or how much heat you want to cook with. Just about everything you do has some form of mini-game attached to it, whilst tasks like farming or looking after your animals are intuitively designed to be simple for players to perform. It ensures nothing grows repetitive, and whilst Kynseed has you doing tasks you might have done a million times before in other titles, they’re cleverly designed here to ensure the gameplay loop always feels rewarding.
That being said, there is a fair bit of a learning curve to Kynseed, whilst it isn’t always forthcoming with tutorials during the early hours playing. Whilst most things are easy enough to figure out, finding and using the appropriate items to complete tasks or tracking everything you can actually do will be overwhelming. I’d say it took me a good two-to-three hours before I felt like I understood how to perform the most basic tasks efficiently. When things click in place though? It’s wonderful, whilst the freedom to approach your day in any way you like means no two adventures in the game will be the same.
Check out some screenshots down below:
As you’d expect, combat brings with it some depth and relies on more than just mashing buttons to attack foes. Players will setup their loadout, venture through perilous areas (typically made up of forests), and fight groups of enemies in ATB-style affairs. Player position plays heavily in this, with the player having three rows they can switch between in order to evade enemy attacks (if they’re quick enough to react). Alternatively, enemy attacks can be parried and countered, with smarter players picking their moment to strike in order to deal the most damage. It’s a surprisingly strategic affair, and whilst the mechanics involved are simple enough to grasp, there’s a lot on offer. I wouldn’t say combat is the best aspect of Kynseed, but it’s cool to see that it offers more depth than that seen in similar titles.
Visually, Kynseed looks wonderful, especially with the environments that are packed to the brim with detail and feature some enchanting sights. I mentioned that the game feels inspired by fairy tales in its narrative, but that same sense of mystery and magic feels present in the visual design too. My only issue with the visuals was that I found the character faces a little weird. They don’t look bad by any means and they’re definitely full of personality, but I just wasn’t a fan. But hey, that’s me nit-picking.
I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what Kynseed offers in this review, because it really is a huge game that offers so many possibilities and so many things to do. You could spend all your time farming, you could spend it adventuring, or you could simply try and discover more about the dark secrets of the world (of which there are many). There’s so much I haven’t touched upon, but that’s the beauty of the game: there’s a LOT to be discovered by the player and that’s what makes it so special.
Kynseed is one of the most unique life sims I’ve played, with the sheer depth it offers in its gameplay and its enchanting world making for a truly memorable adventure. There’s so much freedom offered to the player as to how they want to see out their day and live their life, whilst getting to continue your legacy through your children brings a whole new meaning to the game’s ‘life sim’ billing.
It’s a really enjoyable experience and one that I’ve loved being a part of. I’ve spent well over twenty hours with it so far and feel like I’ve still got so much to discover… I’m excited to see what else my adventure will bring.
Developer: PixelCount Studios
Publisher: PixelCount Studios
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed)