Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition Will Rope You In with Its Chill Simplicity

Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition

Farming sims are known for their relaxing, sit-back-and-chill gameplay. These are slower-paced affairs where the goal is to tend to your farm, cultivate relationships, and become an integral part of a small town. You probably don’t play these games for eight-hour sittings or when you want to get pumped up. You play them after a long day at work, or when you’re in between games, or when you just want to sit back and enjoy some carefree moments for yourself. Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition is the purest form of farming sim, and it succeeds due to its deliberate simplicity.

Recently, I’ve been wanting to get back into Stardew Valley. I also wanted to check out Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. At one point, I was even considering playing Harvest Moon: One World. Well, I did none of those things. What I did play, though — or rather, what I’ve been playing — is Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition from developer Chibig on Switch.

As far as calming farm sims go, Deiland takes things to the next level. Though a lot of these games are designed to pull you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and drop you into serene virtual worlds, they still sometimes add a persistent sense of urgency throughout. When you play a farming sim, you might experience very minute stress because your crops aren’t growing, or because you don’t know how to make the most out of your character’s stamina meter.

Deiland does away with all of that. Oh, the stamina and health bars are still there. Yes, you might run out of food early on, which is bad news for your hunger meter. And it might take you a while to gather the necessary materials to complete the next item or tool on your checklist. You’ll even encounter evil alien insects.

Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition

All that said, the game does a good job of not making you feel bad about anything that might be even remotely considered a shortcoming.

Instead, Deiland: Pocket Planed Edition has a series of relaxed challenges for your to complete. You’ll be tasked with upgrading your tent into a home, adding a kitchen, building a hammer, and crafting materials for strange characters. If a character leaves, though, the mission isn’t lost forever or grayed out and marked “incomplete.” Instead, the character will return another day — maybe not the next day, but most likely the day after that. You won’t lose the opportunity to submit a quest forevrer.

Admittedly, I did freak out a little during my first couple hours with the game. I haven’t played a farm sim in a while, so while playing Deiland, I couldn’t help but get into the mindset of doing as much as possible during each in-game day. But then it hit me: I didn’t need to rush, like, at all. The game does a great job of encouraging you to just let go and have fun. It kicks the whole zen gaming thing up a notch by not instantly punishing you with dead crops or expired quests.

Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition

If Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons are all about calming gameplay, then Deiland is about as therapeutic and meditative as this genre can get. I looked forward to the day-to-day tasks in the game because I knew that whatever I didn’t finish before draining the stamina meter could always get done the next in-game day.

Interestingly, Deiland has you tending to not just a garden or farm, but an entire planet. It’s okay, though, because said planet is about the size of an early-era Animal Crossing town. Speaking of which, the way the game map rotates as you walk around the planet is like a cross between Animal Crossing and Super Mario Galaxy. The controls can be a little wonky at times — specifically when you zoom out and rotate the entire planet instead of moving your character around — but it’s nothing too jarring.

Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition

So who is Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition for? Well, it’s for anyone who just wants to enjoy a quaint little farming sim. It’s not extravagant, but it doesn’t need to be. I played the game during my 10-minute breaks and lunches while working the 9 to 5. I played the game while leaning back on my recliner before starting a movie. I played Deiland when the stresses of the real world were weighing on me. I also played it so that I could get back into the flow of farming and life sims.

Above all else, though, I played (and still play) Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition because it’s just a joyful little game that helps put me in a relaxed state and, even more importantly, in a great mood. And isn’t that why we play these games?

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