Actually playing a game shortly after I purchase it is a new and interesting thing for me! Haven Park released on August 5th, I added it to my library on August 9th, and loaded it up to play the very same day. This has nothing to do with the game itself, however, it is certainly progress for me, and I felt it was worth mentioning.
I’ve really been kind of obsessed with cozy games as of late, and Haven Park absolutely fits the bill. You play as Flint, a wee duckling, who wants to help out his grandmother get their campground back into shape. It’s a nice, peaceful cycle of exploring, collecting resources, building amenities, and talking with the campers who arrive.
There are a handful of quests you will stumble across, but they don’t feel like busy work – they’re just things you would probably want to do anyway as you fix up the park. In fact, I found that actually finding adequate resources to build up the camp sites the most grindy part of the game – everything else feels well-paced and very natural. I’m currently about an hour and a half into the game, and I have yet to even find all the campsites.
As you explore, you gain experience, and as you gain experience, you level up and are allocated points to spend in skills that make maintaining and improving the park easier. The quick interactions with your guests remind me of talking with your neighbors in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but unlike in that game, progression is not gated by real time, and you could easily complete Haven Park in one long play session if you were so inclined.
So far, I’m finding it simple but pleasant, a fun story-lite place to wander around and tidy up. It’s satisfying, but there’s no risk of it ever becoming overwhelming or stressful, and would probably be a delight to play alongside a young child. Reviewers on Steam have also compared it to A Short Hike, a game I haven’t gotten around to playing yet myself.
If you’re looking for a long game, a difficult game, or a deep game, probably give this one a pass – there’s only about 3-4 hours of content here on a first play through, even if you are the type to aim for 100% achievements. Haven Park isn’t a lot, but what it is is pretty nice.