Game Review: Brookhaven Grimoire by Little_Amethyst

 
 

Brookhaven Grimoire is a slightly dark and richly charactered supernatural farming sim rpg. You’re transported through a book into a little town with magic and monsters and assigned the role of the hero who will save everyone, in between farming, mining, fishing, and getting to know your neighbors.


Official Description:

The world of Brookhaven exists in a dark storybook filled with dangerous creatures, friendly townsfolk, and – most importantly – adventure! Within, you will find a thriving magical community of unique and eccentric characters to meet and learn about, and (with little charm) you might even fall in love and start a family with one of these new neighbors. Quest, explore, farm, socialize; whatever you decide, adventure and excitement await in Brookhaven!

Long Review:

I have mixed feelings. The good things in this game are so good! And it was fun and addictive once I got the hang of it. It’s just, the first 30 hours were mostly frustration and looking through 10 different guides every other minute, then 40 hours of mostly fun, then back to frustration as I searched and searched for a few specific items and eventually gave up on the ones not required for the ending. But if you don’t mind using guides, you probably won’t be as frustrated, and I even added my own guide on Steam to help players more, because I do want other people to enjoy it.

So…

*Note: Some pictures are cropped so you can see them better.*

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire parrot island

NPCs & Romance:

– The characters were wonderful! They all had their own personalities, complexities, backstories, and struggles, including the non-romance ones. They didn’t feel like they were just there to talk to the player. It felt like an actual little community. I enjoyed getting to know all of them (though I especially loved Thomas). And by getting to know them, you can see their lives changing. There are 5 male romance options, 4 female romance options, and around 9 non-romance NPCs you can build relationships with.

– NPC interaction is complex and immersive in a great way. Dialogue changes depending on where NPCs are, what they’re doing, the season, your closeness/relationship with them. If NPCs are hanging out, you get an exchange between them, instead of separate convos. It made them feel real. (Always interact twice, they have more to say!) There are also numerous cut scenes for each character.

– It was cute how NPCs would do stuff throughout the day. Not just follow a schedule, but move around doing little workouts, dancing, sweeping, etc. Plus a little festival each month, and cut scene gatherings. The town felt very alive.

– One of the love interests (Thomas) is blind! I rarely find disabled love interests in games.

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire of man named Thomas saying, 'Are you worried about me? No need, hero. I can handle myself well enough, but... Thank you for thinking of me. To tell you the truth, I think about you quite a lot too.'

– Queer rep! You can date any gender, but also NPCs who are in love with or have crushes on the same gender.

– You can have kids or not. I didn’t play with kids too much, not really my thing, but I tested it out, and there are some interactions with your kids too.

– Cut scenes as you progress relationships are great but tricky to find. You have to be in the right place at the right time (e.g. the bar after 6, and I think you need certain relationship levels). It does feel immersive though. So keep track of what you’ve seen, then use a guide for the rest.

– You can marry once, no divorce, but you can do all events and have a kiss with all love interests. (I’ll put a cheat to see more marriages below.)

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire of a woman named Harper saying, 'I put an extra splash of my homemade ale in it... Plus as few dollops of fish sauce.'

Story & Lore:

– The magic and supernatural was so fun! Magical weapons, items, spells. Vampires, werewolves, merfolk, faeries, demons. I accidentally became a werewolf and kept it because it was neat. (That’s my wolf minion in the picture with me. Such a good boy!) I also tried vampire and had fun seeing who and what I could bite. I turned into some other things as well, just for funzies.

– There are some dark undertones. It’s an interesting idea for a premise (being transported into a book).

– The ending was sorta disappointing, and it didn’t make sense. *SPOILER* There was no way it wouldn’t be bittersweet in some way, but this felt like the worst option, and it erased the growth characters had. As for the not making sense, she said everything would go back to how it was and no one would remember. For some it did, dead loved ones alive again. But George and Camila met and had a kid in Brookhaven, and they were still together with a kid. Harper became a mermaid. So why couldn’t I stay with my partner? *END SPOILER* You can play endlessly after that if you want though.

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire of my character in a dungeon, and my character is a werewolf and has a large normal wolf with them.

Farming & Life Sim Elements:

– So many animals to pet! Yours, NPCs’ pets, little veggie creatures. By the end, I had a dog, a cat, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cows, alpacas, pigs, goats, penguins, phoenixes, foxes, skunks, parrots, ravens, and owls.

– There are cute clothes to make once you get a sewing machine.

– Wood and stone are plentiful.

– I upgraded my house all the way for more space, but it just gave me a kids room with unmovable furniture. I didn’t want kids. But my partner used the room sometimes, so it may be required.

– House decorating is limited. Stuff is cute, which is why it’s sad you can hardly fit any. There’s not much space. Grid squares are big. You can only put one thing on each. Some things are far apart or overlapping. You can’t use surfaces. Most things face forward. Wall decor is low and half covered. But I still made it cute.

– Farming was frustrating at first. You need lots of scarecrows, the watering can is finicky, picking up scarecrows or sprinklers destroys crops. But it’s ok once it’s all set up, and you’ll get a grow spell and statues that protect + water 24 crops.

– Museum displays are cute, rewards are nice, but there’s no list of all items (only items that give rewards) and no way to see what you’ve turned in.

– There’s some character customization. Skin color, hair color/style, eye color, some clothing options, male/female gender.

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire of my living room and kitchen.

My Main Complaints:

– Hardly anything is explained. I felt very frustrated, confused, and adrift for a while. You get quests, but you need to do multiple other quests first, but you’re not told that and haven’t been given those yet. You’re told to get items with no clue how. So many things are just pictures, no description. Controls to do a thing in one place are different in another. There are so many things you would never figure out without guides, some I still couldn’t find (which is why I added my own), and that just isn’t how I like to play.

– There’s no sell price shown for items or info about whether an item will be used for crafting.

– There are too many items, many have no use, and almost all foods, plants, and animal products have 3 or 4 qualities that don’t stack. Inventory/chest space is a problem (the one good thing is that you can just drop items, and they’ll stay there indefinitely). When you need a certain amount, they must be the same quality, so you have to keep all stacks until you have enough of one. Recipes don’t pull from chests. It’s also hard (for me impossible) to find certain items because some drops are randomized from a pool of items.

– Machines can only make one thing at a time, and they take a while. Also, tutorial must be on to see the input/output for machines on hover, but the tutorial takes up screen space.

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire of an ice igloo and a rock igloos with penguins, ice phoenixes, foxes.

Everything Else:

– It’s just really chill.

– Combat is easy. I’m someone who usually avoids combat because it stresses me and I’m bad at it. But just click a bunch, run away to eat health boost foods, then go click some more. Or throw fireballs from a distance. (P.S. Only dungeons 11-20 are dark.)

– There are lots of fun little details to discover. For example: *SPOILER* Eating some mushrooms will affect the visuals. When you wear the amulet to talk to the bear for a quest, you can also talk to some other animals. *END SPOILER*

– You have to kill animals for some things, at least a couple for the main quest.

– Some NPCs have lost loved ones, grief is a common topic.

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire of little veggie creatures playing soccer, with one human goalie and other human NPCs watching.

– Splitting one item from a stack and selling a stack requires middle mouse click, which I don’t have.

– Movement is clunky, controls are confusing, but I got used to it.

– Stores are hardly open, but it makes sense in context.

– The map doesn’t match the world or show where anyone is. Confused me when I couldn’t even tell which buildings were even enterable, but I learned.

– A few small bugs, but nothing game-breaking.

– I’ve played for about 90 hours so far. Granted some was looking at guides, but I still got plenty for the price.

– I got this on sale for $9.74.

Overall, if you’re willing to put in the effort and use guides from the start, then give this a shot because there really is some cute stuff here!

Screenshot from Brookhaven Grimoire of characters all dancing in a forest at a festival.

Short Review:

– Wonderful characters
– Fun supernatural stuff
– Lots of animals
– Easy combat
– Nothing is explained, you will need guides
– No sell prices
– Too many items
– Machines make only one thing at a time
– Frustrating, but fun if you can get past that!

Accessibility:

(May not include everything)
– Can’t change key bindings.
– Requires mouse and keyboard, or controller.
– No other accessibility options that I found.

More Info:

Steam

Miscellaneous:

Multiple Marriages

To try out multiple marriages in one game, you can edit the game files. There are two options. You will likely find the files under:

C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Brookhaven

Before messing with files, always make sure you save a copy somewhere safe, in case anything goes wrong!!! Edit game files at your own risk.

Option 1 (quickest, will keep progress but won’t unlock achievements):
– Save a copy of backup_1 somewhere safe.
– Open backup_1 in the Brookhaven file, find where it says spouse=”name” and then change the name inside the quotes.
– Save as backup_1.save and overwrite.
– When you open the game, load the backup.
– This also works if you already have kids. The kids will change to look like your new spouse.

Option 2 (if you want to propose and do the wedding again, will lose progress you made after copying save file):
– Copy backup_1 before you propose and put the copy somewhere else
– When you’re ready to use it again, copy your current married file just in case and save that somewhere safe (though make sure you don’t override the other copy), then delete backup_1 from the Brookhaven folder and put the pre-proposal backup_1 in.
– When you open the game, load the backup.

I just kept loading the backup each time after that.

If you happened to save copies of User_1 and found it didn’t work (which is what I originally did), you can just rename your copy backup_1 and use it as explained above.

 
 
 
 

Talk to me!

Have you played Brookhaven Grimoire?
Have you played any games with a disabled romance option?

 
 
[shared_counts]
 
 
 

Your Thoughts

 

0 thoughts on “Game Review: Brookhaven Grimoire by Little_Amethyst

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!

 

Reading your comments makes me a very happy blogger!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *