For many of us, Animal Crossing: New Horizons became our quarantine game, in which we found the stability, structure and connection that our real lives lacked. Palia, part MMO and part community sim, created by former developers at Riot, PlayStation, Epic, looks to scratch a similar itch where you form connections, decorate spaces and complete daily activities in a relaxed setting.
Set in a lush fantasy world, Palia puts you in the shoes of a human character who awakens in a cozy lakeside village that becomes their new home. You spend your days decorating, bug catching, cooking, fishing, or chatting with friends. According to its creators, multiplayer is “the heart” of Palia, and they’re hoping to build a welcoming, “collaborative” environment where you and your friends complete activities together, such as cooking. You can play on your own, too, but at its core, Palia is a place to experience moments with friends, or make new ones. You can also romance some of the NPCs within its world.
Developer Singularity Six also says Palia has a rich backdrop of lore. Most humans disappeared thousands of years ago, with only ruins and small remnants here and there of their lives long ago. You embark on an adventure for the truth. Singular Six says, as a live-service game, it will “take years to fully unveil” the entirety of Palia‘s narrative.
The community sim also includes character customization with a range of skin tones, body types, hairstyles, and looks. Clothing can be mixed and matched, with distinct colors chosen from a palette. Singularity Six promises they will continuously update the game post-launch, adding more cosmetics to personalize your character. Similarly, you can customize your home to your liking with unique furniture and decorations, too, and invite friends to your abode as you please.
Palia takes inspiration from Stardew Valley as well, its creators say, especially with how it approaches certain side activities. For example, just like the mines in Stardew Valley, you don’t have to engage in combat. But if you want to, there could be some interesting loot to gain.
If you’re interested in trying the game out, you can apply for the pre-alpha demo at its official website. Currently the team is focusing on bringing the game to PC at an unspecified date.