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Synergy Land is an upcoming action role-playing game (ARPG) that offers users a robust economy with NFTs, plus complex crafting mechanics. In our hands-on playtest of the game's limited alpha release, we got a sneak peek at Synergy Land's relaxing, more idle aspects.
Designed for Windows PCs with a planned release on the Elixir Games launcher, Synergy Land is off to a promising start.
Fans of games like Animal Crossing, Farmville, and MapleStory will enjoy the island development process, but may find the customization options limited in its current state.
Much of Synergy Land’s early gameplay in this version is focused around selecting from a few empty plots the locations for a blacksmith, sawmill, stonemason, and plots for farmland on which food and trees can be grown. Livestock can also be nurtured and eggs hatched.
Synergy Land’s current crafting system involves a fair amount of running around the small island to acquire materials, which then must be “processed” into other materials—and can then be used to “craft” items or other materials. The crafting process in its current state will make a lot of busywork for players.
Crafting in Synergy Land is not instant, like in Animal Crossing: New Horizons or many RPGs. Instead, the workers take their sweet time to craft items and materials, and players may find themselves waiting around for anywhere from one to four minutes or more without much else to do.
The game also limits the number of items that can be crafted at a time, which further slows down the process. It’s possible that the crafting process has been designed to take a substantial amount of time to encourage users to go to the game’s marketplace (which is not yet live) for more instantaneous purchases.
Because Synergy Land plans to offer different biomes, certain materials and craftable items will only be available from certain locations, which the game’s white paper states will incentivize players to buy items from those in different biomes via its marketplace.
That said, it’s certainly possible that these current crafting mechanics could be changed in future game iterations.
Synergy Land has been designed to be a real-time, “fully online experience,” the development team told Decrypt in a message.
What does this entail? In our playtest, crops spoiled after a day or two of being offline, and incubated eggs quickly suffered in our absence. This dependency on daily logins is reminiscent of the Tamagotchi craze, or any other kind of “real time” game that pressures users into logging in daily to complete various tasks and chores.
While this may be appealing to some gamers, others may find it frustrating to feel like their in-game currency is being wasted on spoiling crops and suffering livestock if they choose to go AFK for the weekend.
That said, the Synergy Land development team told Decrypt that it plans to offer some flexibility for players in future iterations by implementing vacation periods where gameplay can be frozen in time for a preset period.
An appealing affair
While Synergy Land’s current alpha version may be a sliver of its final form, the game already offers appealing graphics, realistic shadows, and impressive sound design. Synergy Land also has a clear grasp of RPG questing loops and narratives. Considering that Synergy Land’s current alpha consists primarily of home island crafting quests, it may leave RPG players feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Fortunately, those eager for the release of dungeons and more adventurous gameplay in Synergy Land won’t have to wait too long, as those elements are planned for launch in Q4 of this year. The game’s white paper also lists player-vs-player (PVP) arenas, PVP pet battles, and RPG-style boss fights as planned features.
Synergy Land has already released two NFT collections. One is its Synergians profile picture (PFP) collection. The other is its Synergian Badges collection, which grants holders access to game characters of varying rarities, as well as other benefits.
According to the game’s white paper, Synergy Land has plans to release characters, bosses, pets, and worker stations as NFTs in the future, but will not be selling equipment or resources to players. Synergy Land initially released NFTs on Solana, but began migrating them to Ethereum scaling network Polygon earlier this year.
While its alpha version lacks the core RPG game loops and planned PVP modes, Synergy Land already feels immersive, well-designed, and cozy, with potential for an expansive game economy that encourages players to buy and sell items in its fantasy world.