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Stardew Valley meets Pokémon as Ova Magica eyes a 2023 release

Do you need an endearingly vibrant, critter-catching wholesome JRPG experience? Top Hat Studios has just the thing for you with its new game, Ova Magica, a special and charming title combining the best of the JRPG, farming and monster-taming genres with life-sim elements. Ahead of its release, a new trailer has dropped, showing new gameplay and features before the game releases on current-gen consoles.

In terms of the game specifically, Ova Magica is an ode to games like Stardew Valley and Slime Rancher to timeless classics such as Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, Pokémon, Grandia, Jade Cocoon and Azure Dreams. You also must manage a farmstead on the outskirts of a quaint little hamlet called Clover Town. Filled with manga-stylized NPCs, you need to engage with them through conversations, gifts, and blob battles. As your relationship with the locals and town increases, the secrets of Clover Town start to unlock in front of you. There will also be new worlds containing strange items and priceless artefacts that hold the key to the town's - and your own - future.

Another feature is Blob Battles, where you must undertake perilous adventures into lost temples and ancient dungeons searching for Blob eggs. Blobs share a connection to their environments, so it stands to reason that you might find fire-themed Blobs in desert dungeons, while those deep in the jungle will be populated by appropriately jungly Blobs. Their native habitats will differ thanks to the miracle of procedural generation, in the spirit of the classic PS1 RPG Azure Dreams. After hatching, you will raise and train your blob to become a trusty sidekick and companion. Battles are great fun and challenging, but your Blob can do much more than fight. Each one possesses unique abilities that you can use to cultivate your farm. For instance, using explosives to clear rock piles or water elements that help water plants using their well… you know. Unlike Pokémon, blobs can be made stronger and inherit each others’ abilities and characteristics by crossbreeding with any other blob species! Once the eggs hatch, get a couple of blobs up together in one of the dedicated love pods, give them some space, and their blobby love will blossom into a new hybrid species.

Let’s talk about the world, though; the picturesque countryside surrounding Clover Town offers plenty to do. Chop down trees, chase down butterflies with a net, grow/harvest crops, and more. Then sell your goods at the town farmer’s market to earn the funds you need to build your home or expand the town. However, Ova Magica is just as much about adventuring as city building. As you work on your farm, you'll find special ingredients that unlock portals to the world's dungeons and temples. According to the developers, there is much to explore in these dungeons and wildlands, where you can find rival blob trainers and bosses ready to challenge you and your blobs in the Active Time Battle system.

Town expansion is also important as it unlocks additional activities and new questlines and attracts other NPCs to populate your Clover Town. Outside of Clover Town, you’ll find even more activities and secrets - from fishing ponds where you can kick back on a day off and misplaced blueprints for advanced machinery like juicers, creamers, and furnaces.

Ova Magica will release on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S sometime in 2023.

Jon Wilson

Jon Wilson

Staff Writer

Lover of dogs, video games, and Fall.

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