Cozy Caravan Early Access Review – Kindness Is All You Need

Cozy games are becoming popular among players who enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and casual gameplay compared to some modern games’ challenging and stressful experiences. While many like the more competitive aspects of those titles, sometimes all we need is to sit back and enjoy adorable characters in a whimsical world.

Cozy Caravan, as the name suggests, is a cozy game developed and published by 5 Lives Studios. We explore a rural area filled with cute animal characters, gather and craft various goods and items, and drive our caravan around helping people with their problems or setting up shop. Cozy Caravan was recently released in Early Access, and I got to experience what the game has to offer in its current state.

The character creation screen in Cozy Caravan presenting a dozen different animals we can choose from.
As much as I love red pandas, I can’t deny that all the characters in Cozy Caravan look extremely cute!

The first thing that drew me in was character designs. I created my character, choosing from a bunch of different animals. I chose a red panda as they are objectively the cutest animal possible! And I started my journey in Cozy Caravan. after a short and simple tutorial, I began exploring and meeting the various characters in the world.

We travel the world on our caravan alongside our frog friend, Bubba. He only talks by saying the word Bubba, but our character can understand them in a Rocket Racoon and Groot dynamic. We start meeting other characters in the world, and some of them have small tasks and quests for us to accomplish.

Cozy Caravan stacking a pile of hay
We had to stack a pile of hay so our goat friend could safely jump down from the wooden arch.

I was impressed by how memorable the character designs were. There is no quest journal in the game, so we either had to remember our quests or write them down ourselves. But it was easy to remember the characters’ names and their location after a short conversation. The protagonist and Bubba have a dialogue about writing down the tasks they need to do, but they both decide they are too lazy to do so. But they also occasionally talk about these quests while traveling as a simple reminder to the player.

Whenever we finish a quest, sell produce on market days, or even wave at other characters in the world, we gain hearts, and whenever we fill the bar on the top of the screen, we get a guild token that we can spend to buy new equipment and upgrades for our caravan. It’s really adorable that the main currency in Cozy Caravan is kindness.

Cozy Caravan setting up market in a small rural square.
Setting up our first market near our caravan, with Bubba, our friend, and the giant bee that pulls the caravan resting in the background.

In the beginning stages of Cozy Caravan, we can mostly get fruits and vegetables from farms around the world, and sell them during the market days or exchange them for quests. But we slowly learn new recipes to craft new dishes. We need to buy cooking appliances for our caravan to make more complicated dishes, and getting guild tokens to get these upgrades is the main driving force in the game. There are difficult to traverse muddy roads, so by getting more upgrades we eventually open up new areas to explore.

This is the main gameplay loop of Cozy Caravan. Traveling around, gathering ingredients, helping the denizens of the world with small and large tasks, crafting high-value dishes, and eventually setting up shop and selling our inventory during the weekends. Combined with the adorable visual style and a relaxing soundtrack, Cozy Caravans offers a relaxing and charming experience.

A fortune teller in Cozy Caravan.
Visiting the mysterious fortune teller to learn what produce would sell best in the upcoming market days.

I enjoyed the first few hours of the game, but eventually, I felt the lack of clear goals and content catch up to me. Part of this was the game being in Early Access, so we can expect more content to be available at the release version of the game. But part of it is that I believe I’m not the target audience of Cozy Caravan.

The simple mechanics, short and easy-to-complete quests, and slow pace are fitting for the cozy genre, but the whimsical and child-like atmosphere of the world makes Cozy Caravan best suited for younger age groups. As adult gamers, we often forget that much of the industry was catered to us when we were younger, and the industry seems to be growing up with us.

A small campfire near the caravan in Cozy Caravan
Spending the night near a fire with our buddy Bubba. If we talk with him he will remind us of some of our ongoing quests.

We rarely get games dedicated to children these days. Even when a game is deemed suitable for younger age groups, there is enough complexity both in story and in mechanics to make them appealing to adults as well. While the charming world-building and easy gameplay of Cozy Caravan can still make me lose myself in the game for a couple of hours, I can see how much more it would’ve appealed to me in my adolescent years.

Nima played Cozy Caravan on PC in Early Access with a review code.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments