Image by 5 Lives Studios

Cozy Caravan Emits Pure Vibes & Fun Gameplay (Review)

A cozy adventure awaits you in Cozy Caravan — find out if it's the right one for you.

Sometimes, a cozy game is exactly what is needed. Getting the chance to jump into a comfortable world, filled to the brim with good vibes and great music is the best way to de-stress after a long and tiring day. Cozy Caravan brings this feeling, all while setting its own pace and place while being incredibly creative in its own right. Does it have what it takes to stand against the cozy game greats, though?

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The Vibes Are Impeccable in Cozy Caravan

Image by 5 Lives Studios

Cozy Caravan is a visually stunning game, with a unique art style and plenty of adorable creatures to interact with. Utilizing a stop-motion effect for character animation while the world around them flows like normal helps Cozy Caravan stand out in a crowded genre, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it. No matter if I’m helping Dylan with his high-flying adventures or trying to round up bees, every visual aspect of Cozy Caravan is sublime.

The soundtrack is also phenomenal, consisting of lo-fi beats and calming tunes. Cruzing through the countryside in a bee-drawn carriage while the relaxing beats lulled me into a near trance-like state is something I’ll never forget, bringing the overall vibes to a 10 out of 10. The adorable mumble speak of each character that you encounter is also rather adorable, making Cozy Caravan a rather blissful experience overall.

The easiest way to describe Cozy Caravan is pure vibes. It’s a peaceful world, where the most stressful thing that you’re likely to encounter is making sure you have enough items to sell at your weekend marketplace. You don’t have to worry about money here — everything is paid for in hearts and love. It’s a serene experience, through and through, and it’s easy to pop in for a few minutes or lose yourself for several hours at a time.

A Wonderful Marketplace Simulator

Frog Nasty standing outside of his Cozy Caravan in Cozy Caravan
Screenshot by The Escapist

Cozy Caravan has a surprising amount of things to do within its world. After a brief tutorial that taught me what I needed to be doing, I was set free to explore the land. Alongside my best pal Bubba, I set out on my adventure to become a traveling merchant who exchanges fresh vegetables, cakes, and everything in between for hearts and love.

By interacting with different villagers in these towns, I was given various quests ranging from tracking down a specific item to skipping stones across the river. You can tackle these quests at your leisure, and there are plenty of new ones waiting for you to complete. You’ll encounter adorable little guys like Jimothy who send you on an exciting treasure hunt, or Winston with his massive bees that don’t want to listen to him any longer.

By completing these different quests, I was granted a variety of new recipes that I could throw together, making my Caravan all the more enticing to curious villagers who stop by. As my heart meter continued to fill, I was able to unlock new features for my Caravan to make it the cream of the crop. I started out with just a small table that I could use to cut veggies and fruits, and now I’m a full-blown bakery that sells anything and everything around.

The Weekend Marketplace was my favorite part of the game, culminating in a week’s worth of hard work and dedication becoming some much-deserved rewards. While the main point of the hearts and Guild Coins I received were for Caravan Upgrades, I’m hoping I can unlock some new outfits and items in the future.

Bees Aren’t the Only Bugs in Cozy Caravan, Though

Frog Nasty playing hide and seek with Luca the fox in Cozy Caravan
Screenshot by The Escapist

Unfortunately, even in the coziest of worlds, bugs and glitches can make things a little more stressful than originally anticipated. During my playtime, I had run into a fair number of issues that detracted from my experience, from signs not moving to let me enter a town to quests that would softlock my progress and not let me continue. While this may just be a pre-release issue, it’s hard to ignore them when everything else is so finely crafted.

For example, when entering one of the busiest hubs in Cozy Caravan, I would be stopped dead in my tracks due to a sign that would not move. So, I would have to back up my little bee caravan, and try to wiggle my way into the town — you can’t leave your caravan if you’re not in a town. It was frustrating, without a doubt, but should hopefully be fixed before the true release.

A few quests decided to bug out on me during my journey, as well. While normally I could look past these types of issues, I was soft-locked out of my progress twice during the review period. One of them eventually resolved itself after exiting and restarting Cozy Caravan several times, whereas the second is still causing me grief. However, as I mentioned above, I was playing a pre-release build and made sure the developers were aware of these issues.

Frog Nasty hanging out at a restaurant in Cozy Caravan
Screenshot by The Escapist

Overall, with continued support and additions, Cozy Caravan has the potential to become one of the all-time greats in the cozy games scene. Even in its current state, there are plenty of things to do and see and lots of adventures to be had. It’s currently a little rough around the edges, but its charm and wit help smooth over some of those bumpy patches. It’s an adorable little game with a lot of heart and soul, and worth jumping into for any fan of cozy games.

Cozy Caravan will be available on May 16, 2024, in Early Access on Steam. A code was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PC.


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Author
Shaun Cichacki
As a fan of RPGs, Action & Retro titles, Shaun has been gaming since he was a young boy. With an overwhelming obsession involving Metal Gear Solid and Pizza Tower, you know you're in for a wild ride when it comes to things he's writing about.