World Bee Day was this past weekend and I worked, so that means that I didn’t play anything and when I did play some games, I played this week’s game. Sim games are a wonder to play, even when they are not that expansive in the gameplay department. Apico is something of wonder because it is so simple, but it sets a pretty high bar when it comes to the gameplay.
This week is Apico.
Apico is a beekeeping simulator from TNgineers and published by Whitethorn Games. The game was released on May 20th for PC and retails for $20.
You take the role of a person fresh off the boat in a land dominated by bees. After leaving the hustle and bustle of the city to now live a life dedicated solely to taking care of bees and extorting them of their resources, Apico gives you a little lore but gives you all the gameplay.
Just kidding, it’s quite a simple simulation game. Chop down trees for logs, cut logs into planks, and use the planks to make the bee boxes to house your bees. The goal of the game is to make as much as you can by making Apicola, the soft drink of bees. There are traders littered throughout the map and there are little secrets about the land of Apico
The actual challenge of Apico is the cross-breeding minigame. Creating a Predictor will allow you to predict the traits of a bee to maximize efficiency when creating a queen. There are a TON of different species of bees that can be experimented with. An early cross-breed is a verdant bee, which is an offspring from a queen who has traits from a common bee and a forest bee. The venture to find all the possible combinations of bees is a worthy endeavor. Before you know it, you have a bunch of bee boxes and a bunch of goodies, so that you can craft infinitely more bee boxes and make your cola empire even larger.
The pixel graphics make the game looks adorable; lush colors flood the screen. Little tiny bees come and go from their hives to pollinate the surroundings flowers, and little heart emotes populate the screen. It’s all super cute, I enjoy it.
There is a plethora of music that plays, but it always seems at odd intervals. There will be some music then none for a significant amount of time and then, out of nowhere, music will play again. The sounds are super relaxing when they are played, but I wish there it was just more consistent.
Apico is a fantastic game if are hanging out with a few extra minutes to spare. Everything oozes casual free time game, except when cross-breeding is introduced. Regardless of that, it is a really fun game to play. I have played it for more than four hours and when I have downtime, I am always trying to sort my inventory and eventually, create a few swarmers. Even with the time that I have put into Apico, I have barely touched the surface of gameplay. The onboarding makes the game so much easier to understand, and that makes Apico such an enjoyable sim game.