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This is cool as heck.

Xeno: Xoo Xafari is a chill, casual monster-collector. You explore a retro island, find treasure, sell it to buy new scopes, use those to spot xenos, and interact with them to record their entries in your xenodex.

There's no combat, and so the game-feel reminds me of a way more low-key, relaxing Void Pyramid.

Fans of Pokemon and other monster collectors will likely be charmed, as will folks who enjoy Harvest Moon. Xeno Xoo also implements a similar energy system, with your number of steps per day being limited, which forces you to pace your explorations.

There aren't any penalties for being fatigue-warped back to your campsite, and instead you get the opportunity to sell any eggs you found to buy new scopes, which reward you with new xenos when you trek back through previously explored areas. Additionally, any nuts you find boost your next day's energy, and you can relocate your campsite to more effectively prioritize which part of the island you'd like to explore.

These mechanics feel good---as do the three playable characters you can choose from, and the solid (but optional) stories that go with each.

Xeno's writing is a hidden gem, and it mixes wild pokemon-lore style creature entries (which are sometimes pretty dire) with genuinely reassuring human elements.

Also the soundtrack bumps.

Really, I think my only critique is that it takes a long time to sell eggs to make enough money to buy new scopes, and there are a LOT of scopes you need to encounter every xeno, so 100% the game feels a bit taxing. That said, if you don't get "I need to collect everything" anxiety, you'll be totally fine.

Overall, I would strongly recommend Xeno: Xoo Xafari to anyone who likes cute, relaxing gameplay and solid writing. Plus it's kind of a master class in how to write monster / item lore. There's a butt-ton of creature entries in this game, and practically every one got a reaction out of me.

It's good, y'all.

Also, if you haven't tried Void Pyramid (I just found out it's by the same developer,) 100% check that out too. 11/10, one of the best crpgs I've played in the last few years, and there are a few nods to that game in this one.