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Drake Hollow

Welcome to The Hollow, a blighted and dying place, and home to the Drakes. Drakes are the vegetable folk native to these parts, and they need your help. They’re hungry, thirsty, and need a place to sleep. They can literally die of boredom. It’s on you to save them. Build gardens to provide them with food, wells for water, and yoga balls and puppet shows to keep them entertained. Even treadmills and solar panels to generate power for Tesla coils and electric fences, as you will quickly see they need some protecting... The Drakes aren’t the only residents of The Hollow - The Feral have overrun the land, looking to shred anything happy or good. Battle them one-on-one with a wide array of weapons ranging from tennis rackets to nail guns, bring your friends to lend a hand, and build your defenses so you can take them out without lifting a finger. Travel from region to region, season to season, taking the Drakes and their village with you. Each region is over a square mile of territory to explore, dynamically generated and populated with each passing season. You must balance your time carefully. What supplies are most crucial at any given moment? What does your village need? Metal from the supply caches to build your defenses, or crystals from the blighted regions to grow your Drakes? Prove that you’ve got what it takes to help the Drakes and take back The Hollow.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

I played through the game twice, once with my wife, and a second time with some friends for something different to do over a couple of gaming sessions. This is not a great game, but it's not bad for a playthrough which will take 12-20h depending on how thoroughly you explore the game.
I really like the aesthetic of the game. The enemies are all black with glowly red bits, just like the various "evil" plants -- they all look sufficiently creepy. The drakes are incredibly adorable and you can hug them which is cute. Your character is just a kid, about 10 years old, but you can wear various pants, shirts, hats and shoes to look distinct.
You have little drakes that are plant people that populate your village, build your buildings, repair your weapons, and can give you powers. You have to manage their fun, food, and give them somewhere to sleep. The more you get, the higher your base level, the more buildings you can build, and so on. You can also age the drakes by giving them gemstones based on their color, which also increases your level and increases the strength of their powers, but also ups their fun and food needs. As you level, your enemies will get tougher, but you'll also find stronger and stronger weapons so you'll want to upgrade once you notice they change a tier.
There are only five different enemies: a little dog, an exploding dog, a bigger dog that will drop mines and can summon a couple little dogs, a bigger enemy with huge teeth that charges at you, and a final mage-like enemy that can go invincible for a moment and summon other enemies. There are also only five plant types: simple thorny vines, an exploder, a power-up node thing, an enemy spawner, and one that is a giant morning-star flail that attacks you if you get too close. This is a decent variety to start with, but it does get stale after too long.
The game world is a bunch of islands which the space between them shrouded in a fog. The fog will slow you down and kill you after a few seconds that you either have to use special items to go through for a few seconds, or you build lines to let you zip over them from one island to another. Before long, you'll just build ziplines everywhere to help you get around. Thankfully, there is an item that lets you teleport back to your base, especially since enemy raids happen from time to time but you do get plenty of warning before they do.
This game is very fun to play for the first few hours, and then becomes fairly repetitious. Even with the repetition, it isn't a particularly bad time, though I do wish it added more variety throughout. It does feel like it's aimed towards a younger audience, which is fine and might explain why they kept it a bit on the simple side... The main gameplay in the entire game consists of visiting an island, cleaning away the plants on it and beating up the baddies, then moving on to the next island. After completing the very minimal quest line, you can go to the next season each time and could finish it a lot faster than I did if you don't explore every island. There are four seasons total that you will go through.
There are a few things the game didn't mention that I wish I knew starting the game:
1) If you like a weapon but it's about to break, you can drop it on the ground in town. Eventually a drake will pick it up and deposit it in your storage and it'll be fully repaired. I tended to keep a couple weapons on me at all times, then repair each time I went back.
2) When you go to the next season, the drake island comes with you AND all of your zipline poles get put into your storage so don't bother picking them all up!
3) There are resource trucks in the world. Connect them with ziplines that connect back to your main storage (it has a built-in pole) and you'll see the resources fly along the ziplines to your storage.
I'd give the game a 6/10.

Review from Steam

👍 I >>CAUTIOUSLY<< will give this game a thumbs up to help the games ratings because I for the most part enjoyed my experience with it 👍
Ahhhh, gosh. Molasses Flood hurts my soul man. They're a company I just know has the potential to make great things for the indie scene of gaming.
The Flame in the Flood was a flawed, but decent experience oozing with potential. And yet again it happened with Drake Hollow.
Drake Hollow is a game I would personally only recommend to people who are newer to gaming, or want a game they can turn their brain off while playing, except with extra steps and with some level of active engagement.
Drake Hollow is a game that has a lot of engaging ideas, but fleshes (mostly) none of them out and ends up falling flat on dry, stale, *unchanging gameplay. (*until the very last biome)
I guess to start with what I liked.
- I think the town building wasn't too bad, it was pretty simple, but engaging enough that I kept interacting with it consistently over the entire experience.
- I liked how that in this game, essentially none of the materials you find respawn. Forcing the player(s) to keep moving forward and exploring each island to completion in search of much-needed base-building materials. And then, in turn, forcing players to move onto the next biome once all materials from the islands are exhausted.
- Weapon Durability, I liked how all weapons break, so therefore you start to manage your weapon use to fights that need enemies to die faster.
- Movement & Exploration felt surprisingly good in this game. I really liked jumping, dodging, sprinting around in this game. Exploring houses and building was cool. Also the leyline points felt great to use, but over the course of the game I often wished the speed was at least 1.5 faster because they start to eat up a lot of time as your leyline highway expands.
Things I didn't like.
- Reeeeeeeeallly flat gameplay. What you see in the first 4-5 hours of drake hollow is essentially the entire experience from start to end. With almost nothing to shake up the gameplay. Granted there's the winter biome, but at that point in the game, you should be so rich in resources. That entire situation is cleaned up for you in 30 minutes and back to status quo.
- Far too many uninteresting static changes. Most of the buffs and all level up skills were incredibly straight-forward buffs. Like take take 10% less received damage, 75% more likely to find more items, +4% attack speed. I would've liked to see more abilites and skills that fundamentally change how you approach fights and raids.
- Bugs, hoo boy there's buggies. I encountered pestering amount of bugs during my time with the game. Most ignorable, some incredibly frustrating. For instance in the third biome, you have place torches on your frozen drakes to have them usable again. But some of them are way up off the ground, impossible to defrost. Which really pissed me off when one of the drakes I was relying on for a specific buff, was one of the frozen lads up in the air.
- Very low enemy count, and absolutely shameful final boss that's just the raid boss with absolutely zero new moves or abilities.
- Questionable game design decision to outright bad game design I have zero idea how it got out the door.
For instance, in DH, you cannot repair any of your weapons or buy new weapons. The only way to get new weapons is to break open blue duffle bags. But to do this, you need to go to enemy islands to get them.
You may think "Ok. Dodge and weave around the enemies and get the weapon. Simple."
Two things: 1, all weapons have durability, so even if you find a new weapon. It will break quickly and you'll be in the same situation yet again. 2, the further you are in the game, all enemies and vines scale to your expected health and dps.
Meaning you can get melted pretty fast.
And it gets worse! The game increases the chance of trees dropping wieldable sticks if you are unarmed. But they only do 11 damage! Compared to the 300 average damage you should be doing at the start of the autumn biome. This weapon damage has no scaling, so it will be 11 damage from start to end.
It's truly silly and ridiculous.
It's thought to be a bug, and it's not taught anywhere. But its been discovered, if you drop damaged weapons at your home base, your drakes will take it and store it in your storage completely repaired.
Only do this one at a time though, because when I did (any) multiples, at least one would disappear.
For the rest of the game I had very little choice for the most part but to not abuse this exploit as I was just chugging through weapons. The game throws scores of enemies the further the game goes on, and you're breaking weapons left and right.
There's many more issues with drake hollow, and it's a game that makes me sad to see it dropped. Because this is just a game that needed more time in the oven. And the bramble beatdown was a great step in the right direction for the game. It's kind of impossible to imagine playing this game before it honestly. It sounds so incredibly unenjoyable.
I still wish the devs would continue to work on this game, because revisiting the design of various systems in this game could turn it into a real treat. I want to revisit this game and play online, and I want to recommend it to my friends really badly. But sadly this is a game I think only I will be playing.
Despite everything, i'm still going to give this game a thumbs up, because there was enough good that I still made it to the end of the game, and overall still more or less enjoyed my time with the game. Just like Flame in the Flood.
I still believe in you Molasses Flood! You guys have potential! I just know it! And you can still show us with this game!
(P.S. Tell the artists who designed the characters, creatures, landscape, and enemies in this game they did a lovely job. Some of them deserve a raise!)

Review from Steam

Definitely a game to play if you like basic base building mechanics, and basic exploration mechanics, but it doesn't have much depth to it. You'll not get confused, or have to put much effort in to getting your base to work correctly, even when you move to the colder area where heat suddenly becomes an issue.
I wouldn't say it's quite worth the asking price, so if you think it's your sort of thing wait for a sale. I wouldn't have picked it up at all if it hadn't been in a Humble Choice.

Review from Steam

I picked up Drake Hollow off this month's Humble Choice and I have to say, I'm now a huge fan of Molasses Flood! I love this game so much! It reminds me of Fortnite: Save the World (you know...the game before they introduced the BR part) which I love. I've clocked up 16 hours in a few days already and I'm in it for the long haul.
What I've seen of the story so far is fascinating and the music is so relaxing yet poignant. I usually play without music in games and watch YouTube with the SFX of the game, but I've been listening to the music in this game and I love it. I'm even randomly humming little tunes during the day.
The enemies are just the right level of difficulty (and I love the death effect...yes, I've died a lot). The drakes are adorable, if a little high maintenance at times - I'm still getting the hang of keeping them happy.
So far, I'm on Chapter 2 and I can't wait to see the rest.
If you love a base building, run around and smash stuff to collect materials game that lets you explore with a fascinating story, beautiful graphics and a lovely soundtrack, click the buy button!

Review from Steam

Got this game through Humble Choice.
I suggest that you either buy in on an insane discount or get it with the bundles. It is not worth 25 Euro.
The reason for that is because there's not much to do in the game:
* The enemy rosters is small. There are the same 4-5 enemies throughout the whole game,
* The exploration - the thing you will spend most of your time on - is repetitive: get on the island, find and smack all red vines, kill monsters, loot resources, build the leyline, repeat.
* The base-building process is fine, but not enough to redeem the game.

Review from Steam

Drakes are cute , animations are smooth , interesting ways to customize your camp , and you soon get attached to the drakes as if they are pets / children , and the islands are all interesting in their own way , only thing i would really want is to give the drakes names , like instead of blurplet you could name them david or something similar , all in all this game is deffo a recommended !

Review from Steam

In short, the game is nice, it's pretty and it gets you invested really quick, the story is somewhat shallow, there's not much story but it's there. Crafting system is simple but it is enough.

The not so great par is that it gets repetitive pretty quickly, and unless you want to complete achievements, after the first stage of the game you'll just want to rush trough and finish the game. Basically all you have to do is Level up -> Go there and clear islands -> Beat the same easy boss again and again -> Next chapter -> Repeat
For what it is, it's worth a try, especially if you got it bundled or cheap, if you don't care about achievements you get everything done in no more than 14 hours.