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Summer Game Fest Preview: Tales of the Shire

by Alex Orona - June 19, 2024, 11:38 am EDT
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A Lovingly Crafted Tolkien Cozy Game Shows Promise

The newest cozy game out of the Nintendo Direct today was Tales of the Shire coming to all platforms via Private Division, with Lab 42 doing the port for Netflix Mobile Games. A farming life sim based in the Lord of the Rings universe, it is set to release in Holiday 2024 and had a trailer in today’s Nintendo Direct.

I had hands-on time with Tales of the Shire at Summer Game Fest and was impressed in their attention to detail within the lore, but that’s by design as the story and dialogue was written by a Tolkien professor in conjunction with the Middle Earth Estate. Even further than just lore and dialogue, Hobbit names, and architecture all remain consistent with the Lord of the Rings fiction, so the dev team is striving for authenticity.

Despite being attached to such a prolific series, this game stands on its own as it’s a side story divorced from any of the action of the main series. In step with this idea, there is zero combat to speak of but has its main focus on relationship building through cooking, crafting and decorating your home. Foraging for ingredients and performing quests for new recipes are the main drive but as you progress, you will be tasked with varying recipes with more seasonings or ingredients to tailor a meal to a specific person's tastes.

While the cooking mini games help you get nuanced with your recipes, there’s also gardening, fishing and foraging to gather the ingredients needed. Think Stardew Valley, but for Hobbits. They also up the customization game here by allowing for high levels of adjustments from colors and wallpaper, to door and archway architecture. The customizer also allows you to get as detailed as your imagination can get. Want to add books one by one to your bookshelf? Sure! Or want to move the entire bookshelf with everything on it? Go for it. You can get as modular as you want.

There’s a big emphasis on cozy games as of late but the devs of Tales of the Shires have done their homework. They have put in a ton of love and care into it, as well as kept it thematically accurate for the hardcore fans. One thing is for sure, if it’s got a dedicated button for skipping down the road like Tales of the Shire does, I’m all in.

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Game Profile

Genre Adventure
Developer
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Tales of the Shire
Release Year 2024
PublisherPrivate Division
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