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APICO, Review: an adorable adventure between bees, crafting and pixel art

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APICO, Review: an adorable adventure between bees, crafting and pixel art
APICO is a mix between Stardew Valley and Minecraft where the player devotes himself to beekeeping in a tropical archipelago.

Minecraft and Terraria -style sandbox lovers, you can't miss APICO , a small but effective indie game in pixel art that combines these elements with a life sim like Stardew Valley , to create the perfect tropical island where you can devote yourself to beekeeping .

If you are old gamers like me who were going to download every existing Minecraft mod , you will surely remember the ones that included bees and beekeeping, complete with honey production processes. It is precisely inspired by these Minecraft mods that the small studio TNgineers (former authors of Feed The Beasts ), formed by the two brothers Ell and Jamie , decided to create APICO using GameMaker Studio.

Published by Whitethorn Games , APICO is a sandbox with a relaxed and casual rhythm , where the player unleashes his imagination in building buildings, follows the missions of the inhabitants of the game world, produces honey and collects the many species of bees. Everything must also be thought of for educational purposes , where even if there are species of bees that do not exist at stake, we try to sensitize the players to the preservation of these animals, to discover their role in the ecosystem, and to understand their role. of a beekeeper.

The archipelago of bees

Just as it happens in Stardew Valley, the beginning of our adventure in APICO is dictated by a deceased relative who bequeathed us an agricultural business, or rather, beekeeping. We will then be torn from our worldly and city life to head to Port APICO, a small island city that is part of an archipelago that is not very populous, but rich in bees and hives .

Our grandmother will immediately introduce us to the foundations of the game through dialogues and manuals , and finally - not without difficulty in understanding how the tutorials are managed by the game - we will be able to start our business as beekeepers. As we learn to manage bees and hives, the inhabitants of APICO will unlock new missions for us and begin to develop relationships with us in the Stardew Valley way .

Speaking of manuals, APICO luckily comes to meet us with many of these, as there is a lot of substance at play . If at the beginning this constant presence of guides and texts may certainly seem an obstacle to the gameplay, in reality their reading, in addition to giving us resources in some cases, will allow us to proceed in the many game mechanisms without making us lose our orientation.

Crafting, collecting and beekeeping

Completing the tutorials, in addition to providing us with very detailed guides on the mechanisms that govern beekeeping and crafting , will also unlock tools with which we will be able to proceed along our beekeeping adventure.

Like any sandbox of this type, everything starts from the trees : cutting them down will provide us with wood , through which we can build the first working tools with which to unlock new tools and new mechanics through which we will produce new resources to forge new tools, and so on up endlessly. With an inventory made up of slots - very Minecraft-style but positioned at the top - we will be able to select as active an object to be used in the environment: axes, shovels and picks, but also walls, floors and bees ... in short, any game asset.

Between workbenches, apiaries, hives, extractors and much more, as players we will have the most disparate tools to create our assembly line for beekeeping , honey production and even mating and hybridization between different species by apine . In particular, it will be precisely the hybridization that will have the most welcome surprises, with even the possibility of bringing extinct species back to life and with a breeding system that allows us to control the genetic traits of individual bees. And this is precisely where collecting comes into play : you have to catch them all ! Too bad there are only about thirty ...

An interesting thing about APICO, is that multiple crafting windows can be kept open at the same time , which is very useful since the raw and processed products will be constantly moved from one slot to another, from one tool to another. The only problem with this system found on Nintendo Switch is that the touch screen is not implemented in portable mode . Really a shame because everything, without a pointer and without just the touch of our fingers, will be a bit clumsy procedure.

Relax and buzz

The most surprising thing about APICO, personal opinion, is how such a varied and complex game system manages to remain easy to approach, certainly helped by the system of tutorials and guides, but in the long run it is a work of adorable artistic realization , completely spot on. to emphasize the relaxing and peaceful game mood. The only limitation of the gameplay is that, being above all mechanics already seen and revised in the past 15 years, it could bore you in the long run.

Beyond the excellent pixel art with soft colors and simple designs , the light effects must be highlighted, but also the visual effects that usually go unnoticed, such as the balloons with which bees communicate their feedback to us. The sound realization is also excellent, both for the effects and for the composition of the music by the artist Mothense . Another point in favor must be given to the perfect localization in Italian , also complete with puns and phrases of color.


In short, if you are looking for a less demanding but quite bizarre Stardew Valley in crafting, with a relaxing gameplay and lots of imagination to make fruit in the construction of your beekeeper's paradise , and moreover complete with bee collecting, APICO awaits you on the Nintendo eShop at price of € 17.49 . A bargain for the many hours it will make you consume.

We advise you to buy APICO also because the game raises awareness of the preservation of bees, and a portion of the money earned is donated to charity companies that deal with bees, beekeeping and ecosystem conservation. If you want to help by giving a further hand to this cause, you can also donate to one of the many companies that APICO supports. For more details, please see the
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