Whilst frequent visitors to the site will be fully aware that I’m something of a cat lover, I love pretty much all animals. My heart may be strongly aligned with felines, I’m still very much up for any game focused around adorable animals.

So obviously a cozy game all about building a sanctuary for frogs whilst taking photos of them was right up my alley. Frogs rarely get all that much attention in videogaming, so it’s about time we had some in the spotlight.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

TOAD IN A WELL-FURNISHED HOLE
In Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge, you take control of Cleo, who has teamed up with her friend Axel to revitalise the wetlands and create a loving environment for frogs to come and chill out. This project has you setting up furniture designed especially for frogs, but also creating products to sell to help expand both the environment and your selection of frog chairs. It’s a gameplay loop quite reminiscent of something like Stardew Valley, although the game’s thematic differences help make it stand out in its own right.

Screenshot

The game’s tutorial does a great job at easing you in to its rather straightforward setup, and in no time at all you’ll be on your way to setting up plenty of furnishings for the many, many frogs (seriously, there’s about 500 of them!) to lounge upon. You can tame them with insects that inhabit the wetlands, but you’ll probably be most occupied with taking plenty of photos to fill up your frogdex.

Of course, with so many types of frog available, you’ll inevitably end up finding many that look the same. Differentiating most of them can be tough, and its only really the vibrant colours that set most of them apart. But even then, you’d be hard pressed to distinguish between the coloured patterns of one green frog and the next.

Screenshot

But that level of repetition is only really a small gripe when you consider just how relaxing and beautiful the game is. As you can tell by both the screenshots and the trailer, the game has a beautiful aesthetic and seeing frogs lounging around in different poses makes you forgive the fact that so many look alike.

It also helps that there’s more things to do than just take photos and place furniture. This is a game all about helping the environment, so you’ll be doing a spot of landscaping and even frog breeding in your quest to create your haven for frogs. There’s not as much depth here as other farming simulators, but there’s still plenty to do to keep you busy for quite some time.

VERDICT
Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge offers a really chilled out management simulation where you rebuild the wetlands and adorn it with furnishings for the frogs to lounge around on. It may not have the most amount of depth, but the charm and beautiful visuals help make this a great little cozy title.