Best known for bringing Zelda titles Majora's Mask and Tri Force Heroes to the 3DS, developer Grezzo has already received plenty of applause for delivering quality experiences to the handheld platform. The studio's first fully-fledged adventure, Ever Oasis, is an addictive blend of Animal Crossing-like town management, dungeon crawling, and RPG mechanics; offering far more depth than its cartoony exterior may suggest.
Assuming the role of a young seedling, you find yourself at the centre of your brother's thriving desert oasis and begin to learn the ropes so that one day you can take the reins. It's not long before school is over, however, as the oasis is enveloped in darkness, dominated by a malevolent force known as Chaos. Fearing for your safety, your brother banishes you from the desert, allowing you to escape before true carnage is set to unfold. Crashing into the sand, you find a lonely water spirit named Esna, with a mutual ambition of creating an oasis free from the clutches of the aforementioned Chaos.
Your time in Ever Oasis will be split between ruling over your oasis and venturing into the desert to engage in quests and harvest materials. As chief of the fledgeling desert paradise, you must allow your new home to flourish and grow by convincing visitors to become permanent residents. This is done by completing side-quests; usually involving finding a desired item or opening up stores known as bloom booths to help earn their affection. Once you've received a certain amount of residents, your oasis can then be levelled up, providing you with room for more bloom booths and allowing you to grow more crops in the garden.
Many residents can grow their own individual bloom booths, which can be grown to sell items such as flutes, balloons and juice to visiting penguin-like creatures called Noots. You can also upgrade bloom booths and expand their offering by completing additional side quests for owners which will unlock over time. Making sure these stores are appropriately stocked will take up a large portion of your time as supplies are quick to deplete. Later in the game, however, you earn the ability to send residents out on supply runs to harvest relevant items, which prevents restocking from being much of a chore. Making sure the booths are stocked and your residents are happy is a must as it can deliver you HP bonuses when venturing off into the desert.
At the synthesis tree found upstairs in your home, you can craft weapons, attire and healing items by spending dewadems and finding the appropriate materials. Crafting introduces an added incentive for exploration and scavenging, and you'll constantly find/receive additional blueprints for items for upgrading your oasis. This is another example where the action and town management sections intertwine beautifully as by allowing your oasis to grow you can find better gear to use in combat.