APICO Review: Digital Beekeeping Has Never Been So Fun!

APICO Review

APICO is a sim game revolving around beekeeping by breeding, collecting, and conserving bees. Like many titles from this genre, you start fresh in a small town after leaving your city job. After creating your character, you’re in Port APICO, where your grandma is waiting for you to follow their steps in beekeeping.

The game was released in May 2022, and I believe it’s a beautiful experience to immerse yourself in if you’re into cozy gameplay. 

Let’s look at a brief gameplay breakdown, potential drawbacks, and other cool features in APICO:

APICO’s Gameplay: Immersive Beekeeping Experience

APICO Save File Menu
My APICO’s Save Files

Before starting, I’d like to mention that APICO has multiplayer available, allowing you to play up with 3 other friends in an online co-op.

There’s also a demo available where you can unlock 9 bee species and go through the first few hours of APICO. However, note that you cannot carry the demo save to the full release. 

You traverse through APICO by fetching wild bees and crossbreeding them in beehives. The map isn’t huge, but you will require a boat to explore by sea.

Inside the game, there are 30 bee species to unlock, which you then need to continue breeding and releasing into the wild to save them from extinction. 

The premise is straightforward, but it takes some time to get fully immersed to APICO’s world. But I promise you: once you’re inside, you never want to close the game!

The title has a bunch of mini-games and interfaces to complete tasks like extracting honey, analyzing, or brewing Apicola. The game mostly happens inside these interfaces, so make sure to get acquainted with the controls for better item management between them. 

There are a total of 4 books you can use as references for progress: each focuses on quests, species, flowers, and mapping. All 4 books are available on the bottom screen for quick access.

As a side note, you can use a unique workstation to craft any mod-related items. I believe it was an intelligent decision to keep the vanilla content from fanmade stuff separated.

On that same note, while I don’t play with mods most of the time, I suggest you check out the wiki’s modding page for further information.

My Observations On APICO

As my save file showed in the beginning, I’ve unlocked more than half of the bee species in APICO. However, simulation games have an identical drawback for me: they tend to get repetitive over time, and progression stagnates quickly. 

APICO, unfortunately, does suffer the same syndrome, especially if you’re the type of player that enjoys long gaming sessions. But other players may find a lot of comfort in this repetitiveness, and I haven’t reached end-game content to testify whether the trend continues up to the end. 

Windows can easily overwhelm you if you’re not careful. I activate some accessibility features to avoid confusion and make things easier for me.

On that topic, I highly appreciate the accessibility menu, and the APICO team has taken care of helping players stay more focused on the game by allowing these toggle features.

Things like walking through trees or high-contrast text are features I almost always activate while playing. Feel free to experiment with these options to make gameplay more enjoyable.

I also wanted to include a quickfire section to briefly mention the following things:

  • V-sync is now called B-sync, and I cannot be happier about it.
  • TNgineers started the #SaveTheBees initiative with a bunch of resources and charities to help beekeeping and wild bee conservation charities worldwide. 
  • The APICO wiki isn’t complete, but it’s still an excellent way to start researching if you feel lost after following the tutorials. 
  • For some reason, people are fixated on the fact that APICO includes pronouns for their character. The creators are also adamant about not removing the pronouns from their game, so I hope you’re not an idiot and harass TNgineers over it. 

I enjoyed playing the 1.0 version at release and kept close attention to the following updates, currently in version 1.4.3 as I write this. APICO is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Switch, and Steam Deck, so there’s no excuse to skip this fantastic, chill experience.

If you enjoyed my review or stumbled upon my portfolio, you can check other reviews I’ve written during my free time. My favorite so far must be my recap with The Binding of Isaac, so I suggest you start there!

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