Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island [Switch] Review – Sweet and Simple

Our Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island review discusses the pros and cons of the princess-themed farming simulator.

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Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island may look like just another Animal Crossing New Horizons clone, but it’s so much more than that. We’ll admit that even we were skeptical when we first loaded the game up. Yet while it has elements similar to Animal Crossing, the core gameplay is entirely different.

Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island is a relaxing farming simulator that features a wide range of customisation options as you help to decorate Carrot Isle. You care for animals, grow crops and gather resources to craft new buildings and items.

New Beginnings

When you first arrive on Carrot Isle, you’re introduced to the townsfolk – who are mostly rabbits. You also meet your fellow princesses, who each run their own shops on the island.

While the game seems pretty empty at first, that soon changes when you increase your Happiness Level. This sense of progression makes the game much more enjoyable, rather than it just being a standard decorating/farming simulator.

Game Progression

image of a screenshot from the game of the player throwing their net down as they try to catch a butterfly, they are surrounded by their crops and farmland with wheat that is ready to harvest and two silos

To raise your Happiness Level you need to earn Green Clovers, which can be efficiently obtained by completing island requests. These requests are fairly easy to fulfil, with most revolving around harvesting specific crops, produce, minerals, and other resources that you can gather on Carrot Isle.

Each time your Happiness Level increases a shop on the island will start to stock new items. The Green Shoppe will have more seeds and saplings available, new hairstyles, outfits, and character customisation options will be added to Sparkle Boutique, and the Decor Store offers brand-new functional buildings and decorative items.

We were also delighted when we spotted the Challenges page on the game’s menu. These challenges require a bit of grinding, but you’ll be rewarded with clothes, hairstyles, furniture, and more. As mentioned above, the constant progression via unlocking new content is certainly one of the best features in Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island.

For the Fans of Customisation and Farming Sims

image of a screenshot from the game of the player's character holding her hand up to her face while in the boutique, there is a menu with a wide selection of hairstyles

Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island certainly targets a demographic of gamers who love to take part in customisation. With a wide variety of clothes, hairstyles, and makeup options, players can easily create a princess that reflects their own stylistic tastes. However, these options can’t be bought outright.

On the topic of crafting, it’s implemented in an extremely simplistic way. This does perhaps make it more appealing to younger players, but it also means this offers a relaxing experience for more dedicated farming simulator genre fans.

One thing that may put some people off is that crafting happens in real time, and the same goes for growing crops. Luckily, the majority of crops/items only take around 5 minutes to be completed, with saplings taking around 10 minutes. We did find ourselves wandering around trying to kill time occasionally, but for better or worse, it gave us a chance to put the Switch down for a few minutes to give our eyes a rest.

Simple Yet Fun

image of a princess standing at the top of stone steps as she is surrounded by shops and eateries

Yes, it’s simplified, but it allows you to focus on decorating and customising – which is the main focus of the game after all. Gather resources to build functional buildings such as a carpenter, spice maker, and more. The items crafted by these buildings can then be used to purchase additional decorations and items for your island.

Another feature of Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island that we love is the fact that there isn’t a stamina system. It does take some of the realism out of the game, but a lot of us can admit that the pesky stamina bar that depletes excruciatingly fast can be annoying in other titles within the same genre.

What We Don’t Like…

One thing we didn’t like about the game, was that you’ll be doing all of your tasks in constant daylight. There’s no nighttime, pretty sunsets, or weather changes at all. This isn’t exactly game-breaking, but it would be nice to have a day/night cycle.

Additionally, Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island sadly suffers from the typical Switch frame drops at times. We do want to clarify that this isn’t a major issue, and the game can be comfortably played without too much disruption. Although, we also have a few qualms with how slow the game loads when interacting and opening up dialogue with NPCs.

Despite some minor issues we can safely recommend Pretty Princess Magical Garden Island though, especially to those who enjoy farming simulations.

The good

  • Brilliant customisation
  • Interesting furniture and decorations for your island
  • Lots of buildings to unlock for crafting new items
  • A nice sense of game progression

The bad

  • Occasional frame drops
  • Interacting with NPCs takes a while to load
  • The game takes place in constant day time
  • Crafting and growing crops takes place in real time
70 out of 100

Staff Writer
With experience writing for GameRant and in SEO copywriting, Adele loves to combine her adoration for gaming and writing. She'll talk your ear off about Final Fantasy, and if she's not typing away at her desk, she's probably playing a JRPG somewhere.