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Forget farming games, Apico is about the art of beekeeping

An image of beekeeping game Apico
(Image credit: TNgineers)

Okay so we've all done farming and factories and the like to death, but you know what we haven't been doing enough of? Hardcore beekeeping. I mean hardcore too. Like what's the details on beautiful, emerald green orchid bees, or even just regular garden variety honeybees? Why are they all so pretty? How can I get more of them and have them live in little cozy hives?

Thankfully, indie developers TNgineers are on the case with Apico, a "casual-sim game about breeding and collecting bees." Thanks to Apico, you can live without fear of being stung (a realistic beekeeping life, I've heard) and discover and breed lots of different bee species across multiple biomes. It's a casual game about stress-free bee collecting driven by minigames.

One, for example, has you pulling and pushing bits and bobs to power your tools, then upgrading those to clockwork, then steam-powered, tools. As you collect honey and wax from your bees, you can then sell those products or process them for higher value.

Promisingly, while the world mimics real environments, it's not all about realism. There are apparently elemental bees to be found, and "sweet hats." Patently unrealistic, because we all know beekeepers don't own sweet hats.

There's a demo of Apico out now on Steam, if you're curious, with the full game to release in October 2021. You can follow the development on the Apico Guilded devblog. A portion of proceeds from Apico will be donated towards beekeeping charities worldwide.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.