A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

“Palia”: A cozy MMO where teamwork makes the dream work 

Courtesy of “Palia” official website
Everything under the two moons is yours to discover in Singularity 6’s cozy MMO “Palia”.

It’s been thousands of years since humans seemingly went extinct in the world of Palia, only to suddenly reappear out of nowhere. As one of these recently rediscovered humans, it’s up to you to unravel the mystery of the past as you learn to live in this strange new world. Singularity 6’s “Palia” is a delightful free MMO (massively multiplayer online game) with lots to enjoy, even if its unfinished nature leaves much to be desired. 

So you’ve just emerged from an ephemeral pink void: now what? With the help of the elf-like Majiri villagers and a little plot to call your own, the world is your oyster. 

Palia features some of the staples of cozy games like fishing, bug catching, cooking and gardening as well as more unique skills like hunting. Leveling up these skills unlocks new tools and recipes, so however you want to prioritize your gameplay you will always be making progress. 

If you enjoy designing your house in game series like “The Sims” or “Animal Crossing,” you will love what “Palia” has to offer. With over 900 pieces of furniture available to find and craft, you can let your creativity run wild while decorating your plot. 

You have the option to turn off the grid while placing furniture, so no more problems with how the chairs don’t align right with the table. One feature I love is that you can place small items freely on shelves and inside cabinets, allowing you to truly customize all of your cozy clutter. 

MMOs can be rife with resource hoarders and toxicity, but “Palia” mitigates this by incentivizing teamwork. Fishing near another player grants a bonus for both players which increases with every fish caught. If multiple players try to catch one bug together, they all get that bug. Hunting and cooking are both easier with help, and every player who pitches in gets the same amount and quality of loot as everyone else.

No game is complete without a fishing minigame. Luckily, “Palia” delivers a fun and relaxing way to catch all the fish you could name “Gil.”

When the in-game clock strikes midnight, a glowing grove of trees infused with ancient and mysterious magic appears in the forest. These rare trees regenerate faster than you can chop them down, meaning you have to have at least one other person help you. Lucky for all new Palians, help is never far. You’ll often see messages in the chat box from other players calling out the location of a rare spawn.

Foragable items remain in the overworld for a bit of time even after one player has looted them, so you don’t need to worry about someone hoarding all the Dari Cloves. Most players are more than willing to share their discoveries and the game encourages this wholeheartedly with a craftable flare to help players find these rare spawns more easily. 

It’s a little daunting at first, but it won’t be long before you’ll be able to decode “disco deer S. Tamala’s” or “heartdrop by Pavel picked flared” without a second thought. 

Aside from your fellow humans traversing the open world, Kilima village is bustling with a unique cast of characters. Right off the bat you’re introduced to Ashura, a kind and paternal innkeeper whose warm smile is marred by battle scars. What happened before he was an innkeeper? You’ll have to befriend him to find out. Chatting, giving gifts and fulfilling quests raises friendship and unlocks special story quests for each villager, revealing more about their pasts and personalities. 

Getting to know every single character in other cozy games can be a little tedious, but that isn’t an issue here. How could it be, when the quest is to befriend a very good dog? 

Of course, I have my favorites, but I found myself wanting to put in the effort to talk to everyone every day just to get to know the characters better. Their daily dialog is incredibly charming and changes with each level of friendship gained, making it feel like you’re really becoming friends with these characters.

Friendships aren’t the only thing relationship that can be formed with the residents of Palia. 11 of the 25 characters are able to be romanced, so if you’re a mushy soul like me who can’t play “Stardew Valley” without romancing a character, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for here. 

Whether it’s the bubbly furniture maker, the suave, yet dramatic tailor, or the 3,000-year-old robot with a love for fishing and shiny pebbles, the road to romance will be an interesting one. 

The game does have its bugs, and I don’t mean the kind you catch with a smoke bomb. There are several glitches in varying levels of severity ranging from the library wall disappearing while chatting with villagers to a species of in-game animal becoming incapable of appearing anywhere. 

Thankfully the latest patch has fixed the latter, but with it came a host of new issues still needing to be resolved. Your experience may vary since they don’t seem to affect all players but odds are you’ll encounter a little frustration while exploring the world. 

The game is still in open Beta, so it’s expected that it would still be pretty rough around the edges in its current state. This would likely be more of a problem if it wasn’t for the low price of completely free, so I firmly think that it’s worth giving a shot even if it still has some growing to do. I was very skeptical about how free an MMO could be at first. 

For a game like “Palia,” I was sure I would hit a paywall early on but was pleasantly surprised to find the only use for premium currency was for special cosmetics. You often get what you pay for with a free game but I’ve been enjoying it greatly.

“Palia” is a fun and charming game despite its flaws. The characters and gameplay make up for the bugs, so the experience will only get better as the developers continue to polish and update the game with new stories and features. Maybe someday we’ll finally learn what happened to humans thousands of years ago, but until then I’ll be content foraging in Kilima Fields until my crops are ready. I want to appreciate the giant frog while it’s still there, after all. 


“Palia” never ceases to amaze with its updates, including a new (and very large) addition to Kilima Valley: Frogbert! Lets just hope he’s friendly…
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About the Contributor
Natalie Emanuele
Natalie Emanuele, Reporter
Natalie Emanuele (she/her) is in her first semester on the Oak Leaf, but has attended SRJC prior to joining. She is very passionate about the arts and pop culture, and has no shortage of niche internet phenomena to share. She looks forward to sharing (or perhaps cursing) the public with this knowledge… if any of her articles see the light of day. When not writing she enjoys baking, drawing and playing cozy video games.

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    Nancy BreeseApr 15, 2024 at 1:40 pm

    This is an informative and interesting article. As a non-gamer, I was very impressed with the “voice” of the writer. I may even check out the game myself!