Palia: a cozy MMO that focuses on leisure life.

Singularity 6 was founded in 2018 by ex-Riot developers Aidan Karabaich and Anthony Leung with the goal of providing “alternative universes that expand gamers’ lives.” Three years later, the company has revealed Palia, a “community sim MMO” that looks like a cross between the Sims and Animal Crossing, with a dash of Final Fantasy 14’s social feature.

Palia appears to be taking the comfortable and relaxed characteristics of a sim game and putting it into an MMO framework, with a focus on teamwork and simply hanging out with your friends. The game takes place on a planet where humans are regarded as a “legendary race” who vanished thousands of years ago until you and your human pals come out of nowhere.

There will be all of the standard sim activities to perform here, such as fishing, gardening, and insect capturing, all of which may be done alone or with other players. In addition, Singularity 6 offers a “vast variety of character development possibilities” for skin tone, global haircuts, and a “flexible fashion system.” You may assume, though, that you won’t be allowed to play as a non-human, given that is the entire point of the storyline. The game is also attempting to incorporate some more classic MMO aspects, such as Neighborhoods (the Palia version of guilds), which offer benefits for things like accomplishing tasks together.

The chance to build and design your own house is one of the main draws, with everyone given their own tiny piece of land to toil on. The houses are instanced, so you won’t be able to create a cul-de-sac with your friends, but it does alleviate the housing problems that MMOs like Final Fantasy 14 have been dealing with for years. Singularity 6 claims that more than 1,000 d├ęcor elements, as well as customization choices, would be available when the game opens.

Surprisingly, Palia also allows you to romance the NPCs. I say oddly because it feels bizarre to believe you may be romantically linked with the same person as one of your pals, despite the game’s reliance on teamwork. I’ll politely ask everybody I play with to leave my future NPC spouse alone, especially if I’m able to romance the lovely robot fisherman seen in the teaser.

The game appears to have a lot to offer, and although it checks a lot of my personal boxes, I can’t help but think it’s all a little ambitious. I’m concerned that it will fall into the same trap that so many other MMOs have before it, but Singularity 6 seem to be confident in Palia’s potential. It’s one I’ll be keeping an eye on, and one I hope doesn’t succumb to its own grandeur.

Palia will go into pre-alpha later this summer, and you can sign up to join on the official website.

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