That Healthy games Direct presentation just wrapped, and after about an hour of trailering, the livestream underscored one thing for me: there sure are a lot of farming sims out in the wild. Hey, I don’t mind the abundance of these games. Farming in games can be a leisurely escape, but it was odd to see so many trying to bite the winning formula of games like animal crossing and Stardew Valley. However, the show featured a number of compelling indies, from turn-based rhythm games to visual novels, some of which appear sooner than you might expect.
In case you don’t know, Wholesome Direct, now in its second year, is a livestream dedicated to cushy indie games typically made by marginalized developers. So what you get are off-the-beaten-track experiences, stories about issues that are often pushed aside in “AAA” development. As such, these games tend to be overshadowed by the glitz and glamor (and huge marketing campaigns) of big-budget games. That’s where Wholesome Direct comes in: to shed some light on the developers who are pushing the medium into often uncharted territory. It’s great stuff!
Anyhow, of the nearly 100 healthy games to be featured during today’s broadcast, here are eight to definitely keep an eye on:
A frog story
A joint collaboration between indie studios Norman Company and Mythcarver Games, A frog story is a charming turn-based action RPG in which you fight to the rhythm of thundering 80s synth beats that are not dissimilar Crypt of the NecroDancer. I love the pixel art aesthetic and the lovable characters. It gives me a lot final fantasy meets rhythm gameplay energy, and it hits.
A frog story expected to release on PC sometime in 2023. You can Wishlist on Steam now and support his Kickstarter campaign.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly
That was so cool to see! The original coffee talk was a loveable visual novel whose creator,Mohammed FahmiShe tragically passed away this year. So I’m thrilled that the spirit of the first game seems to live on in this sequel from Toge Productions. Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly continues the story of the OG game, with new characters, additional features like temperature control, and even more drinks to serve to guests.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly coming to Nintendo Switch sometime in 2023, macOS and PCPlayStation consoles and Xbox systems.
Kaichu – The Kaiju Dating Sim
So while I was making notes while the Wholesome Direct live stream was playing on my second monitor, Squiddershins’ Kaichu popped up and all I could type was “WHAT?” A Kaiju Dating Simulator, Kaichu – The Kaiju Dating Sim puts you in the role of Gigachu, a great romantic in search of love. You meet up with six other Mega Monsters and do things like destroy buildings while making out between the carnage. It’s cute and funny and I want it now.
Kaichu – The Kaiju Dating Sim is expected to meet PC this summer.
If the name doesn’t convey its premise, the game’s description certainly does. “Grab your ax and save the environment by crushing and recycling everything man-made.” Yeah, that’s pretty much Smokey the Bear: The Game. In the FinalBoss games LumbearJack, you Play as Jack, a bear who acts as the last savior of the environment. Armed with your trusty – and customizable – axe, you go about annihilating human creations by solving puzzles in hopes of ecological preservation for all. Hmm, that sounds like an important topic that we should talk more about.
LumbearJack is now on Nintendo Switch and personal computer.
A rhythm platformer developed by Half Asleep, melatonin is a collection of mini-games about assembling different different dreams. Each chapter offers a different type of challenge that requires you to shoot UFOs to the beat, jump between platforms to the rhythm, and eat donuts on a chair in the sky. yes it is strange But hey, weird is cool. and melatonin is both.
melatonin comes to Nintendo Switch and personal computer on 09/16
Paper Animal RPG
Snuggling Raccoon Studios Paper Animal RPG clearly draws inspiration from Nintendo Paper Mario franchise, but also very independent. In this cute roguelike set in a colorful board game-sized world, you’ll help a little chick named Peep and his friends find the king by strategically outplaying enemies while meeting adorable animals and leveling up around the campfire.
Paper Animal RPG doesn’t have a release date yet, but you can Wishlist on Steam. A The Kickstarter campaign starts this summerand if funded, it will hit Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation consoles, and Xbox systems.
Ollie Frog Toad Skater
No list of mine would be complete without a skateboarding game. Mr. Thee Ollie Frog Toad Skater is a mix of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the game “Skateboating”. wave break in the best possible way. You play as a customizable frog in what they call “a faithful recreation of the feel of late 90’s and early 2000’s skateboarding games”. In other words, gravity-defying Indy 900s. But as an amphibian. Yes, that’s sick!
Ollie Frog Toad Skater coming “hopefully” in late 2023 according to his Steam page. You can Wishlist on PC now and support his Kickstarter campaign. Oh, and there is a demo for Ollie Frog Toad Skater is available now on juck.io.
A relaxing story game about one of the most boring card games imaginable, Beardshaker Games’ soulitarian plays more like a tarot reading than a solitaire game. With Ambiguous Soul Cards, you interpret the meaning of the symbols on the cards to predict the future of your clients and friends. It’s got some nice illustrative art full of rich colors, a cool reverberant guitar soundtrack, and some hidden secrets that seem intriguing. Count me in.
soulitarian doesn’t have a release date, but you can Wishlist on Steam now.
phew That was quite a lot. And again, those were just the eight most compelling games for me. There were so many more featured during the Wholesome Direct live stream, so don’t forget to hit me in the comments with some of the cozy cozy experiences you caught. Oh, and be sure to grab it WholesomeGames.com to learn more about the above tips and much more.