108: Cool Upcoming Games
Updated: Aug 3
Howdy! I was going to title this post, "Cozy Games I'm Looking Forward To," but some of these games have violence. My favorite video game brands are Animal Crossing and Pokémon. It's debatable as to whether Pokémon counts as a cozy game seeing as the Pokémon are made to battle each other. While they enjoy the experience, in-game, there is something very house-elfy about that whole concept. Ooblets is a newish game, in that it doesn't have sequels and isn't on Steam yet (though it is on Nintendo and the Epic Game store) which basically takes the cute aspects of Pokemon, and merges those with Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley. Ooblets is probably the first farming sim I've played that I enjoyed. And discovering Ooblets, before they were out in Beta, is how I stumbled upon the idea of "cozy games." Since then, I've kept watch for games that allow character customization, customization of the character's home, and ideally some form of collecting pets/monsters or adventuring. That last is an espeically rare find! Which leaves a narrow window of games that interest me, but I keep filling it!
Anywho, here are some games I'm really looking forward to!
1) Witchbrook: This is a cute pixel-art role play game game about a witch who goes to a witch school. It's being made by Chucklefish, the same folks who made Stardew Valley. When I first heard of the game, it was before I caught wind of all the Rowling controversies, and I was on the hunt for a game that scratched the Harry Potter itch. I'd always wanted a witch school game to give the Hogwarts experience. Now there actually is one, but I'd rather wait for Witchbrook. Rowling nonsense aside, Witchbrook will have home customization whereas Hogwarts Legacy does not. I also really like that the story will progress past graduation, which Hogwarts Legacy does not do. I am unclear on if the player can have a familiar, but I hope so. It suits the vibe. There will be multiplayer aspect but I'm unclear on what that will be. I believe there is avatar customization. There isn't a firm release date yet, unfortunately. It will be on Steam.
2) Palia: This is a multiplayer open-world life sim adventure game. There's avatar customization, home customization, and a whole world to explore. Honestly, from the previews, I'm reminded of World of Warcraft. I never got addicted to WOW, mostly because I didn't have access to it until after it was no longer popular, but I also found the game to be a grind from level 25 onwards. I really enjoyed the exploring aspects and being able to customize my character, but didn't like that I didn't have a homebase I could decorate. I'm also am both not competitive at all and I don't like playing on a team, so the dungeons weren't for me. Unlike WOW, as far as I can tell, Palia does not include violence! Which I hope means leveling up (if that's even a feature) won't be so dragged out. At a glance Palia appears to have lot of potential. It's going to be on the Switch during this upcoming holiday season (2023) so I'll buy it then! That said, Beta opens up August 2, 2023 if you're interested!
3) Nightingale: This is an open-world adventure & crafting game where the player is a Realmwalker who uses portals to travel to the fae realms. Over time, the player designs and builds their own estate. There is absolutely violence, but it looks to be against monsters. This is both a solo and multiplayer game. It's giving off Victorian-Steampunk vibes which is cool too. There appears to be avatar customization. Nightingale will be on Steam and they estimate a Fall 2023 release date!
4) Nivalis: This is a cyber-punk game wherein the player works their way up the food-service/nightclub industry ladders. Plotwise, I'm reminded of The Urbz: Sims In The City, where the player starts off as a window washer but ends up wealthy with a nice home to show for all their hard work. In Nivalis, the character is able to customize not just their home, but also their businesses, all while being able to explore a vast, stylized city. I'm seeing no indication that the player can customize their avatar, and worse, I suspect players can't even choose their gender. Everything I'm reading says the player is a man working his way up in a dangerous city, so that limitation is not my favorite thing. However, this is a first-person experience, so the player won't see their appearance in-game. Pronouns still might get annoying though, if it's important for you to play as a woman. It's kind of important to me? So I'll wait and read more reviews as opposed to buying the second it drops. The graphics are beautiful enough where I might make an exception. Nivalis will be released on Steam in 2024, and the Epic Game Store (though I'm not sure if on the same date)!
5) Hello Kitty Island Adventure: I don't even have any nostalgic ties to Hello Kitty, but this game sounds like Animal Crossing but with a plot, in that there is community building, customization, plus adventuring. From what I've watched and read, the player's job is to restore an island to its old glory, customizing cabins for the Hello Kitty characters. While the player can customize their avatar, I don't see anything about the player being able to customize their own home, nor any mention that they have one, which is a drawback. Hello Kitty Island Adventure will be exclusively available on the Apple Store on July 28, 2023!
6) Loftia: In this game, the player is able to build and customize an eco-friendly community. There is character customization and thus far, while the game is solar-punk, the furniture aesthetic is cottage-core. They're on Kickstarter and there is no release date yet. Right now, they haven't listed what game stores they'll be in but the game should work on PCs and Macs.
Alternatively, there is also Solarpunk which appears very similar, but has more of a first person viewpoint and appears to have a larger map and more realistic graphics. I doubt there is character customization, only because the character is barely visible in-game. It's a survival-crafting game so there appears to be more of an emphasis on building than decorating. There will be options for multiplayer. It will be released on Steam in June 2024.
7) Garden Witch Life: In this cute game, the player is a witch who ends up responsible for maintaining a garden and cottage after losing her job. I don't see any indication of avatar customization, but I don't personally mind that much because the character happens to look like me when with my natural hair color. There is customization within the cottage and the player gets to explore a magical world while they get to know their community and help their garden flourish. This is a Kickstarter game with no release date so maybe they'll add character customization? Hope so anyway! Garden Witch Life will be released on Steam.
Alternatively there is also The Witch Of Fern Island which appears very similar, but with slightly less slylized, more realistic graphics, if that's your jam. It's more farming, as opposed to gardening, and includes fishing in the preview. The home can be decorated but the character doesn't appear customizable. The player is a witch on Fern Island. This is an open-world game and the player is able to explore. The release date is listed as May 1, 2023, but that's for early access as far as I can tell. The Witch Of Fern Island is available on Steam and the Epic Game Store. I can't see when the game will be complete.
8) 30 Birds: Okay, this game checks none of my boxes. But it's so pretty! I'm a sucker for cool illustrations. 30 Birds is inspired by a Persian myth and the artwork shares that style. Basically, Zig, the player, traverses a city made of floating lanterns, while on the hunt for 30 birds, in order to rescue a missing goddess. Zig is a girl, which again, I tend to care about though I would've made an exception here. This game will be released on Steam in 2024.
9) Moonlight Peaks: This is another life/farming sim, but the player is a customizable vampire! Aside from farming, the player can decorate their haven and befriend (or date) supernatural beings in a magical town. The graphics are a little simplified compared to the majority of these but the concept is fun and spooky. Dracula is a main character! There is no release date yet but it will be released on Steam.
10) Fable 4: Everything is rumored at this point, but it sounds like this is will be an open world role playing game set in the world of the previous Fable games. Now, I've never played those, but this one is said to offer character customization and the ability to build towns which implies interior/exterior design customization, which may be true! I'm cautiously optimistic. There is violence in this fantasy adventure. There is no release date yet but it will be available on X-Box and the PC.
11) Sally: In Sally, the player is a child on a large sailboat in the sky, who traverses floating islands. The avatar is customizable as are other areas of the game. Wholesome and cute, Sally is a game with an emphasis on growing connections with others on the ship. The player is not the main character of some exhausting adventure, but rather part of a community on their ship. There is no listed release date yet but Sally will be on Steam on the PC and on the Nintendo Switch.
Anywho, these are the games I'm excited about right now. If you're aware of a game I didn't list that should be on my radar, please let me know! I literally bought an entire Nintendo Switch just to play Animal Crossing so I will be financially irresponsible if the game is cool enough. ;)
I used to find these games on Twitter by following @_WholesomeGames, but recently, I've been finding games much more frequently and easily on TikTok. If you have a TikTok and enjoy gaming, search games in the genres you enjoy and like or comment on a few videos. The algorithm will adjust to include this interest and you'll start seeing more new games.
Also, as sort of a word of caution, I don't pay too much attention to where video game producers claim their game will be released until very close to the actual release date. The reason is that Ooblets was originally going to be released on Steam, but after signing a contract with Epic Game Store, that changed. Also, If the release date isn't an actual date but a year or a season, I don't accept it at face value. I can't even count how many times vague release dates were pushed back. I don't mind! I want these games to be the best they can be, but it is something to consider.
Thank you for stopping by! I drop a blog post every Monday! Toodles!
(P.S. Please forgive the formatting! I wanted a numbered list but adding pictures starts the number-sequence all over again! Meh.)