I had the chance to try out the dotAGE demo recently, and I have to say that it was quite fun! In this game you play as the Elder. You had a vision of doom, so took several of your fellow Pips (people) with you in search of safety. You find an empty, but flourishing valley to restart life in, and it’s your job to ensure your Pips survive the events foretold by the Prophecy you saw!
dotAGE blends turn-based village building and rogue-like survival to create an engaging experience. There’s not a moment where I was bored playing the demo. Every moment is full of trying to prepare and survive. You’ll direct your Pips to complete tasks like gathering food, building new homes or other useful buildings, herding animals, growing crops, and much more. The goal is to build a thriving new settlement that can survive the doom foretold by the Prophecy.
Plus, each run of dotAGE will be different. The Elder’s memories are unclear, so what you experience in one run may not be what you experience in another run. This keeps the game fresh and replayable. You can also change the difficulty of your gameplay to further challenge yourself and master the game, or just enjoy a cozy pixel graphics city builder in the easier mode. It’s up to you!
dotAGE is available now on Steam! You can check out the demo before buying, too.
Next up for games to get you into the spirit of Halloween, there’s Farm For your Life! Your village was hit by a heavy storm that damaged a lot. Then, an apocalypse happened, and now there are zombies everywhere. Together with your fellow survivors, rebuild your little community into a sustainable life. Cultivate a flourishing farm and run a successful restaurant while dealing with the undead!
Farm For your Life combines farming, tower defense, and time management elements into an unbloody survival game. It’s a light-hearted mix of casual and horror elements, making it perfect for casual gamers looking for just a little bit of spooky. You’ll set up your farm plot and plant a variety of fruits and vegetables. Care for your crops as you ward off the zombie hoard. Build mazes and towers to thwart those vicious vegetarian undead. You can even engage in a story mode, or a peaceful mode is available for players who just want to farm!
Next up in the Halloween recommendations is Mutazione!
Over 100 years ago, the “Moon Dragon” meteor struck a popular tropical resort town. Those who survived began developing unique mutations. At first, rescue teams tried to help. As they retreated, however, the survivors created a small isolated community called Mutazione. And now you play as Kai, a 15-year-old who’s traveling to the community to take care of her ailing grandfather, Nonno. Except, Nonno has other plans for Kai.
Spend your days helping grandfather Nonno as his health fails him. Make new friends with the other inhabitants of Mutazione. Even plant musical gardens and trade seeds with them. Also attend BBQs, boat trips, and band nights to get to know the town. But most importantly, embark on a journey to save the people from the lurking darkness. Secrets and betrayals simmer under the surface of this friendly community, and it just might tear them apart.
They survived an apocalypse, but they might not survive the small-town drama!
It’s October, which means it’s time to get into the spirit of Halloween! Or at least get into the spirit of fall, if you’re not big on Halloween. Either way, Book of Hours is the perfect place to start. It’s cozy and charming, with a dose of mystery. There’s no combat, and it’s not scary so those of us who are scaredy cats can enjoy it too!
In Book of Hours, you play as a Librarian who has chosen a solitary life full of books and research. Your library, the famous Hush House, was once a bastion of knowledge. For fifteen centuries it stood as a place for patrons to gather and learn. However, a fire wiped out the book collection and the former Librarian simply disappeared. Now, you spend your days peacefully organizing books and helping visitors seeking information.
You’re also on the lookout for answers. Researching the occult stones around you, you’re determined to uncover the mysteries of history and that fire. Book of Hours offers an elegant, but melancholic experience as you spend time crafting inks and other tools to use in your day-to-day. You’ll even get to decorate your new home, study the nine Wisdoms, more!
Equilinox is a relaxing nature simulation where you can build your very own diverse ecosystem. You’ll start by placing a variety of plants. Having more plants will make your land more fertile and will encourage wildlife to flourish. You’ll also place a number of different types of animals to take care of and nurture. Each plant and animal has their own life-cycle, behaviors, and requirements, and you’ll need to make sure each species is satisfied with their environment. Of course, happy and healthy animals will live longer, breed more, and earn you points!
The points you earn from happy animals in Equilinox will be used to genetically modify the different species. This lets you manipulate behaviors and traits that can then be passed onto future generations. And as you advance in the game, you can evolve your animals to unlock more plants, trees, and creatures.
While you can complete tasks and play Equilinox through its natural gameplay progression, there is a sandbox mode. If you prefer a more creative approach, you can also engage the fully sandbox mode is for you. This mode lets you create beautiful landscapes without regard to the needs and requirements of the plants and animals. Even genetically modify animals to your heart’s content! Create hordes of rainbow sheep or brightly colored wolves, or whatever else you can think of!
Tiny Life is an isometric pixelart style simulation game that seeks to capture the essence of The Sims. Like The Sims or the upcoming Little Sim World, you control a group of people and take care of their needs, build their skills, forge new relationships, or whatever you want to do. Have them lead perfectly normal lives, or cause chaos and totally upend their lives. It’s up to you, really!
You get to create your own characters using a number of different options. Tiny Life lets you choose personality traits and skills. Plus, there are over 100 clothing items and thousands of colors for you to pick from. There’s even age groups that you can pick, each with its own unique interactions and gameplay possibilities. Craft each of your Tinies exactly how you want them.
Then, build houses and community spaces like parks and cafes for your Tinies to explore. Tiny Life has hundreds of furniture, wallpaper, tiles, roofs, and more so you can create a beautiful town. You’ll even be able to share all of your creations with the community, as well as use mods to add additional content to the game!
You can find this fun simulation game on Steam now!
Fantastic Haven takes place in a world where magic has been gradually fading while technological advances take over. These advances threaten the balance, and your role as the Elders means it’s up to you to help rebalance the world. You need to save the magical creatures people like to hunt. Use diplomacy and teach people how to live in harmony with these fantastic creatures!
You’ll start by choosing the perfect starting spot. Pick from a number of different areas in Fantastic Haven, each coming with their own challenges, and begin building basic infrastructure. Unlock new research and buildings as you play to be able to welcome the magical creatures to this new haven you’re creating. Even send your mages out into the world to find new creatures, negotiate with hostile populations, and more. Every choice you make can impact how your future turns out, so choose wisely.
As you find the magical creatures of Fantastic Haven and bring them back to your refuge, you’ll place them in the quarantine facility. Then, you can place them in an existing biotope (enclosure) or create a new one. Either way, you’ll need to respect its needs, as well as its compatibility with other creatures to find it the perfect home. Your goal is to take great care of these creatures before returning them to the wilds, so meeting their demands is important for restoring magic into the world!
You’ll find Fantastic Haven on Steam and GOG next year! There are plans for releases on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox sometime after that, too.
Veil of Dust: A Homestead Game is a farming simulator seeking to turn the genre on its head. Inspired by the likes of Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve, this game is a historically-grounded fantasy homesteading and survival game with a more adult-oriented gameplay. You’ll play as the Callahan siblings, Shane and Áine, as they learn to cope with loss and learn how to survive life in the desert of eastern Oregon.
With a more task-centric focus, and less grinding, Veil of Dust sets you on an adventure to explore magic, intrigue, small town politics, and more. You’ll farm, forage, and hunt to scrape together the resources and food necessary to survive. Overcome challenges with tools you craft, and fill bellies with different recipes you’ve scraped together, as well as forge relationships. Survival isn’t just about finding food and shelter, after all. Life needs to be worth living, too! Experience deep characterizations and explore realistic, relatable scenarios that touch on heavier topics.
Veil of Dust isn’t devoid of humor and fun, though! Guide Shane and Áine as they search for answers as to why mysterious monsters attack their town and livelihoods. While defense wasn’t always a priority, you might need to protect your homestead from them. The homestead you’ve carefully made your very own by lovingly choosing the perfect colors, turning your inhospitable dirt patch into a comfortable home.