Thanks to the folks over at Gentle Troll Entertainment for an extended look demo!
If you love visual novels, and also love Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder, then look no further! Tavern Talk is described by the developers as a “Coffee Talk meets D&D” type game, and they’re spot on. You play as the faceless owner of the Wayfarer’s Inn, a cozy tavern and comfortable place to sleep after a long adventure. But you’re not simply an innkeeper, as you’re a master at crafting useful and tasty potions for your patrons. You’re also adept at gathering the rumors you hear and turning them into quests for intrepid adventurers.
The demo only includes some short interactions with a few of Tavern Talk’s characters, but it perfectly captured their personalities and stories. Each character is distinctly their own person with their own quirks and mannerisms. There’s no recycled models or different faces on the same personality type stuff going on here. Some are relatable, some are grumpy, and some are perfect for a good laugh. It’s a lovely variety of different types of characters to encounter.
The Story and the Drinks
Again, it was a demo so I only got a taste of what the story is about, but it feels like how many of my D&D campaigns have gone. There’s a little bit of silliness, and a little bit of seriousness all mixed together. Tavern Talk really nails that mix, I think. Nothing is ever too serious that it bogs you down as levity is thrown into the story well. But, there’s never a time where the levity is over the top and sweeps away any bit of deep story there is. It’s a well-crafted balance necessary for a good experience.
As for the drink making, well that was a lot of fun! Coffee Talk has you making coffees and teas, which is a nice mechanic. However, they don’t really influence the story much. A wrong choice can lead to a different outcome, but in Tavern Talk what potions you serve a patron can change the course of their whole quest! Will they succeed or fail? Will they accomplish their mission through stealth or brute force? That can really depend on which drink you make them! It’s a great way to break up the visual novel bits with some activity, while giving you some freedom of choice to direct your story.
If you like visual novels, if you like Coffee Talk, and if you like D&D, or just fantasy questing, you need to try the Tavern Talk demo! Besides the story, drink making, and characters, the visuals are gorgeous. Everything looks lovingly made and is just beautiful. I can’t recommend it enough! Nor can I wait for the full game to come out. If it’s anything like the demo, it’ll be a fantastic time!
Embark on a heartwarming adventure about a young duck who’s tired of feeling sad. Mirth Island follows the duck as he decides enough is enough and sets out for the odd little island where happiness is said to be abundant.
Set out in a worn-out little boat in search of this island. Face some challenges along the way, but also make friends with Mirth Island’s cast of quirky islanders. Listen to their troubles and lend a helping hand while you’re at it. Engage in some joyful minigames full of dancing, singing, and music, too!
There’s different events, scenarios, and endings for you to discover in this wholesome game!
You can find Mirth Island on Steam, where you can add it to you Wishlist to receive notification of its release!
Solarpunk is a first person game that you can play solo or together with friends. While it is an open-world crafting survival, it’s also a cozy adventure full of resource gathering, building, exploring, crafting, and farming. Harness the power of sunlight, water, and wind to automate your homesteading processes.
Take advantage of the modular building components to build the home of your dreams. Build your floor plan from scratch by placing each floor tile. Set up walls, windows, doors, and roofs to complete the plan. Add stairs for a multi-story set-up! Solarpunk also has a variety of decorations for you to use to create the coziest home possible. Then, you can place farm plots to grow your own fruits and vegetables to consume. Each crop satisfies a different amount of hunger, so growing a variety of them can be useful. You can also trade your bounty to the merchant for other goods.
Don’t forget to build your own airship so you can explore Solarpunk’s numerous sky islands. You’ll find caves, mountains, lakes, and rivers across the world. Different resources can be found on different islands, too. Or if you’re more of the farmer type, raise and breed different animals. Treat them well, and those animals will reward you with resources! There’s no exploitation here, only coexistence. So be sure to provide them with enough food, water, and space.
You can find Solarpunk on Steam where you can add it to your Wishlist. There is no official release date listed yet.
Loftia has some promise for a cozy MMO, also with solarpunk elements like harnessing alternative energy sources!
Smushi Come Home is an adorable little exploration game. You play as Smushi, a tiny mushroom, who’s been taken from their home and dropped in a large forest. You must find your way back to your siblings and home island by adventuring through the forest. Run, jump, climb, and glide your way through different areas. Complete puzzles to progress through your journey. Even befriend some quirky forest-dwellers who need your help!
A Cozy Adventure
Though short, Smushi Come Home was a wonderfully relaxing and chill experience. The game does a great job of showing you how to play, setting up the story, then releasing you into the world to experiment with your skills. It’s low stakes, and takes very little effort or thought to play. This is not some complex strategy game, and it’s perfect that way!
This game is great for unwinding after a long day at work, or curling up on a cold day under warm blankets. Explore the autumn-colored woods, glide through the dark and mysterious caves, and swim underwater in search of items. Smushi Come Home has gorgeous scenery and a cast of quirky characters to keep you entertained. I mean, you get to ride on the back of a capybara! What’s better than that? Plus, a number of puzzles to complete that provide a small challenge, but don’t hinder the chilled out enjoyment just add to its charm. It’s such a cute little game, and great for all ages.
I wish I could gush more about this game, but that’s hard without giving away spoilers! I really recommend it if you’re looking for something short, but fulfilling. It’s scenic, relaxing, and just fun to wander around the woods.
Did you ever watch Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away and think to yourself “I’d love to run a bath house for spirits”? What better way to get to interact with the fantastical and wonderful, after all. Well, now’s your chance! Spirittea offers that opportunity. You drank the Spirittea and now can see all of the different spirits that are causing trouble in town. Humans have stopped worshiping and leaving them offerings, so they’ve become lost and purposeless.
Your job in Spirittea is to find those mayhem-causing spirits and help them solve their problems! They’ll only become paying customers of the bathhouse once you’ve helped them. This might involve getting the spirit a bowl of spicy noodles, digging up their long-lost treasure, or some other task. You’re also in charge of running the bathhouse, so you’ll need to keep it running smoothly. Sweep away cobwebs, provide clean towels to customers, collect used towels, and keep things dry and organized. Provide tasty meals for your customers while ensuring their bath water is heated to their preferred temperature. And make sure you plan carefully. Some spirits dislike each other, so sit them apart from each other, while placing friends together for best results!
When you’re not busy running your mountain-side bathhouse, be sure to talk to the townspeople of Spirittea. They each have their own unique personalities and schedules, as well as hobbies. Plus, many run the local shops which will be helpful in decorating your home. The shops can make a variety of furniture to fit your interior decorating tastes. Make your simple house a cozy home fit for you!
What happens when you take the classic farming sim, throw in some microbe research, and a dash of romance? You get Little-Known Galaxy! This adorable pixel graphics game has you playing the main character, a new captain-in-training. You work with your crew to solve the mysteries of an ancient relic found on the Grey Planet, and live a life full of exploration, crafting, and of course farming!
Your crew initially starts small, with just 20 people, but will slowly grow as you meet new friends. Little-Known Galaxy has all kinds of different NPCs like full families and single people. You get to build relationships with them though chatting, gifting, and more. There are also 10 single people ready for you to woo them! Win their affection and you can eventually marry one, too. Not everyone is human, though. An alien, an android, and a genetic clone are all possible romance characters!
When not romancing and befriending your crew, Little-Known Galaxy lets you engage in quite a few different activities. Take off to new worlds to explore to gather resources for crafting. Collect alien artifacts and gems while out exploring to fill in your museum. Raise cute little pet creatures called Xeno. You’ll need to give them love, attention, and plenty of food to see them thrive. Complete microbe research, or use the microbes you find for crafting or selling. Even rise through the ranks to become a full-fledged captain by completing missions and keeping crew morale up. And when you want to kick back and relax, spend time decorating your living space!
Little-Known Galaxy is coming soon to Steam. There is currently no release date listed.
Smushi Come Home is a cozy adventure with chill vibes. You play as a tiny little mushroom who’s trying to find their way home. A large bird takes the adorable little Smushi from their comfortable home with their siblings by . Dropped in the middle of the forest, you’re lost and confused, but determined to make it back to your cozy little island.
Journey through different areas of the big forest as you meet new friends, solve puzzles, and find your way home. Run, glide, and climb through Smushi Come Home to overcome obstacles and discover secrets. Speak to other forest creatures along the way, too. Some will be able to help you on your adventure, while others require your help. You can even fill in a mycology journal by coming across different kinds of mushrooms, and collect cute skins to change the color of your cap!
Re:Fresh is a short 3D platformer with a focus on exploration. Your town has been wiped out by a torrential rain storm. Things are in need of repair, and it’s up to you to collect the materials for those repairs. Run, jump, and dash your way across a beautiful landscape at your own pace. Explore an open-ended environment where you’ll collect solar cells to upgrade your movement options. Those energy cells are your main source of energy that allow you to jump and dash, so be sure to pick them up! You also get to interact with all of the lovable townspeople, too. Get to know the cast of goofy villagers, each with their own unique lines of dialogue. They’ll give you tidbits of information that will help you in your adventure!