I got to experience the closed beta version of this game thanks to the developer and publisher!
If you missed the last time I talked about Time & Galaxy, then let me get you up to speed! This game is a vibrant, quirky visual novel where you play as the galaxy’s first robot reporter. You’ve just begun your internship at the renowned holopaper, Times & Galaxy, and you need to prove your worth. Take on different assignments and brush up on your journalism skills as you investigate the scene of a crash, interview contestants in a contest, or gather quotes from onlookers. Then, use the Build-a-Story tool to create your piece!
Times & Galaxy is a visual novel, so you just need WASD keys to move, and your mouse to click. Interact with your crewmates, as well as the people you want to interview using the mouse, and that’s it! It’s simple and easy to play, which is perfect for focusing on the engaging dialogue you’ll come across.
I was immediately captivated by this game. Every single character design is unique. Personalities are different from each other. Plus, you interact with over 100 different characters across the whole game. I experienced a limited closed beta version, so did not encounter all 100+ characters, but if you like visual novels, you need to! The characters I did get to interact with were fun to get to know. Some were grumpy, some upbeat, and every other flavor of personality you can think of. And all of the dialogue was interesting. Not a single conversation made me bored, so there’s clearly been a lot of thought and care put into this game. You can even flirt with people, or robots, or aliens! You, a robot, exhibiting flirting skills was possibly the highlight of interacting with folks, too.
I really enjoyed traveling to the different locations in Times & Galaxy, too. Each assignment let me see a small peak at the different planets in the galaxy. Not to mention, each assignment was super unique. One was a shuttle crash site where I examined the shuttle and interviewed people. Another was a cat show fluff piece where I got to visit with the cats and talk to their owners. I don’t think there’s a single thing in this game that I can call boring. It’s quirky, fun, humorous, and overall just great.
Visuals and Soundtrack
If you aren’t as charmed by the beautiful visuals as I am, then we need to talk. They are vibrant without being overwhelming and just fit the story and setting so perfectly. I couldn’t imagine playing this game without these lovely graphics. They’re clever and add so much life to what is ultimately a limited view of the galaxy. You spend most of your time on the ship or at specific places for your stories, often a single room or area. So, it’s important that the visuals (and dialogue) make an impact. And they do!
Pair everything with the great soundtrack and Times & Galaxy has really nailed what it was aiming for. The music fits each scene and situation perfectly. It doesn’t overwhelm, either. You’re not listening to the same track over and over again. Nor is anything obnoxious. Each track fits well where it is and sits perfectly in the background like it should.
If you don’t have Times & Galaxy on your Wishlist already, what are you waiting for? It’s so charming and funny. The characters and situations are fun. The visuals are gorgeous. The soundtrack is great. What more could you ask for from a game?
The Gardener Simulation places you in a vibrant world full of nature. You are a gardener in charge of your very own plot of land. Manage your garden plot by designing and customizing the space. Arrange pathways and plant beds to fit your vision. Then, plant a variety of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and other plants. Each one has their own growth requirements, so be sure to plan accordingly!
You’ll experience realistic growth cycles as you tend your garden in The Gardener Simulation. Watch as each plant grows from a seed into a flourishing adult. Identify and address pests who threaten your garden, too. Your plants need to thrive so you can sell them. Earn money through sales, then use that money to buy more seeds and tools to continue cultivating your garden!
Your farm in Peppermint Falls by JellyFrog Games is like no other farm you’ve encountered. You’ll grow blueberry muffins, harvest gummy bears from bushes, and nurture ice cream in the winter seasons. Raise farm animals like cows that produce strawberry milk and collect chocolate eggs from your chickens. The town is small, but cozy, and offers much more to do than just farming, too. Cook delicious meals, experiment with alchemy, go mining for resources, or even fish for some fun aquatic creatures. You can even battle monsters or work in the town’s cafe! Don’t forget to forge relationships with the townspeople, too. Learn their backgrounds and earn some great friendships, or even start a family with someone.
When you tire of the small town, set out on an adventure to explore the wide world of Peppermint Falls. Your house, which is made of pancakes, can walk, and will ferry you around the different biomes of the world! It’ll accompany you to the furthest corners of the world and patiently wait for you to complete your adventures. It’ll even sprout new rooms from time to time. While exploring, perhaps you can uncover what happened to the original inhabitants. The world used to be ordinary and not covered in confectionary creatures, after all.
Peppermint Falls is coming to Steam sometime soon. Add it to your Wishlist now!
I previously mentioned the adorable upcoming farm sim with a dark and gloomy twist called Grimshire. That’s actually the second game for indie developers Acute Owl Studio. Their first was a lovely little cafe management game called Bone’s Cafe! In this game, you play as Bones, a necromancer who runs their very own cafe. You’ll learn a variety of recipes, decorate and upgrade the cafe, and engage in some unsavory activities all in the name of success!
Bone’s Cafe appears to be an average cafe management game on the surface. There are 97 different recipes for you to learn. Design your menu each day to satisfy the different types of customers that come in. Arrange the seating area and kitchen to suit your needs, as well as decorate with different themes. However, this game has a grim twist to it. Some of your recipes need meat, and the only way to get that is to lure a customer to the corner and harvest them! Do it stealthily so you don’t scare off the rest of your customers or you’ll lose money. And if you need help cooking and serving food, use your necromantic powers to summon minions. They can be assigned to different cooking stations, as well as set to serve customers their orders.
Play this slightly bloody, yet charming cafe game solo or with up to 4 players!
Lightyear Frontier by developers FRAME BREAK and Amplifier Studios is a peaceful open-world farming sim set on a planet at the edge of the galaxy. Live a quiet life on this breathtaking planet as you settle into farming and exploring. So, hop into your customizable mech and see what this alien planet has to offer.
Lightyear Frontier combines modern technology with classic farming. Customize your mech with fun paint choices and use a variety of tools to accomplish tasks. Need to plow some land and water seeds? There’s tools for that! You can also unlock new things through upgrades, making your mech more powerful. Raise a variety of fun crops and trade them for credits or materials to be used on building up your homestead. Explore the gorgeous planet to discover the planet’s past and gain lost knowledge. While out exploring, take time to nurture your relationship with nature by cleaning up the environment, removing invasive weeds, and replanting trees you harvested.
Play this lovely farming sim solo, or with up to three of your friends. Create your perfect homestead, and uncover everything your new home has to offer!
Lightyear Frontier is coming to Steam and Xbox March 19th!
Micro Macro Farm by developer Diego Schram is a small farming game and idler wrapped up into one. Kick back and relax with this low-stakes game. Plow the land by hand. Then, plant seeds from over 25 different varieties of crops. Water each plant, and go about your other daily tasks. The plants will grow while you’re busy with work, homework, or even playing other games!
Use the produce and crops you grow in Micro Macro Farm to cook some tasty meals, too. Cook up over 30 different recipes using several different machines like a stove. Take your leftover crops and delectable delights and sell them to earn some money. You’ll even earn experience and gain levels as you progress through this fun little idler.
Garage Sale by developer Bug Burrow welcomes you to the curious little hamlet of Lettuce Village! You play as Juniper, a young girl who’s shy but eager to make friends. You’ll do that by exploring the town during the town’s communal garage sale, picking up some fun trinkets along the way.
This peaceful town is in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by beautiful forest lands. Therefore, the townspeople of Garage Sale are a bit… weird. Get to know your neighbors by completing quests for them, and they will reward you with bits of history about the town. Lettuce Village might be tiny, but it harbors a very interesting past. If you play your cards right, you might just uncover its secrets. While you’re hunting down town secrets, search every nook and cranny for treasures and coins. Then, use that money to purchase fun knick knacks from the different garage sale tables you come across!
What can you discover from your neighbor’s old trinkets?
Garage Sale is coming to Steam in Q1 of this year, so hopefully very soon!
Bug & Seek has you catching bugs for the museum like in ACNH, but has the same toned-down visual style this game has!
Set out on a vibrant interplanetary adventure as the very first robot reporter for the Times & Galaxy. You’re just a simple intern for the solar system’s most trusted holopaper. You might be able to keep your job if you do it well, though! Take this unpaid opportunity to get the scoop on exciting situations like shuttle crashes, intersolar cat shows, even space ghost funerals. Write great stories and impress your coworkers, and you just prove you’re worthy of the newsroom.
Your job in Times & Galaxy is to get the necessary interviews (there’s over 100 characters!), find clues, and investigate the scene. There’s always more to a story than what appears on the surface, too. So whip your conversational and investigative skills into shape to get all the answers. Then, piece together your story with the Build-a-Story tool. Your choices impact the quality and tone of your story, plus how your editor and readers interpret the article. The reputation of the paper is at stake, too. When you’re not busy with assignments, get to know a unique cast of humans and aliens that serve as your crewmates and coworkers. Or spend some time in the Garden where you can plant seeds to restore its beauty and take a relaxing break.
Do you have what it takes to become more than just an intern?
Times & Galaxy is listed on Steam and set to release some time this year! There is currently a demo available.