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  • svgDec 21, 2023Feature

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    Ready for another list? This time it’s a list of games released this year that are perfect for console users. Whether they’re receiving a new one for Christmas or you’re just searching for some cozy games to get your console owner, this list is a good place to turn! Many of these games are on more than just Xbox and PlayStation, but sometimes it’s hard to weed out what is or isn’t. At any rate, these are all cozy games that should meet some needs. Relaxing farming sim, cute survival craft, cozy exploration, spell-slinging dungeon exploration, intriguing conversations, and potion making are all here.

    So here are 6 cozy games for the console!

    Lego Fortnite – Xbox and PlayStation  

    Lego Fortnite is a brand new mode in the popular game where you play as a Lego figure. Play solo, or with up to seven other people and explore a fun new world. It’s a survival crafting game, so you’ll need to collect resources for crafting. Build weapons, homes, and many more useful items. Recruit villager NPCs as you expand your base of operations. They’ll be able to collect resources and battle enemies with you! 

    Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos – Xbox and PlayStation

    Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos is the most recent entry in the franchise.  Ten years ago, a great calamity. A volcano erupted and the Harvest Goddess and Harvest Sprites used the last of their power to keep the inhabitants safe, but it isolated the villages from each other. Some people were even trapped outside their villages. Ten years after the eruption, you find a message in a bottle containing an SOS message, and with the help of your inventor friend and others, you’re on a mission to revive the Harvest Goddess and Harvest Sprites and a mission to reconnect the villages. Farm in different biomes, raise a variety of animals, take part in different festivals and contests, so much more!

    Coffee Talk Episode 2 – Xbox and PlayStation

    Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is the second episode in the Coffee Talk series. In it, you play as the proprietor of a cozy little coffee shop that’s only open at night. Set in an alternate present-day Seattle, join a cast of fantasy characters and serve up some delicious hot drinks as you explore the world by listening to their stories. Even use your phone to follow their lives outside of the coffee shop via social media, and return lost items to further influence the story.

    Mail Time – PlayStation

    In Mail Time, you’re a newly minted Mail Scout in the cozy forest of Grumblewood Grove. It’s your first day on the job, and you’re full of unbridled enthusiasm for your new adventure. With your cute little mushroom hat, over 46,000 character design combinations, and a bag full of mail, it’s up to you to deliver all of the letters to the inhabitants of Grumblewood Grove. You shouldn’t dally, but Mail Time is a relaxing adventure. Run through the forest, jump over obstacles, and even use letters to glide your way around the forest to reach your destinations. Explore 8 different colorful areas and meet 15 unique characters with their own stories and charms.

    Spells & Secrets – PlayStation

    Spells & Secrets is a captivating rogue-lite adventure where you use different spells to fight your way through dungeon levels. You’re a first-year student at the esteemed wizard Academy of Greifenstein, eager to learn together with your fellow magic users. However, something odd has happened to the school on your very first day there. It’s now over-run by magical creatures, and of course it’s up to you to defeat those creatures, save your classmates, and save the school.

    Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator – Xbox and PlayStation

    Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator takes inspiration from medieval manuscripts and medical books. Play as an alchemist who runs their own shop. Grow your own ingredients or haggle with traveling merchants to buy them. Use your various tools to brew potions using those ingredients. Even experiment to concoct new types of potions, then sell your wares in your shop!

    Looking for more ideas? Check out this list of the 15 Best 3DS Games of All Time. You can also find a list 5 Games Perfect for Your New Steam Deck, and 5 Farming Games for Your New Switch.

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  • svgDec 20, 2023Feature

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    We’re another week closer to Christmas and I can’t wait! I love going around the neighborhood looking at people’s decorations. I think that’s part of why ACNH having lights in trees feels so satisfying to me. What else is super exciting about the Christmas season, is the new gaming systems and games you get! And with Steam Decks being fairly popular, what better way to celebrate the approach of the holiday with some gift ideas for that system? 

    The following list only features games that have been Steam Deck verified, to save the gamer in your life some troubles and heartache!

    My Time at Sandrock

    My Time at Sandrock is the long awaited sequel to My Time at Portia. And just like the prequel, this one takes place in a post-apocalyptic world 330 years after the Day of Calamity destroyed a lot of modern technology. You accept the role as a builder of Sandrock, a desert community. Gather resources to build machines, befriend locals, fight enemies, and lead the town to economic prosperity! Uncover the backstories for over 30 NPCs while you forge friendships with them. Complete side quests, play fun minigames, and even team up with a friend to play the game together! 

    APICO

    APICO is a lovely game where you leave your boring city job and return to Port APICO, where you grew up, and return to your beekeeping roots. The APICO islands feature a set of lush, beautiful environments for you to explore. Each biome has its own breed of bees for you to discover. Gather resources to use in your studies or crafting. Make and sell Apicola (honey) and other beekeeping items you will discover. Play fun beekeeping minigames, without the stings! More importantly, breed different cross breeds of bees and discover 30 new species to help repopulate the APICO islands with. Plus, uncover the secrets of the islands while you explore. 

    I even have a review of APICO here, if you want more information!

    Cornucopia

    Cornucopia offers the same comfortable features players have grown to love from the farming game genre, but in a lovely 2.5D pixel art style. You plant 52 types of fruit trees, 15 types of berry bushes, and grow 52 different crops, including their different artisan varieties. Sell crops or cook them up in one of 200 different recipes! There’s also logging, fishing, mining, and pet breeding to occupy your days. Also enter the pets into competitive races or use them to help you fight monsters. Then, kick back and relax with some crafting and decorating.  Unlock furniture and decorations to turn your farm into your favorite getaway. Make friends with Cornucopia’s NPCs, too. Who knows, maybe one of the over 47 NPCs will catch your fancy! Romance them, go on dates, and unlock their romantic cut scenes. Even marry one, start a family, and decorate their room in your house. 

    While the Iron’s Hot

    Play as a simple journeyman blacksmith in While the Iron’s Hot. You’re looking to become a master blacksmith. This game features an exciting combat-free experience. Journey to the mystical lands of Ellian where you’ll meet a cast of quirky characters. Explore tunnels full of puzzles and resources. Master every step of the blacksmithing process. Smelt ore, turn metal into ingots, and shape them into useful items. Use your skills to repair machinery to open up new areas to explore. Craft equipment that helps you explore new regions. Even work hard to restore the defunct blacksmithing town of Stal. Revitalizing the village just might prove to Eillian’s artisans that you’re worthy of being a master blacksmith!

    Loddlenaut

    In Loddlenaut, you play as an interstellar custodian who has been hired by the spacefaring mega corporation GUPPI to clean up their mess. They’ve inundated GUP-14 with pollution, and want you to restore the planet. This is an open-world ocean adventure where you’ll get to explore this beautiful alien planet, along with the corporate ruins of GUPPI. You’ll find remnants of their buildings, ships, and machinery that have all sunken to the bottom of the game’s ocean. Use your bubble gun, clean up the trash, remove oil spills, and uncover clues about the past inhabitants. Unlock better gadgets to help you clean up different types of ocean pollution. Recycle the trash you collect and use it to craft items. Even befriend cute little axolotl-looking creatures called loddles!

    Did you get a new Switch instead? Or perhaps you got one for someone and want some games to go with it. Either way, check out my list of 5 Farming Games for Your New Switch!

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  • svgDec 13, 2023Reviews

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    Step into Percy’s shoes as he embarks on an adventure to find his missing relatives in Bilkins’ Folly. With your beloved dog Drayton by your side, explore a series of odd islands while digging up buried treasures and solving puzzles. There’s something weird and foreboding going on with the disappearance of your grandfather and mother, and you’ll need to discover what it is!

    The Visuals

    Bilkins’ Folly awed me with its beauty and witty charm. The character designs and scenery are absolutely delightful. Colors pop without being overwhelming. Animations are done well, and move smoothly. The dog moves and feels like a real dog, and the setting transitions beautifully from one area to the next. The whole thing is visually just charming and gorgeous. 

    Drayton and Other Characters

    Bilkins’ Folly almost immediately equips you with a trusty companion named Drayton. What I really love is that the Drayton is useful and not just an annoyance. He doesn’t simply follow you.  He’s a lovely dog that will sniff out buried treasure as you walk by it. Plus, as you level up his skills, he can help out in more ways. IWhat really endears me to Drayton is that he never got in my way. Being able to walk through him helped with that, but it was refreshing to have a useful companion that wasn’t a hindrance. 

    And yes, you CAN pet the dog!

    Characters look, and act, different from each other, too. There’s no mixing up someone with another character. Each one has their own engaging backstory. They also speak their own version of “Simlish” speech and I love it. It sounds like utter nonsense, but lends a bit of levity to the whole thing. 

    Puzzles

    You know what else awed me? My apparent lack of puzzle solving skills. I thought I was a great puzzle solver, but Bilkins’ Folly proved me to be otherwise! There are so many different types of puzzles and riddles, though, you’re bound to have a great time. From seek and find items, riddles, maps showing where to dig, cryptograms, and so much more are in this game. 

    There’s not really a way to be permanently stuck, either. The game is set up so that even if you come across a puzzle now, it may just need to be solved later. Your tools or hints may not be complete until later. That leads to a lot of running around, but it’s great for sight-seeing! The running around does get exhausting, though. 

    Final Thoughts

    If you love vast amounts of puzzles, Bilkins’ Folly is for you. The delightful visual and fun characters make for an engaging game, too. Plus, the overarching story is interesting and gives the whole thing an ultimate goal. It’s a great combination of elements! 

    I give this: 

    You can find Bilkins’ Folly on Steam, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation now!

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  • svgDec 13, 2023Snack Size News

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    Are you looking for a simple, but gorgeous exploration game with no combat? Then Submerged: Hidden Depths is perfect for you! This game is a self-described third-person “relaxploration” adventure where you simply explore a the ruins of a world. You take on the roles of Miku and Taku. Miku is cursed with a mysterious power that she’s determined to use for good, and Taku simply doesn’t want it to tear them apart. 

    Submerged: Hidden Depths will take you on a relaxing, low-stakes journey through the submerged ruins of a drowned city. There, you’ll discover the crumbling remnants of skyscrapers and streets as you search for the secrets of what happened. You’ll encounter obstacles along the way, and will need to solve puzzles to overcome them. You’ll simultaneously learn the story of the brother and sister pair as you explore the ruined city, too. Plus, you can collect items and upgrade your trusty boat! 

    Ready for your laid-back adventure?

    Release Date

    You can find the game on Steam, Epic Games, PlayStation, and Xbox now. And while Submerged: Hidden Depths is a sequel, it’s not necessary to have played the first game. However, you can find the first game, Submerged, on Steam, too!

    Eastshade is another beautiful walking simulator.

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  • svgNov 30, 2023Indie Highlight

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    Have you ever wanted to be a wand maker? Have you wanted to open your own shop, collect necessary materials and sell the wands you craft by hand? Wonder Wandelier might be perfect for you, then! In this adorable game, you do exactly that. Of course, you’re trying to work off a massive debt within 30 days, but that’ll be easy, right? 

    Play as Wonder Wandelier’s leading lady, Pucelle, who’s destroyed her apprenticeship. A clumsy 16-year-old wand-making student at Grimora Magic School, Pucelle now finds herself running the old wand shop called Wonder Wandelier. Her clumsiness has not only damaged the shop owner, but the tools needed to make wands. Now, it’s up to her to fix her mistake, restore the business, pay off the debt, and prove she’s ready to graduate! 

    You’ll need to venture out into the wilds of Wonder Wandelier in to gather necessary materials for the shop. Take a partner with you and forage for materials, discover treasures, and even unravel mysteries! Just be careful as the world beyond The Portal slowly drains your energy. If you pass out while foraging, your partner will have to carry you home, but they can only carry so much! You may lose precious materials so your partner can bring you safely home. You may also encounter aggressive wildlife you’ll have to dispatch. 

    When in the shop, Pucelle will work on her wand-making skills. Some wands require rare materials and higher craftsmanship, but they sell for more money. She’ll also need to haggle with the patrons of Wonder Wandelier in order to fetch the best prices for her goods. Haggling won’t come easy, though. You’ll need to build a relationship with them, study their mood, and set the right atmosphere to achieve the right price! 

    Will Pucelle succeed at paying off her debt and graduate? 

    Release Date

    You can find this adorable game on Steam! There is currently no release date listed, but you can add it to your Wishlist. There’s also a demo for you to try out. 

    Want to run a different magical shop? Check out Potionomics!

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  • svgNov 15, 2023Reviews

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    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. 

    Final Thoughts

    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. 

    I give it: 

    You can find Smushi Come Home on Steam and Switch!

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  • svgNov 8, 2023Indie Highlight

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    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!

    Available Now!

    You can find Smushi Come Home on Steam and Nintendo Switch now!

    A Tiny Sticker Tale is another cozy adventure game you should take a look at!

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  • svgNov 8, 2023Indie Highlight

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    Have you ever dreamed about running your own restaurant while still seeing the world? In Catch and Cook, you can do both! You’re a skilled fisherman who gets to explore a beautiful world full of exciting locales. Explore a variety of gorgeous areas like icy landscapes and whimsical islands. Even take a moment to watch the world under the waves teeming with life. Schools of fish swim around, sunken ships lay in the sands, and even discover treasure chests! 

    Catch a variety of fish through four different methods. Fish with a fishing rod, put out crab pots, throw a net, or even use a harpoon to catch different kinds of fish. In Catch and Cook, you’ll discover the different fishing methods as you explore, and overcome each area’s set of challenges. Once you’ve gathered your haul, combine them with ingredients you’ve purchased from the villages to create tasty recipes. Experiment with different ingredients to discover incredible new dishes. 

    Available Now

    You can find Catch and Cook, the cute fishing adventure, now on Steam!

    For another fishing-focused game, I can’t recommend DREDGE enough. It’s spooky, but not too spooky and has chill vibes all around.

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