Mix and Match Seeds, Pots and Environments to Fully Grow Your Plants
This just in! Newly-founded small indie game studio based in Italy, Dramatic Iceberg, is currently working on two adorable games; Racoonie: Legend of the Spirits (more on this later) and Garden In! To start with, Garden In is a relaxing and peaceful game about planting seedlings in pots and watching them grow. Perfect for casual gamers.
Much like Unpacking, you focus on small rooms within a house that you get to decorate to your liking. In this case, you can also change the background design and colour outside of the room to set the mood you want.
Each plant is unique and has different needs. Some will need certain soil to grow its roots, others get their nutrients through their leaves and only need objects like rocks in the pot, and there are others that only need water as they can float. Furthermore, you can discover different combinations to complete your herbarium by combining seedlings. Two compatible seedlings can be placed in a bigger and larger hybridization vase to create a new seed.
Coming Soon to PC (Steam)
For now, you can Wishlist Garden In on Steam here. There isn’t a release date yet, however more information and another trailer will be announced during The Summer Game Fest this weekend. Furthermore, on June 13th, 2022, you can find a demo for Steam Next Fest. *Updated: trailer below*
Relax, Garden, and Help Villagers, Ghosts and Wild Animals
Aside from the alluring fact that you get to play this open-world adventure game as a red panda, Aka also has a giant capybara you can sleep on and baby dragons you can feed. Now that I have your attention, I’d like to point out that this story starts very much like Littlewood. War is over and as a retired soldier, it’s time for you to settle down on an island paradise.
The different environments you’ll get to explore range from maple tree forests inspired by Canadian landscapes, to tropical beaches inspired by South Asia and South America. The characters you meet can be villagers, monsters, animals, and even ghosts! Of course, due to the ravages of war, everyone will need your help to restore the local fauna and flora to its original glory.
The gardening in Aka puts an emphasis in permaculture whenever designing, cultivating, or crafting. When taking a break from your farmland, you can relax in the hot springs with monkeys, or play mini-games like sledding and trekking through mazes.
Coming Soon to PC and Switch
Aka is developed by Cosmo Gatto and published by NEOWIZ. It’s slated to release sometime in Q4 2022 on Steam here, and for the Nintendo Switch via the eShop.
Spirit of the North is a 3D adventure game about discovery and companionship. The developers, Infuse Studio, mention how they were inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, and Nordic folklore. Solve various puzzles and examine the ruins of an ancient civilization. You can buy it here on PSN for $24.99 and enjoy running freely on snow-covered mountaintops this holiday season!
About Spirit of the North
Play as an ordinary red fox whose story becomes entwined with the guardian of the Northern Lights, a female spirit fox. As you journey over the mountains and under red-stained skies you’ll discover more about your companion and a land left in ruin.
Toripon, created by Victoria Smith, is a low-poly and pixel bird photography game releasing on itch.io here in only 2 days! On December 5th, 2019 you’ll be able to discover several types of birds around your fancy apartment and capture adorable moments of birds just being silly birds. Catch some birds partying to some tunes, playing around with household items, or getting into trouble, and share it with the world.
Take photos of cute birds doing cute things, and make people happy on the internet! Explore a surprisingly spacious inner-city apartment filled with far too many pet birds doing their own silly things. Take photos and share them with your internet friends to spread the love around. The more bird pictures you post, the more your follower count will go up! Just like real life! Unlock new birds by taking the right pictures and try to find them all…
Over 40 types of birds to discover
Relaxing, no-pressure gameplay
A colourful, delightful apartment to explore
Learn some mildly interesting bird facts
Cutting edge pixel graphics for maximum cuteness
Share all your photos on a completely unrealistic social media simulation
Share your best photos on Twitter directly from the game
Optional pixellation toggle for easier viewing
Once you’ve taken millions of photographs of the cutest birbs, may I suggest looking forward to also taking pictures of doggos and puppers in Pupperazzi? There could never be enough games where you take pictures of little precious sweet baby animals.
Lost Ember is an adventure game where you play as a wolf that has the power to inhabit other animals. Travel across beautiful landscapes and discover what happened, through memories, to the ancient civilizations now in ruins. Lost Ember is available now on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Steam (current 10% discount). I’d like to thank Mooneye Studios for supplying me with a PS4 code in order to share this review with you today!
When I started to play Lost Ember, I was expecting to really enjoy playing as several animals from birds soaring through the skies to fish swimming in the depths of the sea. What I wasn’t expecting is the emotional journey I was about to embark on complete with amazing voice acting and a breathtaking soundtrack. Although the ending is a happy one considering, be prepared for some tears!
A Tragic Story of Greed, Violence, and Loss
Lost Ember is a tale of the Yanrana people and their once mighty city. They believe that by giving their dead their traditional funeral, their spirits can freely pass on to The City of Light. You awaken to a talking ball of light wondering why it can’t pass on and why it appears trapped with no one able to hear it. As it is said that those that are denied The City of Light stay behind and take the form of animals, the ball of light, or rather spirit guide, assumes you must be a Lost Ember, a lost soul. Together you set out to remember who you were in your past lives and if you can be redeemed.
All names of the Yanrana people are carved into medallions that they wear around their necks. You find one with the name Kalani inscribed on it. Another spirit appears and bestows upon you powers that will help get you were you need to go. Scattered around several environments like lush green hills, snowy hilltops, and dark caverns, are memories represented as red smoke. With each memory regained, you can break through “barriers” and move forward. I don’t want to give away more than that as this should be experienced for one’s self. Piecing together what I was seeing had me constantly questioning what kind of person my character was. The larger point of the premise is to see things through others’ perspective.
Controls, Rendering, and Frame-Rate Need Improvement
The animals you can change into were the ones I knew about such as the adorable wombats and moles, but there were a few surprises like bison and elephants! The movements felt quite real although I found it a tad annoying to have to repeatedly press the X button to move and use L2/R2 for up and down when it would have just been easier to move around with the joystick.
As the wolf you can hold R2 to run quite fast so I found myself using that animal the most. That or a bird as it was hard not to just fly everywhere when my wolf got stuck often outside of the marked paths. This was a little frustrating for an exploration game where you can check hidden places for collectibles. Sticking to paths at times and not being able to jump down more than 5 feet or die took me right out of the moment.
Another complaint I had with the controls was the lag whenever I moved too quickly or entered another area, the occasional crash, and the glitches. I would run into invisible walls not knowing where I can and cannot go which often got me stuck trying to button-mash my way out. One time as the mole rat, which allows you to dig underground to get to another side, I rose up in a pile of rocks and couldn’t move. As I panicked, I decided to release my mole from my possession and watched as it ran off and faded from my view as I continued to be a disembodied being becoming one with the earth. Luckily, you can Restart Last Checkpoint and not lose much time.
The Animals are Adorable and Full of Life
There are no enemies and when you fall, the game just puts you right back where you were. This helped put me back into a relaxed mood as I can just sit back and enjoy the scenery and story. I also wouldn’t have been able to bear it if I had to hurt any of the animals. However, it did feel weird to possess their bodies at my will only to abandon them in areas probably far from their homes, exposed out in the open. I tried to remind myself that this was just a game. Then, when I was a fish and transformed myself back into a wolf on land, I saw the poor thing flopping around unable to get back into the water! I quickly re-possessed it, dropped it off somewhere nice with some friends, and doggy-paddled my way back to shore.
It would probably ease my mind if every time I approached the animals, they didn’t run away as fast as possible. Even though I understand that I am a wolf and therefore a predator. Are all the animals actually people inside anyway or is that just a legend? It was still nice to become these animals and have the wolf disappear and become part of the gang. You can also do many “silly things”, as the game puts it, like munching on some berries or taking a nap. It made everything feel so much more alive, and made for some great snapshots too. They also added some baby animals that you can inhabit which significantly upped the cute factor!
Can’t Stop Thinking About What I Just Played
With all of the negatives I just mentioned, I still found myself immensely enjoying the game. The beauty and care that was taken in creating the wildlife and this emotional story far supersedes any of my grievances. My heart ached when I looked around and saw how much nature was thriving now that the humans were gone. The very same humans that over-cultivated which lead to pestilence and hunger. The song with lyrics at the end of the game along with certain revelations had me crying. Lost Ember took me only a few hours to play through but I still find myself thinking about my experience.
The kooky 2D adventure/sim-life game Village Monsters is now available to be downloaded on Steam.
As you know, I have been keeping an eye on Village Monsters for some time now. It is a relaxing and whimsical adventure game developed by sole creator, Josh Bossie. Take on the role of the last man living in a world inhabited by monsters. With everything that you’d expect from a good life-sim game, with a monstrous twist, Village Monsters is one adventure that you won’t want to miss out on.
Befriend dozens of whimsical monsters, each with their own quirky personalities, interests, and problems to solve.
Pursue many interesting hobbies that let you hunt for treasure, collect and train creatures, cultivate mushroom gardens, and catch legendary fish.
Buy a fixer-upper and sink your entire life savings into it to make it your very own comfy-cozy homestead.
Engage in a variety of daily tasks and activities like earning money with a part time job, joining in village events and holidays, going on adventures – or just hanging out with your monster pals and watching some TV.
Unravel unique personal stories as you build friendships and learn the history (and secrets) of the village and its inhabitants.
Explore vast and strange areas outside the village ranging from vibrant forests, arctic deserts, fog-choked valleys, and the ruins of a best-forgotten empire.
Immerse yourself in a truly simulated world that boasts shifting weather patterns, sweeping seasonal changes, and interesting system interactions.
Harness the glitches of a run-down game and use them to empower your skills and fix this neglected world.
Village Monsters Trailer
For more information about Village Monsters, as well as the chance to purchase the game, check it out on Steam. Tune in on Twitter and Discord if you’d like updates on the games progress, as it is currently in early access.
Mythic Ocean, created by Paralune, is a relaxing underwater adventure where you can befriend and influence gods. Explore coral reefs, caverns and more, all while talking to the local inhabitants! Now, you can try out the free demo which will allow you to experience the first 3 branching storylines. Below is the full gameplay video (with some edits for brevity) of the prologue along with my thoughts on the game. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourselves, go to the Steam page here.
Which God Will You Choose?
You play in first-person view and awaken to a talking eel in a dark cavern with no memories. I’m not even sure what kind of being we are but perhaps that is part of the mystery. You are told that having no memories is the way things should be in order to make a fair judgement. You must choose one of the gods to create a new world but to do so, you have to get to know them, ask them questions and even present to them a new ways of thinking (if you want). I always love games that let you make decisions and then give you different outcomes depending on those choices.
Meet the Locals and Three Gods
As you swim around and take in all of the beautiful underwater scenery, you can use sonar abilities to help guide you in certain directions. Keep an eye out for missing pages, fish to talk to, and new areas that house a god. You’ll learn that the gods don’t remember their past either but dream of distant memories. In this prologue you will meet Lutra (an adorable water bug), Amar (a literal party-animal) and the Twins (playful but hot-headed children). I tried my best to keep the peace with everyone and have them befriend each other as well so they weren’t so lonely. When you return to the eel, Elil can tell you which god you are currently closest to and what they are thinking.
The story had a lot more intrigue and lore then I was expecting and now I really want to find out what happens next! What kind of world will the gods create? Why is Elil technically no longer a god? Which fish is truly the ultimate life of the party?
Explore enchanting storybook worlds and collect magical ingredients to craft costumes in Unfamiliar, a beautiful fantasy game coming to Steam on December 13th, 2019! Oh, and did I mention that you get to play as a magical cat!? Unfamilair is developed by Mana Tea Games, an indie game studio based in Melborne, Australia. Furthermore, you may still have a chance to snag some tickets to PAX AUS for this weekend (October 11th-13th, 2019) as the developers will be there with some goodies at their booth!
Unfamiliar is a relaxing fantasy adventure game where you take the form of a cat-witch who sets out to acquire magic ingredients from storybook worlds to craft items and create enchanting costumes.
PLAY AS AN ELEGANT, MAGICAL CAT: Get fur-miliar with Yew, the cat-witch
NO TIMERS, PENALTIES OR ENEMIES: Don’t worry, take your time
EASY YET COMPREHENSIVE CRAFTING: The power is all in your hands! I mean… paws!
IDYLLIC STORYBOOK WORLDS: Where will your whiskers take you this time?
RENOVATE AND EXPAND YOUR HOME: Complete quests and unlock hidden rooms
PLANT, GROW, AND HARVEST INGREDIENTS: Collect exotic ingredients to conjure wonder!
CUSTOMISABLE BODY AND OUTFITS: All the glamorous paw-sibilities!
GATHER USEFUL, MYSTERIOUS ITEMS: Who knows what’s needed next…