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.
Dreaming Isles by solo developer YawningDad is an upcoming cozy life sim perfect for discerning players looking for more than just farming! You find yourself shipwrecked on an island with an abandoned farm. You possess no memories of your past, but you’re determined to not only survive, but thrive on this unfamiliar island.
Set out on an exciting adventure full of farming and sailing as you explore a variety of different islands in Dreaming Isles. Restore an old, abandoned boat to set sail in the open seas. Side with the pirates of the Global Trade and take down the other organization by using the cannonballs you grow and craft. Yes, grow! Your crops are unique and can be used as ammo in your conquests! Plus, you’ll learn spells that will help you in your adventures. Just don’t forget to get to know your fellow islanders. You might even fall in love!
Dreaming Isles will release on Steam some time this year. The developer plans to release it on the Switch and Xbox if there’s enough interest!
In Grimshire (from developers Acute Owl Studio, who also made Bone’s Cafe, your town has been enveloped in chaos. You barely made it out of there safely, but you did and have found the quaint village of Grimshire. It’s an isolated little mountain town full of friendly residents who are happy to welcome you to your new home. You are given an old farm and you get to spend your days tending to your farm, restoring the house, and more. Your idyllic peace is in danger, though. The plague is coming, and you need to work together with the community to survive it.
The muted color palette of Grimshire really gives the feel of doom and gloom to this cozy game with a twist. Even the villagers are different, giving this game a great sense of uniqueness. The villagers, including your character, are anthropomorphized creatures. And the critters you can tame from the wild are fantastical looking creatures that will provide you with milk, eggs, and meat. Work hard to keep your root cellar stocked. Salt, pickle, can, dry, and smoke different foods to preserve them. Explore the valley and go fishing in the lakes, mine ore, and decorate your homestead. Befriend the villagers, 10 of whom you can romance. Help them gather resources and build up the town, or donate items for research to increase the odds of survival against the plague.
Not everyone will survive the plague. Will you?
This adorable game isn’t set to release until all the way into 2025. You can currently add it to your Wishlist on Steam, though!
Project Real is a pixel-graphic sim that immerses you in a robust life sim experience. Set out on a journey on Serena Island and live a wonderful life full of choices and interactions. Explore the world, start a career, attend fun events, and get to know the townspeople. Even complete collections and sell items you find while exploring. Plus, decorate your home and customize your character to really fulfill your dreams.
Project Real aims to set itself apart from every other life sim out there by offering an extensive career system. You can become a fishing expert, run your own restaurant, or even become a jeweler who creates your very own designs, and more. There’s a wide variety of career choices for you. There’s also a diverse cast of characters to meet and get to know. Every conversation and every choice you make will influence your overall destiny, too. So, choosing wisely would be smart!
This cute game is available now in Early Access on Steam!
Moonlight in Garland is a lovely city-based life sim full of apartment-living, getting to know your neighbors, and more!
If you’re unfamiliar with Kynseed, it’s a lovely farming sim that dives deeper and brings more to the table than most farm sims. Run your farm and customize it to your tastes. Run a business of your choice like a blacksmith, apothecary, or general store. Craft items, battle monsters, and get to know the townspeople. Even get married and raise children!
There is so much to do and experience in this gorgeous game, and now there’s a huge update called “The Big Build Update” that has recently been released. If you already own this game, the developers suggest you restart with a brand new character so you can get the full experience of all the new things.
The Big Build Update
The following is the huge list of content this update brings to Kynseed.
Customize the look of your farm’s interior and exterior.
Buy new farm plots.
A certain Fairweather item might also give you a further area to customize
New farm structures.
Repair structures like bridges to access new areas.
Fix statues and stalls to make travel and commerce easier.
Repair houses that can be destroyed by the encroaching evil creatures of the land.
New Axe and choppable trees for wood collection
New Stone resource.
Track all your progress through Progress Screen with a picture that fills in as you go.
400+ challenges to complete
Items screen gives a breakdown of number found, total collected and the highest rating acquired.
Relationship screen tracks all current npcs and your relationship with them.
Story/Event keeps a history of parts of the game you have already discovered.
Shops give a brief overview of how your shops are doing.
Customization catalogue shows you all items you can unlock and what activities will unlock them.
New Noticeboard Tasks
Talent system means each NPC, including your children, has their own skill which can be used to your benefit.
New relationship cutscenes
The type of an NPC’s like/dislike can now be seen on their info
NPCs now travel between levels and have had other AI tweaks.
Your previous family can visit from time to time
Plus so much more! There are bug fixes, some story pacing adjustments, and batch crafting. Unlock proverbs, there’s a star rating for items, and a new instant message system that alerts you to events, tasks, and shop alerts for low stock. And there’s even more than that, which you can go check out on Kynseed’s Steam page!
It’s February already, and that means it’s Steam Next Fest time! I’ve written about past Next Fest demos that I fell in love with here and here. This time, I’m bringing you an even bigger list of cozy games because this Next Fest is packed full of great ones. From interior design games, farming sims, and creature collectors, to gardening and diorama makers, there’s so much to see this time around. So, without further ado, here’s a whopping 10 different Steam Next Fest demos you need to try this month!
Make Room is a relaxing little diorama designer game. Use hundreds of different items to craft the perfect spaces in each environment. Set up a charming country kitchen, build a comfy reading nook, or design the coziest living room you can think of. You have total control over where items are placed, so you can make your interior design visions come true.
The icons in this game are SO small, but the item options and color choices are perfect for creating some great rooms. The sandbox mode is great for strictly creating on your terms. The objectives mode is easy and relaxed, even though you must build to certain specifications. And creating things on a smaller scale makes creating a lot less overwhelming.
Critter Crops is a gorgeously designed game where you play as Sylvie. She’s a newfound witch who’s been run out of her town because of her abilities. As Sylvie, you arrive on Mutter Island where you discover you can grow magical Critter Crops. These special plants can help you restore the island to its former glory. When you’re not farming, explore the lovely little island you now call home, gather resources, mine, and get to know the people you come across.
What a delightfully whimsical game! The art is very unique, and the crops are too. Raise creatures by growing crops that are very, very different from what you’re used to. The town and crops and creatures are all slightly spooky, which is perfect for the Halloween-loving player who dislikes actual scary things. The color palette and the music is super pleasing, too. Talk about a farm sim with a twist!
In Everholm, you play as Lilly, a young woman looking for her lost sister, Melanie. While out searching, you come across a mysterious portal that beckons you to the cute and cozy little island of Everholm. Weirdly, everyone there seems to recognize you, too, like you’re an old friend. So, embark on an adventure full of mysteries, magic, and relationships as this sim game is all about learning new skills and living together in harmony with others. Farm, forage, fish, raise livestock, and more.
Here’s another beautiful game. This time, it’s a lovely pixel art style game with a great story behind it. I like that your character actually holds a conversation with the NPCs, too. You’re not just subjected to a one-sided monologue. Plus, the NPCs exhibit some really great personalities through their speech. It’s clear this game was lovingly made.
Furnish Master is a relaxing interior design game where you furnish apartments, houses, commercial estates, and outdoor spaces. Use intuitive controls to place each piece of furniture and decor how you like it. Painstakingly choose color schemes and materials for your furniture to match the theme of each room. Even resize items so they fit perfectly in a space. As you complete spaces, earn money so you can buy new properties to continue decorating. You can also engage in story mode where you can buy properties across a single city. Even take on some challenges and puzzles in story mode to unlock new items.
Here’s another diorama-like interior design game, but this time has a far more complex system and more involved missions. Paint the walls to certain specifications, furnish a whole kitchen with specific items, and use your hard-earned money to decorate your own place or buy other properties. There was even a puzzle level in the story mode where you search a room for puzzle pieces and put it together. If the levels have that much variation, I think it’ll be a really fun game. Not to mention the furniture options are varied, there’s a pretty great placement mechanic that includes snapping, and the graphics are nice. This is great for folks who want a little more direction and a more involved interior design game.
Botany Manor takes place at a stately home in 19th century England, and you play as Arabella Greene, a retired botanist who lives at the manor. Spend your days exploring the different rooms of your historically accurate manor. Get to know Arabella and her career as a woman in science through your explorations. Discover beautiful gardens and sprawling countryside vistas as you take in the relaxing nature around you. Take care of a variety of plants by finding their seeds and planting them in the appropriate environments. Inspect newspapers, letters, paintings, and more to get a better understanding of the needs of your plants. Care for them and help them flourish by meeting their exact needs, and watch as your efforts are rewarded!
The visuals are just breathtaking in this game. They’re by no means highly realistic levels of art, but the designs of plants, the architecture, and the dynamic lighting work perfectly together to create such a charming environment. The manor grounds are to die for. I’d love to have my own home with a garden and orchard as beautiful as this one! Searching for clues on how best to grow the plants adds an element of fun beyond simple gardening. It gives you a reason to look around the manor, but also makes you feel like a researcher, which the character you play is! If you play nothing else on this list, play this game. It’s so worth it.
Welcome to Minami Lane! This lovely little life sim lets you build your very own street where you can decorate and manage shops. Build homes to attract villagers to your street. Keep them happy by beautifying the area with decorations, shops, and attractions. Build ramen shops, boba cafes, bookstores, and more. Each shop has its own inventory and effects on the neighborhood. Play missions for a challenge or sandbox mode to focus on the creative side of building.
This was such an enjoyable experience. There are goals and missions to complete, but they weren’t super high-stakes or difficult to complete. The overall graphics are gorgeous and soft and adorable. I love the Japanese-inspired architecture and street design. It’s nostalgic for me, and brings a sense of comfort. Overall, this game is perfect if you want a city-builder with more than just creative building.
Lightyear Frontier is the cozy farm sim set on an alien planet and uses mechs to farm! That’s right, you get to pilot your own fleet of mechs to get things done around the farm or go out exploring the gorgeous world around you. Build your new home and develop a flourishing farm by growing alien crops. Explore your surroundings and restore them by cleaning up pollution and clearing invasive weeds. Discover the secrets of the world, and do it all while playing solo or together with friends.
What’s better than a farm sim? A farm sim with semi-realistic art where you pilot a mech suit to farm and explore, of course! This is seriously such a fun concept, and the different advanced tools you have access to make things even more fun. Vacuum up some water or seeds. Use your spikesaw to obliterate rocks and bushes. It’s a very modern sci-fi take on farm sims, and I love it!
In Night Stones, you find yourself trapped in a dream in a world full of magic and a rich story. Upon waking, you find yourself still in this world and must discover the secrets of the world and find a way home. Explore the beautiful world of Mythica where you’ll encounter Night Stones. These stones will turn night into day, and vice versa, allowing you to meet new characters. Complete quests to gain new abilities that will help you to further your mission. There’s no combat in this game, but there are enemies you’ll need to outsmart to accomplish your goals!
This was such a short demo, but I loved it. Movement is smooth. Controls are super easy. The art is cartoony, but lovely. Animations looked great, too. All of it comes together to present such a good demo that makes me excited for the full game!
Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge
Kamaeru is an adorable farm sim where you farm, raise frogs, and preserve nature. Transform the surrounding wetland into a hospitable home for your amphibian friends. Meanwhile, feed, breed, and care for a variety of frogs. In fact, there are over 500 frogs for you to collect! You’ll need to figure out how to attract new types of frogs, then breed them together to unlock rare colors and patterns. Take pictures of your cute pals, and decorate the refuge to make the coziest little from rescue!
I loved the watercolor-like art in this game, and a comfortable creature collector. Playing is calm and easy. The frogs are adorable, plus restoring the wetlands is a fulfilling objective. Decorations are adorable and fun to place. There is a tic-tac-toe mini game to breed frogs together that adds a fun element, and there are more minigames mentioned to be coming with the full version. This makes me excited for the full version because it ought to be packed with a lot of great things to do.
Summerhouse is a relaxing building game. That’s it! Build structures on a small scale to create cute neighborhoods. Set your neighborhoods near the sea, in the middle of the city, or nestled in the majestic mountains. There are no rules, no goals, and no objectives to this game. The focus is purely on creative building. So, kick-back and relax with some building!
This one reminds me a lot of Townscaper. You just simply unleash your creativity and build, but instead of creating whole cities and villages, you’re creating houses, apartment buildings, or shops. The art is beautiful and relaxing, and so is the music. This is a great game if you’re looking to get creative without the constraints of missions or timers.
I’ve had my eye on Little-Known Galaxy by developers Carbon & Kay for a bit now. In fact, I’ve written about it before because it’s so cute and looks like it will be a great farm sim with a different setting. Recently, the game received a demo on Steam, which I took some time to play, and it was such a fun experience.
Little-Known Galaxy puts you in the shoes of a brand new space captain-in-training who has been assigned to their first ship by the Space Alliance. It’s your job to work with your crew to solve the mysteries surrounding an ancient alien relic found on the Grey Planet. You also get to do things like build relationships with the crew, take on some new crew members as your progress, explore alien worlds, grow crops, decorate, and more!
I’ve been excitedly waiting on the Little-Known Galaxy demo, and played it as soon as I heard it was out. And it did not disappoint. It’s a very introductory look into the game, as most farm sim demos are, but it gives a good feel to many things. You meet the base crew members, who are so unique and so quirky. There’s humans, aliens, old people, young people, and some robots, too. They’re sure to be a ton of fun as you progress through the story. Also, their dialogue matches their personalities and they appear to have actual, real conversations with you.
The overall aesthetic of the Little-Known Galaxy is just adorable. You’re plopped onto a derelict ship that’s in need of serious upgrades, but the common areas are pleasant. The shops have personality, and the crew homes match their inhabitants. Nothing is too bright or over-the-top. Everything feels like it has its own place and meshes with its surroundings well. Using robots for the sales bin and the family bots adds to the sci-fi, futuristic too. Throw in container gardening on a space ship and I think the developers have nailed having a farm sim on a spaceship.
I found the introduction of the Little-Known Galaxy’s captain’s quarters to be funny in how similar it is to other farm sims. It’s a wreck. There’s debris and trash everywhere, much like your farms start out on Earth! The clean up is far more satisfying, because you receive a cleaner ray to zap away the boxes and debris. It’s an oddly satisfying and comforting start to a game that I really enjoy having. Another fun aspect is finding random sparkly spots throughout the ship where hidden parts or money can be found reminds me a lot of checking the trash cans in Pokemon games for items. It was a touch of nostalgia that added to the charm of the game.
I can’t wait to experience this game in full. I want to explore the universe!
You can find the game, along with the demo, on Steam. You can Wishlist it, but there is currently no release date listed.