With E3 cancelled this year, many indie developers are losing out on the exposure they would normally get at the event. At the same time, the current pandemic has created a surge in positive news and entertainment. Because of this, Wholesome Games was formed, a group dedicated to helping indie developers get exposure for cute, friendly and compassionate video games. On May 26, Wholesome Games surprised everyone by releasing Wholesome Direct, a nearly 40 minute video highlighting over 50 wholesome games that are currently in development. Here are 5 games from the Wholesome Direct that should be on your wishlist (if they aren’t already).
Having played the demo earlier this year, I can’t speak highly enough about Spiritfarer. It seems odd that a game centered around transporting souls to the afterlife would be considered cozy, but the presentation is phenomenal. If it weren’t for the in-game text, it would be difficult to see that the primary focus of the game centers around death. Spiritfarer is a management game; the souls on the boat aren’t quite ready to go yet, so Stella (the spirtifarer) is responsible for making them happy and comfortable before they decide to cross over. To get a better feel for the game, please check out our Spiritfarer preview, and if you haven’t tried the demo, check it out on GOG.com.
Button City looks like a game that should have been released on the Nintendo 64 with its bright colors and low polygonal Animal Crossing style character models . Featuring a plot that could have come straight out of an ’80s movie, Button City is an adventure game where a group of animal friends must band together to save the local arcade from a greedy cat. In addition to the color palette and character designs , the games contained in the arcade are also playable! The arcade includes an arena battler, a racing game and a rhythm game with more possible games by launch. And, just like an arcade, playing the games can lead to prizes like new costumes and arcade buffs. This game is dripping in nostalgia and should be incredibly fun for a variety of players.
Errand Boy weaves together the adventures of 5 heroes as they try to prevent the imminent destruction of a town. How they do this is rather unique: the heroes complete errands. Completing errands helps establish relationships with the town’s residents. As the relationships flourish, the town becomes stronger, making it harder for the impending crisis to happen. Fans of mash-ups will find several different game genres in Errand Boy. It is primarily an adventure game with RPG elements and puzzles like The Legend of Zelda combined with city building from Ever Oasis making Errand Boy one of the most unique games presented during the Wholesome Direct.
Sayri: The Beginning
There is no shortage of cuteness in Sayri: The Beginning. From the main character to the local creatures encountered during the journey to the alien environment, the art direction is stunning with bright and colorful three-dimensional models. Having crashed on an alien world, Sayri must find a new home. Journeying across the pseudo-open world landscape, Sayri can befriend the locals of the planet by helping them. In return, the new friends will travel with Sayri and provide a unique ability to aid in conquering the numerous environmental puzzles. Sayri: The Beginning is starting to look like a AAA title and it will be very interesting to see how it continues to evolve before its release.
How is it that there have not been any management sim games focused around museums until now? For people that like building up the museum in Animal Crossing, this game provides an opportunity to go deeper by allowing players to design the layout of their own museum, choose from over 100 items to display and arrange the exhibits within the museum. Like most management sims, there is a careful balance of earning money and keeping patrons happy amidst the occasional catastrophes. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is that museums will have access to collections inspired by real time periods in history like the Han Dynasty collection that was recently revealed. For everyone who enjoys strolling through a museum, this is an exciting opportunity to try being a museum director later this year.