The Wholesome Direct: 55 games of goodness

Yesterday a very special Direct was aired: the Wholesome Direct. This showcase, made by a large group of independent developers and publishers, presented the kind of games I’m forever on the lookout for. Games with a chill vibe, with little violence that have a positive flow going.

A half hour of footage from 55 (!) upcoming games coming to various consoles and handhelds. Most of them on Steam, but I did hear some mention of the Switch and mobile too. Plus, as we have seen in the past, Steam is often the first big step of coming to consoles later on. 

The Direct is below for you to watch. And below, there’s a roundup of the games featured. If we already featured the game before, I’ll tell you a bit more about them. Otherwise, the descriptions are from the Wholesome Games website!

Button City – 2020

Button City is a game about a group of friends trying everything they can think of to save their local arcade from being shut down.

Errand Boy – Q2 2021

Errand Boy is a fantastical action-adventure game told through 5 interweaving adventures and heroes with one purpose: save the town.

Ooblets – 2020

Manage your farm, grow and train your Ooblets, explore strange lands, and battle wild Ooblets and other Ooblet trainers. Live a simple life working the land (and collecting magical creatures called Ooblets, customize your character’s clothing, hair style, and house. You can take part in a bustling little town full of characters and explore a variety of locations across Oob, all with their own biomes, plants, characters, and unique ooblets.

We wrote about it before, find that here. This game is fairly close, for now coming to the EpicGames Store and Xbox One.

Kind Words – out now on Steam

Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) is a game about writing nice letters to real people. It looks like an interesting concept, writing and receiving encouraging letters in a cozy room.

Snacko – 2021

Some time ago we mentioned Snacko, a farming sim where the protagonists are cats Momo and Mikan. Snacko came to life as a team effort by husband and wife Jordan and Erisa, based in Vancouver. They worked on it after their daytime job, what a great joint effort and decided to feature their own cats in the game.  

The game will have farming, fishing, cooking, crafting and some fighting. Find your way through 4 distinct biomes, each with their unique puzzles, recipes, and creatures. Decorate your farm and town to suit your taste.

Snacko World now has a Kickstarter campaign going, so check it out! 

Chicory – Color the World – TBD

In Chicory, you’re a dog wielding a magic brush! Use your painting powers to explore, solve puzzles and make friends in this adventure game. It’s going to land on Steam first.

The Spirit and the Mouse – 2021

After a fateful encounter with a mysterious Spirit, courageous little mouse Lila resolves to help troubled villagers the best she can in The Spirit and the Mouse.

Spiritfarer – 2020

Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about dying. As ferry-master to the deceased, build a boat to explore the world, care for your spirit friends, and guide them across mystical seas before finally releasing them into the afterlife.

Sayri the Beginning – Q4 2020

The best recipe for survival is friendship, as an adorable alien teams up with local creatures to find their way in Sayri: The Beginning. Use teamwork and telekinetic abilities to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles.

Mondo Museum – Early Access 2020

Do you have what it takes to design and curate the world’s greatest museum? Fill your exhibit halls with extraordinary artifacts, hire staff to keep things running smoothly, and do everything you can to expand your visitors’ horizons in Mondo Museum.

This one caught my interest for sure, as I love these kind of management games!

Bird Alone – 2020

Become best friends with a lonely bird figuring out what life is all about, and face the heaviness of growing up together in Bird Alone.

The Little Witch in the Woods – 2021

Little Witch in the Woods is a heartwarming life sim about Ellie, a witch’s apprentice. Make potions, study magical creatures, and help the local townspeople in Ellie’s journey to become a full-fledged witch.

TOEM – Q1 2021

Travel by bus and take in all the sights on your trip to see the magical phenomenon called TOEM. Capture special moments with your camera and share them with the world!

Winding Worlds – now in Apple Arcade

Winding Worlds is a finger-wiggling puzzle-adventure. Join a cast of characters big and small in a heartwarming tale of grief, love, truth, and acceptance.

If you want to check out the game now, you can do so here: Winding Worlds Apple Arcade

TokoToko – out now on iOS and Android

See your drawings come to life in Tokotoko: Hako & Friends. In this all new story mode, you’ll solve puzzles with real drawings to help Hako find the other Tokotokos and become an artist.

As this game is already on my iPad, I’ll be sure to let you know if it’s a good one!

When the Past was around – 2020

When the Past was Around is a point-and-click adventure game about love, loss, and all the joy and pain in between.

A Space for the Unbound – 2021

A Space For The Unbound tells the story of two high school sweethearts in 1990s Indonesia investigating the supernatural forces threatening their small town.

Book of Travels – Oct 2020

Book of Travels is an intricate fairytale world where you can roleplay without the restraints of linear quests and plotlines, forming friendships and overcoming obstacles as you go.

Garden Story – 2020

Traverse and rebuild a broken island, protect its inhabitants, and make friends with a fruity cast of characters in Garden Story.

Depanneur Nocturne – out now in Steam

Explore an unusual corner store late at night to find the perfect gift for your girlfriend in Dépanneur Nocturne.

Calico – Oct 2020

In the game, it is your job to build up your Cat Café, a special place with lots to do. Decorate it, collect furniture and make pastries and drinks to keep your patrons happy. With the money you earn you can buy things for decorating and such. In town there will be multiple shops, including a potion shop.

Great news: the game is coming to the Switch as well!

Rainy Seasons – Summer 2020

Rainy Season is the story of an ordinary family spending time at home during a storm. Listen to the rain, spend time with your family, and see for yourself how an ordinary day can lead to extraordinary moments.

Wayward Strand – 2020

Wayward Strand is a heartfelt interactive story. Play as teenage journalist Casey Beaumaris as she visits an airborne hospital for the first time.

HOA – Q4 2020

Hoa is a platforming adventure game with hand-painted art inspired by Studio Ghibli. Explore meticulously crafted scenery, make friends with magical creatures, and collect memory fragments as you piece together the long lost history of Hoa.

KeyWe – 2021

KeyWe is a cute, co-op postal puzzler starring Jeff and Debra, two small kiwi birds working in a whimsical post office.

Tracks of Thought – 2022

Tracks of Thought is a self-exploration game that helps you better understand yourself and others. Discover where you belong on a train bound for an unknown destination.

Melon Journey 2 – 2020

Melon Journey 2 is a story-exploration game about revisiting a town full of adorable animals with eccentric personalities. Beneath its cute surface lies a tale of crime and corruption centered around… melons.

Weaving Tides – 2020

Dive into a magical woven world on the back of your own carpet dragon in Weaving Tides! Explore the textile landscape, solve puzzles, and unravel the great mysteries of a long-forgotten past.

A Fold Apart – Out Now on Nintendo Switch

A Fold Apart tells a story about love over a long distance. based on the long distance relationship the developers themselves experienced because of circumstances. This cute and colourful looking game leads your though puzzle levels that you have to fold like paper. You have to find creative ways to fold and manipulate the paper on a given level to bring the two characters back together. Much like for instance Captain Toad, where you have to consider the objects in a 3D space.

Skate BIRD – 2021

Grind on bendy straws, kick-flip over staplers, and carve killer lines through cardboard and sticky tape parks in SkateBIRD. Above all else, skate birds try their best!

Unpacking – 2021

Unpacking is a zen puzzle game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home. Create a satisfying living space while learning clues about the life you’re unpacking.

Sylvan Meadows – TBD

Sylvan Meadows is a village simulation game with RPG elements. Keep a little outpost running while bonding with its inhabitants. Make friends, solve problems, and take a nap in the meadow when you’re done.

Haven – 2020

Play as two lovers settling on an unknown world in Haven. Survive together, glide over the plains, camp, restore the planet, and fight only if you have to. The game is coming to the Nintendo Switch as well!

Tracks the Train Set Game – Out now on Steam

Create colorful railway systems, decorate beautiful towns, transport commuting passengers, and even ride your train in first-person in Tracks – The Train Set Game.

Frogsong – 2022

Frogsong is a heartfelt adventure where it’s okay to be small. You’ll make new friends, explore beautiful environments, and embark on a journey to find your place in the world.

Later Daters – Out Now on Nintendo Switch

In Later Daters you’re the newest resident at Ye OLDE retirement community, where you’ll meet a cast of seniors who are all excited to meet you.

Clouzy – 2021

Clouzy! is a farming game about filling the world with cute clouds and positive emotions.

Creature Resort – TBD

Creature Resort is a resort management game where your guests are creatures from all over a colorful and mysterious fantasy world.

Pushy and Pully in Blockland – Out now in Steam

Pushy and Pully in Blockland is a colorful co-op arcade game that will take you and a friend through ever-challenging levels. Recover your spaceship and escape Blockland.

Onsen Master – Q4 2020

Onsen Master is a hot spring management game. Players must revitalize various onsens across the fantasy island of Izajima.

Old Friends Dog Sanctuary – 2020

Welcome to Old Friends Dog Sanctuary, where love never grows old! A game about friendship for people who love dogs.

Critter Cove – 2021

Become captain of your own ship crewed by fun, quirky characters in Critter Cove: a tropical seafaring adventure.

Roots of Pancha – Q2 2021

Roots of Pacha is a co-op farming and life sim game set in the Stone Age. Carve your path in the earliest days of civilization.

A Monster’s Expedition – 2020

A Monster’s Expedition is an adorable and relaxing open world puzzle adventure for monsters who love to learn about humans!

The Other Side – 2020

Navigate an intricate world filled with mind-bending yet fun puzzles, find clues about the identities of our spirit friends, and help them reach The Other Side.

Battle Cakes Snack Sized RPG – Q1 2021

Get ready to explore Pasteleria, an enchanted kingdom that’s jam-packed full of magic and mystery in BattleCakes, all-ages snack-sized RPG.

Alchemic Cutie – Q3 2020

Alchemic Cutie is a relaxing RPG set on beautiful Wimba Island. While taming wild jellies, you’ll meet villagers, enter jelly competitions and uncover the secrets of the island. Circle Entertainment has formed a partnership with Vakman to publish Alchemic Cutie on Nintendo Switch! Read more about it here. 

Alchemic cutie LadiesGamers

Pekoe – TBD

Pekoe is a tea-making simulation game about a countryside town of cats and tea houses.

Olie Oop – 2021

Ollie-Oop is a game about a skateboarding dog who goes on an adventure to find his friend Reggie.

Rolling Hills – 2021

Rolling Hills is a life sim about opening your own sushi restaurant in a cozy village. Assume the “roll” of a budding sushi chef as you work to improve the lives of your neighbors and make new friends.

To the Rescue – 2021

Take care of unique dogs and find the right homes for as many of them as you can in To The Rescue!, a dog shelter simulator.

Himig – Sept 2020

Himig is a game about experiencing calm, everyday moments while making memories and finding joy in the little things.

Orange Island – Q2 2020

Four friends travel to Orange Island for a summer vacation, and after spending time with Mary, they go on a journey to revive the island’s orange trees. This former Kickstarter aims to bring this authentic NES style game to Steam. Read more about it here!

Misc. – 2020

Misc. is an adventure game starring Buddy and BagBoy, two tiny beings made of miscellaneous items.

Elliot & Ko – TBD

Meet friends, explore soft, low-poly worlds with slice-of-life dialog, cute aesthetics, puzzles, and interactive turn-based battles in Elliot & Ko, an adventure inspired by Paper Mario.

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