The Wholesome Games Direct just concluded, after showing off over 90 (!) games focused on cozy, welcoming, and generally, well, wholesome aesthetics. We got a handful of new game reveals, several announcements of release dates or windows, some free demos, and a whole heck-ton of new trailers. Everything was pretty rapidfire, but here’s the basic rundown of what we just saw:
New Game Reveals
Three brand new games were revealed for the first time at the Wholesome Direct:
From the same studio as Wholesome Game alum Teacup, Bubblegum Galaxy is a city-builder of sorts…except you’re building galaxies and planets instead. It’s planned for release sometime in 2023 for PC and consoles.
Little Bear Chef
Little Bear Chef is a game about a very, very small bear working in a very large kitchen, trying to start a successful restaurant. In the first trailer, we get a look at the bear (really a sentient, bear-shaped honey container) trying to cook in a human sized kitchen. The game is being developed by BananaBox, and is coming to PC and consoles in 2023.
Developed by Nel Pastel, Melodyssey follows the story of a child journeying through a musical landscape, looking for inspiration. Its gameplay uses block moving puzzles to progress, and is set to relaxing, ASMR music and sounds. It’s intended as a stress-free, exploration adventure game, and is headed to PC next year. A free demo is out now on Steam.
Games Getting Release Dates/Windows for the First Time
Several games that have previously been announced elsewhere received new trailers in tandem with new release dates and windows, and a few are even out right now. They are as follows:
An exploration/puzzle game about a bear wrecking human-made objects that threaten to destroy nature and harm the habitats of its friends. You don’t have to wait long, as it’s out now on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam, and is coming to Xbox on June 14th, in just a few days.
A puzzle game where you build conveyor belts to decorate and frost donuts and guide them to the exit. It’s out today on Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox, and PC.
A combination puzzle-solving and social simulator wrapped in a fantasy adventure with no combat. As Wes the coyote, you’re tasked with solving the mystery of a calamity that’s befallen your village. It’s coming to PC, Xbox, and Switch this fall.
A Walk With Yiayia
A light adventure game/visual novel about taking a walk with your grandmother, exploring the neighborhood, and talking with her as you help her regain her confidence after she has a scary fall. It’s out on PC and Nintendo Switch on August 20 of this year.
A story about self-reflection told through rhythm mini-games that merge reality and dreams together. It uses animations and sound cues to keep you on the beat, rather than overlays or interfaces. Melatonin is coming to PC and Switch on September 16, 2022.
A tea making simulator where you make tea for cats, take time for self-care, and bond with new friends as you build and customize your own tea house. It’s coming to PC in Q2 of next year.
Play as a chicken on a platforming quest to figure out what came first: the chicken, or the egg? Coming in Q4 of 2022 to PC and Switch.
Updates to Existing Games
A handful of already-released games got announcements of new content shown at the Wholesome Games Direct. They are:
The slice of life sim game about running a cat cafe is getting a new and improved cooking system with its “Pawsome Update” in Q3 of this year. The update also includes rug and wallpaper customization, and new collectible farm animals.
An upcoming DLC to this visual novel/match-3 game sends its characters off on an island vacation that is quickly interrupted by a shell-matching tournament. The Guardian’s Beach Break Part 1: Swimsuits and Shells and a Tournament, Oh My! launches as a free update later this summer.
The skating game about little birds trying their best has a ton of new, free content available right now, including a new Playground level, a new secret skater crossover from Among Us, and a ton of new hats to deck out your birds with. Skatebird is out now on PC, Switch, and Xbox.
The farming, town life, and creature collection game Ooblets is leaving early access and getting its 1.0 launch at last later this summer on Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The update will include new regions, settings, characters, and systems.
First Look at Gameplay
A number of previously-announced games appeared at the Wholesome Direct that had, until today, not shown any actual gameplay yet. Here are all the games that debuted a first look at gameplay during the Direct:
A farming sim/slice-of-life game that includes farming, animal raising, terraforming, and life sim elements, including cooperating with your neighbors to accomplish tasks and build a more beautiful town. It’s headed to PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox next year.
Toroa’s trailer was elusive, but it showed a playable waterfowl taking off from floating in the water and soaring through the skies. It’s coming to consoles and potentially other platforms at an undetermined future date.
Paper Animal RPG
An RPG/roguelite homage to the Paper Mario games with a real-time, time-based battle system, cute characters, and pet dinosaurs. Headed to PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Android, iOS, and Xbox in 2023, with a Kickstarter campaign launching this summer.
A relaxed, roguelike future game where your character can look into the future via games of Solitare. Interpret the future you read in the cards to tell the future of those who come to you to read it. It’s coming to PC, Switch, iOS, and Android at a future date.
A top-down, puzzle adventure game about leaving home, where you solve puzzles by folding and tearing the paper world. It’s planned for release on PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox in Q1 of next year, and there’s a demo out now on Steam just for this weekend.
Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist
An adventure game where you play as a struggling artist, drawing and selling art to revive your lost art career, unlocking new studios and tools as you progress. It’s coming to PC at a future date, and there’s a public demo available on Steam from June 13 through 20.
A cozy, relaxing game about finding and collecting hidden rabbits, decorating an abandoned island, and befriending the found bunnies that inhabit it. It’s coming to PC, iOS, and Android.
Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley
A musical adventure game about restoring harmony and balance to Moominvalley, based on the Moomin comics and books created by Tove Jansson. It’s coming to PC and consoles in 2023.
Several games were shown that have free demos available either now or very, very soon, most through PC via Steam. They are:
As the best alchemist around, it’s your job to care for the residents of Moonbury by diagnosing their symptoms, finding ingredients, and brewing potions to cure their various ailments. Potion Permit is planned for PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox later this year, and a demo is available now.
An exploration game about finding thirty missing birds in a hand-painted city that mixes 2D and 3D views. Coming to PC and consoles in 2024, with a demo available now on Steam.
The Spirit and the Mouse
Playing as a mouse, you’ll explore the town of Sainte-et-Clair and help those you meet by doing good deeds. The Spirit and the Mouse is headed to PC and Switch this year, and there’s a free demo available on Steam now.
After crash landing on an undiscovered planet, Kokopa and his friend Pollimero explore the new world, build, garden, and meet new friends while discovering the mysteries of their new home. It’s coming to PC and possibly other platforms next year, and there’s a free demo out now on Steam.
Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 to
An action-puzzle game with a mixture of match-3 gameplay and story, focused on lovable, queer characters. A new demo is out now on Steam with updated art, music, and story moments. It’s headed to PC in 2023.
We Are OFK
A musical biopic game of the band OFK, telling the story of how four friends came together to release their music. It’s coming to PC, Switch, PS4, and PS5 in Q3 of this year, and there’s a free demo planned in conjunction with Steam Next Fest.
Tracks of Thought
A (self)-exploration RPG set on a train where by speaking to your fellow passengers via card-based conversation, you learn more about both yourself and where the train carrying you is going. It’s coming to PC in 2023 and there’s a new demo available now on Steam.
The following already-announced games also got brand new trailers during the Wholesome Direct, some of which showed off new gameplay or features:
- Terra Nil – Planned for PC
- The Garden Path – Out this year on PC and Switch, with a limited early access available on itch.io
- Mika and the Witch’s Mountain – Coming Q1 2024 to PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox
- Mail Time – Coming to PC and Switch in Q4 of 2022
- PuffPals: Island Skies – Coming to PC, Switch, iOS, and Android in 2025
- Freeride – Coming in 2023 to PC and Switch
- How to Say Goodbye – Coming to PC, Switch, iOS, and Android in Q3 of 2022
- Fall of Porcupine – Coming to PC and potentially other platforms at a future date
- The Last Clockwinder – Out now on Meta Quest and Steam VR
- Lovebirb – Headed to itch.io and potentially other platforms in Q4 of this year
- Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly – Coming to PC and consoles next year
- Oddada – Coming to Steam at a future date
- Frogun – Headed to PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox later this year
- Garden Witch Life – On PC and consoles at a future date
- Here Comes Niko! – Planned for PC and Switch at a later date
- Feed All Monsters – Out on PC later this year
- A Frog’s Tale – Coming to PC and possibly other platforms next year
- Kaichu: The Kaiju Dating Sim – Out in the coming months on PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox
- Wholesome – Out and About – Headed to PC, Switch, Xbox, and possibly other consoles next year
- Paradise Marsh – Planned for PC, Switch, Xbox, and possibly other platforms in Q3 of this year
- Gaucho and the Grasslands – Coming to PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox in Q4 of this year
- Lil Gator Game – Coming to PC and Switch this year
- Schim – PC and consoles at a future date
- Bilkins’ Folly – PC and possibly other platforms at a future date
- Kitori Academy – PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox next year
- Togges – PC and consoles, coming in Q3 of this year
- DokiToki: Time Slows Down When You’re in Love – Headed to PC next year
- Critter Crops – PC and Nintendo Switch, planned for 2023
- Snacko – Planned for PC, Switch, and now also PS4 and PS5 later this year
- A Little to the Left – PC, Switch, iOS, and Android in Q4 of this year
- The Wandering Village – PC and Xbox Series X, coming in Q3 of this year
The Montage Segment!
And finally, there was a rapidfire montage of games near the end of the presentation. Everything went by fairly fast, and the official Wholesome Games website has links to more information about everything shown during the event. The montage included the following titles, in order:
- Hamster on Rails
- Garden of the Sea
- Olliefrog Toad Skater
- With You
- Bread & Fred
- Kity Builder
- Garden In!
- Petit Island
- Pine Hearts
- Hello Goodboy
- Harmony’s Odyssey
- Seal World
- Love, Ghostie
- Potion Prodigy
- Moonstone Island
- Super Mini Mart
- Ova Magica
- Puzzles for Clef
- Lemon Cake
- Star Stuff
- San Zoolin
- Skye Tales
- Kulebra and the Souls of Limbo
- Tiny Witch
- The Courier
- The Hundred Year Kingdom
- Lost Twins 2
The Wholesome Games Direct has been a part of a smorgasbord of gaming events and news this week. You can catch up on the latest news and find out what’s coming next by checking out our Summer of Gaming hub page.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.