By: Patricia Yap
Most people would agree how great video games are. Whether played on mobile phones, handheld devices, or on a PC, video games are an exceptional form of entertainment that keep us engaged, amused, and excited. Although sometimes, video games can also cause a lot of stress. The usual suspects that induce game-related stress are difficulty and ranking elements; sometimes it could even just be the game’s overall environment. Thankfully, cozy games exist!
For those who are unaware, the genre “cozy game” only came about recently despite countless video games already befitting the genre way before. There is no one, strict definition for cozy games but in general, cozy games are laid back, have little to no combat, and are satisfying and relaxing to play. As Matt White, the CEO of a popular indie game company, Whitethorn Digital, describes it, cozy games “must be approachable, stress-free, and bite-sized”.
Honestly, I can talk about cozy games all day. But the best way for you to understand the genre, is to just try them out for yourself. So, here are our High Five recommendations for cozy games—available on Steam—that you should play right now!
In Bear and Breakfast, you play as an adorable and charming bear that runs their own bed and breakfast. Some of the activities that you can do include decorating your establishments, scavenging for ingredients and crafting materials, hiring and managing staff, and fulfilling side quests for different characters—humans and animals alike.
In a nutshell, Bear and Breakfast is a management game. However, there is definitely more to this game than meets the eye. As you progress further into the game’s lore, you will discover that there are deep secrets hidden in the forest that you must help our little bear friend uncover.
A Little to the Left is a puzzle game that lets you organize to your hearts content! Stack, sort, and rearrange a number of household items in drawers, tables, boxes, and more. It is a highly interactive and intuitive game with the most endearing art style. If I do say so myself, it is one of the best fitting games that can describe the cozy games genre. It’s simple, relaxing, pleasant, without losing engagement and player interest.
As of this writing, A Little to the Left is still only playable in its demo version on Steam but will have its full release right around the corner on November 9, 2022.
This game also has the cutest 3D art style, environment sounds, and character movement.
To add, another quality that people love about cozy games is that you can play at your own pace. There’s no competition and no time pressure involved, and Time on Frog Island provides exactly that comfort.
In Story of Seasons, you play as the grandchild of the man who built the game’s town. You have taken over his farm and must now continue his legacy. You get to plant crops, raise animals, and generally just enjoys tons of exploration and relationship building in a beautifully charming game.
By the time you’ve played the game long enough, you will probably become very attached to all of the characters. Do not get me started on how the animals are drawn.
Currently, Story of Seasons has another game entitled Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. In 2023, a new game called Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life will be released.
Strange Horticulture is an occult puzzle game that’s full of plants and mystery. Run a plant store and identify unique plants. Some of which have special abilities that will aid your customer’s interesting and sometimes mischievous needs. Pretty soon this game will keep you on your toes as more and more secrets of your community are revealed.
Cozy games evidently deserve the popularity it has been gaining recently, and I hope these games were able to excite you as much as they did for me. Run! Don’t walk to Steam right now.
If you have any recommendations for other cozy games we should try, let us know in the comments!