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  • svgMay 16, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Reus 2 by developer Abbey Games is the exciting and long-awaited sequel to the 2013 God game and colony sim, Reus. Become a God and utilize 6 powerful Giants to terraform the world. Create ecosystems for resources in order to enable the survival of humans. Your ultimate job is to shape humanity and determine which direction they should develop. Your choices matter in this game. Everything you do will decide the fate of humans, so choose wisely.

    You have 6 Giants at your disposal to do your bidding. Each of the Giants in Reus 2 is a master of a unique ability that will help you shape the world. Their abilities in plants, animals, and minerals will let you create unique biomes for your humans to settle into. As the game progresses, you’ll unlock new useful abilities for the Giants so you can further shape the world. In order to help the humans flourish, you need to create livable environments beyond just the plants and animals. Work to evolve their primitive societies into advanced civilizations and reach for the stars! Just make sure to meet their needs appropriately, or they will rebel, and rebellion can lead to the end of the world. 

    Release Date

    Reus 2 is set to release on Steam May 28th, 2024! You can go ahead and Wishlist it now, though. 

    As Far As the Eye is a beautiful and engaging colony sim you should also check out.

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  • svgMay 15, 2024Indie Highlight

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    In Urban Jungle, you decorate your tiny apartment to transform it from a lifeless concrete box into a warm and welcoming cozy home. Indie developer Kylyk Games has created a lovely relaxing game that’s perfect for the super casual gamer. It’s especially great for players who want to have a plant collection, but lack a green thumb! Take your time arranging and decorating your apartment with a variety of plants. There are no care requirements, either. You don’t have to worry about watering each plant or preventing nasty pests. Simply decorate the room and experience a simple story told through the environment of the room. There’s even a cat you can pet! 

    Release Date

    You can find Urban Jungle listed on Steam where you can add it to your Wishlist. There’s also a demo available, but no release date set other than some time this year!

    Plantabi is another great indoor gardening game.

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  • svgMay 15, 2024Indie Highlight

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    First came Rusty’s Retirement, a farming idle game that chills at the bottom of your screen while you do other things. Next comes Idle Waters! Only instead of being a farming game, this idler focuses on fishing! This game also sits comfortably at the bottom of your screen so you can focus on other tasks while it runs. 

    Idle Waters fishes while you’re busy doing other things. Simply click to catch the fish at your leisure. You’ll catch different types of fish from several different ecosystems, too. It looks like there’s at least 100 “common” fish varieties, which seems to indicate there are other rarities to catch! Plus, there’s a fish tank feature you can edit and decorate to observe the fish you’ve caught over time. 

    Release Date

    Idle Waters will release on Steam at some point. There is no date listed, but you can add it to your Wishlist now!

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  • svgMay 15, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Teatopia by developer Yixin Games, where you run your own farm in an environment full of Chinese culture and beautiful designs. Turn your overgrown farm into a haven for crops. Care for a variety of animals, from livestock to pets. Cook some exquisite meals and teas. Plus, immerse yourself in a vibrant community while discovering the secrets to the underworld’s Ghost Market. 

    Teatopia follows the classic farming sim formula, where you start out on a farm that’s overgrown with wild weeds and tremendous trees. Of course, you’ll work hard to clear these obstacles in order to free up space for your crops. Build sheds to care for livestock and even breed them. They’ll produce products like eggs and milk for you. But you can also have an animal companion, like a cat or dog. The pets find treasures for you if you develop a deep bond!

    Explore the secrets of traditional Chinese cooking that Teatopia has to offer by whipping up delicious recipes you acquire from all over. You even manage your own tea plantation and create exquisite teas. And of course, you get to explore the East and West urban areas, where you’ll find different attractions and vibrant characters. Plus, the Ghost Market is an intriguing place to wander! This enchanting underworld is where fairies and humans converge, but it also has some unique products for sale. 

    Release Date

    Teatopia has no set release date yet. You can find it on Steam, though, where you can add it to your Wishlist!

    Tales of Seikyu is another fantastic looking farm sim with fantasy elements.

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  • svgMay 9, 2024Reviews

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    Whisker Waters is a cute fishing-focused RPG where you play as a cat in a world of other cats, bears, and birds. Explore a lovely world full of beautiful vistas as you take on some serious fishing expeditions. Learn how to master the art of fishing through a variety of mini games and tool upgrades. Gather quests from the folks who inhabit the towns, and build relationships with them. Even learn the distinct narratives each area you visit possesses! 

    Finally, a Fishing Focused Cozy Game

    I know there are tons of different fishing games out there, but none ever seemed to quite scratch that cozy, casual gaming experience itch. Many focus on just fishing, or the RPG games only use it as a side activity instead of the main activity. Whisker Waters ticks all of those boxes, though. Fishing is the name of the game, though you’re also exploring the world, getting to know other people (or animals, really), finishing quests, and solving mysteries. It’s the fully-involved type of game I’ve wanted. 

    I find the fishing aspect of this game quite interesting, too. As the Steam page says, fishing is easy to learn, but difficult to master. And that holds true. Casting your line into the water is as simple as a few clicks. You can aim where in the water you want the bobber to land, and how far away from the shore it lands. Then, when a fish is hooked on your line, simply line up the pointer with the green bar and keep it in the green bar to reel in your catch. Easy! It’s when the mini games start showing up where things get a little more complicated. There’s a whole host of different mini games you might encounter while fishing in order to get the fish. Untangle from the reeds, pull the fish out from the rocks, sudden whirlpools, and more. It’s a pretty engaging experience that can change depending on the fish you’re catching, which kept me on my toes. 

    There’s More to Love

    Start your adventure with a very lovely intro story scene that really sets the stage for this adventure. You also get to customize your very own cat character. In Whisker Waters, You can choose from several different fur colors and patterns, ear and eye shapes, and even the size of the fluff on your face. It’s possibly the cutest character creator I’ve come across. Plus, as you play the game you do come across accessories you can equip to your character to make it even more unique. 

    The environments are gorgeous, too. From the lush grass and greenery to the beautifully clear ponds, lakes, and rivers, it’s easy to get absorbed in your surroundings. Plus, there are some unusual creatures wandering around. And the fish are also well done. There’s a variety of them to be found across the different fishing spots in each area. They’re all unique looking from the surface, which helps with quick identification when trying to fish for specific types. 

    What I Had Problems With

    This truly is a lovely game that could benefit from some optimization efforts. I initially struggled playing because the camera moved so wildly and it triggered my motion sickness. I finally figured out it was because you can control the camera with the mouse, but the camera also moves on its own as you move your character. It really needs to be one or the other, and preferably mouse-controlled over movement-based. The camera also gets stuck on objects, or zooms into your back so close because of objects behind you that you can’t see what’s going on. Better camera operation would greatly improve the gaming experience. 

    I would like to see the quest system of Whisker Waters receive some reworking, too. They’re fine and interesting on their own, but once you’ve accepted them, good luck. You better have read and memorized exactly what to do and where to go, because the quest log does not give you hints on how to complete nor are there map markers for fetch quests. For the fishing quests where you have to catch certain fish, it’s fine, as your fishing log records what areas, types of water, and time of day the fish can be found. Otherwise, you just have to run around and hope for the best. 

    Final Thoughts

    I enjoy this game, truly. It’s adorable, playing as a cat is great, and the focus on fishing is refreshing. It does have some issues, but I’m confident the developers will remedy many of the problems players have brought up. In fact, they’ve already released a hotfix patch to address some of the easier issues. I look forward to what other fixes they have in store for Whisker Waters!

    I give it:

    You can find Whisker Waters on Steam, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation now!

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  • svgMay 9, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Monterona is a charming city building game by developer Slava Korolev. Similar in feel to games like Townscaper and Summerhouse, this game lets you build beautiful cityscapes while experiencing grandma’s stories. Unlock different buildings and decor as your progress through the game. And even explore different cities! 

    This is another one of those perfectly cozy games that has no goals and no pressure. You simply build winding streets, lush gardens, and tranquil canals to create a gorgeous city. Monterona features an uneven grid system so you have the freedom to build how and where you want. Unlock new buildings and objects to help further your creative ideas. And as you build and create, listen to stories about grandma’s hometown. You can even go visit other players’ creations and explore their cities by walking through the streets! 

    Release Date

    Monterona is coming to Steam at some point. There is no exact date listed. However, you can add it to your Wishlist now to keep an eye on it!

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  • svgMay 9, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Ready to set out on an exciting fantasy farming adventure full of yokai? Tales of Seikyu lets you do exactly that! Seikyu, an enchanting land, is a haven for the legendary creatures known as yokai. You and your friend Kon arrive in this lovely new place where you buy a farm, looking to settle down into a new life. You not only run your farm, but restore the local countryside inn to its former glory as you get to know fun new characters and explore a magical world! 

    Tales of Seikyu will have you engaging with 30 unique characters. Each one has an interesting and unique story of their own for you to get to know. Foster friendships with each one of them, and even build a budding romance with someone. On your farm, cultivate seasonal crops, restore old buildings, and raise different animals. You can also decorate your home with furniture and fun decor. Or, set out on an adventure through the world where you’ll encounter fun puzzles and find masks that give you different abilities! 

    Release Date

    Tales of Seikyu will release some time this year. You can find it listed on Steam where you can add it to your Wishlist. 

    Cozy Crest is another unique farming sim that focuses on elemental magic.

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  • svgMay 8, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Simpler Times is an interactive meditation experience by developer stoneskip. that promises beautifully poignant moments. You play as Taina, who is getting ready to move out of her childhood home to begin the next exciting chapter of her life. The game takes place in your childhood bedroom as you relive memories and learn how Taina became the creative and expressive person she is today! 

    This is another game perfect for the super casual gamer as there are no timers, no scores, no combat, and no anxiety-inducing scenarios. Simpler Times offers a reflective, contemplative story experience instead. Listen to music, paint, watch the world outside your window, read, and solve notes at your own pace. Each object in the room has a story to tell about the past, a story that takes place over 10 years and in four different months and seasons. There’s even a lovely lo-fi soundtrack to accompany you through your observations and puzzles. 

    Release Date

    Simpler Times is set to release on Steam, though there is no release date available. There is a demo to try out, though!

    The atmosphere of this game reminds me of Behind The Frame!

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