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  • svgJan 21, 2020News

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    Mineko’s Night Market is an upcoming cat-themed crafting adventure game that celebrates Japanese culture and is essentially about friendship, choices, and of course, cats. The indie game is being developed by Meowza Games, and being published by Humble Bundle, who will also publish upcoming games Forager and Ikenfell. 

    The exact date for the games release is yet to be determined, though the creator mentioned that it may possibly be early this year.   I thought I’d provide everyone with a detailed article on everything we know about this cute cat-filled creation!

    What is the game about?

    Playing as Mineko, a girl who has moved to a superstitious fishing town inundated with cats, you will uncover secrets whilst assiting Mineko in becoming a successful young entrepreneur. This can be done by completing tasks, undertaking quests and gathering resources in preparation for the weekly night market.

    Players can craft a variety of odd items, toys, and trinkets, which can then be sold to townsfolk (who are now your customers) at Mineko’s night market stall. After you’ve finished selling your items, you can explore the Night Market yourself, where you can play mini-games, eat unusual foods, and purchase collectibles.

    The game allows you to explore distant lands by unlocking different types of transport (which include buses, bullet trains and cat carts). Each land offers new people to meet and unique things to do, dependent on the time of day and season.

    There are 16 uniquely themed markets every year which all feature a stage event that you can partake in. Examples of events include Taiko drumming, karaoke competitions, sumo suit wrestling, and more!

    The better you perform at the market, the bigger and better the market will become, which may well attract new townsfolk and even celebrity guests! 

    What sort of stuff can I do in the game?

    Some features of the game include:

    • Explore the village and surrounding areas to find rare resources and make new friends
    • Craft peculiar items with the resources you find around the world
    • Barter with townsfolk at the weekly Night Market to sell your creations
    • Explore the night Market to discover unusual culinary dlights and collectibles
    • Play and compete in a variety of Night Market games like cat racing, 
      pachinko, and whack-a-tako
    • Uncover the mysteries of the Sun-Cat Abe and Mount Fugu Island!

    How much will it cost?

    The price of the game is still TBA.

    What platforms will it be released on?

    • PC 
    • Mac
    • Nintendo Switch

    When will it be released?

    The Nintendo website claims that the game is ‘coming early 2019’ to the Switch console. As the PC and Mac versions were in the works first.  However it was delayed until 2020 with no concrete release date, however let’s hope we can all play the game this year!

    Is there any game merchandise available to buy?

    Yes! The following items can be purchased whilst you (im)patiently await the game’s release:

    I sat down with Brent, developer behind the game for an exclusive interview last year. For some more sneaky details on Mineko’s Night Market, make sure you check out the interview here

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  • svgDec 13, 2019Quick Bits

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    In the latest free update for The Sims 4 on December 12th, 2019 for PC and Mac, the developers over at Maxis have added large bug fixes and improvements to the core game and their expansions. Most recently those expansions include: Island Living. Realm of Magic, and Discover University. You can check out the full patch notes on EA’s official website here. However, what’s not in that update list is the fact that you can now purchase in-game the best new item that is Baby Yoda.

    If you’ve been on the internet lately you probably heard about the new streaming service Disney+ and their popular new original Stars Wars show The Mandalorian. In an episode named “The Child”, the internet immediately fell in love with the new character that’s of the same race as beloved franchise character Yoda. Since we don’t have a name for said race, this new character has been dubbed Baby Yoda.

    All you have to do is go to your Build/Buy Mode to add this adorable decoration to your Sims’ home! Baby Yoda is officially named ‘The Child Statue’ in The Sims 4, costs 504 simoleons, and the descriptions says, “This statue is a lovable replica inspired by the Disney+ live action series, The Mandalorian.”

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  • svgNov 22, 2019Quick Bits

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    After a successful Kickstarter over a year ago, Dwarrows now has a new trailer and can be Wishlisted on Steam (for PC, Mac, and Linux) with an expected release date of Q1 2020! There isn’t any news on the Xbox One version as of now but at least we’ll be able to get our hands on the game very soon!

    Dwarrows, developed by Canadian indie studio Lithic Entertainment Inc., is a peaceful 3rd-person adventure and town-building game. Gather, build, puzzle, explore, and quest in a beautifully handcrafted world!

    Since I spoke of Dwarrows last, the developers note that there have been many major improvements and updates which include new pets and pet abilities (yes you can befriend them), new character quests, new dungeons, and more!

    Dwarrows Official Trailer

    If you’re interested in town-building games like this one, check out my article here: Foundation: A New Kind of City-Building Simulation Game.

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  • svgNov 9, 2019Reviews

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    Donut County, devoloped by Ben Esposito and published by Annapurna Interactive (What Remains of Edith Finch), released on SteamPS4GOG, the App Store, and the Mac App Store in 2018. Thanks to the awesome Steam’s Halloween Sale, I was able to play this hilarious physics-based puzzle game. It is indeed reverse-Katamari from the gameplay mechanics and premise, to the colorful and whimsical world of strange characters. In Donut County, you control a hole and put everything and anything in it! My only complaint is that I wish the game was longer because I enjoyed it so much. You can check out my full gameplay of 2 hours below!

    The idea of starting with consuming smaller objects so that you can grow-in-size and move on to larger ones, had me sold. But the game goes even further by adding a fully-formed and ridiculous plot about raccoons building a bigger trash empire through use of their technology. Apparently that includes this remote-controlled hole that brings what it swallows 999 feet underground. So don’t worry, no animals were harmed during your enjoyment of total destruction.

    To shake things up a little, certain levels require a tad more strategy like with hard-to-reach objects. For example, you can upgrade the hole to have a launcher to shoot things upward, such as a frog to catch the flies. You can’t die and you can’t really mess up so you can just keep trying different things until they work! Eventually our friend the raccoon, BK, gets stuck down under with the entire town and helps to come up with a plan to send everyone back.

    To check out the official website of Donut County, click here!

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  • svgNov 9, 2019Indie Highlight

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    Little Big Workshop is an adorable simulation and strategy game developed by Mirage Game Studios and Published by HandyGames (THQ Nordic division). The game released on October 17th, 2019 on Steam which you can purchase here, for PC or Mac, for only $19.99! Manage your workers, stations, machines, and create awesome toys and items to expand your factory. Moreover, it’s almost as if you get to manage little workshop elves, Santa’s helpers, which makes this the perfect game to play this holiday season!

    About Little Big Workshop

    Imagine a magical factory, appearing right in your living room. A carefully planned masterpiece, where diligent workers throw together anything customers want. Rubber ducks and dressers, drones and electric guitars, scooters and other wonderful goods can be created from many different materials and sold for hard cash – cash you invest right back into your factory to get more machines, more workers and grow your business. In Little Big Workshop you become a factory tycoon!

    Real Factories – Made FUN

    You are the Big Boss and it’s time to take charge of your very own tabletop factory. Organize the factory floor, manage your workers, purchase machinery, and design efficient production lines – all within the time-limit and to your client’s satisfaction!

    An Open-Ended Sandbox-Experience

    Take it easy, it’s a sandbox-experience where you think, ponder and poke at things until you get it to work the way you’d like. Supply products to clients and an ever-changing market, as you produce over 50 unique product types, built from multiple parts and pieces – all of which can be created with different materials and production methods. No two factories should ever look the same.

    Tiny Hands, Big Dreams

    Start out with just a small workshop and expand to a desk-filling factory. Unlock ever fancier machines, add even more production methods, and most of all, more room. Soon enough you’ll be running multiple production lines, producing hundreds of advanced products each day, and watching with joy as your cute workers do the actual work.

    Key Features

    • Four unique industries fully simulated
    • Focus on practical problems, not on values, economics, or logistics
    • Organize all steps of the production on a blueprint
    • Factories grow as you unlock more desk space
    • Day/Night-cycle with simulated working time
    • Take care of your workers! Work them too hard and they may turn on you
    • Cute model-town art-style

    In the mood for more holiday shopping? Check out my article here: Nintendo Switch Perfect Gift Guide.

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  • svgOct 29, 2019Feature

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    Hokko Life, created by sole developer Robert Tatnell, is one of my most anticipated indie games! Not only is Hokko Life a cute villager-life simulation game like Animal Crossing, it also brings a few new unique features to the table. Pun intended! The customization for Hokko Life goes quite in-depth with the capability to choose your character’s skin tone, to shaping and sizing your own furniture!

    The game is still in early development, and since my interview with the creator and my other updates, we wanted to summarize everything we know so far! Although there is no release date or confirmed platforms other than PC/Mac as of now, let’s take a look at some older and newer screenshots which show quite an amazing progress!

    Furniture and House Customization

    All items you create for either inside your home, or that of a villagers’, as well as outside, you will be able to scale the size, move, and rotate! The UI has gone through many improvements including pre-set shapes that are now nice and organized under menus. Under these categories you’ll also find materials such as wood and metals to decorate with. So far you can use that painting tool to make T-Shirts, wallpaper, and flooring! The developer intends to add a option to cake decorating eventually.

    Animal Character Personalities and Interaction

    There’s a train station in town and at various times during the day characters will hop off the train. After you’ve met a visitor a few times, helped them out with tasks, and become friends with them, you’ll open up the option to ask them to move to town! When interacting with those villagers, there will be tons of new variety in the player and character conversations. Greetings will change depending on time of day and the weather. You can also wave at the villagers which puts them in a happy mood! Villagers will have visible reactions now; laughing, crying, getting angry, which can be triggered in dialogue.

    Shopping and Accessorizing

    The interior of the shops have their entire inventory laid out and on display. You can walk up to each item and interact with them before buying. The contents of the shops change every day, so you can look forward to checking what’s new as often as possible. Shopkeepers will have set hours and will otherwise have the store locked. The fashion store specifically recently got a make-over, both internal and external.

    When creating your character, you can change hair color, eye color, skin color, and more! For now we get to see the most recently-added blue mohawks, buns, and buzzcuts! You can buy clothing at the above-mentioned fashion store such as hats, pants, tops, even headphones. Clothing is non-gender-specific, so you’re free to wear whatever you want too.

    Activities: Farming, Fishing, Chopping Trees

    The world is set up as different areas, each with their own activities and feel. There’s a dedicated town center for all your shopping needs, a lovely beach for night time strolls, some pleasant riverside walks, etc. Other core activities include farming with crops such as cabbages and radishes! Moreover, since a weather mechanic was added, rain can now water these crops. There are also the mines and forests areas that are randomly generated each day, full of lovely resources! Stuff your backpack full of these resources so you can later craft some items with them. I’m particularly excited with the adorable 3D fishing mini-game. It reminds me of Mario Party where you can scoop up some fish. There are even treasure chests added in the water that you can pick up too!

    You can follow along what Robert’s working on next with his Devlog right here on his website! Of course, I’ll also be watching out for his monthly updates and will keep you posted on this adorable town-builder.

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  • svgOct 25, 2019Quick Bits

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    Book of Travels, created by Might and Delight, is a relaxing game where you can create your own character and backstory, as well as create your own story. There are no main goals or sidequests, and you don’t have to save the world. Just enjoy walking through beautifully hand-painted and calm pastoral environments alone or with a small group of friends. The game will be available sometime in 2020 for PC, Mac and Linux. You can even wishlist it now on Steam here. The developers say it will cost $30.00 on Steam “and wherever you buy Book of Travels, there will be no subscription fee.” They also plan to continue to evolve the world, its lore and its backstory, adding events and levels for years to come.

    This unique RPG will focus on exploration and discovery in your own creative way. Players that choose to forge relationships and travel with companions will only have access to emotes and symbols. Through wordless communication, the developers hope the players will find unique ways to say a lot with very little. To take part in this fairytale world, you can back it on Kickstarter here and receive in-game items, and art as rewards.

    For another game about exploring lush natural beauty like Book of Travels, check out my article here: Eastshade Coming to PS4 & Xbox One Vey Soon.

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  • svgOct 23, 2019News

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    Letters, developed by 5am Games, a team of 3 members based in Zurich, Switzerland, is a puzzle-adventure game about friendship and using your words to make a difference. Solve riddles by literally moving around words through your character’s pen pal letters all while enjoying the cute graphics, the short but sweet gameplay, and an uplifting soundtrack! The game is currently in mid-production with the goal of releasing Letters in the first half of 2021. For now, Letters will be releasing on PC and Mac, with a later possibility of mobile and Nintendo Switch versions.

    As of today, October 23rd, 2019, the developers have launched their Kickstarter campaign which you can find here. Their rewards not only include a digital copy of the game but also, digital wallpapers, the digital soundtrack, physical sticker sheets, postcards, enamel pins and t-shirts, and more!

    About Letters

    Follow the life of Sarah by moving through pen pal letters and chat messages she sends to her friends. In a world made from paper and computers, words matter. So use their power to change drawings that block your way and interact with images of Sarah’s friends and family. Pick up words from the text and throw it at a drawing or image to change it.

    Like in real life, finding the right words is hard. That’s why in Letters you can create new words by breaking apart the existing ones. Think out of the box and play with words in a new and fun way.

    Follow Sarah’s life from childhood until she’s a young woman and make decisions for her along the way. Choose your words wisely cause you never know how they will affect Sarah’s life.

    Key Features

    • innovative word-based riddle mechanic, you’ve never seen before
    • relatable coming of age story, inspired by real-life
    • branching storyline where you can discover new possibilities with every playthrough
    • beautifully hand-drawn visuals & pixel art evolving with Sarah’s age
    • comfy, playful & casual game that focuses on narration and having fun with words
    • good for practicing English skills in a fun way

    Letters is inspired by the branching storyline of Life is Strange, the personal feel of A Normal Lost Phone, the nostalgia of Emily is Away Too and the creators’ own experiences growing up. Furthermore, the game also has elements from traditional word-games like Scrabble. If that piques you’re interest, try out the free demo either on Steam or now! You can also view my demo playthrough below.

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