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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 1, 2024Snack Size News

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    Endless Ocean Luminous lets you explore the tranquil waters of the ocean. Start your watery adventure by customizing your very own diver. Use the character customizer to pick a color scheme for diving suit.  You can even utilize stickers and emotes! Dive into the Veiled Sea, an unexplored region, to discover new sights that change with every dive. Use your scanner to identify and learn about over 500 different species of marine life. Some of them are thought to be extinct, or even mythical. Play solo or connect to Nintendo Switch Online and play with up to 29 other people in one session and take a leisurely swim or focus on cataloging the sea life as fast as you can!

    Release Date

    You can find Endless Ocean Luminous on Nintendo Switch now!

    Beyond Blue is another gorgeous ocean exploration game!

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  • svgApr 22, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Tales of the Shire has been drip-feeding gamers teaser images and short videos via their Instagram since September of last year. From the snippets and absolute lack of information about the game, people have speculated that it would be a cozy game that takes place in the Shire with our favorite halfling people (obviously). Otherwise, there has been no real information on what the gameplay is going to be like, until now! Wētā Workshop has teamed up with Private Division to bring this lovely-looking game to life. If you’re unfamiliar with Wētā Workshop, they’re responsible for creating many of the memorable props, weapons, armor, and costumes for the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. 

    Now, they’re bringing us a cozy hobbit experience with Tales of the Shire! In this game, you get to live the life of a hobbit in the serene landscapes of the Shire. Start by creating your very own hobbit. Then, spend your idyllic days gardening, fishing, or cooking meals for fellow hobbit friends. Even forage for fruits and herbs or trade with locals. Explore the picturesque forests and lakes that surround your home. Plus, take advantage of the grid-less placement mechanic to decorate your very own hobbit hole! Place furniture and decor wherever you like to create your perfect home for you. 

    This is sure to be a great cozy game for those of you who loved The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and always wanted to experience the charming, relaxing life of the hobbits!

    Release Date

    Tales of the Shire is coming to Steam, Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S sometime this year!

    The art of the hobbits reminds me vaguely of Fae Farm, without the vibrancy!

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  • svgApr 3, 2024Snack Size News

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    The LEGO Group and Epic Games has announced that Fortnite creators will now be able to create their own LEGO Islands within Fortnite. One such new island that has been added to the Fortnite platform is an adorable little game called LEGO Cat Island Adventure! This new LEGO island is a cozy animal sim set on an island paradise full of cute little kitties. Set out on a playful adventure raising one of those adorable cats as your very own companion. Spend time together, build some stuff, and then complete tasks to make your furry friend happy. They’ll let you know if they aren’t! 

    Release Date

    LEGO Cat Island Adventure is available now wherever you play Fortnite

    Of course, if you prefer real LEGOS, don’t forget about the ACNH sets! Or check out LEGO Worlds on the Switch.

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  • svgMar 27, 2024Indie Highlight

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    If you’ve been looking for a cute fishing-focused game, then let me introduce Whisker Waters by developer Underbite Games! This casual game blends fantasy with fishing elements to make an intriguing concept for players. Start by creating your very own cat character by choosing from a number of fur colors and accessories to make a cat that’s uniquely yours! Then, set out on a journey of whimsy and wonder as you explore different regions while mastering fishing. 

    Whisker Waters takes place in a beautifully designed world where you’ll experience a distinct narrative and adventure. Solve some mysteries and unravel some stories to get to know the place, as well as make some friends along the way. Cats, bears, and birds all live in harmony, and you can befriend them or help them out with tasks. They’ll even reward you with some cool gear! As for the fishing, this isn’t your usual simple fishing game. While it’s easy to play, it’ll take time to master the sport. Each fish has its own tricks to avoid capture. Plus, you will have to deal with some obstacles like a tangled line, whirlpools, and stuck fish. Each one requires prowess and thought to overcome, but offers a wholly rewarding experience once you learn! 

    Are you ready for your next great fishing adventure? 

    Release Date

    Whisker Waters is set to release on April 25th on Steam, Switch, and PlayStation!

    Captain Pawesome is another cat-centric fishing game. Plus, there’s Catch and Cook: Fishing Adventure and DREDGE for more fishing-centered fun.

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  • svgMar 21, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Set out on an exciting adventure in this whimsical exploration platformer Promenade! The Great Elevator has been broken, and its cogs are now scattered across the world. It’s up to you to explore the world and find those missing cogs. You’re not alone, though. Your trusty little poulp friend has many abilities that you’ll find useful in your journey.

    Promenade is a colorful and cute game that features a unique world full of puzzles, mysteries, and so much more. Encounter unique characters. Explore dungeons and defeat the bosses you find there. Use different items you find to your advantage, too. Nothing is off limits! 

    Inspired by classics like Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro, this game is sure to be entertaining. 

    Release Date

    You can find Promenade on Steam, Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation now!

    Re:Fresh is another cozy platformer you should check out!

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  • svgMar 20, 2024Snack Size News

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    I recently wrote a review for Spirittea, which is a lovely cozy game where you run a bath house for spirits instead of the usual farming that’s taken over the cozy genre. Overall, I enjoyed the game as the characters are fun and unique, the spirits add a sense of levity (especially your guide Wonyan), and the art is pretty. I’m really excited that there’s a new update for it called the” SpecQUACKular Update”! 

    This fun new “SpecQUACKular Update” adds a few fun new things, plus fixes a bunch of bugs! Spirittea now has ducks, which I’m sure you could guess from the name of the update. The ducks can swim around the baths in the bath house, eating the algae that forms. So, not only are they cute, but they’re helpful too! There’s also a new vendor who will roll into town every once in a while carrying new items to sell. Seasonal mechanics are now present in the bath house, too. Depending on the seasons, the baths will fill with algae (hence the ducks), ice over, or fill with fallen leaves. You need to keep the baths clean and employ the new bath heaters! Bruce has new animations, and the fishing pole has a reticle so it’s easier to see where you’ve thrown your line. 

    Bug Fixes

    Fixed error where items could be lost by placing them on shelves and tables

    Fixed issues with items disappearing within inventory

    Fixed issue where NPC’s would disappear behind the restaurant

    Fixed bug where NPC’s would become stuck on a path upon reload

    Fixed issue with Quill where on Saturday nights at the food stall he would ask if you want to stop hanging out with him

    Issue fixed with NPC’s appearing on the map at a certain location but them actually not being there

    Fixed issue where NPC’s couldn’t be found during tutorial quests whilst with Amelia if you had quit to main menu mid game

    Fixed multiple issues in Miko’s quest around the mysterious rabbit and cake

    Fixed issues with a softlock during Leigh’s quest if you spoke to the spirit behind the canvas

    Doubled ugligrass spawn rate

    Fixed issue with Clarence’s quest where the statues wouldn’t come back if you left the room

    Fixed issues with the boar where they could hit the player when they were passing into another room

    You can find Spirittea on Steam, Switch, and Xbox now!

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  • svgMar 14, 2024Reviews

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    Spirittea is a cozy life sim all about helping out mischievous spirits. Developed by Cheesemaster Games, this relaxing sim is perfect for anyone looking to branch out from the usual farming sim. You play as yourself with some customization options, and you’ve just moved to a tiny town in what feels like the middle of nowhere. It’s generally a peaceful town, but the spirits have become restless and lost now that the townspeople have stopped worshiping them. It’s up to you to not only restore the bath house to give the spirits an outlet, but you’ll need to track them down and solve their problems, too!

    Overall, It’s an Enjoyable Game

    I’ve followed the development of Spirittea for a while, because as much as I love farming sims, having something different in the cozy game category is great. Plus, I love the idea of living in a rural Japanese-inspired town and running a bath house for spirits. It’s like my own personal Spirited Away without the consequences and bad guys. 

    The game starts with you meeting all of the townspeople, much like every other life sim out there. This time, though, you have Jan the dog to show you around. Speak to Jan and they’ll lead you to the villager, instead of aimlessly wandering around the town looking for people. It was an enjoyable way to force you to meet everyone and get a chance to see the town as you do it. 

    Being able to sleep at any time of day to advance the day by a few hours, or all night, is seriously one of Spirittea’s best assets. Sometimes you don’t want to open the bath house. Instead, you want to go fishing and catch some bugs, but you also want to do it at night. So, hop in your cozy bed and advance the clock! It was great when I was just done with the day and wanted to move on period. 

    Throw in the spirits with their different storylines and histories, and Wonyan being a sassy bit of comic relief, and it’s an intriguing game overall. Each of the spirits shows up in their own way, and requires some type of help that differs from the last. Plus, they look unique and have some great dialogue of their own. The character designs are done well, so everyone looks different from each other and easy to distinguish. The town is easy to navigate and explore, too. Everything together makes for a delightful experience. 

    There Are Some Cons, Though

    As much as I enjoy Spirittea, there are some problems with the game. I thankfully didn’t encounter any bugs or glitches, so I suppose these are more gripes than anything. However, there’s definite room for improvement in some aspects. 

    My biggest issue is the map. It sways. When you open it, instead of the landmarks, houses, and trees being stationary, the sway and bounce to the music. It was a motion-sickness dilemma that posed a problem throughout my whole play. Plus, trying to find someone in the apartment building can be difficult because the sprites stack on top of each other so it’s hard to distinguish who is who. And if you’re at the apartment trying to see if your target townsperson is there, your marker is huge and covers up a good portion of that stack. 

    I enjoyed Spirittea’s addition of mini-games, and that they were unique. There was no carbon copy with a slight difference. I initially picked the hardest song possible in karaoke and wondered why it was SO hard, until I realized my mistake. The controls for that mini-game are great, though. My problem was with the fishing mini-game. You move your thumbstick the opposite direction instead of in the direction of the circle you want to select. It’s not very intuitive, and it wasn’t very cozy to have to stop and struggle every time I fished. Worse was the drinking mini-game not telling you anything about how to play or what controls to use. You just have to figure it out. Good luck!

    Final Thoughts

    I would still recommend Spirittea to cozy gamers looking for something different than the usual farm sim. It really is a delightful game, despite some of the issues. The storyline is unique, the characters are fun, and the visuals are nice. I really enjoy running my own bath house, too. It was simple and easy, and just overall fun! 

    I give it:

    You can find Spirittea on Steam, Switch, and Xbox!

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