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  • svgJul 4, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Happy Sheepies by developer Berker Games is an adorable and cozy sheep farming sim. Kick back and relax with its simple drag and drop gameplay as you take care of your herd of sheepies. They’re your most valuable asset, so caring for them and keeping them happy is important! Feed them crops you’ve harvested, offer them water to keep them hydrated, and they’ll reward you with wool and milk. 

    Use what your sheepies produce to craft different items at worktables. Make things like cheeseburgers and leather jackets, or one of the other 150+ items to make from recipes. Use the different workbenches and some fun automation tools in Happy Sheepies to increase production, which will increase profits. And every 3 days, sheepies will want to breed. More sheepies means more profit, too! Plus, there’s no enemies to fight off, so you can simply take care of sheepies and make money in a relaxing environment!

    Release Date

    Happy Sheepies is releasing on Steam July 8th. That’s just four days away! Add it to your Wishlist now to get notified of its release. 

    Prefer llamas? Check out Wish Upon a Llama!

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  • svgJul 3, 2024Indie Highlight

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    If your favorite part of life sim games is filling in the different collections for places in town like the library, aquarium, or museum, then Museum Keeper by developer Red Thorn Interactive might be perfect for you! In this cozy exploration game, you get to build your dream museum from almost the ground up. Located in a small town, the museum is the town’s shining hope for an economic revival. So your job is to get that museum up and running to attract tourists and revive the town!

    You have total control of how the museum turns out as you get to decorate the place to your heart’s content. You also get to staff it, choose the exhibits, and go hunting for the artifacts you’ll display! Go exploring the underground where you’ll find artifacts based on real life historic artifacts found around the world. Engage in battles against monsters who want to stop you from your research. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for museum thieves, too! You’ll encounter them in Museum Keeper and they’re determined to make money off the valuable artifacts you display. And get to know the quirky cast of townspeople as they come visit you or you visit them. Each one has their own unique interests that draw them to the museum. 

    Release Date

    Museum Keeper is currently listed on Steam where you can add it to your Wishlist. There is no release date available, however. 

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  • svgJul 1, 2024Reviews

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    Rusty’s Retirement is a cute farming idle game that sits at the bottom, or vertically on the side, of your computer screen. It’s a farming sim, so you plant crops, raise animals, and decorate. But instead of requiring your full attention at all times, it chugs away at whatever tasks it needs to while you do other things. You start out with just Rusty running the show, but as you progress, you can automate by building robots who will plant, water, and harvest crops for you. It’s perfect for the busy person looking to take short breaks playing a little something cozy! 

    It’s The Perfect Idle Game

    I really don’t generally enjoy idle games, honestly. They don’t hold my attention and the progression never feels good. Nevermind that most idle games I come across are combat-based and require repetition of levels to get good enough to advance. I’ve found myself trying different ones before, but always forgetting they exist after a while. I just can’t get into them. 

    Rusty’s Retirement, though? It’s perfect in my eyes. Perhaps it’s because I already enjoy farming sims, but I think it really is more than just that. The game uses some lovely pixel art that I’ve grown to love over the years as it represents a sense of nostalgia for me. Plus, the color palette used for everything works well. The grass, farm plots, and buildings aren’t overwhelmingly bright. They’re actually a fairly subdued color, which helps things like the different decorative flowers pop when they’re placed. It makes for a really pleasant look overall. 

    Which brings me to the different options. You initially start with just Rusty’s house, a biofuel converter, and water well. The rest is an empty plot of grass, much of which you need to unlock to expand. Place down farm plots where you want them to begin growing crops. There are 42 different crops to grow in Rusty’s Retirement, and 7 different houses to build. Each house serves a different purpose in unlocking new options for you. Decorative flowers and other natural decor, berry bushes and bees, bot upgrades, farm animals, and farm statistics all come in handy at some point. The bees provide honey and the animals produce fertilizer that help crops grow. Everything has its place and works together with everything else to create a balanced game. Of course, the decorations are just for fun and to make your farm a creative outlet. 

    Easy to Play and Perfectly Cozy

    I really appreciate that Rusty’s Retirement is easy and casual. There’s no huge learning curve. There isn’t some big, hidden challenge. What you see is what you get, which is exactly what I want from it. It’s easy to come back to. And your little helpers are fairly intelligent when moving buildings and plots. The ones performing the move will grab a box, move it to the new area, then head back. They focus on finishing that one task before moving on to something else. No one is performing tasks like I do when I’ve had too much coffee: a little bit of everything here and there so nothing really gets done well or in a timely manner. Plus, the unlock progression feels appropriate. It doesn’t feel like an overwhelming grind. It also doesn’t feel too quickly achieved. There is a balance that’s been struck that feels just right. 

    Final Thoughts

    If you haven’t tried Rusty’s Retirement, please do. It’s so relaxing and chill. You can play while completing important homework tasks or answering work emails. Or you could even let it run while you play other games. Your options really are nearly endless. It’s a great bite-sized game that deserves every bit of love and attention it gets from the gaming community. 

    I give it:

    You can find Rusty’s Retirement on Steam now!

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  • svgJun 14, 2024Feature

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    Thank you to Prideful Sloth and CULT Games for this early access copy!

    Go-Go Town is an adorable city builder and management game where you’re the mayor. Your job is to plan, build, and prosper! Rise through the ranks as you surpass other towns as a prime tourist spot. Turn the rundown town from not to hot by cleaning it up and building things people want to see. Food stalls, knick knack shops, and beautiful parks all make for a fun experience for visitors. There’s a little more to it than just building things people want to see, though. Being mayor isn’t easy! 

    What’s New

    The first time I was given the chance to play Go-Go Town, it was a simple and limited playtest that barely scratched the surface of the game. This time, there’s so many new features and cool additions to the game that it’s like playing a whole new thing! There are new areas to explore, upgrades and progression that didn’t exist, plus fun cosmetics. 

    You now start the game with a humorous and easy tutorial that walks you through how to play while setting up a simple story behind why you’re suddenly a mayor. You can access the information via your in-game phone at any time, too. Then, you’re set off on your own to explore town and do almost anything you want. You are limited in what you can build until you unlock more things. However, you can build something and move it any number of times you want with ease. So it’s easy to redesign if you change your mind! 

    As the mayor in Go-Go Town, your prime objective is to restore the town. To do that, you’ll build interesting attractions to lure in visitors. To do that, you’ll need construction materials! Go mine some stone to turn into bricks, and cut down trees to turn into planks. Eventually, you can automate those jobs by hiring some of your new inhabitants. As you progress further through the game, you’ll be able to automate just about everything from farming and fishing, to courier services and trash pick up. In order to progress, you earn EGO points you can use to unlock more options. You’ll get the chance to have town decorations, upgrades to farming, fishing, mining, and forestry, as well as new home types, shops, and more! Progression is easy, but still satisfying. 

    What Else Is New

    Your handy in-game phone now has several apps to help you manage your town, too. The tourist tracker lets you know if any of the visitors are unhappy so you can fix the problem. The calendar shows you what time trains arrive, but also lets you schedule your leaderboard challenges. These challenges can be scheduled once you’ve bought every EGOTech currently available, and completing a challenge increases your town rank, unlocking more EGOTech to buy. Challenges are pretty easy to complete, and can be rescheduled with no negative outcomes should you fail. My first challenge needed me to earn 100 coins (which will happen through your shops), build some shops, and build a few lamp posts. The leaderboard app shows you how your town ranks amongst other towns. Keeping an eye on your apps will help you learn how to progress, but also lets you see how far you’ve come! 

    The potential new residents that show up in Go-Go Town now require you to meet some demands before they’ll accept an invite to move in. That means you’ll need to pay a fee, build something specific, or even just give them a high five! You can then assign them to a specific home and give them a job. Hiring residents will help you automate the town and take some tasks off your plate. If you’re getting overwhelmed, though, you can close the train station to visitors. This lets you restock shops, redesign and redecorate, build, clean up the trash and spills left behind, or even explore the new areas and biomes in peace! Of course, you won’t earn any money, but that’s an easy trade-off for momentary peace. 

    While you’re designing the town, don’t forget to give yourself a redesign! Visit the little kiosk next to the train station to change your hair, facial features, and clothes. As you find loot throughout the world, they’ll be sent to this kiosk. So, you can change clothes and add fun accessories like heart-shaped glasses. There are even a variety of hats to choose from, plus different baskets to carry your stuff in. 

    Overall

    Go-Go Town is such a great game. It’s exactly as chill as you need it to be since you can close the train station, but even then, it’s not an overly demanding or hectic game. The art is lovely. The music is perfect and not overwhelming. Being able to decorate and manage a town makes for a cool concept, but with the addition of the progression tiers, it’s a super engaging game. There are an almost endless list of possibilities for your little town, too! 

    There is a new demo available for the current Steam Next Fest, too. Even more exciting is Early Access drops on Steam June 18th! That’s just next week. So, if you haven’t already, add the game to your Steam Wishlist to be notified when it’s live.

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  • svgMay 23, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Pixel Colony by Studio Gimbap is a game where you’re the governor of a new island, and it’s yours to build up and manage. To keep your citizens happy, you need to ensure their access to resources and services. Collect and gather the necessary items, like food and building supplies, for building your new society. Also provide services, luxuries, and medical supplies to keep your citizens healthy and happy. What will really make your new town successful is establishing production chains to make operations run smoothly. Resource processes will start simple, but as your city grows, you’ll need to upgrade to more complex production chains in order to produce new buildings, medicines, and foods on your tiny island. 

    Release Date

    You can find Pixel Colony on Steam now! There’s even a demo available.

    This game is similar in feel to dotAGe!

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  • svgMay 16, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Step into the darker side of cozy with Dystopika by Voids Within. This game is a sandbox city builder, but instead of the light and fluffy kind, it has a more somber atmosphere. Inspired by cyberpunk and wanderlust vibes of cities that never sleep, you’ll create exciting cityscapes. Place buildings and giant electric billboards. Use holograms and traffic lights to create your perfect dystopian metropolis. Much like the rest of the cozy city builders, this darker version features no goals, no time limits, and no pressure. So, if you’ve been looking for a game with more gloomy, shadowy vibes but no pressures, this one’s for you! 

    Release Date

    Dystopika is set to release on Steam sometime this year! You can play a demo now, and also add it to your Wishlist.

    Fabledom is a more wholesome city-building experience if you prefer that!

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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 1, 2024Indie Highlight

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    Coffee Caravan by Broccoli Games promises an engaging coffee shop management experience. Become a barista in your very own tiny coffee shop on wheels. Immerse yourself in 3D, pastel-colored environments as you design your shop, brew up tasty coffee recipes, and serve your customers. Plus, explore the world through a road-trip type adventure, where no two journeys are the same! 

    Start the game in a small caravan where you hand-place your equipment to ensure the perfect set-up for you. You also get to choose your coffee recipes for the day in Coffee Caravan, which allows you to cater to your customer’s tastes! Use that money to buy new, more efficient appliances to make your business run smoother and faster. You can even buy decorations like trees, lampposts, flowers, and more to beautify your seating area. There are also different coffee recipes you can buy and experiment with to create the cozy coffee empire you always wanted! 

    Release Date

    The most exciting thing about Coffee Caravan now is that Broccoli Games announced that the game will release May 20th! That’s just a few weeks away. Then you get to experience the cozy wholesomeness of running your own tiny coffee shop. Until then, add the game to your Steam Wishlist and check out the demo, which has quite a few levels for you to play!

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