The Wholesome Direct 2022 showcase dropped this past weekend and with it a whole host of upcoming indie games! This year I participated as one of the Wholesome Games content creator partners by co-streaming the event on my Twitch channel, and y’all I was blown away by all the amazing games on the horizon! But, just in case you missed my live reactions, here are some of the games that I am most excited for from the Wholesome Direct 2022!
We Are OFK – Team OFK
From indie pop band OFK: We Are OFK is the story of how four friends came together to release their debut music without throwing their phones at walls in frustration. A making-of-the-band series & Interactive EP about dreaming, dating, and paying rent in Los Angeles.Official Synopsis
This game popped onto my radar after the Nintendo Indie Direct a few weeks ago and I cannot wait to play this game!! A making of the band musical experience that focuses on the ups and downs of breaking into the music scene. We Are OFK is going to be a fully voiced episodic animated series told over five episodes, giving players a chance to immerse themselves into the lives of four friends. And of course there will be music–enjoy 5 Interactive Music Videos: with debut tracks performed by OFK.
Doki Toki – Flip Alive Games
DokiToki is a first-person puzzle game about manipulating time to solve escape-the-room style puzzles. Players need to freeze, unfreeze, and manipulate objects in time to reach each level’s exit and progress through school.
Stopping time……with the power of love!
Play as Ai, a girl who’s so hopelessly in love, it feels like everything around her is stopped in time. Traverse Ai’s school, hopping from hallway to hallway and clearing each classroom in search of the boy Ai wants to confess to.Official Synopsis
The girl who simped through time… okay, that was bad. But, I won’t lie, Doki Toki looks like a really cool game. Play as Ai a high school girl with the ability to manipulate time, as she attempts to track down her crush so she can confess. Solve complex puzzles, clear classrooms, and bag your bae! Time travel romances are a dime a dozen, but in Doki Toki you’re gonna have to work for your happily ever after!
Melatonin – Half Asleep Games
Melatonin is a rhythm game about dreams and reality merging together. It uses animations and sound cues to keep you on beat without any intimidating overlays or interfaces. Harmonize through a variety of dreamy levels containing surprising challenges, hand-drawn art, and vibrant music.Official Synopsis
The Wholesome Direct slipped Melatonin in at the end of the showcase, but it definitely left an impression. With it’s pastel palette and animated visuals, this dream inspired rhythm game is the epitome of chill vibes. I will admit that rhythm games give me trouble, but there’s just something about Melatonin that has me eager to give it a go.
Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly – Toge Productions
In a time where people are isolated from each other, Coffee Talk is a place where we can reconnect over a cup of warm drink.
It’s time to revisit your favorite late-night coffee shop and reconnect with your fantasy friends over a warm drink or two. You are a barista, and your customers aren’t always humans, listen to their stories and influence their hearts with a warm cup of coffee or two.Official Synopsis
Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly is the much anticipated follow-up to 2020’s critically acclaimed Coffee Talk. More late night caffeine fueled connections await as you brew tasty drinks for patrons looking for a safe space to unwind. I loved the first game and I am eager to dive back into this wonderful world and meet a new set of characters and hear their stories.
The Garden Path – Carrotcake
Far from your old life, you find yourself a new wilderness – a life once lived in these dense woods, waiting to be rediscovered.
The Garden Path explores the quiet moments of a life well lived, where your garden will grow to reflect both the passing of time and your own design. Time here runs in concert with the real world, and the passing of seasons heralds new encounters and a new story to weave.
Above all, The Garden Path is a life sim that celebrates the tranquil and the pensive, a tucked-away place to shape and grow as you like.Official Synopsis
In a sea of action packed games, The Garden Path offers a cozy rustic slice-of-life experience for players looking to escape the hustle and bustle of their day to day lives. Warm tones, gorgeous illustrated visuals, casual gameplay, are the highlights of this easygoing gardening life-sim. No unrealistic quests or tasks, take your experience at your own pace and appreciate the small moments in life.
Kaichu – Squiddershins
Answer challenging compatibility questions to decide the fate of your relationship, but don’t worry if you’re new to romance or don’t speak any love languages because kaiju are notoriously non-verbal. Kaichu’s two news anchors will interpret and report on the destructive courtship dance and enable players to learn about the personality and preferences of their favored kaiju. Give romance a chance, and let love smash its way into your heart with Kaichu!Official Synopsis
I have played my fair share of comedy-parody dating sims over the years, but Kaichu is one of a kind. It’s a kaiju dating sim. I mean, hell everyone deserves to find love, including giant rampaging monsters, right? This promises to be a hilarious, fun ride and I promise I will be front and center when this game releases!
Paper Trail – Newfangled Games
Paper Trail is a top-down puzzle adventure about leaving home, set in a foldable, paper world. You play as Paige, a budding academic, leaving home for the first time to pursue her studies. On the journey, you learn to fold the world, merging two sides to solve puzzles, explore new areas and uncover long-lost secrets.Official Synopsis
I don’t usually play many puzzle adventure games, but Paper Trail has a really cool gameplay mechanic. In the game you fold and join pathways together like you would manipulate a piece of paper to solve puzzles and move your character along the gorgeous, vibrant world. If nothing else, that is more than enough reason to give Paper Trail a try!
Fall of Porcupine – BUNTSPECHT.GAMES
FALL OF PORCUPINE is a unique story adventure. The collision of work and daily life – an exciting reflection of an unhealthy system. In the supplemental LAST DAYS OF SUMMER we guide young Finley through his first weeks at a provincial hospital. He is on fire for his apprenticeship as an internist. But a lot of pressure makes Finley’s life difficult and our gameplay challenging.Official Synopsis
With its socially aware premise and zoomorphic cast of characters, this next game absolutely gives me Night in the Woods vibes. In Fall of Porcupine explore a small town, get to know its residents, and maybe make a difference as Finley, a medical internist. Navigate the ups and downs of work and life, while fostering relationships and solving challenging puzzles in this unique adventure game.
Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley – Hyper Games
A musical adventure game in which Snufkin needs to restore the harmony of Moominvalley, after a series of grotesque parks has appeared and ruined the valley’s natural balance. The game is an ambient and wholesome experience for both kids and adults, and combines open world-mechanics with puzzles, stealth and melodic elements.Official Synopsis
Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is an adaptation of the much beloved Moomin series, and while I didn’t grow up with the series I can appreciate this gorgeous game. In this original musical adventure, players will follow Snufkin on a quest to restore balance to Moominvalley… and maybe cause a bit of mischief along the way. The storybook-esque artstyle and fun open-world gameplay style definitely make Snufkin a standout from the Wholesome Direct.
30 Birds – ram ram
Help our girl Zig to find the thirty birds. Explore the Lanterns, a gorgeous flying city built by the goddess Simurgh, and meet all kinds of bizarre characters : from djinns to magic animals, from regular weirdos to mafia rude boys… Zig will have to make them talk, to use her wits and play good dub music to collect all the birds’ contacts. Only then may she be able to wake up Simurgh, the giant bird Queen, from her decade long sleep.Official Synopsis
I am a sucker for interesting gameplay mechanics and art, and 30 Birds has that in spades! This game’s unique hand painted style inspired by Persian art and vibrant color palette alone make it a stand out from the more traditionally styled games. But, what caught my attention most is how the devs create a 3D gameplay experience within the game’s 2D world. The rotating perspectives as the character, Zig moves through the various locales of the game adds a fun visual effect.
So, what games are you excited for?
There were so many great games showcased at the 2022 Wholesome Games Direct! Which ones are you most looking forward to? Do some of your faves match mine or are there titles I didn’t mention? Definitely let me know your faves down in the comments! And if you missed the Direct, check it out over on the Wholesome Games YouTube channel!