The Best Games From the Wholesome Direct

Without an E3 this year, we’re instead seeing lots of independent showcases for video games.

While the reason E3 2020 has been cancelled isn’t exactly cause for celebration, it does mean that some smaller titles have been able to get in the spotlight in weird and wonderful ways. One such showcase is Wholesome Direct, dedicated to ‘cosy’, feelgood games. Its indie game showcase aired yesterday, showing off over 50 upcoming games.

You can watch the full stream here, but we’ve picked out a handful of the games we’re most excited about below.

1Kind Words

Out now on Steam

This one has been out for a while, but with the current state of the world, it’s hard to overlook Kind Words. It’s a game simply about writing letters to your friends; letters with nice, caring sentiments. It’s something we all need. It’s been on Steam since last year, but a new update has just landed. Perhaps it’s worth checking out to give yourself some much-needed self care.

2Sayri: The Beginning

Sayri is an adventure set in a beautiful 3D world. You play as a strange creature with a dangerous journey ahead of them. The environments you pass through look simply gorgeous; there’s a touch of Ori and the Blind Forest here, if it was a fully 3D adventure. There’s no release date just yet, but it’s certainly one to watch.

3Little Witch in the Woods

2021

It’s hard not to fall in love with Little Witch in the Woods‘ beautiful pixel art style. It’s a ‘life sim’ where you play as a, well, little witch living in the woods. You’ll craft potions, make friends with the weird and wonderful creatures in the woods, and improve your skills over the course of a few years. It looks adorable, and we can’t wait to see more.

4TOEM

Q1 2021

TOEM‘s black and white doodle-art is utterly charming. It’s a small adventure game about helping out communities and talking photos. The characters you meet along the way look full of life, and each community has its own unique feel. It looks like a lot of fun, though we’ll have to wait until 2021 to get our hands on it.

5When the Past Was Around

2020

Telling the story of a girl and her lover, When The Past Was Around is a point and click adventure game that sees you traverse her memories, piecing together stories of a life. It looks beautiful and bittersweet, and a must-play for anyone who enjoys grounded tales of love and loss.

6Garden Story

Garden Story grabbed us instantly with its beautiful art style. In it, you play a newly-appointed village gardener, and it’s your job to bring your island back to its former glory. You’ll need to help residents, regrow gardens, and protect yourself from threats. There’s no release date yet, but it’s one we can’t wait to see more of.

7Dépanneur Nocturne

Out now

A small game about trying to find a gift for your girlfriend might not sound like much, but there’s something about Dépanneur Nocturne‘s atmosphere that sucked us straight in. It’s late at night, so there aren’t many shops open – but you must find the right gift. Best of all, it’s out now on Steam.

8Rainy Season

Summer 2020

A rain storm is racing outside, so a family is stuck indoors, trying to find ways to entertain themselves. Not all is quite how it seems though, and exploring an oh-so-familiar house can bring up some big surprises. Like monsters. Rainy Season is coming to Steam this summer.

9Hoa

2020

While Hoa‘s trailer doesn’t give much away, its gorgeous hand-painted visuals and stunning soundtrack is enough to get us intrigued. It’s a side-scrolling adventure set in a beautiful world. The game promises a relaxing atmosphere, and it’s set to release on PC and Switch later this year.