When the mercury begins to dip and that familiar, brisk autumn air returns, there’s not much I love more than getting snug with a blanket, a cup of something delicious, lighting a candle or two, and pulling out a great book or cosy game.
Many of us in this little community have struggled to focus on reading since the pandemic began – my own reading stamina and drive has only just started to pick back up again. In times when a book can’t provide an escape, it’s certainly time to fire up a new game to immerse ourselves into, right?
Last year, the entire world was gripped by the curiously addictive world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. And for good reason: Animal Crossing games have brought me endless joy over the years. So if you’re seeking similar serotonin and seriously good vibes this autumn, I’m here to share five of my favourite cosy games with you.
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I certainly go through phases with Stardew Valley, an open-ended farming RPG. To date, I’ve sunk just over 60 hours into this addictive game and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
Charming and chock-a-block with skills to build, relationships to form, crops to farm and harvest, and monsters to fight, the game is a brilliant all-rounder. It has a pixel art style, which feels incredibly nostalgic, and is beautifully built. I rarely tire of things to do, although I often feel frustrated at how quickly the day passes and with the stamina bar. The game is available on Nintendo Switch and Steam; I play on both and much prefer Steam, where you can install endless mods!
Find all of the Stardew Valley mods that I currently use here.
Where do I begin with this beautiful game?! I can only really describe this game as a gorgeously cosy, ever so slightly spooky take on Where’s Wally? in game form. I picked this game up when it was first released, and it has since become one of my ‘comfort games’, something I play almost daily and always look forward to picking up.
Cozy Grove’s premise is that you’re a new Spirit Scout, setting up camp on a curious island where lost spirit bears wander. You’re tasked with helping each spirit on their way, unravelling their stories – each gorgeously written – and finding lost items. There’s cooking, crafting and resource-gathering to be done here, as well as a little decorating. Quests can be unlocked, sending you on little adventures fishing, gathering and hunting out items. You can play it for jut a few minutes a day, or really max it out. Either way, the incredibly devoted developers have cleverly limited each day’s gameplay so that you don’t sink endless hours into it.
It’s been a few weeks since I last opened up Littlewood, yet it’s a game I wanted to include in this round-up. Another pixel art game, here you’re a supposed ‘hero’ that’s lost their memory. Tasked with building up your town, you can farm, gather resources, mine and fight. The town-building and decorating is one of my favourite parts of Littlewood, as there’s freedom to do as you please, but rewards if you tick the checkboxes of what the residents want.
There’s something incredibly charming about Littlewood, in a way that’s different from the other open-ended RPGs I’ve already mentioned. And I LOVE that there are several worlds to unlock, each as sweet and perfectly formed as the last. However if you pressed me to choose just one… this likely wouldn’t be the one.
I’d been anticipating the release of Garden Story ever since a Wholesome Games Direct months ago and, these few short weeks that I’ve had the game, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
I expected another cute farming sim, but Garden Story is actually more of an action-adventure RPG in a beautifully designed topdown style. There’s tasks to complete each day, alongside a main storyline, and ALL of the characters are incredibly cute and lovable. The soundtrack has me constantly playing on a loud volume, and it’s just challenging enough to feel like you’re playing playing, you know?
I first heard of this franchise a few years ago, then stumbled across the game in late November last year. And, amidst going through a rough breakup last winter, I finally picked the game up and won’t be looking back.
There’s something seriously enchanting about Atelier games. You play as a ‘magical girl’, fighting for good and encountering endless monsters along the way. What I adore the most about Atelier Ryza are the cast of characters, the way you can build and change a squad, the alchemy function, and the wonderful story. Turn-based battling keeps the game fun and moving swiftly, but there’s plenty of skill required too. Side quests play a big part – a big sway for me! – and it’s somewhat guided too, for the faint-hearted. I think I squeezed a solid 30 hours of gameplay out of this, although I easily could’ve doubled that had I not been desperate to start playing its’ sequel! One for gamers who like to ‘end’ a game.
Which cosy games will you be reaching for this autumn?