When I talked to David, a.k.a. Fame, about joining LV1 Gaming as a writer, I mentioned that I would love to introduce more cozy games to the website. Cozy Games are the dessert after having a hearty RPG main dish. I need those games to relax after experiencing a rollercoaster story. This story can either be through a game, or life itself kicking me through the mud. So, I decided to start this series on the website: Cozy & Wholesome Games You Did NOT Play. Sometimes I will talk about new games, other times I will talk about older ones that I feel need more love. So, if you find yourself looking for cozy games to help you relax, unwind and chill, you are in for a treat. Cheers to Part 1 of many Cozy and Wholesome game lists to come!
Developed By: Tinymoon
Published By: Freedom Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, XBOX, and PC
Clouzy! is a first-person new cozy farming sim that invites you to care for cute clouds. You begin by customizing your character. You choose your hairstyle, hair color, skin color, and clothes which is pretty basic. Then your character wakes up in this colorful world where you start the tutorial. As you learn to walk and rotate the camera, you are led to a quest board to start your journey. In there you get a basic understanding of how to take care of your clouds, gather resources, and such. The premise is to run a cloud kindergarten. You have to make sure the clouds stay clean, get exposed to enough sunlight, as well as eat and drink.
As you complete your kindergarten duties, you also have to explore the world and see what it has to offer. The surroundings are very colorful. You can move from area to area, where each belongs to different biomes. For example, one area can designate a forest with plenty of trees and greenery while another is a desert with lots of rocks around. Not only do you wander off to collect resources but also to find different puzzles and structures to activate. Once you do that, you will be rewarded with a journal prompt that explains a bit about the world’s lore. For instance, you can go to a water fountain and learn about its connection to the world. Not only that, but you also enjoy a cute scene where your cloud companion floats around and then gives your character a cozy hug!
The game is certainly cute and the music adds to the cozy feeling. The music is very chill and relaxing. However, quickly enough, my gripes with the game started. First, I was feeling lost most of the time. The tutorial that I mentioned is executed in a non-user-friendly way. It is difficult to understand what to do. Even operating the cooking machine was not that easy. Keep in mind, that making food is essential to keep your clouds well fed. Regardless, till now, I still have no idea how the machine operates. Second, the controls are inadequate, making basic things like moving around or interacting with objects take extra effort. Third, the third-person camera gave me motion sickness since I was not able to adjust things like the field of view. This would have made things easier on my eyes.
Clouzy! is definitely cozy and wholesome. The idea of taking care of cute clouds had potential. However, it is difficult to know who this game is catered towards. As an adult, I did not have the best time with it. This makes me wonder if the game would be a better fit for a kid. However, if I did not know my way around the game, will it be easier for a kid?
Clouzy! is for you if:
-You love colorful environments and different biomes
-You find the idea of taking care of clouds very cute
-You love to discover hidden secrets by completing complex puzzles
-You want to show the devs support
Clouzy! is NOT for you if:
-You get easily frustrated with complex puzzles
-You cannot tolerate “janky” controls
-You like to have a sense of understanding of how a game works (a.k.a. good tutorials)
-You easily get motion sickness
Developed & Published By: Afterburn and 7 Levels
Price: $4.99 (depending on platform)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, XBOX, Android, iOS, and PC
When I first saw Inbento, I noticed the cats. After that, I noticed the food-themed puzzles. Cats and food? I am already intrigued. However, I don’t like puzzles, the main focus of this game. Funny enough, this one clicked with me. In Inbento, you witness the story of a Cat mom, going through the stages of parenthood. There is no voice acting or dialogue, only beautifully drawn story chapters. These let you imagine what is going on. After each story segment, you start a set of puzzles. You have an image in the top right corner and your goal is to match the middle recipe to that image.
At first, puzzles are very easy. You simply drag and drop food ingredients (ex. sushi rice, salmon, tuna, and more) to the right spot. Then, you start to get boxes that already have food in them, so you need to figure out how to use ingredients from the bottom plate, to match the image. Slowly you get more and more complex levels. For instance, some ingredients will be locked in place, so you have to explore different ways of placing ingredients to then match the image.
I usually run away from games like this. However, Inbento was different. I loved the food-themed puzzles, the touch of the story added to incentivize you to keep going, and the charming music. Altogether, the game was beautifully packaged. This is the kind of game that gives you a feeling of satisfaction. Every time you complete a puzzle, you look forward to chilling more but also seeing how the story unfolds.
Inbento is for you if:
-You enjoy puzzles; you have 120+ food-themed ones
-You are looking for a game to chill to
-You like a subtle story to enjoy
-You love relaxing music
-You adore purrrfect cats
Inbento is not for you if:
-You cannot tolerate puzzles
-You love easy puzzles only (these will get difficult quickly)
-You enjoy upbeat music
-You don’t like cats (how dare you?)
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles
Developed & Published By: Wired Productions
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, XBOX, PS, and PC
Similar to puzzles, platformers are not my cup of tea. I usually associate both genres with me wanting to throw my controller out the window (don’t worry no controllers were sacrificed when writing this article). However, Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles hit differently. This is a neon-colored 3D puzzle platformer where you need to overthrow the Mastermote. To do so, you control the cutest, squishiest creature through different obstacles.
You start your journey in a world that is red-colored. This is the territory controlled by the Mastermote. Your goal is to turn it all blue. What I like the most is that there are no loading screens. Your aim is to move from section to section, passing through a flower door. So, you can zoom out and see the massive world that you’re in. As I mentioned, you need to turn the road ahead blue, to activate the floral door. This is done by jumping, squishing, and thinking your way ahead. You even get help from other cute creatures to activate flower paths and such. This adds a fun touch of controlling the other inhabitants around the world and using their abilities to progress. Not only that but as you move, Lumote, your character, makes the cutest noises, which adds to the cuteness of the game.
As I mentioned, the world is pretty big. You have lots of segments to work your way through. However, I will say that these puzzle segments can get repetitive quickly. In addition, the complexity of the level designs went from 0 to 100 real quick. One moment it was a breeze to get to the floral door, the next, it was very difficult. This makes me wish more creativity was used when approaching the level design.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is for you if:
-You enjoy puzzle-platformers
-You love squishy and cute creatures
-You don’t mind not having a full story
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is not for you if:
-You do not like the puzzle or platforming genres at all
-You get easily anxious with complex puzzles
-You need different level designs all the time
Winkeltje: The Little Shop
Developed & Published By: Sassy Bot
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, XBOX, PS, and PC
I saw Winkeltje: The Little Shop in Early Access on Steam a while back. However, I never got the chance to support it since I was helping other projects simultaneously. Recently though, it got fully released with a port to the Nintendo Switch. If you know me, you know I had to try it. This felt like the perfect “bed-gaming” title. It’s safe to say, I was right!
This one is all about building your perfect shop. The main key is to learn how to buy products at a low price to sell them at a higher one. As in-game days pass by, you make more money. This lets you expand your shop, decorate and invest in different workshops to grow your business. I adored every second of this game. Every time I sat down and said “Okay, I will play for an hour.”, I found myself deep into a three-hour session. The gameplay loop does an excellent job at keeping you hooked.
I enjoyed the micro-management aspect offered. You need to worry about proper decoration to leave your customers satisfied. You also need to make sure customers find what they came for. Additionally, you want to keep up your staff and take care of your garden. With many workstations to unlock like the Tailor Station, Stove, Kitchen Garden, and more, you have a lot of things to manage. You even have different seasons (for crops) and in-game events. These add to how lively the world feels. I had a blast with this one and cannot recommend it enough if you LOVE shop-building games.
Winkeltje: The Little Shop is for you if:
-You love micro-management
-You enjoy shop building games
-You love medieval-themed games
-You used to love the Diner Dash games and their complexity at times
Winkeltje: The Little Shop is NOT for you if:
-You care about super detailed graphics
-You like surface-level management
-You easily get confused with tackling many orders
If you enjoyed Part 1, be on the lookout for more. Trust me, this is only the beginning! I also have a video-from of this article if you are interested on YouTube. You can find me on YouTube as well as on Twitter. As always, stay bubbly, stay positive and I hope to see you next time!