Howdy, I’m Zainabb and I’m here to bring you this month’s cosiest gaming news in the first of Sidequest’s reimagined GYGO! Honestly, at the moment, I am pretty much only playing cosy games because I’m exhausted all the time and I appreciate the way that cosy games frequently allow me to turn off my brain and feel comforted.
Before we dive into this month’s cosy gaming news, a reminder to please support Palestinian people however you can, now and always. If you’re able, you can donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians or Restless Beings.
Disney Dreamlight Valley Will No Longer Release as Free to Play
Disney Dreamlight Valley is set to exit early access on December 5, but developer Gameloft has announced that the game will no longer be free to play on release. Dreamlight Valley has been in early access since September 6, 2022, which has allowed Gameloft to launch (and test) a variety of in-game purchases—like season passes, cosmetic items and optional quest packs—to support the planned free to play model.
Now, though, Gameloft says that the decision to keep Dreamlight Valley a paid game “ensures that Disney Dreamlight Valley will be able to continue delivering on a premium game experience for all players… [and] keep delivering free content updates.” In early access, these free updates have included new characters, quests, and cosmetic items from a host of Disney franchises.
On release, gamers can purchase the Dreamlight Valley base game for $39.99. There’s also the retail-only Cozy Edition for $49.99, which includes a physical copy of the game, a cottage skin for your in-game house, a bunch of raccoon companions, and other bonuses (I already own the game and I cannot justify a physical version just for the raccoons but trust me, I thought about it). Alternatively, you can buy the Gold Edition for $69.99, which is digital-only and includes some fancier cosmetic items and the game’s first expansion, A Rift in Time, also releasing on December 5.
Saltsea Chronicles Developer Releases Climate Impact Report
Die Gute Fabrik, the developer of recent post-climate-crisis narrative game Saltsea Chronicles, has released a climate report detailing the real-world ecological impact of the game’s development. Die Gute Fabrik hopes the report will encourage other studios to publicise the impact of development on the climate, and push the industry to work more sustainably.
The developer worked with AfterClimate and games researcher Dr. Ben Abraham to measure their climate impact. The report found that the bulk of the studio’s impact came from flights and air travel (to attend conferences and to pitch for funding opportunities), but that the developer’s work-from-home approach helped to curb its impact on the environment. The report recommends that other studios keep accurate and detailed records to assist impact measurement, and that the industry as a whole needs to set and prioritise zero emissions targets.
Die Gute Fabrik will use the report’s findings to set environmental targets for their next game but acknowledge that there are systemic limitations within the games industry that require larger and AAA studios to take action for meaningful, long-term change. You can read the full report here.
In other news…
The next PowerWash Simulator expansion pack will be based on Back to the Future, allowing players to scrub clean iconic vehicles like the DeLorian Time Machine. The expansion pack is set to release on November 16.
Magical girl simulator Calico will release on PlayStation 4 and 5 on November 28, allowing PlayStation gamers to live out their witchy cat cafe fantasies.
Cute life sim Coral Island leaves early access on PC on November 14, when it’ll also release on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. The full release will be available for $29.99.
LEGO has announced several Animal Crossing kits featuring several fan favourite characters like Isabelle, Kapp’n and Tom Nook in a variety of settings like Nook’s Cranny and Rosie’s House. The sets will release on March 1, 2024, but it’s not yet clear whether the kits will be available to preorder before then.
Eldritch horror dating sim sequel Sucker for Love: Date to Die For will release on February 14, 2024. The follow-up to 2022’s Sucker for Love: First Date will let you smooch more cosmic terrors and you can wishlist it now on Steam.
I’ve been loving Zach Gage’s latest endeavour, Puzzmo, a modern reimagining of a newspaper puzzle page that offers crosswords alongside innovative and sleek word and spatial games. (There’s also “Really Bad Chess” which is my least favourite because I’m bad at it.) Currently, the game is in early access with a limited number of keys offered each day.
Good Luck Press has released the next episode of their Curios series, a mystery TTRPG with physical items to immerse players in the experience. Jasper Park is an “investigative horror mystery” about missing campers and disturbances in the woods. You can purchase it in Good Luck Press’s shop.
Possum Creek Games is crowdfunding their next project, Grand Guignol and Harvest, a duo of horror-inspired TTRPGs for cosy creepy queers. Grand Guignol is a queer Victorian romance-horror game reminiscent of monster classics like Frankenstein and Carmilla, while Harvest draws on western folk horror like The Wicker Man and Midsommar. You can learn more and back the project on BackerKit.