Review: Freshly Frosted Is a Friendly, Funky Flare Game

Review: Freshly Frosted Is a Friendly, Funky Flare Game

I’ve written before about the importance of a good flare up game—that is, a game that’s enjoyable to play during a chronic illness or chronic pain flare. Even better than discovering a new flare game is discovering one that makes you screech with excitement when you first boot it up, and that’s exactly what happened when I played Freshly Frosted. (more…)

Review: Enjoy the Pastoral Fantasy of Beecoming a Beekeeper in APICO

Review: Enjoy the Pastoral Fantasy of Beecoming a Beekeeper in APICO

I’m both a sucker for a cozy crafting sim and an aspiring beekeeper to boot, so I couldn’t resist APICO, a beekeeping simulator from TNgineers and Whitethorn Games, whose Steam tagline is “Stress-free games for nervous people.” How could I resist the promise of something stress-free and targeted at me, a nervous person?

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6 Video Games to Play During a Chronic Illness Flare

6 Video Games to Play During a Chronic Illness Flare

2021 was A Lot. Everyone I know struggled more than usual last year—unsurprisingly, given the ongoing global pandemic, general resurgence of fascism, bleak headlines, and the more mundane but no less heartbreaking personal crises we’ve all been dealing with. For me, 2021 gave me several very long and particularly rough chronic illness flares that have continued into the new year, many caused or exacerbated by difficult life events, with the latest leaving me stuck in bed with no energy, a lot of pain, and an uncomfortable level of brain fog. When flaring up, I don’t have the capacity for much so I’ll usually watch films (the trashier, the better), spend hours on YouTube, and hopefully, play some games. (more…)

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re beginning to wind down from the holiday seasons by curling up beneath warm blankets with a mug of hot chocolate, while the Southern Hemisphere is no doubt basking in the sun on a beach. Naturally, this got us thinking about coziness and the recent conversations the gaming industry has been having about how to capture it and what it can add to a game. Our own Maddi Butler wrote a piece on coziness in the Nancy Drew series, which served as a perfect jumping-off point for this discussion.

What does it mean to be cozy? Should games strive to make us feel that way? Let’s find out! (more…)