Wholesome Direct showcases over 75 cozy indie games, cute animals

This year’s Wholesome Direct livestream featured cute, cozy, and calm games from a variety of indie developers and publishers. While several titles and updates, like Ooblets, were anticipated, the livestream also revealed a considerable amount of brand-new titles, many of which have demos available to play right now.

Wholesome Direct 2021 comes on the heels of last year’s show, which marketed itself as an alternative to mainstream E3 presentations. Instead of focusing on the industry’s AAA blockbusters, many of which are violent, gory, and adult-oriented, the Wholesome Direct show spotlighted smaller, more docile titles that might otherwise be overlooked.

One of the show’s biggest titles was Ooblets, a farming and life simulation game that’s currently available in early access. Developer Glumberland announced the release of version 0.8, which brings a new Port Forward region for players to explore, as well as new minigames, cosmetic items, in-game systems, and more. The game’s 1.0 launch is still TBD, but the new update is available now.

Ooblets 0.8 update

Other interesting titles included The Gecko Gods, a puzzle platformer where you play as a gecko and explore an island that once housed a lost civilization. The trailer showed off some of the game’s puzzles, which seem to take heavy inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s shrines. The game also has a unique visual style and a large world to explore. It’s slated for release in 2022.

One of the show’s surprises was the release of Beasts of Maravilla Island. Available immediately after the show ended, this adventure game allows players to explore an island habitat and take photos of its wildlife. The photo mechanic is similar to the recently-released Pokemon Snap, but Beasts of Maravilla Island has its own secrets for players to explore.

All of the 75+ games shown during the livestream can be found at the Wholesome Games website.

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