As we power through the hundreds of new game trailers during not-E3 this weekend, it’s quickly become clear that there are a ton of upcoming PC games aimed directly at fans of Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon. Town life sims, farming and crafting sandboxes, and creature collecting games are popping up like freshly watered crops.
That’s not a complaint. It’s great, really, considering Animal Crossing and Pokémon games (with one exception) never come to PC, and we’re always on the lookout for new cozy life sim and farming games like Stardew Valley. Already, game showcases like Guerrilla Collective and especially Wholesome Direct have delivered up a ton of life and town sims filled with farming and critter collecting.
So if that’s your scene, here’s 10 slightly Stardew-y, almost Animal Crossing, partially Pokémon games we’ve seen so far at “E3” this year.
Puffpals: Island Skies
The interest in Puffpals is sky high, and not just because the game takes place up in the fluffy clouds. Its Kickstarter campaign was a massive success, pulling in over $2 million in fan-fundage, and I can see why: It looks completely adorable. Puffpals is filled with farming, cute animals, and includes a character creation tool that goes well beyond what Animal Crossing offers.
Imagine Stardew Valley but you’re an alchemist turned doctor (opens in new tab). When various town residents fall ill, you’ll need to diagnose them and brew up a potion to make them better. Head into the wild to gather ingredients, battle some dangerous wildlife, and enjoy activities like fishing or visiting the pub.
Wholesome: Out and About
A wholesome game so wholesome that wholesome is actually in its name (opens in new tab). It’s not due out until 2023 but when it arrives you’ll be able to garden, cook, play minigames, build friendships, and try to restore your dear old granny’s house.
Who says cozy town life can’t be a little spooky? Sylvie the witch was banished from her village and now wants to settle down on a mysterious island, grow critter crops (opens in new tab) like bats, ghosts, and mummy mushrooms, and make friends with adorable spooky strangers.
As a cat fed up with the 9-to-5 grind in Snacko (opens in new tab), you head out to an island for some leisurely farming, fishing, and building, attracting other colorful characters who want to do likewise. Thing is, the island you’ve settled on is cursed, so you’ll also try to unravel a mystery and track down an ancient goddess who can provide you with answers.
Garden Witch Life
In Garden Witch Life (opens in new tab), you move into the home of a former witch and start tending a magical garden. Farm, brew potions, cook in a cauldron, upgrade your house, and explore the history of the island while becoming a part of its magical community.
Moonstone Island (opens in new tab) leans more towards Pokémon as you tame and collect bizarre but cute critters and pit them against enemies in turn-based combat. But there’s still plenty of town life to enjoy, and you can build your home on any of the over 100 procedurally generated islands.
This beautiful island isn’t entirely friendly and you’ll have to contend with pirates and monsters. But there are creatures to bond with and resources to gather to help restore the island and build a comfortable hamlet for yourself. There’s a two-week open beta beginning on Steam (opens in new tab) if you want to check it out.
It’s not coming until next year, but Ova Magica (opens in new tab) bills itself as Stardew Valley meets Pokémon, so that’s a strong start. (There’s a short look at it in the above video at 1:07:19.) Collect and train cute creatures called blobs, plant and tend crops (the blobs can help with that), and become friends (or more, if you know what I mean) with the locals.
Why stay in one town when you can head out into the world and find new ones? Travel the globe in an adorable airship in Townseek (opens in new tab) and fly from town to town, trading goods and valuables wherever you land. Fish, farm, mine for resources, and collect rare artefacts on your adventures.
Special mention: Haunted Chocolatier
Although we didn’t see a new trailer this June videogame announcement season, we’d be remiss to leave out Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone’s next game, Haunted Chocolatier. It’s the same kind of thing as Stardew Valley except you make chocolate. And your house is haunted. Barone says that combat will be a bigger focus for him in this game, and that he’s going to “approach some things differently this time around” when it comes to romance.