Today, I learned about the concept of “hygge” — which has apparently been around for a while, but I’ve been uncomfortably not convivial to its existence.
My wife tells me that it’s the Tiktok trend of the week this week and that gamers on TikTok are talking a lot about the games that give them significant fall feelings.
To save you the time and effort of going to look at all the hashtags yourself here’s a carefully curated list of some of my favourites.
You can pay me back in pumpkin spice lattes from indie coffee shops.
For some reason, life simulators seem to do well in the fall. Is it because we all want to forget the speed of summer and fall back into an almost slumber of work/life balance and cozy coolness? Potion Permit seems to really fit that calm and cozy life sim hole that those who have been around Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon are looking for. While Bobby felt playing the game could be a technical roll of the dice, he found a lot to love with this game about curing illnesses and restoring civic faith.
Night in the Woods
Let’s go back in time for this next one. Night in the Woods
walloped me when I first played it because I am from the small town of Minesing, which you missed while driving to Wasaga Beach this summer because you sneezed twice at the exact moment it took you to drive through town.
At one point in time, I had considered dropping out of journalism school and moving home. But I had this really scary idea of what that would mean for the future. I imagined it as one where I would just kind of roll with the punches and hope to end up a champion.
Night in the Woods is very much a game about doing just that. It’s not exactly an easy one to handle emotionally, but it is also weirdly soothing.
John called Wytchwood “cozy indie comfort food” — which is exactly how I would describe it to anyone I were suggesting it to!
Nothing says fall quite like a fairy tale, and this game is fairy tales personified into a chill little RPG set in a land of page-hopping storybook characters you know and love.
This one is right there in the name. Cozy Grove is a game that’s perfect for slowing down before the high-paced holiday 2022 gaming season… at least, it is, according to Dennis.
Taking a dead world that’s black and white and adding some colour and life is pretty falls-y!
When I played Calico for review, it felt unfinished. But it was fair that it felt so, seeing as the team behind it is two people. But I’ll say they are two people who are very passionate about the experience they’ve created because they’ve spent the past year working with their community to build the community in their game.
This experience is one you can take almost totally at your own speed.
I am in the process of moving back to Toronto post-pandemic again. And I can tell you that I’m not enjoying the ongoing packing process or the anxiety associated with wondering if you’ve packed right so that your stuff doesn’t break! But it occurs to me that some of you like packing, so I won’t judge! In that case, Unpacking is the game for you! David felt like Unpacking was one of this year’s silent hits! A game that speaks perfectly to the millennial idea of living in flux. Personally, I couldn’t get over the fact that I was unpacking Lan Hikari’s room from the Mega Man Battle Network series. But I’m just weird like that.
Fall, to me at least, is all about reflecting upon the year that’s passed and getting ready for the next few months. Enter TOEM!
It’s all about finding that life-changing moment that is so rare it’s hard to describe. Bobby went into this short, charming indie game unsure of what to expect. And it turns out he ended up settling for an experience that slowed him down and made him appreciate the moments in life — not unlike the way Cozy Cove forced Dennis to do the same. It’s for this reason that I’ve selected TOEM as our final game on this list. Because it’s all about making cozy moments!
Animal Cross New Horizons
Animal Crossing has always featured real-time season changes by using the internal clock on your console and New Horizons is no different.
In Fall, the autumn colours begin to overtake your island by adding falling leaves, red maple leaves cover the trees with the weather including both sunny and rainy days. There are also fishing tournaments before trees and grass begin to turn yellow.
The Wild at Heart
Moonlight Kids’ first game The Wild at Heart is full of quirky creatures set in an interconnected world. Two young runaways find themselves in a lost realm, one brimming with storybook fantasies. With your Spritelings, you’ll use them to collect loot, fight enemies, and scavenge environments.
The Wild at Heart is basically a childhood fantasy that comes to life and it is a gorgeous game filled with detail and colour. It’s easily a must-play for the Fall season!
Before Double Fine joined Xbox Game Studios, it worked on some incredible indie games including Headlander. However, it’s the Costume Quest series that sticks out for being a perfect addendum to the Fall season.
Playing as fraternal twins Reynold and Wren, the pair are in a new neighbourhood about to head out on Halloween night to trick-or-treat. However, a monster kidnaps your sibling and so you must save them while still exploring the neighbourhood and collecting candy from all the neighbours.
A sequel followed a few years later and improved on several aspects of the original Costume Quest. In the sequel, an evil doctor opens a portal that leads to a future where Halloween is outlawed and it is up to you and your friends to return things to normal.