The catch-up coffee: Thursday, March 24, 2022

Narrative games take the reigns this week.

7 mins read
Dee Dee the mascot of DDNet

Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!

There’s a new trailer for slice-of-life sim The Garden Path

Described as a “cozy” and “contemplative” life sim, The Garden Path is set to launch later this year. The game has players rebuilding a long-forgotten garden while also making new friends and taking some time to just chill out. It features a hand-drawn storybook aesthetic, and original soundtracks for both day and night. It’s supposed to be a peaceful experience with very little pressure. A new trailer was released through the MIX Showcase from GDC; it showcases some new gameplay.

Something very important about the game: it progresses in real-time, even when the player isn’t actively playing. The base of gameplay is, of course, the gardening. Plant seeds, watch them grow, and harvest them for later use. There’s also fishing, collecting dustflies, and trading. The garden and tent can be customised by collecting furniture. The cast of characters each have their own unique personalities and life stories.

Developed and published by carrotcake, The Garden Path will be released for PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch later this year.

Sopa announced for PC, Xbox

An emotional narrative adventure about the things we pass along, Sopa was announced earlier this week. Young Miho head into the pantry to get a potato for his grandmother’s soup, but he finds himself pulled into a fantastical land where he has to retrace the steps of a mysterious traveller that came before him. The developer says the game was inspired by films such as Spirited Away, The Little Prince, and Coco; it even resembles Pixar films art-wise. The game announcement came with a game announcement trailer, so take a gander.

The new works is filled with endless deserts, floating mountains, and talking beasts. Miho will find himself outsmarting thieves and meeting quirky characters as he goes on his way. When he reaches the ingredient he needs, he returns to the kitchen – except he’s a bit taller, and his grandma is a bit older. There is also some side quests, and clay figurines to collect. The game contains emotional subtext for adults, but is accessible enough for a child to play.

Developed and published by StudioBando (at least, it’s definitely self-published for PC), Sopa will be released for PC via Steam, Xbox Series, and Xbox One in 2023.

There’s already a new trailer for Time on Frog Island

It was only two weeks ago that I was talking about Time on Frog Island; the game formerly known as Trading Time: A Croak Tale had taken on a new title, and there was an announcement trailer too. Now, there’s already a new trailer for the sandbox puzzle adventure game. Like The Garden Path, it was featured in the MIX Showcase at GDC. There is something utterly delightful about the graphics and the music.

Time of Frog Island finds the player, a sailor, shipwrecked on a strange island. His boat is in ruins, and all he has left is his precious potted plant. He clutches it tightly while trying to fix his boat to make his way back home. Unfortunately, he requires the help of the frog-like locals who speak a different language; but luckily, they understand one thing, trading! The player will have to go through what the developer describes as a spaghetti network of trades to gather the materials needed to fix the boat. There is also fishing, farming, and brewing.

Developed by Half Past Yellow and published by Merge Games, Time on Frog Island will be released for PC via Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One during the third quarter of this year.

A Space Unbound will be coming to current-gen consoles

The slice-of-life narrative adventure A Space Unbound was previously announced for PC and last-gen consoles (including the Nintendo Switch, as Nintendo doesn’t necessarily follow other “generations” of consoles), but it has now been announced that it will also be coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series when it is released this year. A demo is currently available for PC via Steam. Oh, and let’s not forget the new trailer, the third today from GDC’s MIX Showcase!

A Space Unbound is set in late 90s rural Indonesia, and tells that story about overcoming mental illness and the relationship between a boy and a girl with supernatural powers. Players can use the powers to delve into people’s minds, going back and forth between the real world and a surreal world. They will uncover secrets while experiencing other people’s memories. There’s also supernatural events that happen, like a meteor (okay, that doesn’t sound so supernatural), a giant cat beast, and the world falling apart.

Developed by Mojiken Studio (When the Past was Around), and published by PQube and Toge Productions, A Space for the Unbound will be released for PC via Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One later this year.

Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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