Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s weekly catch-up news feature, the catch-up coffee. 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)!
Spirittea will launch later this year
Oh no, you drank the tea and now you can see spirits! The town is crawling with these spirits, lost because humans stopped worshipping them, leaving offerings, or even just thinking about them. It used to be a nice place, but things have been… odd lately. Someone’s going to have to fix that. And that’s the basis for Spirittea! Originally funded on Kickstarter back in early 2020, the rural life RPG is officially coming to PC via Steam and consoles this year (though no specifics were announced).
Aside from the overall goal of “fixing” the town, the main goal is to find the spirits and fix their problems to make them paying customers. They’ll need something to remember themselves by, something like spicy noodles or a buried treasure (and that’s a pretty wide range). Players will also make friends with the local townspeople, each with their own schedules, likes, dislikes, and hobbies. Hobbies sound fun, and include bug catching and karaoke.
The bathhouse is an important part of the game. An ancient spirit building hidden in the mountains, it’s up to the player to clean it up and bring in customers. Once there are customers, there’s still loads to do: cleaning towels, chopping wood, and seating spirits with their friends are all a part of the bathhouse’s management. Each spirit will have their own preferences so it’s important to learn them all (or, in my case, probably write them down for future reference).
Dontnod is ready to publish its first outside game, Gerda: A Flame in Winter
Best known for the Life is Strange series (well, the original and the second), Dontnod is ready to venture into the realm of publishing with developer PortaPlay’s game titled Gerda: A Flame in Winter. Described as an “RPG-lite,” it is inspired by real life events. The village of Tinglev is under German occupation in World War II and players will take on the role of Gerda Larsen, an ordinary woman forced to take a stand when her life is turned upside-down. Here’s the original announcement trailer from last December:
Gerda works as a nurse at the clinic. One day, she returns home to find blood as she enters the house, followed by her husband being arrested. He left behind important documents for the resistance, placing the responsibility firmly in Gerda’s hands. Choices are made through exploration and dialogue. There is also aspects of resource and relationship management. Every interaction holds weight.
Developed by PortaPlay and published by Dontnod, Gerda: A Flame in Winter will be released for PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch on September 1.
The 13th Month coming to PC/mobile devices this August
A reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, The 13th Month is set to launch in less than three months’ time. It begins with the familiar: a princess lost in an endless sleep, with the fate of the world on her shoulders regardless of her state. The 13th Month is a visual novel; the Steam page describes it as having “demonic imagination and originality.”
The princess is perhaps too beautiful for this world. She was given all the good qualities: beauty, grace, kindness, tolerance, honesty… the list goes on and on. On ther 16th birthday, the girl was visited by a witch who cast an incantation putting the girl to sleep. Every 100 years, a prince would try to take her up. And every 100 years, that person would fail as the mysterious witch won’t let it happen. But what are her motives? It’s too soon to tell.
Developed by Kobayashimaru and published by Kodansha, The 13th Month will be released for iOS/Android and PC via Steam on August 6.
Beekeeping sim launched on World Bee Day
May 20 was World Bee Day, and what better time to launch a beekeeping sim? APICO is a semi-educational laidback game about beekeeping. The game uses apiculture (beekeeping) and floriculture (cultivating flowers) as a basis of its gameplay to teach the player how important bees are for the ecosystem. “There was no better time to release APICO than on World Bee Day,” said Dr. Matthew White, CEO of Whitethorn Games, in a press release. “We hope that everyone who plays the game will take its message about bee conservation to heart, and help bring more awareness to this important issue.”
The game combines resources-gathering, biology, and minigames with both real-life and fantasy ideas about beekeeping and gardening. The islands of APICO once homes many species of bees, and the player will need to rediscover lost species, cross-breed new ones, and repopulate each hive until it reaches its former glory. There are over 30 species, including the Common Bee, the Forest Bee, and the Verge Bee. Breeding bees isn’t everything, though, as the player will also have to fund the family business by making and selling honey and other bee products.
Developed by TNgineers and published by Whitethorn Games, APICO is currently available for PC via Steam/itch.io/GameJolt/Epic/Utomik/Humble. Whew, what a list! Every purchase of the game supports beekeeping and bee conservation efforts.