The catch-up coffee: Monday, January 9, 2023

Featuring not one but TWO F2P games!

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7 mins read
Dee Dee the mascot of DDNet

Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s weekly catch-up news feature, the catch-up coffee. With each issue I 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)!

Genshin Impact update coming next week

When I think about it, it’s a bit odd that I haven’t covered Genshin Impact before I wrote about its art exhibit last week. I’m a huge fan of mobile gaming (I know it’s not only mobile), and do believe that free-to-play titles can be quite good (despite the fact I disagree with the business model, but that’s another story). So I figured, why not start now? The next update is titled The Exquisite Night Chimes, which includes the annual near year celebration, two new characters, and a new area.


This year’s Lantern Rite (New Year) includes a music festival, a folk art show, many minigames, and challenge rewards such as a four-star Liyue character. In Inazuma, people have gathered to take part in two competitions, the Warrior’s Spirit and the Beetle Brawl. The two new Dendro characters are Alhaitham and Yaoyao. And the new area? That’s the Desert of Hadramaveth, located in northwest Sumeru. A perpetual giant tornado sits at the centre of the desert, causing turbulent storms. After players complete the Golden Slumber World Quest, they can begin a new adventure with Jeht from the Tanit Camps. Finally, two new character cards will be added: Klee and Beidou.

The Exquisite Night Chimes update (version 3.4) will be released on January 18. Developed by myHoYo, Genshin Impact is currently available for iOS/Android, PC, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4.

Overview trailer released for Blue Reflection Sun

I appear to be on a roll with free-to-play games today today, as this story involves upcoming free-to-play Blue Reflection Sun. It is the latest title in the Blue Reflection series (DDNet has reviews for both the first and the second games in the series). This is the first time the series ventures into F2P territory, so I’m interested to see if it can withstand the big jump. As for the story, well, it all began a year and a half ago…


One day, ash began to rain on the world. At first, humans were optimistic, thinking it was just a bit unpleasant and another natural phenomenon. Turns out, they were horribly mistaken: it’s actually a toxic substance that invades the body, giving birth to creatures – Testa – that attack humans. Defeating the Testa requires a special power that only manifests in certain people when their body is invaded by ash. These people are called the Eroded, and few know of their existence. A girl named Shiho Kasuga transfers schools to be treated for ash-related sickness, not knowing that what awaits her there is a new life with an endless battle against ash.

Developed by Gust and published by DMM Games, Blue Reflection Sun will be released for iOS/Android and PC in Japan during the coming months. In-app purchases will be item-based.

Whalien: Unexpected Guests is ready to launch

Whalien: Unexpected Gusts is just plain cute. The puzzle adventure game is set inside of Fin, a mechanical whale filled with mischievous Squiddies. That’s right, it’s set inside a whale! Squiddies are slimy, unwanted guests. Some are more than annoying, and have become nuisances. As a little creature called Ernest Hemingwhale, players will help Fin get rid of the Squiddies.


The gameplay is set around a basic premise: pushing and pulling. Use Gloves to push and pull objects within your vicinity. Use pearls name Mr. Push and Mrs. Pull to manipulate distance objects. There are guests other than Squiddies: Springpeople, who are springy and seem to be helpful. Players will explore colourful locations, meet loveable characters, and uncover secrets within Fin the Whale.

Developed and published by Forbidden Folds, Whalien: Unexpected Guests will be released for PC via Steam on January 24.

The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow coming to Switch

A folk horror adventure set within Victorian England, The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow is a game I’ve had my eye on but haven’t played yet (mostly due to it only being available for PC at this moment). It’s received some great scores on Metacritic. It’s protagonist, antiquarian Thomasina Bateman (what a mouthful!) is writing a book on the barrows of England, documenting what she finds buried within.


A letter brings her to Bewlay, a small village in the remote countryside. She arrives on a train, her assistant coming one day later. When she gets there, whoever summoned her is nowhere to be seen. On top of that, her assistant never arrives. The barrow’s landowner refuses Thomasina access to it, and the locals are all suspicious of this woman as she is both travelling alone and has the audacity to wear pants. If you think that’s all bad, just wait until she starts having strange dreams…

Developed by Cloak and Dagger Games and published by Wadjet Eye Games, The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow will be released for Nintendo Switch on January 25. It first launched for PC via Steam on September 28, 2022.

Lindsay M. is the News Editor at DDnet. She's been writing about games for 20 years, and 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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