The catch-up coffee: Monday, February 20, 2023 (Whitethorn Games’ Winter Showcase edition)

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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)!

This week I’m doing something a bit different. On Saturday, Whitethorn Games debuted its Winter Showcase. New game updates were shown off, three new games were revealed, there were two behind-the-scenes gameplay shown for a couple games, there was one release date announcement, new gameplay trailers for two games, and a look at the company’s accessibility practices and features. I’ve compiled what I found the most interesting, but I’ve also included a full list of games featured as well as the entire showcase to watch.

Magical Delicacy

The first game reveal was Magical Delicacy, described as cooking adventure meets Metroidvania lite. An odd combination, sure – but odd combinations can result in downright delightful games (just look at something like Ooblets, where card-based dance battles meets farming meets creature collection). The game’s graphics are comprised of charming pixel art combined with smooth text.

Take on the rolls of Flora, a young woman who moves to a bustling harbour town to open up a shop and finally become a “proper” witch. Customize her kitchen, then cook meals and potions in it while paying close attention to the ingredients selected. The goal here is to meet customer requests. The town is entirely 2D, so explore via platforming. Players will meet the residents, deliver tasty treats, discover new secrets, find new ways to travel, and learn all about the world of magic.

Developed by Skaule and published by Whitethorn Games, Magical Delicacy will be released for PC via Steam/Game Pass, Xbox Series, and Xbox One in 2024.

Kana Quest

My knowledge of languages outside of English and French is about zilch, though I can often piece things together if the same alphabet is being used. Japanese, though, seems a bit daunting at first glance; while I’ve wanted to learn for awhile, I haven’t quite figured out the best way to go about it. That’s where Kana Quest enters the picture. It’s a puzzle game that helps players hone in their knowledge of Japanese kana (basically, symbols for syllables).

Slide kana tiles around to make matches based on each character’s sound. There are over 300 hand-crafted levels set out across multiple worlds; each world introduces new puzzle mechanics, to the point that even fluent speaks may be second-guessing their moves.

Developed by Not Dead Design and published by Whitethorn Games, Kana Quest will be released for Nintendo Switch later this year. It is currently available for PC via Steam.

Botany Manor

First introduced in a Nintendo Indie World Showcase, Botany Manor has players growing precious plants in a stately 19th-century England home. In this showcase, we see behind-the-scenes on the game’s development while also getting to look at the incredible environment, fantastical plants, and the puzzles within.

Play as retired botanist Arebella Green as she inhabits the home (the “manor” in the title). Her collection of rare and forgotten flora needs a home, so she’ll need to get researching! Explore the house and gardens – filled to the brim with botanical notes, books, and posters – the find the right habitat for each precious plant. Use items scattered around to solve plant-based puzzles. And finally, just maybe… discover some mysterious qualities within the plants.

Developed by Balloon Studios and published by Whitethorn Games, Botany Manor will be released for PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch later this year.

Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island

I’ve been hooked on the idea behind Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island since the game’s announcement. This showcase featured a behind-the-scenes look at its gameplay, showing off the idyllic island, some of the characters, and how to restore their memories.

Play as Alex, a backpacker taking a break from her exhausting modern life. Her trip is interrupted by a terrible storm, and she ends up washed ashore on Ambrosia Island. This isn’t an ordinary place, though, as its inhabited by the Greek pantheon of Gods. Unfortunately, the Gods and cursed and have forgotten that they’re Gods at all. Piece together what’s happened by journeying across the island, finding and befriending the Gods, and helping them restore their lost memories.

Developed by Polygon Treehouse and published by Whitethorn Games, Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island will be released for PC via Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One later this year.

Featured games

  • Apico (available now)
  • Calico (available now)
  • Princess Farmer (available now)
  • Re:Call (available now)
  • Magical Delicacy (game reveal)
  • Skate Fish (mobile game reveal)
  • Kernel Hearts (partnership announcement, first look)
  • The Forest Cathedral (new trailer)
  • Kana Quest (Nintendo Switch release date)
  • Botany Manor (behind-the-scenes look)
  • Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island (new gameplay revealed)
  • Whalefall (new trailer)
  • Tinselfly (new gameplay revealed)

Watch the showcase

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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