The first title under Wholesome Games Presents, relaxing bunny collecting game Usagi Shima, has launched on mobile devices. It’s super cute, it’s made by a solo developer, and it is completely free to play. I know, I know, I sound like an advertisement here, but the launch of this adorable game is totally important news.
Heavily inspired by cute, soothing games like Neko Atsume and Animal Crossing, Usagi Shima got its name from Ōkunoshima, a real island in Japan that is home to loads of bunny inhabitants. Players are tasked as a caretaker of an abandoned island. As you decorate it, bunny visitors start to show up. Buy toys and plants, and build structures, to entice curious bunny tourists to visit. The bunnies that visit depend on how you’ve decorated and arranged the island.
The game features more than 30 rabbits to record, each with unique looks and features. Pet and engage with the bunnies to build friendship. Once a bunny becomes your best friend, you receive keepsakes from them and you can invite them to stay in the island. There are over 100 items to decorate with, some of which are interactive. The game’s time is synced with real time, so the ambience matches your time of day. The relaxing idle gameplay has no time limits and no stress involved.
Here’s its trailer from the Wholesome Direct 2023, which premiered about two months ago:
Wholesome Games Presents is a new initiative from the people behind Wholesome Games and Wholesome Direct; its goal is to help indie developers with wholesome, non-violent games to reach audiences. “Our goal since the beginning has been to uplift indie games and the creators who pour their hearts into them,” said Wholesome Games founder Matthew Taylor in a press release. “Usagi Shima is the perfect game for us because Jess is an incredibly talented solo developer who’s making something uniquely wholesome, inspired by her childhood love of rabbits and pet sim games. Going forward, we’re going to use all the knowledge we’ve gained from our work in this space to help more games succeed while making sure developers maintain 100% creative control over their work.”
Developed by Jess Yu – AKA pank0 – and self-published, Usagi Shima is available now for iOS (via the App Store) and Android (via Google Play). It will be released later for PC/Mac/Linux (via Steam).