Highlights: Day of the Devs (The Game Awards 2023 Edition)

Drag queens and witches live here.

9 mins read
A graphic for Double Fine and iam8bit's Day of the Devs: The Game Awards Edition.

I am severely lacking in excitement for The Game Awards. Let’s be real, I tend to focus my efforts on non-AAA games and I don’t like shooting at stuff, which means most of what gets shown is completely irrelevant to me. Still, the nice thing about The Game Awards is the stuff that happens around it, like Double Fine and iam8bit’s Day of the Devs: The Game Awards Edition. It features over two dozen titles, including new announcements, release date reveals, and more. Let’s dig into the highlights of today’s show.

Game highlights

Loose Leaf

I’m obsessed with the description of Loose Leaf given on its Steam page: its an occult sandbox game about brewing tea and reading tarot cards. I thought The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood was cozy, but this is a new level of cozy witchy game. The gameplay is open-ended and experimentation-based. Players combine ingredients to try and create the perfect tea. Each tea requires a different time to be perfectly steeped. Some, like chamomile, may be easy to make. Others, like a cup of matcha or a Lady Grey Latte, are more complex. Players will also read from the Deck of Fortunes to learn about their troubled guests and make them feel better by interpreting the cards to give advice (yep, did this in The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood). What kind of witch are you? A helpful healer? A mischievous warlock? An ominous doomsayer? Or something else? Loose Leaf is developed by Kitfox Games (of Boyfriend Dungeon fame).


Cryptmaster has perhaps the longest video game genre tag in the world: it is a word-based dungeon-crawling nostalgic puzzle RPG, or a WBDCNPRPG for “short.” In it, words control everything. Gather a party of the undead then fill in the blanks to uncover their lost memories and defeat eerie enemies, all because a mysterious necromancer says so. Choose words carefully during strange quests, charm weird characters, and play in unexpected mini-games like dark fantasy fishing or bard rap battles. Cryptmaster is developed by Paul Hart and Lee Williams. It will be released for PC in 2024.

The key art for Cryptmaster.

Drag Her!

Inspired by the 2D fighters of yesteryear, Drag Her! features real drag artists beating the snot out of each other. And the artists featured are big names, too: Alaska 5000, Asia O’Hara, BenDeLaCreme, Kim Chi, Langanja Estranja, Landon Cider, and Manila Luzon all appear. Fight friends, neighbours, enemies, and heroes in iconic stages inspired by the artists themselves. Battle to the top in Arcade mode, where each roster character tries to earn a coveted spot as a Gay Elder to gain unlimited power (oh, and a cute robe too). There is some irony to me writing about Drag Her! when it features multiple RuPaul’s Drag Race stars, as I am late writing this because I had to watch the season 16 ruveal instead. I regret nothing. Drag Her! is developed by Fighting Chance Games. It will be released for PC.

A screenshot from Drag Her! In a green-tinted, bricked sewer, Alaska 5000 is wearing a black garbage bag dress while jumping up and hitting Laganja Estranja (donning a green cannabis leaf print) with a garbage bag.

Open Roads

Open Roads is a game I was quite excited for back in 2020, when I wrote about it in a December edition of the catch-up coffee. It was supposed to be released in 2021, which clearly didn’t happen. The game follows a mother and daughter as they road trip to uncover family secrets after finding a bunch of old notes and letters stashed away in their attic. They will explore long-abandoned family properties, searching for buried memories that Opal has spent years trying to forget. It was originally developed by Fullbright, but the team split due to issues with Steve Gaynor and a pattern of women departing the company. Open Roads is now developed by Open Roads Team. It will be released for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One on February 22, 2024.

Janet DeMornay is a Slumlord (and a Witch)

Renting a home is, quite frankly, terrifying. It’s even worse when you end up with a slumlord, and I’m looking at you Janet DeMornay. Janet DeMornay is a Slumlord (and a Witch) is an escape room horror-comedy about the horror of living in a world run by landlords… but Janet DeMornay is special, because she is also a witch. Follow members of a queer-share, inner-Sydney house as they try to both escape the house and escape the hauntings caused by the landlord. Janet DeMornay is a Slumlord (and a Witch) is developed by Fuzzy Ghost. It will be released for PC in 2024.

A screenshot from Janet DeMornay is a Slumlord (and a Witch).

The Mermaid’s Tongue

In The Mermaid’s Tongue, the captain of the world’s strangest submarine has been murdered. There are rumours swirling about him: some say he’s an immortal time-traveler, others say that he’s a vampire cursed to remain beneath the waves. Either way, he’s dead. It’s up to familiar characters (think Tangle Tower) Detective Grimoire and Sally to piece together what happened. Was is a curse? A crew member? Or is it even weirder than that? The Mermaid’s Tongue is develoepd by SFB Games. It will be released for PC and consoles in 2024.

Full list of featured games

  • Militsioner (developed by Tallboys)
  • Loose Leaf (developed by Kitfox Games)
  • Thank Goodness You’re Here (developed by Coal Supper; launching for PC, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch in 2024)
  • Kind Words 2 (developed by Popcannibal)
  • Flock (developed by Hollow Ponds and Richard Hogg; launching for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, and Xbox One)
  • Hermit and Pig (developed by Heavy Lunch Studio)
  • Dome-King Cabbage (developed by Cobysoft Co)
  • Ultros (developed by Hadoque; launching for PC, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4 on February 13, 2024)
  • Holstin (developed by Sonka; launching for PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox)
  • Oddada (developed by Sven Ahlgrimm and Mathilde Hoffman)
  • Cryptmaster (developed by Paul Hart and Lee Williams; launching for PC in 2024)
  • Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story (developed by Digital Eclipse)
  • Drag Her! (developed by Fighting Chance Games; launching for PC)
  • Braid: Anniversary Edition (developed by Thekla; launching for iOS/Android via Netflix, PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on April 30, 2024)
  • Open Roads (developed by Open Roads Team; launching for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One on February 22, 2024)
  • Janet DeMornay is a Slumlord (and a Witch) (developed by Fuzzy Ghost; launching for PC in 2024)
  • Home Safety Hotline (developed by Night Signal Entertainment; launching for PC in Q1 2024)
  • Resistor (developed by Long Way Home)
  • The Mermaid’s Tongue (developed by SFB Games; launching for PC and consoles in 2024)
  • Nirvana Noir (developed by Feral Cat Den; launching for PC and Xbox Series)
  • Vampire Survivors – Adventures Update (developed by Poncle; available now for PC via Steam and Xbox)
  • Vampire Survivors – Emergency Meeting DLC (a collaboration with Among Us) (developed by Poncle; launching on December 18)

Watch the showcase (+ Wholesome Snack)

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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