The catch-up coffee: December 4, 2023

It's getting chilly in here.

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)!

Odencat’s Snowman Story is coming to PC

Odencat became one of my developers to watch after it launched Fishing Paradiso for PC and Nintendo Switch; the game had launched for mobile devices already, but it was free-to-play and the premium version of the game just makes so much more sense to me. Odencat is again following this path with Snowman Story, a wintery adventure game that first launched for iOS/Android during December 2019. Announced last week, the game will be making its way to PC later this month.

Snowman Story is about a snowman named Chris, brought to life by a lonely boy in need of a playmate. Chris is happy with his simple life, until a crow reveals to him that he will melt as soon as the weather warms. The snowman will have to head on a long journey to the north, where snowmen can survive the spring. He’ll meet friendly woodland critters, tackle tricky ice puzzles, and read the memories of snowmen past. The PC version of the game features controller support, landscape mode, voice effects for all characters, and an improved English translation.

Developed and published by Odencat, Snowman Story will be released for PC via Steam on December 14.

Horror + fishing = Drowned Lake

Horror fishing games aren’t unheard of. For example, Dredge has done really well; DLC was even recently released for it. Announced last week, Drowned Lake is a very different take on the horror fishing genre that has apparently become a thing. Dredge up secrets hidden beneath the lake, investigate the dark waters to fish for the truth, and catch evidence… but don’t get caught. Here’s an extended look at the announcement trailer:

Drowned Lake features fishing, exploration, horror, investigations, and intricate puzzle solving aspects. While searching the water for evidence, be completely silent or you’ll face off against the Horrors hiding in the dark. Or make noise and choose the face them, if you so desire. The non-linear story is told from three perspectives: that of a firefighter, that of a journalist, and that of an elderly fisherman. The game is set at the heart of the Brazilian forest and inspired by Brazilian mythos.

Developed by Monumental Collab and published by Critical Reflex, Drowned Lake will be released for PC via Steam.

Adventure Bar Story is, yet again, coming to more platforms

Adventure Bar Story first launched for mobile phones in 2006 (in Japan), and has been ported to iOS/Android (where you can currently find it), 2DS, and PSP. What’s lacking there? Modern consoles, of course! The bar owner simulation game is now set to launch for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. In the game, a rich restaurant owner is trying to take over your sister’s shabby tavern, and it’s up to you to save it by becoming the most popular place around.

The bar is set in an RPG world. It is a place where adventurers gather to share information. Players will have to adventure into the world to find ingredients, slice up monsters to create main dishes, fish/farm for exotic goods, grow revenue, complete quests, and win contests to rank up. The characters in this game do not level up by fighting monsters, they level up by eating food. The better the food, the stronger they become. There are over 400 recipes in the game, and over ten dungeons to search for ingredients.

Developed and published by RideonJapan, Adventure Bar Story will be released for Nintendo Switch on December 21 in Japan, followed later by PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 versions. All three versions will be released worldwide at some point, too, according to Gematsu.

Manage a hookah lounge in Hookah Haze

It’s the year 2000-and-something when a new hookah lounge called Hookah Haze opens up on the outskirts of Akihabara. Toru, the manager, is a rookie who quickly realises that socialising with the peculiar clientele has started to change him. Affect who visits the lounge with tobacco flavour recommendations on social media. Players will make decisions for Toru during relaxed late-night conversations that will affect the story.

Toru has lost his will to live following his diagnosis of a fatal illness. His doctor insists that Toru makes the most of his time left on the planet, leading him to sign on temporarily as the manager of a hookah bar. I’m not going to lie, finding a new job doesn’t exactly sound like something I would do if I was told I was going to die. But that’s what Toru does. He meets three unusual girls and begins to bond with them. Each appears cheerful on the surface, but is struggling with with work problems or past trauma.

Developed by Acquire and published by Aniplex, Hookah Haze will be released digitally for PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch in 2024.

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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