Every Game Shown Off During The Wholesome Direct

This year’s Wholesome Direct was a real doozy, showing off over 70 games. Whether you’re in the mood to open up a traveling book store in Tiny Bookshop, raise an assortment of faithful crablings in Crab God, perform tricks on your witch’s skatebroom in Ila: A Frosty Glide, or test your mettle in a 3D Legend of Zelda meets social sim in Dungeons Of Hinterberg, the Wholesome Direct has a little bit for everyone. Below, we round up every game shown off during the Wholesome Direct, listed in the order of their reveal.

During the Direct, four of the games that were shown off were shadow dropped onto Steam as well–frog-focused farming simulator Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge, pool-inspired physics puzzler POOOOL, ’90s rural India-set slice-of-life adventure The Palace on the Hill, and card-based talk-’em-up RPG Tracks of Thought. All four games look fantastic if you’re looking for something to play while awaiting the next Summer Game Fest announcement or livestream.

Mythmatch

Revealed for the first time during the Wholesome Direct, Mythmatch sees you play as Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt and wisdom, who uses her innate talents to solve environmental match-three puzzles. Her efforts help her learn more about the lives of mortals and her fellow Olympians, allowing her to “match” and bring them together as well.

Caravan SandWitch

The Wholesome Direct revealed that a Steam demo is now available for Caravan SandWitch. Caravan SandWitch is a narrative-driven exploration adventure in which you explore a predominantly savannah-covered planet in search of your missing sister, disembarking from your van to search for upgrades or explore the layers of history that defined the planet, from the original indigenous citizens, to the robotic people that they built and subsequently left behind, to the humans who settled and ultimately never left.

Tiny Bookshop

Up next, the Wholesome Direct revealed that there’s a free Steam demo for Tiny Bookshop as well. Tiny Bookshop gives you right what it says on the tin: a life-sim in which you run a small book store. Similar to several cooking or bartending sims, the crux of the gameplay is satisfying customers’ needs by listening to their asks and then finding something to fit their needs. Satisfied customers will return for more books and increase your rating, growing your business as you acquaint yourself with more of the locals. Tiny Bookshop is set to launch in 2025.

Été

Already revealed at past showcases and livestreams, Été is a game in which you create paintings with 3D stamps, bringing life and color to your city. You can engage with other people in choice-driven dialogue and unlock new stamps over time that help you accomplish the tasks they ask of you. The Wholesome Direct revealed that Été now has a launch date of July 23, and is releasing for PC.

Discounty

Discounty falls into that niche of “wholesome game with a potentially darker underlying narrative.” The Wholesome Direct trailer showcased the game’s cute pixel-like art style and explained how the game has you run your own supermarket by filling out your store’s stock and managing its layout via a grid system. As you make more money, you can expand and even hire employees, though the cutesy messaging of the trailer “glitched” near the end, with a hint that the game will deal with the pollution and overconsumption that comes with running a supermarket and making money, as well as the issues that accompany those problems. As revealed during the Wholesome Direct, Discounty is set to launch for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Switch, and PC in 2025.

Rooster

Rooster is a point-and-click narrative-driven adventure game about the Chinese zodiac. You play as Rooster, a troublesome member of the zodiac, who is sent back in time by Dragon in order to learn some life lessons and grow as a person. These lessons play out as a diverse assortment of minigames, each with an underlying message for Rooster.

New games for Playdate

The Wholesome Direct followed the look at Rooster with a quick montage of a half-dozen new games coming to Playdate, the handheld device with a 1-bit black and white screen and a crank.

Into The Emberlands

A new Steam demo was revealed for Into the Emberlands. Into the Emberlands is a roguelike in which you’re charged with protecting a village from a looming darkness. The gameplay loop sees you traveling out into the wilds to gather resources ahead of coming attacks, before returning home to defend yourself and your allies. Into the Emberlands is set to launch in early access on June 19.

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Squeakross: Home Squeak Home

Revealed for the first time during the Wholesome Direct, Squeakross: Home Squeak Home–as its name implies–sees you play picross, but you’re mice and you’re playing the game with pieces of cheese. Each solved puzzle rewards you with new furniture to decorate your tiny houses or clothes to dress up each mouse.

Critter Cafe

Another new reveal during the Wholesome Direct, Critter Cafe sees you rescue cute little critters from dangerous situations or harsh environments and enlist them into servitude at your cafe. The game has big Pokemon vibes, but with more of a puzzle twist than battling things out and genderless character customization so you can more easily achieve your ideal appearance in the game.

Garden Of The Sea

Released for VR in 2022, Garden of the Sea is coming to Steam and Nintendo Switch later this year. This first-person game sees you awaken on a mysterious island where you can plant and grow fruits and vegetables and decorate your house. You can also sail to other islands dotted across the ocean, uncovering new resources you can bring back to your home island.

Fantastic Haven

In Fantastic Haven, you play as a mage in a world where magic is dying, forcing you to explore it and do your best to find and preserve arcane secrets before they’re lost forever. The main crux of your efforts is finding fantastical creatures that are going extinct and doing your best to build structures and systems that might save them from completely dying out. As revealed during the Wholesome Direct, the free prologue for the game dropped today on Steam if you want to try it out–the full game is scheduled for Q3 2024.

Crab God

The Wholesome Direct revealed that Crab God is also getting a Steam demo. You play as a (hopefully) benevolent deity in Crab God, raising crablings and teaching them skills as they grow up. You also can shape the environment, building coral reefs to attract new sea life and expand your domain.

Ila: A Frosty Glide

The Wholesome Direct next announced a Steam demo for Ila: A Frosty Glide. In A Frosty Glide, you play as the titular Ila, a young witch-in-training who can’t yet fly her broom so she customizes it with a skateboard to create a skatebroom, a delightful invention that can briefly glide through the air and perform sick tricks. Set in an open world you can freely explore, A Frosty Glide tasks you with uncovering the secrets of magic to expand Ila’s skillset, all in service of eventually finding a way to reach the summit of a mountain.

Sally

The Wholesome Direct revealed a Steam demo for Sally as well. In Sally, you start as a kid living aboard a flying skyship piloted by two loving grandmas. Each new playthrough changes who else lives aboard the skyship, as well as their likes, desires, and personalities. As you grow up, your interactions with these characters will shape their relationship with you, as well as whether you specialize as a crafter, cook, farmer, or builder, resulting in several unique storylines that can end in various ways.

New games from Fellow Traveller

Following the trailer for Sally, the Wholesome Direct hosted another montage, this time for the half-dozen new games coming out attached to Fellow Traveller Games, an Australian game publisher. Among the titles highlighted is Times & Galaxy, a brave little indie considering it’s dropping the same day as Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC on June 21.

Dungeons Of Hinterberg

The Wholesome Direct then revealed that a Steam demo is out now for Dungeons of Hinterberg. Set in the Austrian Alps, Dungeons of Hinterberg sees you play as law-trainee Luisa who, after suffering serious burnout, decides she’s going to take a little break and go snowboarding and monster slaying. Between dungeon dives (all of which give off serious 3D Legend of Zelda vibes in terms of the puzzles, gear upgrades, and combat), you can forge friendships with others staying at Hinterberg. Dungeons of Hinterberg is set to launch for Xbox and PC on July 18.

Fruitbus

A Steam demo for Fruitbus was next revealed during the Wholesome Direct. Fruitbus sees you play as a bear that runs a food truck during their cross-country trip to find their grandmother’s old friends and reunite them for “one last feast.” As you journey toward each long-lost friend, you’ll converse with locals, satisfying their orders to the best of your ability, and presumably cry a lot if the trailer’s tone is any indication. Fruitbus is scheduled to launch this October.

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Freeride

Freeride is an adventure RPG in which you board a train to the spirit world and encounter an assortment of troubled characters, each of whom could use your help. The problems facing each passenger are designed to be solved in multiple ways and the game itself is designed to be replayed more than once, encouraging you to use what you learn with each playthrough to uncover additional secrets and unlock progressively better outcomes with each attempt. Freeride is set to launch in Q1 2025, and as revealed during the Wholesome Direct, it now has a free Steam demo.

Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge

The first of four games to shadow drop during the Wholesome Direct, Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is a farming sim in which you restore wetlands and collect and breed frogs. You can craft goods to better house your amphibian pals and even give them little pets to make them (and you!) happy. Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is available for PC.

Lost & Found Co.

Lost & Found Co. is a Where’s Waldo-looking game in which you search for lost items amidst the massive clutter of multiple environments. Your successes will net you more money to further customize yourself, as well as additional customers with increasingly complex tasks. A Steam demo for the game was revealed during the Wholesome Direct.

Littlelands

The Wholesome Direct next played a new trailer for Littlelands. Littlelands looks like Stardew Valley but with an art style more like Animal Crossing (even featuring characters with little bodies and big heads!). The game includes farming, light dungeon delving, and crafting–everything we’ve come to expect from the genre. Littlelands is set to release for PC.

Minami Lane

Already out on PC, Minami Lane is set to come to Switch later this year. The game sees you build and oversee a single city street, customizing its layout and unlocking new types of buildings as business grows. The game is all about maximizing citizen happiness to attract more and more people to your street.

POOOOL

The second of the four shadow-dropped games, POOOOL is a physics-based game in which you hit pool balls to “eat” the others on the table to grow your collection as much as possible, all while trying to fit as many balls on the table as you can. It looks goofy as hell, but could be quite competitive with built-in systems to track your efforts against friends.

Tiny Lands 2

2021’s Tiny Lands is getting a sequel, as revealed during the Wholesome Direct. Like its predecessor, Tiny Lands 2 gives you an assortment of fully rotatable and zoomable 3D models that you have to examine and compare in order to find the differences between them. Unlike the first game, Tiny Lands 2 can be played by two people at the same time, letting players work together to uncover the differences between the nearly identical dioramas.

Moonstone Island

Already available on PC, Moonstone Island is now coming to Switch on June 19. This creature-collecting life sim sees you explore over 100 different islands, finding and capturing the small monsters you come across. You can meet other collectors too, making friends with some and battling others in card-focused turn-based combat.

On Your Tail

Up next, the Wholesome Direct revealed the details for a Steam demo for On Your Tail and the game looks phenomenal. On Your Tail is a mystery-driven life sim in which your relaxing island getaway (including meeting friends, going fishing, forging relationships, and doing other typical life sim activities) is routinely interrupted with sleuthing and interrogations as you solve a handful of local mysteries and hunt down a masked thief. Also, everyone is a cute animal person. On Your Tail is coming to PC and Switch this year.

Spilled

In Spilled, you pilot a boat that cleans up waste and oil spills. As you sail through dirty oceans and murky canals, you’ll earn money to upgrade your boat so that you can clean the waters more efficiently. If you’re thinking about checking it out, you can via the free Steam demo, first revealed during the Wholesome Direct.

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The Palace On The Hill

The third of the four games shadow-dropping during the Wholesome Direct, The Palace on the Hill has you play as the son of a poor farmer in India during the ’90s who wakes up on the first day of summer to discover his father is sick and he needs to spend his time off picking up odd jobs to help the family make ends meet rather than focus on his true passion: art. His childhood friend, a cool city girl, also comes to visit, presenting a possible romantic connection he can add to all the other tasks he has to juggle. The Palace on the Hill is available for Xbox, PC, and mobile devices.

Traveler’s Rest

A new trailer for Traveler’s Rest, which is still in Steam Early Access, was revealed during the Wholesome Direct, showcasing more of what players can expect from the tavern-management game, such as learning the history of old tavern keepers and making friends with the townsfolk who live in the same city as you.

Petit Island

Petit Island looks like it’s going to be a bit of a tearjerker, as you play as Lily, the grandchild of a once adventurous cat whose memory is declining. Armed with his trusty notebook in hand, you set out on your own adventures across your quaint island home, hoping to relive your grandfather’s memories and help him remember them as well. Petit Island is set to launch for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Switch, and PC.

Albatroz

The Wholesome Direct kept the potential tear-filled train rolling with a new trailer for Albatroz, a backpacking adventure RPG in which you play as Isla, who breaks away from her boring routine to search for her brother who mysteriously disappeared during his search for a mythical mountain. The game is described as a tale about “knowing when to let go and start over,” which just sounds like a story that ends on an emotional note that will leave you a wreck. The game is set to launch later this year for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC.

Magical Bakery

Up next, a new trailer for Magical Bakery was revealed. The title kind of spells out this game’s whole deal–you play as someone who’s running a bakery, concocting sweets and tasty pastries with the help of magic. The game is set to launch for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Switch, and PC.

While Waiting

Previously revealed for PC, While Waiting is now set to launch for mobile devices, as well. The game explores the art of waiting, offering over 100 minigames that all deal with waiting for stuff, whether that’s awkwardly standing around for the elevator to arrive or twiddling your fingers while your laundry finishes up. Intended as a game to be played while you’re waiting for real-life tasks to finish up, it makes sense to see the game coming to mobile devices.

Sopa: Tale Of The Stolen Potato

The Wholesome Direct then revealed a trailer for Sopa: Tale of the Stolen Potato, in which you play a young boy who routinely keeps being dragged into a fantastical world to locate the missing ingredients his grandmother needs to finish cooking. Each trip is filled with puzzles to solve and environmental obstacles to overcome and they conclude with your actions having a tangible effect on the real world in unexpected ways. Sopa: Tale of the Stolen Potato is scheduled to launch for Xbox, PC, and Game Pass later this year.

Tracks Of Thought

The final shadow-drop of the Wholesome Direct was Tracks of Thought, a game in which you play as a lost ladybug trying to figure out why everyone on the train she’s riding has forgotten something important, including her. To do that, you’ll need to talk to the other passengers, engaging in conversations where you “fight” for consensus in card-based conversations that look an awful lot like the combative conversations of Signs of Sojourner, one of our favorite games of 2020. Tracks of Thought is available for PC.

Ending montage

The Wholesome Direct concluded with an ending montage that teased dozens of games and projects scheduled for the near future–they’re all coming out this year or “soon” and can be wishlisted on Steam.

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