It’s Friday and I’m seeing a unifying thread among my moots’ sentiments: they haven’t been doing their assignment well on Being Human™. While always relying on an escape route isn’t exactly the best solution, it can trump some stressors for a while. Well, especially if that escape is a fun and enchanting game.
Simulation games, in specific, hand us the key to starting an entirely different life and living vicariously through what feels like a much more interesting, energetic, and capable persona. For one, it’s no wonder Stardew Valley has built quite a fanbase. Three years ago, we even raved about how it made us feel in control of our day and tweaked our perspective on productivity, which can be difficult to pull off IRL.
Speaking of that, gaming websites have been mentioning a new quest that “Stardew Valley” stans might want to warp themselves into. Enter “Grave Seasons,” an upcoming farming sim game.
Game Rant describes it similar to “Stardew Valley” in a way that it lets players “grow crops, fish, and interact” with the townspeople in the realm—which includes romancing them. But in “Grave Seasons,” one of the NPCs turn out to be a serial killer. “Figuring out who it is will be important, especially since players can actually find themselves romancing the killer if they’re not careful,” the article reports.
In the screenshots shared by developer Perfect Garbage Studios on X, we see characters in what appears like a romancing record book: a store manager, priest, farm aid, doctor, bar singer, and a crossed-out mayor (were they killed by the serial killer, and the death is just being painted as an “accident?”).
— Perfect Garbage | LOVE SHORE (@perfectgarbo) October 11, 2023
Unfortunately, there’s no release date yet for this as it’s currently in development. But Steam group Rock, Paper, Shotgun got word from Perfect Garbage that it’s “fun, campy, and spooky,” so take what you will from that.
Meanwhile, if you’ve spent recent years fixated on quarantine go-to Animal Crossing, there’s also a new game that players claim is in the same vein. Developed by Gentleman Rat, Critter Cove lets players rebuild an island and create connections in a “post-post apocalypse” setting, as written on Steam.
The official trailer introduces us to Arlo’s paradise quest featuring a makeshift boat (made out of a bathtub) and of course, the Critters themselves, who are sporting cool ’fits. Currently at its beta stage, the game has been sharing tips to interested players about how to communicate with Critters for a stellar gameplay. Exhibit A: “If the Critter hates their job, they will probably be really bad at it.”
💡 Critter Cove Beta #GameTip
If the Critter hates their job, they will probably be really bad at it. To avoid the whole town having to drink ♻️ recycled coffee, we recommend having a chat with this barista and handing them a notice ASAP 👍#CozyGames #IndieGames #LifeSim pic.twitter.com/S1T0ewi7ca
— Critter Cove (@CritterCoveGame) October 5, 2023
💡 Critter Cove Beta #GameTip
Sometimes your pockets are full, but that one Critter still wants to gift you something – where did that item go?! 😱
The answer is 👉 mailbox! It’s right next to Anchor’s office, so make sure to check it from time to time 😉 pic.twitter.com/0d10JbY1qh
— Critter Cove (@CritterCoveGame) October 3, 2023
According to Game Rant, “Gentleman Rat also promised ‘a lot of town management,’ stating that building one’s own house in Critter Cove will be just the beginning.”
While a specific release date is yet to be unveiled, what we know so far is its PC version (early access) is coming in the first quarter of 2024. Other consoles include the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Art by Anna Flores
Photos from Perfect Garbage and Steam