Wholesome Direct 2024: the cutest games


Despite its cozy appearance, Wholesome Direct 2024 is actually shaping up to be the most packed event of Summer Game Fest. The hour-long presentation featured more than 70 different games. Some were brand-new announcements, some were previously known games that got a fresh trailer or release date, and a handful of titles even launched during the event.

Now, 70 is a large number, so to help, I’ve curated the games that stood out to me the most. You can also watch the full presentation right here to soak in every detail. Even better: many of the games have demos on Steam that you can check out. Anyway, here are my picks, in no particular order.

Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge

Launching today on PC and Switch

Kamaeru looks like a more interactive take on Neko Atsume, only with frogs instead of cats and a beautiful painterly art style. The goal is to not only build a sanctuary to raise those frogs in but also restore their wetland habitat. Best of all: it’s out today.

Squeakross: Home Squeak Home.
Image: Alblune

Squeakross: Home Squeak Home

Launching on Steam; no release date announced

This is what would happen if you mashed Animal Crossing with Picross. The game is all about solving nonograms, which then create items (out of cheese, naturally) that you can use to decorate a cozy home. It also looks to be jam-packed with mouse puns.


Launching 2025 on PC, Switch, PS5, and Xbox

Calling Stardew Valley fans. Discounty looks like it has a similarly charming vibe, only with less farming and more business. Instead of building up a farmstead, you’re tasked with running a grocery store in a small town, which naturally means getting deeply involved in the community.

Kitsune Tails

Launching August 1st on PC

A side-scrolling platformer that looks a bit like Super Mario Bros. 2, if only it was coated in Japanese folklore and mythology. It also comes from the same developer behind the oddball political platformer Super Bernie World.

Moonstone Island

Launching June 19th on the Nintendo Switch

Moonstone Island is already out on PC, but its mix of life sim and creature collection feels like a perfect fit for the Switch. There’s a lot going on in this game: farming, potion brewing, card-based battles, and spirits to tame. Plus, you can ride around on a broom.

Caravan SandWitch

Launching on PC, Switch, and PS5; no release date announced

The end of the world is usually dark and dire, but Caravan SandWitch takes things in a slightly more wholesome direction. It’s an exploration game about venturing through a wasteland in your trusty van, and it has no combat or death, so you can drive around at your own pace.

Lost and Found Co.

Launching on PC, iOS, Android, and consoles; no release date announced

This is looking like the most charming Where’s Waldo?-style game since Hidden Folks. But whereas that was a black-and-white world, Lost and Found Co. is bursting with color. It even has a cute little dragon.

Afterlove EP

Launching on Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox later this year

From the creators of Coffee Talk, Afterlove EP is described as “a colorful mixtape of genres” that’s part dating sim, part rhythm game, and part story-driven adventure. Whatever it is, it both looks and sounds great, with hand-drawn art from Soyatu and a soundtrack of Indonesian pop-rock from L’alphalpha.

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