While Baldur’s Gate 3, Starfield and Lies Of P are dominating our game time, this season is also ripe for revisiting cosy, easygoing modern classics. Here are some recommendations, courtesy of Buzz’s Hannah Collins.
If you like puzzle quests, The Wild At Heart (PlayStation, PC, Switch and Xbox) is like getting lost in a fairytale forest, with plenty to fight, build and collect. Wytchwood (Switch) has a similar vibe: storybook graphics and medieval-core music, with you playing as a woodland witch searching for magical knowledge.
If you want to zero in on potion-making, you won’t do any better than Potion Craft (PC, Xbox) – an alchemy simulator that looks like an unfurled parchment. In the game, you run an apothecary, harvest ingredients, and come up with new remedies to trade or sell.
Pilgrims (PC, Switch, mobile) also looks like every frame is on ageing paper. Traverse a wild and magic-tinged land, meet other adventurers and exchange stories. For a more cartoonish feel, Costume Quest (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, mobile) is a colourful Halloween-set game where you play a trick-or-treating kid whose twin is snatched by a monster. Build a party and find costumes that’ll imbue you with different abilities to rescue them.
Different again is What Remains Of Edith Finch (PlayStation, Switch, Xbox, PC), a walking simulator exploring the Finch house and its grounds, with an American gothic feel and guided narrative experience. Lake (PlayStation, Xbox, PC) is also a gentle journey with minimalist graphics, delivering mail in a sleepy, lakeside town. Eastshade (PlayStation 4, Xbox, PC) is gentler still: get to know a sumptuous woodland and its people via life as a wandering painter.
Finally, there’s Bear & Breakfast (Switch, PC), a chill management game where you, as Hank the bear, run a B&B in the woods; a premise likely based purely on alliteration.
words HANNAH COLLINS