As sweater weather draws nearer and nearer, people everywhere are being presented with the same question: what games should I play while wrapped up in a quilt and drinking hot chocolate? But never fear, hapless reader! I am here to help with this list of cozy games to play this autumn! Now, what is considered a “cozy” game varies, but for this list I have decided to focus on overall warm and comforting vibes and low stakes. I have, however, also included a few oddball picks in case that is more your style.
First of all, I hardly need to tell you at this point to play Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, and Harvest Moon. If you are in any way interested in cozy games, you know these already and don’t need me to tell you to go play them (though you really should play Stardew Valley if you haven’t yet). However, I will say that Harvest Moon had a new entry released on September 26 called Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos.
Instead of giving you the same old list of well-known games, I compiled more obscure options that you might enjoy. Most of these are on consoles and PC.
First up is Storyteller: a unique puzzle game where you are given a set of scenes and characters you have to use to act out a given story prompt. Figuring out how to get characters to perform certain actions is incredibly engaging, so much so that my only real complaint about this game is that there is not more of it! If you have Netflix you can play the app version of this game at no extra charge!
My Time at Portia is a laid-back life simulator that, unlike Stardew Valley, focuses more on crafting and construction than farming (although you can do that too). It has its own set of bachelors and bachelorettes and it is set in a fascinating post-apocalyptic, but recovering, world where technology is both feared and revered.
Slime Rancher is a farming simulator like Stardew Valley but with a focus on ranching rather than farming. However, instead of cows, your livestock are colourful, bouncy blobs with valuable poop.
Spiritfarer is a poignant, slow-paced game, where you take on the role of the ferryman, taking souls of the recently departed to the afterlife. There is an adorable charm to this game and you can customize and pilot your boat. You can befriend your passengers and fulfill their final wishes, even unlocking a feature where you can hug them. This is another game with an app version Netflix users can play for free.
When I say that Verdant Skies is Stardew Valley in space, I say it with great affection. Instead of rolling into town on a bus, you crash land on the planet you were sent, and have to build yourself up from there.
The last of my standard recommendations is Mission: It’s Complicated. In this matchmaking game you, a scholar in how heroes fall in love, must send a team of heroes on both missions and dates to gain the power of true love to save the world! What I like most about this game, besides it being free on Steam, is that platonic love has the exact same world-saving properties as romantic love and that you can make various queer pairings.
Now for a few stranger options. These games are either not as “cozy” as the rest or just plain weird.
Firstly, I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator. Yes. This exists.
And it is officially published on Steam by KFC. They made a game where you go to culinary school with their mascot and attempt to romance him. It is free and I played the first few chapters. Let me say, it has no right to be as good as it is. It features a corgi as your cooking instructor, so take that as you will.
Next is The Henry Stickman Collection. Many of you will have played the original flash games when they came out years ago during our childhoods. This game compiles and updates all of those games, adding a new final installment that ties them all together. It is a game where losing is just as fun as winning (if not more so, the “fails” in this game are hilarious) it has all the charm of the originals!
Finally, we have Monster Prom and its assorted sequels. Purporting to be the first multiplayer dating simulator, in this game you and your friends can compete, either in person or remotely, to win the affection of lovable (if delightfully problematic) monsters! It can also be played by yourself. There are a few endings where things get more serious (you can cause the end of the world as a prank, though the ending music for that one is hilarious, and end up causing the death of a classmate), but usually your biggest stake is not getting a date to the Monster Prom! This game is funny on a level that you really need to see for yourself.