With cosy season rapidly coming upon us, not to mention a desire to do something a little different than your usual Halloween games round-up, we’ve decided to go in a different direction. So get comfortable and ensure that both your blanket and hot chocolate are ready, because here are ten of the best wholesome games you can get on PC right now.
A Short Hike
Some of the best things in life are often born from the simplest of endeavours. A Short Hike absolutely takes this notion and literally runs to the hills with it. As a bright-eyed little bird, you find yourself running, climbing and gliding through the lush rural expanses of Hawk Peak Provincial Park as you seek to fulfil the simple goal of reaching the mountain’s lofty summit. A Short Hike is as wholesome as it gets, not least because as you’re carving a path through the mountain at your own pace, you also bump into other hikers who have problems of their own that you can help them out with, making everyone’s day markedly better as a result. Throw in a stack of secret treasure, endlessly charming visuals and a beautifully tender soundtrack that matches the on-screen action, A Short Hike is one of the most fulfilling and wholesome PC games you can buy right now.
Whisking players off to the Caribbean in the late 18th century, Bilkins’ Folly casts player as Percy Bilkins, a wayward nautical explorer looking to find his long lost relatives. A narrative driven puzzle adventure, Bilkins’ Folly is all about hopping from island to island, enlisting new crew for your ship to help you on your adventure, solving puzzles and helping the denizens of the islands all the while you search for your missing family members. More than that, Bilkins’ Folly also places a spotlight on the relationship between Percy and his loyal hound Drayton, who can help our eager explorer by barking to show the location of treasure, obey complex commands and much more besides. With more than a dash of Monkey Island style dialogue, coupled with some properly brain-tickling puzzles and charm-stuffed visuals, Bilkins’ Folly is an unforgettable cosy gem where patting the dog is absolutely essential to success.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Unfolding in a colouring book world devoid of colour, Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a top-down adventure that puts players in control of a pup-faced artist who must track down Chicory, a masterful artist that has gone missing. Armed with the eye-opening ability to paint colour into the world at a moment’s notice and materially alter the environment in the process, Chicory: A Colorful Tale will have you putting your colourful talents to use, creating magical bridges, removing monochrome walls and so much more as you meet a cast of animal friends and help other folks who are in need. Simply put, it doesn’t get much more wholesome than Chicory: A Colorful Tale.
Lil Gator Game
Taking us back to the bygone times of our childhood where our imaginations were so potent that we were able to create so much from so little, Lil Gator Game is a beautifully warm platforming adventure that tugs on the heartstrings with vigour. Casting players as a wide-eyed child who finds themselves now largely ignored by his older siblings, Lil Gator Game tasks players with leveraging the creative faculties of the titular little gator to fashion an epic quest out of cardboard enemies and craftwork treasures. Whether you’re surfing across a lake on a makeshift shield, being shot up in the air from an erupting whale spout, skimming stones across a lake or just finding new friends to cheer up, Lil Gator Game is a weapons grade shot of wholesomeness that we could all do with from time to time.
There’s perhaps little in life more simply satisfying than making something that was once dirty clean again and it’s this concept that serves as the central notion for the effortlessly engaging PowerWash Simulator. There’s an almost restorative satisfaction to going around the various neighbourhoods in PowerWash Simulator and as you watch the pressurised water shear off the layers of caked mud, the result is something which borders on self-help, since PowerWash Simulator is both resolutely wholesome and tremendously relaxing in a way that very few games can claim to be.
One of the original wholesome gems of the last decade, Stardew Valley is a country-life RPG where as part of a local community you make new friends, attend seasonal events and live out a wholesome second life as a farmer while a new world of acquaintances and events blooms around you. Where Stardew Valley really excels as a wholesome classic however, is in how each of its inhabitants all have their own schedules, birthdays, cut scenes and more that all depend on what you do and how you react, making it feel like a truly reactive world that repays your wholesomeness in kind. Filled with good meaning vibes and a wonderfully charming heart, Stardew Valley’s appeal has not dulled in the more than seven years since its original release. It’s never too late to get started.
Like other games in this list, The Spirit & The Mouse derives its wholesome nature from that most kind and heart-warming of gestures – the willingness to help out a stranger in need and in turn, gain a new friend as a result. As Lila, a tiny and kind mouse within the quaint French town of Sainte-et-Claire that finds herself empowered by electrical spirit, The Spirit & The Mouse is a blissfully entertaining platforming adventure where you must walk, climb and leap around Sainte-et-Claire, helping those who are in need and restoring hope to a town struggling to keep the lights on during its darkest days. Equal parts adorable, engaging and heartfelt, The Spirit & The Mouse is a delectable offering that everybody looking to lighten their heart should partake in.
A balm for the heart and soul, TOEM is an isometric adventure where as a cheerful photographer, you must navigate an adorably constructed monochrome, isometric world, snapping photos of the world around you and seeking out the weird and the wonderful to capture in perpetuity. Along the way you’ll make new friends, uncover secrets and discover love and warmth through the lens of your trusty camera in ways that you never thought were possible. Endlessly relaxing and filled with charming characters and a real sense of adventure, TOEM’s reputation as one of the best wholesome games ever made is certainly well-earned to say the least.
Though its central mechanic is built entirely around unpacking items and securing the perfect position for them in a range of new abodes, Unpacking remains long in the mind and heart because of how deftly it touches on themes of memory and the passing of time. Something of a bittersweet endeavour, Unpacking is a coming of age tale that ruminates on the memories that are imbued in the belongings that we carry with us from place to place, reminding us that while nothing is forever, the notion of a new beginning can be as enriching for the soul as can be the fondness with which we look upon our past, and the bits and bobs that we attach such weighty sentiment to.