Summer is coming up, and with it are all the light, airy feels that come with eating too much ice cream, going to the beach with friends, and being off from school. It’s so close, we can almost taste it!
While it isn’t quite time to bust out the bikinis and swim trunks, you can start preparing for the happy summer feels with these cute and wholesome games you may have missed!
DoraKone: My Sweet Summer Adventure, released by Apple Cider, is a free girls’ love visual novel available on itch.io (linked above) and Steam. It is completely safe for work and focuses on creating friendships and even romance as you grow your bonds with the other characters and enjoy your summer! DoraKone is a fun little tale because it involves a game within a game. An AR game, to be exact, similar to the likes of Pokemon Go, where players can go to different areas around town to collect items and battle it out to take control over different territories.
It is through this game that Dulce, the main character, is able to meet other players in the game and hang around town. However, she’s new to the whole scene and has to hone her skills! This leaves room for some fun, lighthearted exchanges (like Dulce almost getting into an in-game territory war!). Aside from the the unique meta of playing a game within a game, there is a lot of heart to DoraKone. Dulce is a fun protagonist to follow around. Her sprite is adorable, and she’s very expressive. I found myself drawn to her instantly.
Though if the story isn’t quite enough for you, the art may seal the deal! The game feels very polished, down to the vibrant phone interface the player can interact with to pause, load, save and change the settings of the game. Along with the gorgeous sprite art and three character routes, I think this short romp will be a fun one for players, even those not particularly interested in girls’ love games.
The demo of Guinea Pig Babe was released recently by Lazy Homosapien on itch.io. I was drawn to it right away because of the game’s adorable aesthetic. On a planet adjacent to Earth is a land inhabited by talking guinea pigs. When Earth gets connected to the other planet, the only option is to try and branch humanity and the talking guinea pigs together by setting up a joint inter-world high school!
The premise does sound a bit ridiculous, but really, that makes this game all the cuter. Upon meeting the trio of guinea pigs that will be our new classmates, you begin to forget you’re not one of them. They talk and act like characters we know and love! The whole experience reminds me a little of Hatoful Boyfriend, and honestly? I’m here for the ride!
This game is really wholesome. You get to take your new companions out to different places and spend time getting to know them and their culture—such as, for example, going out to a grocery store to buy some food! The game likes to remind you (through various choices like what food to eat) that you’re still interacting with a guinea pig, after all, but that adds more to the charm. If you’re looking to befriend the cutest guinea pigs I’ve seen in a while, this visual novel is for you!
Plush Pet Shoppe is a free visual novel developed by PeachiePeeps. It is full of cute animals and a magical girl! What more could you want? When you move to a new place, you find yourself lonely with no one to talk to…that is, until you stumble upon a mysterious lady who owns and runs a magical pet shop! She lets you choose the pet of your dreams, including some very sweet options!
Plush Pet Shoppe is a rather short game that can be finished in a single sitting depending on your reading speed. However, it offers multiple different pets to choose from, each with their own quirks. You can get to know these hand-designed pets and befriend them, and get one of four happy endings, or even a goofy one! There are no sad vibes in this game, only the sugary-sweet goodness of adorable companionship.
What are some of your favorite cute and wholesome games? Let us know in the comments!