Just two games this week, namely as the other I was going to cover I’ll be doing on the podcast instead. This week I have been infatuated with a cosy but challenging roguelike. Whilst also being whisked away to the Japanese countryside in an interesting but flawed dating sim.


It was the visual style of SunnySide that caught me more than anything. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but there was something. Then it hit me… It reminded me a bit of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. I loved that film and encourage everyone to track it down to see it.

Anyway, onto SunnySide, it does look lovely and for the most part it plays lovely too. Mixing genres in a fairly balanced way. Part Life and Faming Sim, part Dating Sim, part RPG. Each section working well with one another and all held together with a well written story.

Said story is supported by a wonderful mix of characters, all of whom feel really fleshed out and each have there own things to like and dislike about them. Not one person I found was written as a ‘perfect’ character. Which is great to see.

The main issue comes from SunnySide taking the sim aspects to the extreme. Almost forgetting this is a game and not a second life. For example in a game like Stardew Valley, the process of making a loaf of bread to deliver to someone might be 5 steps. Here that is doubled because it takes the act of performing the actions literally.

Now this wouldn’t be a problem in a dedicated sim, but this is a life sim and needs to use some creative licence. That coupled with some unfortunately poor performance issues and other little QoL improvements needed, mean this is one that will do on the back burner until there is a major update. Which is a shame as there is a LOT to like and there is a ton of potential here.

Into the Emberlands

I’ve had Into the Emberlands for a little while now and it has firmly become my ‘I have 10 minutes to spare, I am gonna play this’ game. 5Because once you are past the tutorial, which is a little hand-holdy and a tad annoying, the game opens up and becomes all about discovery.

Into the Emberlands is in the main a cozt exploration game that is mission based. You need to rebuild a town/village that has found itself overcome with darkness. So you set off completing various tasks, such as rescuing villagers, finding resources and rebuilding what has been lost.

Yet despite being a cosy game, there is a real challenge to things. Because this is also a roguelike. Each step you take outside the village uses an ember, of whcih you have a limited supply. You either need to get back to the village to replenish, or find ways to source some ember on yopur journey.

The more you do though, the more you can upgrade and the further you can travel and so on and so on. Which makes for a really fun and challenging time. One that isn’t about pace and instead tasks you with taking your time to think and plan. One example being that when you rescue a villager, they will provide you with some extra ember. Or you can trade some wood for some ember, or complete a task for one of the odd creature you happen across to get upgrades.

It is a really well balanced game and I can’t wuite believe that it only costs around £5, because there is so much to do and it puts many other higher proced games to shame. Highly, highly recommend picking this one up.

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