Among the whirlwind of announcements from Summer Game Fest’s various events this week, there were several smaller events focused on announcing new games. One of these was Wholesome Games’ Wholesome Direct 2022, an event in its third year that shows cute, cozy and wholesome independent games.
The showcase presented a wider breadth of games than its previous events, featuring nearly 100 games, many from very small development teams. Some of the most anticipated previously announced games that got screen time at Wholesome Direct included The Garden Path, a slow gardening life-sim, and Bloom, a social sim where you manage a flower shop which released for the Playdate in April.
While many of the games shown fit into the RPG or life sim category, plenty encompassed other genres as well. Melatonin is a rhythm game where the main character merges dreams and reality through mini games, launching Sept. 16. Bubblegum Galaxy is a city-builder where you rebuild a corner of the universe and try to get a high score. Spirit Swap is a match-3 game where you assemble lost spirits and redecorate your space, dating sim elements very much included.
One surprise announcement was Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, a follow-up to the popular visual novel. Coffee Talk followed a barista at a cafe serving customers from a fantasy setting and helping them solve their problems. Its developer Mohammad Fahmi recently passed away, and the sequel represents a continuation of his work.
Other indie-focused events happening this summer include SGF’s Day of the Devs, which was held last Thursday, and Annapurna’s upcoming showcase in July.