Wholesome Games returned for the annual Wholesome Direct, part of the Summer Game Fest. The hour-long showcase featured dozens of indie games that minimize or eliminate violence and danger in favor of creativity, socialization, puzzles, and simulation.

We’ve got games about cleaning up the ocean, games about running a traveling book store, and a game about waiting in lines. Many of them make great games for kids and adults alike, especially if you’re looking for something more relaxing and cozy.

Here is are some of our favorite games from the Wholesome Direct showcase, with demos on Steam you can download right now — as well as several full games that just released!

Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge

Kamaeru is a pseudo-farm sim with a creature collecting twist that you can probably guess by the subtitle. By expanding and maintaining your wetlands into a safe haven for frogs, you can breed, raise, and collect over 500 different frog species.

Release: Out now on Steam, Switch, Xbox


Poool, with exactly four O’s, is a simple physics puzzle game using everyone’s favorite tabletop game of balls and a pool cue. Except instead of actually playing pool, you’re smashing different sizes balls to get a high score.

Release: Out now on Steam

The Palace on the Hill

The Palace on the Hill is a slice-of-life sim that explores rural India in the 1990s. Cook Indian food, manage tea shop, befriend the locals, and explore the titular 15th century palace.

Release: Out now on Steam

Tracks of Thought

Tracks of Thought is a mystery game, no, a card game, hrm, a narrative adventure? Either way, I’m certain there’s a train involved!

Release: Out now on Steam and Epic Games Store

Caravan SandWitch

Come for the apocalyptic alien planet road trip, stay for the ethereal French music in driving exploration game, Caravan SandWitch.

Release: TBA

Tiny Bookshop

Who says you need to sell food to enjoy the food truck life? In Tiny Book Shop, you own a traveling second-hand bookstore to stock, maintain, and sell to locals in a coastal town.

Release: TBA

Into the Emberlands

Cozy and roguelike don’t typically go together, but Into the Emberlands is about saving others with your magic lantern before your light runs out, while building a thriving village.

Release: June 19 (Early Access)

Fantastic Haven

Fantastic Haven is Zoo Tycoon with a fantasy world and creatures! Well, less zoo and more wildlife conservatory and rehabilitation. The prologue is available now as a free download.

Release: Q3 2024

Crab God

My personal favorite game of this year’s Wholesome Direct is Crab God, an adorable, underwater, side-scrolling strategy game starring a colony of crabs as they build, defend, and expand great coral reefs.

Release: June 20

Ila: A Frosty Glide

Ila is a young witch with a flying broom that she rides like a flying skateboard. Marty McFly, eat your heart out! Ila: A Frosty Glide is coming to Kickstarter, but a demo is available now.

Release: TBA


Sally is a 3D life sim set in a unique location: a gigantic, magical flying ship! Cook, decorate, and style, build relationships, and explore flying islands free from time constraints.

Release: Q4 2025 (Early Access)

Dungeons of Hinterberg

One of the few indie games in the Wholesome Direct to feature combat, the Dungeons of Hinterberg are also home to lots of puzzles and platforming challenges. Between adventures, you can hang out with friends and locals at night to improve your skills.

Release: July 18


Fruitbuuuus! This first-person food truck cooking game tasks you with foraging and cooking your own food, crafting recipes, meeting the needs of different customers in an open world setting.

Release: October

Lost & Found Co.

Lost & Found Co. is a hidden object adventure game in a colorful, picture book world starring a duck-turned-human and their axolotl companion. The new demo adds new levels, side objectives, and a new hint system.

Release: TBA

On Your Tail

On Your Tail is a third-person adventure that’s part life sim and party mystery adventure, set in an Italian seaside vacation town.

Release: 2024


Created by a solo game developer who lives on a boat and ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, Spilled is a short and sweet eco-centric game where you play as a tugboat cleaning up the environment, from plastics to oil spills.

Release: TBA

While Waiting

While Waiting is a game about waiting, to be played while you’re waiting. I totally dig this description on the Steam page: “Embrace the essence of the game by understanding that waiting is the key to clearing each situation. No shortcuts or actions can expedite the waiting time.”

Release: TBA


Looking for more cozy games? Check out our list of Cozy Farming Sims!

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.