NSG - Wholesome Direct Highlights

9 highlights from the Wholesome Direct that we’re obsessed with

The Wholesome Direct presentation is always a highlight of our year! We’re big fans of Wholesome Games and this year’s showcase did not disappoint! With over 70 game announcements, the event showcased something for everyone. We were equally excited to see lots of new game announcements and to hear updates from games we’ve been following for a long time now!

We had an amazing time watching (and co-streaming) the Wholesome Direct, and if you have the time, we highly recommend you watch the full event. But if, like us, you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the amazing game announcements coming out this summer, we’ve selected 9 highlights from the showcase that you won’t want to miss!


NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - While Waiting

1. While Waiting

Emily’s Pick

“This game is intended to simulate the experience of waiting, and is designed so that you can play it while you’re actually waiting in real life. While you’re in line at the bank or, at the airport waiting to board your your flight, etc. It’s all of these little scenarios with this main character kid, who just has to wait and you find ways to occupy yourself, occupy your time, in these kind of limbo states. I think it’s a really interesting concept for a game.”

Emily

Developer: Optillusion
Publisher: Optillusion
Release Date: TBA


NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Music Power Up

2. Music Power Up

Kate’s Pick

“This is a game where you’re playing as a musician in the 1980s, and you’re creating music for early video games. One thing I really like about what this game is offering is that you can make your own compositions, original sounds, or use pre-composed patterns, if you’re not the kind of person who’s going to just intuitively make your own sound or song. I really do see this as like a digital audio workspace video game, based on the footage that I’ve seen in the trailers. I love to make my own sound effects, write my own music. So this is definitely going to be a Katerblossom game.”

—Kate

Developer: microStudio
Publisher: microStudio
Release Date: Q4 2024


NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Discounty

3. Discounty

Emily’s Pick

“It has a very Stardew Valley vibe upon first glance. But it’s also more than that. It’s more of a management sim, a traditional like tycoon management sim, where you’re running basically a grocery store in a town. You can befriend residents, I think there’s some farming element to it. But primarily it’s a story about gentrification, and the effects of capitalism on a community, which I think is really interesting. It looks like there’s sort of a choices matter element to it where, depending on how much you lean into the capitalism versus the community aspect of what you’re doing with your business, things can go differently.”

Emily

Developer: Crinkle Cut Games
Publisher: PQube
Release Date: 2025


NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Rooster

4. Rooster

Kate’s Pick

“This just looks cute! It’s a casual puzzle adventure celebrating the best of ancient Chinese culture. I thought it looked really beautiful, and it definitely stood out to me and was one that I kept thinking about, so I’m excited for this one.”

—Kate

Developer: Sticky Brain Studios
Publisher: Sticky Brain Studios
Release Date: January 15, 2025


NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Fruitbus

5. Fruitbus

Emily’s Pick

“The demo of this game has been my white whale because multiple times I have literally downloaded it and then discovered it was only available temporarily. It looks really cute! It’s a 3D first person game where you are running a food truck. You make primarily fruit-based things, but I think you can also make grilled entrees or rice bowls, all for these little, funny animal characters. it looks cute and weird and quirky. I’m excited for it.”

Emily

Developer: Krillbite Studio
Publisher: Krillbite Studio
Release Date: October 2024

NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Afterlove EP

6. Afterlove EP

Kate’s Pick

“This is giving me Florence vibes, and you know I love Florence. There’s a music element to it. There is a love story element to it. A loss and moving on element to it. So this just has all the things that I typically like in a game. It seems like a great narrative. You throw the music in there, plus a really great art style. I’m really looking forward to this one.”

—Kate

Developer: Pikselnesia
Publisher: Fellow Traveller
Release Date: Q3 2024


NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Tracks of Thought

7. Tracks of Thought

Emily’s Pick

“This was a shadow drop. It came out on June 8th, the same day as the Direct. It’s a narrative game where you’re on this big train and everyone has amnesia. You’re trying to figure out who you are and what’s going on with everyone. And it’s got card game-based gameplay, but the cards are all like, you chatting with people. It it seems really inventive.”

—Emily

Developer: Tidbits Play
Publisher: indie.io
Release Date: Jun 08, 2024

NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Hello Again

8. Hello Again

Kate’s Pick

“Hello Again is a time loop puzzle adventure game, and it has this really distinct cartoony art style. The color palette almost reminds me of like, The Simpsons or something. Just really vibrant pinks, yellows, greens, blues. It’s very like funny and quirky and the dialogue is so smart. And so that was a big, big hook for me.”

—Kate

Developer: Soup Island
Publisher: Soup Island
Release Date: 2025


NSG.- Wholesome Direct Highlights - Crab God

9. Crab God

Emily’s Pick

“For one, this just looks SO cute. The little crabs, they have their big round eyes and are so adorable. It seems like it’s drawing from a theme that’s been going around the indie game space a lot lately, around conservation of the environment, cleaning the ocean, etc. You’re trying to revive different biomes under the sea. And trying to hatch or find the next crab god. The art style got me, but the gameplay also looks really engaging and fun, with some strategy required but also plenty of chill vibes.”

—Emily

Developer: Chaos Theory Games
Publisher: Firesquid
Release Date: Jun 20, 2024


Thanks for checking out our highlights from the Wholesome Direct!

We hope you enjoyed these highlights from the 2024 Wholesome Direct!! If you want to hear our full thoughts and highlights from other Summer Game Fest Showcases, like the Day of the Devs and Women-led Games Showcase, check out the full Summer Game Fest Recap episode of No Small Games.

Also, don’t forget to check out our episodes recapping previous gaming events, like our episodes covering PAX East 2024 and the 2023 Wholesome Direct.


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