Clocked

10 cosy games to play under your doona this winter

Chuck the kettle on, don your slippers, and start building your dream pillow fort, it’s time to get cosy.

Winter is upon us, and that gives us the perfect excuse to stay inside all day. Turn on the heater and wrap a doona around yourself. It’s Sunday, it’s cold outside, and you’ve got nothing to do but kick back with some cosy games.

Here are ten wholesome, warm, and nostalgic games that’ll keep you entertained and toasty this season.

octodad cosy games
Image: Octodad

Stardew Valley 

A beautifully crafted, pixel art farming simulator. Spend your days tending to your farm, planting, and collecting prize harvest to enter into seasonal competitions. Raise a variety of animals and monitor their health, and even harvest them to craft delicatessen products.

There’s a surprising amount of depth for a game developed by one person. There’s a huge focus on interacting with the local townspeople, and you can even search for your one true pixelated love. There are plenty of different quests and dialogue options to keep you busy.

After something a bit more fast-paced? Explore the mines below and discover all the secrets Stardew Valley has to offer. Or you could kick back and go fishing at the beach. Or why not head to the cosy wood cabin pub and chat with the locals? This game has something for everyone and is best enjoyed either using the local or online co-op.

It Takes Two

The most recent release on the list, this game is designed to be played co-operatively. It Takes Two is a genre-bending platformer that gleefully disrupts gaming norms. You and one friend will take control of two humans who have been turned into patchwork dolls as you explore a fantastical world and try to save your fractured relationship.

If you’re looking for a game to play with your partner, this is the one. Best enjoyed with a hot Milo.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

After nearly two decades since its original release, Sony did a bang-up job of breathing fresh air into this classic series. Spyro Reignited Trilogy reimagined maps with immense detail, but still gave players that sense of nostalgia they were chasing.

Playing this game transported me back to my childhood years, where I would wake up early on a Saturday morning and run into the living room to get a couple of hours of gaming in before my parents woke up. All whilst I inhaled several bowls of Coco-Pops.

Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom: Rehyrdated

Now I know that underwater doesn’t really scream cosy, but I spent countless hours playing the original game as a child. I found it astonishingly cool having the freedom to explore all the nooks and crannies of Bikini Bottom in real-time. It was one of the first titles that ever filled me with a sense of childlike wanderlust, all from the comfort of my parent’s couch.

The remake updates the graphics so they are palatable for today’s audience without losing the charm from the original title. Even if you weren’t a huge fan of Spongebob Squarepants series as a kid, the platforming gameplay is entertaining enough that you should give it a go anyway.

VA-11 Hall-A

I discovered this title during last year’s lockdown, and it personally helped me combat some of the loneliness many of us experienced. VA-11 Hall-A (Pronounced Vallhalla) is a casual visual novel game that has a decision-driven narrative and an eye-wateringly gorgeous art style.

Now the game is set in a cyberpunk dystopia, which doesn’t sound very welcoming at all, but that’s just the outside world. The majority of the story unfolds within the safe confines of your little bar, where the dangers of the outdoors can’t reach you or your patrons.

When you’re not learning about the lives of your customers, you will be mixing up a variety of drinks and keeping the playlist going by choosing one of the many independently produced tracks from the jukebox.

Amazing art, story, and soundtrack. Oh and one of your regulars is a talking Shiba. What more do you want?

Dorfromantik

Dorfromantik is an incredibly peaceful and relaxing experience. Your goal is to expand your serene and idyllic village by placing tiles on a procedurally generated landscape. The better your tiles fit together, the more points you score.

Although the game does include traditionally ‘stressful’ gameplay elements such as resource management and combat that will keep you engrossed for hours, don’t let that scare you off . One Steam reviewer described it as the “Bob Ross of strategy games” and I think that’s pretty cosy.

Coffee Talk

This game was directly inspired by VA-11 Hall-A, and it features similar story and gameplay elements but in a completely new setting. The game takes place in a fantastical reimagining of Seattle in 2020. You run a small, trendy coffee shop that sees all walks of life coming through your door.

Just like VA-11 Hall-A, the central focus of the game is discovering the untold stories of the city, as well as slinging drinks.

Unlike VA-11 Hall-A, caffeine will be your poison of choice, rather than booze. The game even features a really fun system where you can design and draw a ton of different latte arts for your virtual customers to enjoy.

Octodad: Deadliest Catch

One of the goofier games on this list, but I’ve included it because of its heartwarming story. You take control of Octodad, an eight-limbed mollusc masquerading as a father, as the name would suggest.

You must complete a variety of mundane tasks to fulfil your duties as a stay-at-dad father. I’ve never had so much fun grocery shopping.

Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) 

Kind Words is one of the most unique games I’ve come across in decades. The game is set within the cushy confines of your bedroom, where you can send and receive letters in real-time to real people.

The theme of the game is certainly wholesome, with a focus on using your words to lift others and having others lift yourself. The game encourages you to talk openly about issues you are facing and having others provide you with the consolation you didn’t realise you needed.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons 

The OG cosy game. The Animal Crossing series originally launched in 2001 and quickly gathered a cult-like following, and it’s easy to see why.

This game is like a cerebral massage, it’s so tranquil that I can feel all my anxiety slowly disappear as I internally debate whether the green or blue rug goes best in my wood cabin.

10/10.