Cozy games are the kind of games that allow new players to transition from mobile to console gaming with little friction.
Popular games like Stardew Valley are just better played on a bigger screen in my opinion.
Until recently the best option for casual gamers to level up was with a Nintendo Switch as it has long dominated the handheld gaming market. Then Steam Deck launched!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Steam Deck has been widely compared to the Nintendo Switch, but it appears to be more geared toward an adult demographic.
As it’s basically a mini PC I can see why.
Steam deck is a console that allows players to play their favorite steam games from anywhere. I have so many PC games that are just left collecting virtual dust because I’m not a fan of sitting for long periods at my desk unless I’m writing.
Cozy Games are best played in a comfortable place and with the Steam Deck, you don’t even need a PC.
No more missing out on new games that always hit PC first and the Switch months, sometimes even years, later!
(The following games are either optimized for Steam Deck or playable which means they have been tested.)
7 Best Games on Steam Deck You Can Play Now
1. Wylde Flowers
About: Join Tara on a heartfelt journey to become a witch in Wylde Flowers. Farm by day, and cast spells by night as you craft your cottagecore life and bond with your coven. Come to know and love the fully voice-acted characters of Fairhaven, as you unravel a local mystery.
Wylde Flowers is a story driven farming sim which focuses heavily on relationship building. With plenty of magic, farming, and mining to do you’ll find yourself wanting the game to slow down so you can enjoy it even more!
About: Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about dying. You play Stella, ferrymaster to the deceased, a Spiritfarer. Build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas. Join the adventure as Daffodil the cat, in two-player cooperative play. Spend relaxing quality time with your spirit passengers, create lasting memories, and, ultimately, learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends. What will you leave behind?
It’s rare to find a story in a game that hits me on an emotional level like Spiritfarer does. The characters are fully fleshed-out and you’ll enjoy getting to know their likes and dislikes as you travel from place to place as one big family on your boat.
3. Potion Permit
About: Become a small-town chemist and heal townsfolk of their ailments in this beautiful pixel life sim. The town of Moonbury has always been wary of the advances of the outside world, preferring to rely on their traditional methods of healing. Until one day, when the mayor’s daughter falls ill, and the local witch doctor can do nothing to help her, they are forced to look outside their small community for help.
If you’re looking for a nice, slow-paced RPG to play for a couple of hours Potion Permit could be your next wholesome binge play. One to play if you’re a fan of old-school JRPG graphics, fighting monsters, mini games, and wholesome non-playable characters.
4. Strange Horticulture
About: An occult puzzle game in which you play as the proprietor of a local plant store. Find and identify new plants, pet your cat, speak to a coven, or join a cult. Use your collection of powerful plants to influence the story and unravel Undermere’s dark mysteries.
Strange Horticulture is an endearing cross-referencing point and click fantasy game. The puzzles aren’t difficult but after a time trying to find the right plant (to avoid poisoning your clientele) becomes much harder. If Wednesday Addam ran a plant shop it would be Strange Horticulture.
About: Unpacking is a zen puzzle game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home. Part block-fitting puzzle, part home decoration, you are invited to create a satisfying living space while learning clues about the life you’re unpacking.
Unpacking gently unravels its story without telling you anything about itself. No dialogue, no time limit. Just objects that you have to find a home for. Learning about a main character this way is a unique spin to a game and one I’d gladly experience again.
6. A Short Hike
About: Hike, climb, and soar through the peaceful mountainside landscapes of Hawk Peak Provincial Park. Follow the marked trails or explore the back country as you make your way to the summit. Along the way, meet other hikers, discover hidden treasures, and take in the world around you.
There is a sense of freedom playing A Short Hike, not simply because it’s an open-world exploration but because it delivers so much in such a small package. You can play this game twice and it would feel brand new. You’ll never get bored of the atmospheric swells of music or the dry humor of the characters.
7. DISNEY DREAMLIGHT VALLEY
About: Once an idyllic land, Dreamlight Valley was a place where Disney and Pixar characters lived in harmony—until the Forgetting. Night Thorns grew across the land and severed the wonderful memories tied to this magical place. With nowhere else to go, the hopeless inhabitants of Dreamlight Valley retreated behind locked doors in the Dream Castle. Now it’s up to you to discover the stories of this world and bring the magic back to Dreamlight Valley!
Disney Dreamlight Valley is still in early access until next year but already there is a huge buzz around this game. The ability to make friends and interact with memorable Disney characters like never before has this life sim soaring in popularity.
The world design, customization and opportunity to raise friendship levels was something I never knew I needed in a Disney game, but now that it’s arrived, it’s something I can’t live without.
Coming Soon: NAIAD
About: Enjoy a wholesome experience with a dreamy and original visual style. Learn to swim like a duck, dive like a fish, dash like a frog and meet other adorable friends like butterflies, rabbits, turtles, snakes, and crocodiles!. Help them find their way and avoid obstacles. A journey in 16 episodes that will take you through beautiful and strange places like a deep forest, a dark cave, a joyful creek, a calm lake, and more… until you reach the sea.
NAIAD was originally poised for release in October 2022 and I was fortunate enough to get to play the demo. But the full game has been pushed back to a 2023 release.
I’m a sucker for atmospheric games and Naiad is such a unique experience. This minimalistic gem is being lovingly created by HiWarp (a solo developer) and I’m more than happy to wait a little longer to play it in full.
With so many cozy games for Steam Deck to choose from you’re going to need the space to download them. Don’t do as I did when I first got my Nintendo Switch and fill up your console storage then uninstall games to make way for new ones.
We cozy gamers like to replay our one-off games like A Short Hike.
And there are games like Disney Dreamlight Valley that require a minimum of 10gb of space.
Keep in mind that more storage means it’ll be easier to download and install games when that next big game comes out in the middle of the one you’re still playing.
I’m not the only one who plays multiple games at the same time, am I?
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