January is almost over and we’re sinking fast into 2024 but I can’t let another day pass without talking about all the cozy games I bought in 2023 on Nintendo Switch one last time.
10 Cozy Switch Games I Threw My Money At In 2023
Last year marked my second year of being a cozy gaming blogger, and gosh did I play some lovely video games. I feel blessed every day that I get to do this as my side business and wish my younger self had started sooner!
I worked with some amazing gaming brands who gifted me tons of their games to try but today I’m not talking about those. No. I’m going to share with you every cozy game that made me open up my purse and scream “Take my MONEY!” in 2023.
A small disclaimer before I start because two games on this list were in fact, bought and paid for by my fiance. However, when I tell you which ones they were I think you won’t mind me including them. Besides, our money is technically joint. We’re nearly married after all.
Here are the 10 games I bought on Nintendo Switch in 2023:
Okay, yes technically I didn’t buy Palia because it’s FREE. However, since its release on Nintendo Switch, I haven’t stopped playing it.
Palia is a free-to-play online MMO available on PC and Nintendo Switch. An MMO means massively multiplayer online. It’s a game where other players play on the same server but not necessarily with you. You can interact with them, talk in a chat room and collect the same loot as them.
This isn’t my first time playing an MMO but I’m not a huge fan of them normally. I prefer solo games. Since picking up Palia I’ve not had any contact with another player. So it is possible to still play this game on your own, but I believe later in the game that may change as I need to get rare resources from things like the Flow Trees.
I first started playing Palia on PC but I hated that there was no controller compatibility so quit it after a short time. That’s since changed which is good to know but I’ve been opting to play on my Switch more anyway.
The graphics on the Switch are subpar though. All the tiny details have been lost. And I understand something had to give to port such a huge game to Switch. It’s still very much playable and if you’ve never played Palia on PC you wouldn’t notice such things.
Palia is one game I will continue to play throughout 2024 on both Switch and PC.
This next game encapsulated everything I didn’t know I wanted in a video game. It’s got drama, shrimp-like demons, tarot and soul.
The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood came out of nowhere. I hadn’t heard anything about it until the month it was released and normally I’m fairly up to date with what’s releasing and when. But this never landed in my inbox and I first heard about it from another cozy gamer.
Admittedly the art style isn’t one that would generally enrapture me and even once I started to play the game I struggled to get into it. It took me a couple of plays just to get past the tutorial because there was so much reading. I’m so glad I did though because I’ve since played this game through 3 times!
The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is a narrative game with a branching storyline about Fortuna, a Witch living exiled on an asteroid who forms a pact with a forbidden creature in the hopes of regaining her freedom.
She needs to craft her new tarot deck and enlist the help of her sister and friends to get off this space rock. There’s so much humor in this game and you get to influence the outcome through reading the fortune of each character. I think it’s similar in style to Coffee Talk and that’s why I like it but also it’s unique because there’s no other game, to my knowledge that gives you the tools to craft your very own tarot deck.
As a millennial, I’m always on the lookout for games with older characters. People who’ve lived a life and have stories to tell. I want couples with solid marriages, siblings with complicated family relationships, childless women trying to understand their place in the world. Life isn’t neatly tied up in a bow, it’s messy. There is no one path for us all, despite what people might tell you.
I’m yet to find that game. One that reflects my own life and the women I know and love.
But The Wreck came close.
The Wreck is a mature 3D visual novel about sisterhood, motherhood, grief and survival. You play as Junon, who at 36 feels like her life is falling apart. Her mother has been rushed to the hospital and it’s up to you to help her navigate the day to help her find peace with herself.
It reminded me very much of Hindsight. Another narrative game that shares the ups and downs of mother-and-daughter relationships incredibly well.
Is it perfect? No. The voice acting and story were incredible but the artistry wasn’t to my taste.
There are a few games on my list that didn’t release in 2023 but I’ve continued to play or discovered existed. Two Point Campus is one of those games.
I’ve been playing Two Point Campus since its launch. It’s the second game from Two Point Studios, the first being Two Point Hospital. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again from my fellow retro gamers in the back. Theme Hospital by Bullfrog was a masterpiece. It was my obsession growing up and I used to recommend it to anyone who would listen to me back in the day.
When I played Two Point Hospital for the first time I didn’t like it. There I said it.
The reason for my immediate dislike was because they had removed the board game-style cut scenes in between the levels. Weird I know, but I loved that. It was the main goal of the game, to get to the end of the board.
So I never finished TP Hospital because there was no incentive to. When TP Campus was released though my interest was piqued and I haven’t put it down since. There’s a lot less chaos than in TP Hospital. That was until the most recent DLC when they decided to add a medical school.
I paid for it despite having TP Hospital and really wish I hadn’t. Those are now my least-played levels.
I love management games, they are my favorite genre to play closely followed by life sims and narrative games.
If you know me then you know I love Coffee Talk. It’s a game that’s very close to my heart because it was a comforting game for me and many others to play during some of our most isolating months.
I’d been waiting some time for the second episode to be released and when it did I couldn’t put it down.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly is a coffee brewing and heart-to-heart talking simulator. You play as the barista and owner who is more like a therapist to her customers. If you go into this expecting lots of gameplay you’ll be disappointed. It’s all about the conversations. Episode 2 follows on from the first game but also stands alone if you’ve never played the original. You don’t feel like you’re missing out in any way really.
With new game mechanics such as lost property and new ingredients to experiment with it adds more depth to an already perfect narrative game.
Would I pick it up again in 2024? Probably not. I think if anything I’d like to see the series continue. Bring Freya back. That’s all I’m saying.
I had to include a Mario game on my list. Every year I pick up a new game by Nintendo. In 2022 it was Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury.. I was a bit late to the game on that one what with it being released the year before. But last year I played Super Mario Bros Wonder.
I knew I wanted it the moment I saw I could play as Daisy. I always choose her when I’m playing Mario Kart. My fiance bought this one for me for Christmas. I don’t play Mario games solo very much anymore. I reserve them for playing couch co-op with him. It’s our family time.
In Wonder, you’re introduced to the Wonder Flower, a fun game mechanic that surprises you with a new way to play your current level. Sometimes you’re falling through the air, while other times you’re riding a pipe. It’s a total trip. There are 12 playable characters and over 100 wacky levels.
We’ve been having a right laugh playing it together and I don’t see us putting it down anytime soon.
Now here’s a game I didn’t think I’d be introducing to you to at all. I saw Suika Game mentioned by Eeowna on YouTube.
Suika game or that Watermelon game as many people know it here is basically a cute Japanese game where you need to match fruit to get a high score. There’s a catch though – your space is limited and if you reach the top it’s game over.
It reminded me of Tetris and Bejeweled Blitz a little bit. It’s the sort of game you can just pick up while you’re waiting for the dinner to cook.
I’ve heard some people find the game fairly addicting, but I didn’t. I think because I was just playing against my own high score I didn’t feel a need to compete. There’s no online compatibility on Switch as far as I’m aware though I think that would have made the game more fun. I could see it being like Tetris 99.
It was super cheap. Like only a couple of quid. I play it whenever I want a quick game now but don’t take it too seriously.
I might get a bit gushy over this next game because I was absolutely, positively certain I would never, EVER, play a Zelda game.
But here I am adding it to my top-played cozy Switch games of 2023. I haven’t been playing it very long. I only started really getting into it in December.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the 2023 sequel to Breath of the Wild. It’s an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo. The series has been running since the late 1980s and because I never played it as a kid I didn’t have that deep connection with the story and characters that many players seem to.
Ofcourse I knew about Zelda and how popular it was but I couldn’t see myself getting into a story that had already been going for so many years. Surely it would take me forever to understand it.
How wrong was I?!
My fiance bought the game to play for himself. He’s also not a huge Zelda gamer but he has played a couple of the originals. So as I sat and watched him playing it on the TV while I played Two Point Campus on my OLED Switch I began asking questions.
What is that spinach-looking character? Why do your weapons keep breaking? Why is the TV black?
And one day my fiance came home to find I had taken over his game, humming Hestu’s little jingle to myself and flying through the sky!
Now I know what you’re saying, “But Wendy, TOTK isn’t a cozy game!” And you’d be right. It has fighting, threats and fall damage. But this is more about HOW I play it that makes it cozy. I rarely get into fights and when I do I use a long pocky stick or my bow and arrow from a safe distance. I’ve not progressed the story at all really. Instead, I like exploring, taking photographs and collecting the Koroks.
Sometimes even non-cozy games can become cozy when played a certain way.
Moving on from wide-open, explorative games I’ve got a food-based game – Breakfast Bar Tycoon.
Released in 2020, you play as a breakfast bar chef trying your best to serve hungry customers as quickly as possible. Sounds chaotic, but it isn’t.
I found this little gem while I was looking for a new couch co-op. It’s really simple and actually quite relaxing when you get into a rhythm. However, we weren’t immune to the odd argument as I kept burning the sausages and forgetting the buns.
It’s similar to Overcooked and Good Pizza, Great Pizza.
Lastly, I bought a unique game about driving as far as you can. In a post-apocalypse/steampunk-style world, it’s just you and your vehicle traveling across a dried-out ocean to find out if you truly are the last of your kind.
FAR: Lone Sails is a game about going the distance. It takes patience, puzzle-solving and a lot of steam to push forward. This game is super slow-paced. It’s beautiful to look at but its sombre soundtrack may not be for everyone.
It was released in 2018 and the developers have since released a companion title – FAR: Changing Tides. Even though their second game is set in the same world it’s not a sequel as far as I’m aware. But either way, I’m glad I played FAR: Lone Sails first.
It’s a surprisingly good cozy game for fans of GRIS.
And that about wraps up my list of 10 cozy games I bought on Nintendo Switch in 2023. I just want to add that if you’re planning on saving the pennies this year… because 2023 seriously was HUGE for cozy games, I recommend waiting until some of these games go on sale. Especially the older ones. I think I bought FAR: Lone Sails and The Wreck at a discount.
If you’d like to discover some NEW Cozy Games coming out in 2024 click here.
See the cozy games mentioned here
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