10 Best Cozy Games on Steam for any hardworking adult

There’s nothing I look forward to more than hitting up my favorite cozy game after a hectic day at work.

These games allow me to forget the anxiety and stress of the workday and just let my brain take a much needed mental break without the need to be too focused on hitting precise button sequences or fight overpowered monsters.

I don’t know about you but I was introduced to the cozy games space rather late with Animal Crossing during the pandemic. Since then I’ve been hooked. 

While Cozy Games doesn’t have an official definition, I tend to classify games with slower paced gameplay and appealing visuals under this category. If the game comes with a nice soundtrack, it’d be an added bonus. Most cozy games tend to involve farming and crafting, however there are some adventure and exploration focused titles that made my list. 

And while I enjoy spending time on my Nintendo Switch, Steam has a wider offering of cozy games that run nice on my PC. Enjoying these cozy games on PC allows me to have my favorite Cozy Music playlist on Spotify playing in the background as well.

That said, there are tons of cozy games on Steam.

So, to help you skip the experimentation and narrow down your options, here’re my pick of the best:

Best Cozy Games on Steam

1) Spiritfarer

Spiritfarer is a cozy game about dealing with grief by Thunder Lotus Games. This game has farming elements mixed with a strong storyline that had me in tears during the first playthrough. 

The music is enjoyable as well. Have a listen:

You play as Stella, a Spiritfarer to a cast of deceased who turn out to all be related to you. As the game progresses, you learn about each character and learn to say goodbye to them.

Through the game, you’ll help the characters complete their wishes, overcome some of their mental blocks. All the while farming, harvesting, cooking, fishing, building your boat and exploring the seas.

Spiritfarer is a rather long game, some reporting that it takes over 40 hours to complete. Personally, I took about 30 hours on my first playthrough and enjoyed every hour of it. 

The game skillfully balances dialogue and cutscenes backed with a melodic soundtrack that keeps me coming back for multiple plays. Through the dialogue, you get to learn about each unique character and their backstory, which makes it sad when I had to say goodbye to each of them. 

Thunder Lotus Games released more content as part of the Spiritfarer Farewell Edition, which got me back into this game. I’m currently on the 3rd playthrough and am hoping to complete it fully at my own pace.

Disclaimer, I’m biased – Spiritfarer is on the top of many of my game lists.

2) Stardew Valley

No cozy games list is complete without the mention of Stardew Valley:

An indie farming and crafting game that has captured the hearts of many cozy gamers worldwide with its iconic pixel art, selling over 20 million units as of March 2022.

Stardew Valley was first released on 26 February 2016 on PC and has since been ported to most major platforms like Nintendo Switch, PS4, Android, iOS and more. 

It is so popular that the game has spawned tons of mods which allows players to further customize their gameplay experience. And if playing the game isn’t enough, you’ll find endless content on Stardew Valley on Youtube, TikTok and many other social media platforms with guides, challenges and even more ways to enjoy the game.

Its success even led to ConcernedApe, the solo developer to be interviewed alongside Harvest Moon’s developer, Yasuhiro Wada. (It has gone on to inspired tons of Stardew Valley like games too!)

You play as a character who inherits your grandfather’s old farm and set out to begin your new life in Stardew Valley.

There’re NPCs to interact with, tons of farming and breeding to be done and you have to manage your time, resources, watch your energy, be mindful of the seasons, complete tasks and help NPCs. 

Gosh.

But trust me, it still feels like a cozy game. 

Except for the few moments when you realized you made a small bad decision. Uh, but what’s life without a few bad decisions?

Technically, you can complete the game in about 60 hours. But Stardew Valley is actually an endless game that you can return to easily at any time. 

And with the availability of so many mods to choose from, there’s no end to exploring what the game has to offer. 

Although the game is about 7 years old and ConcernedApe has been busy on a new game, the game continues to receive updates. In fact, ConcernedApe just announced an upcoming Stardew 1.6 update with new game content! He’ll also make it easier for modders to work with Stardew Valley via this upcoming update.

Can’t wait to head back into the game!

3) Disney Dreamlight Valley

A Disney cozy life-sim featuring iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, Moana, Stitch, Buzz Lightyear and so many more? Sign me up! 

Disney Dreamlight Valley is currently in the “early access” phase and you’ll need to purchase the Founder’s Pack in order to get access.

However, there are plans to make the game free-to-play once the game is ready for open access. (It is estimated to be fully released in 2023.)

Dreamlight Valley will allow cross platform play and cloud saves, however you’ll currently need to purchase multiple copies of the game on other platforms if you wish to do that. This feature may be useful once the game becomes free-to-play.

You play as a character who falls asleep and ends up in Dreamlight Valley. There, you’ll need to restore the valley, get rid of the Night Thorns, meet with other villages (aka Disney or Pixar characters) and manage your farm. 

4) Hello Goodboy

While most cozy games tend to be farming games or life simulations, Hello Goodboy offers a unique cozy gaming experience while you go on an adventure in the afterlife.

Hello Goodboy is an afterlife adventure game with graphics that reminded me of Dora the Explorer. It is one of those hidden gem cozy games that I seldom see recommended. Developed by Indonesia based developer, Rolling Glory Jam, and released recently on 28 April 2023, Hello Goodboy offers a well paced adventure game that you shouldn’t sleep on.

You play as Iiko, a boy who wakes up in the afterlife and has to navigate the mysterious world accompanied by Coco the dog. In the game, you go about meeting and helping other NPCs by solving puzzles, searching for treasures and more. 

Hello Goodboy is a non-linear game – you get to explore and choose how the story progresses. Every character comes with their own backstories and your in-game choices will shape the final story – for example, meeting certain characters would mean you won’t get to make friends with others. 

The story kept me involved with interesting dialogue. And although there is a limit on time, the gameplay was relaxing. I felt that this game is still highly underrated and deserves to be on this list.

5) Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Alba is a cozy, wholesome game that’s definitely worth your time. It can be completed in just about 2.5 hours, but nothing’s stopping you from exploring thereafter. It is developed by indie developer ustwo games which is behind the popular puzzle game, Monument Valley.

You play as Alba, a little girl who visits her grandparents on a small island with a run down nature sanctuary which is being threatened by the mayor’s plan to turn it into a hotel. 

So naturally, you set out to save the island and its wildlife. To do that, you set out to explore the island, speak with islanders, help out with some repair work, rescue animals and document the island’s wildlife, all at your own pace.

There’s just something cozy and uplifting about running around as Alba as she randomly but cheerfully skips or hops while you move around to explore the island:

Something I noticed is that the background sounds are well designed – you hear the sounds of nature (like chirping, bird calls, goats, waves and more) as you explore.

Exploring an island and trying to capture photos of beautiful birds is definitely a cozy and relaxing way to end a hectic day. 

Alba is also a good reminder that we should look after wildlife and mother nature.

6) Journey

Journey is an indie adventure game by Thatgamecompany. It was originally released for PS3 but was later ported to PC and is now available on Steam. 

To be honest, Journey may be challenging my definition of a cozy game. However, the art style of this game is beautiful, it is accompanied by great music and the gameplay is very enjoyable. And if you’re in no rush, just exploring the world alone is a rather relaxing experience. 

You play as a robed figure exploring a vast desert space, trying to make your way to a mountain. Yea, that mountain in the distant:

There are no words in this game, you interact with other robed figures through a series of chimes and sounds. And, you learn about the story as you explore the world and its offerings. 

Journey is a relatively short game that can be completed in 1.5 to 2 hours, almost as long as a good movie. So if you’re in the mood to complete a cozy game in a single seating, this is a good option. 

Otherwise, as I’ve mentioned before, just exploring the world mindlessly is a great way to relax and enjoy this beautiful game that the developers have created.

7) A Short Hike

Next up, we have another short game. A Short Hike as its name suggests, if about a short hike up a mountain. It takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete, so if you don’t want a farming game or a game that requires any commitment, this is another one to consider. 

You play as Claire, this pixel bird character who is exploring the wilderness and trying to hike up a mountain. Along the way, you meet other hikers and characters who are just enjoying themselves on the mountain too.

For some reason, as a bird you cannot seem to fly upwards, but you can walk, run, swim and glide down the mountain. That random weirdness aside, this relaxing, cozy game is a great option to end off a hectic day.

Other than trying to get up the mountain, you also meet hikers who might just need your help. 

While you are basically free to explore the mountain, there is a plot that holds the game together. If you play through, you should be in for a nice surprise (I don’t want to spoil it for you here) that gives it a wholesome ending.

Also, it is surprisingly relaxing to glide down the mountain as a pixel bird.

This game is also a great escape for days when the weather screws up your IRL hiking plans. 

So far, most of the games listed here are pretty “brainless” in that you do not have to spend too much cognitive or mental energy in order to enjoy them. 

For me, there’ll be days where I just want a cozy game that’s slightly more challenging or doesn’t require any routine play that’s common in farming games.

The next two are great for such days:

8) Dorfromantik

A cozy and relaxing city building puzzle game by Toukana Interactive. It was fully released on PC on 28 April 2022 which makes it a relatively new game.

Dorfromantik means “village romanticization” in German. And as its name suggests, you are given tiles which you’ll use to build a beautiful village.

There are rules on where and how tiles can be placed as well as missions to complete which adds to the challenge while allowing you to strategize how you wish to build your village. You get to earn points based on how you build your village as well.

There are several game modes (Classic, Creative, Quick, Hard, Monthly and Custom) that allow you to customize your game experience. If you’re in the mood for a relaxing building session, the Creative mode is my go-to. 

9) Assemble with Care

Another relaxing puzzle game, Assemble with Care is also developed by ustwo games, the developer that brought us Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. It is a unique puzzle game that in my opinion, is a hidden gem that unfortunately gets very little recommendation.

If you like the idea of fixing things, this relaxing game will be a fun one for you. You play as Maria, an antique restorer in the town of Bellarivia. Instead of controlling a character and walking around, you’ll be interacting with items, trying to fix them throughout this game.

Assemble with Care features a distinct art style which scores high visually. You help a variety of characters to fix mostly ‘antiques’ that often hold a significant meaning. As the game progresses, you learn about the heartwarming stories behind different characters (and you’ll get a little attached to them, well I know I did). Spoiler: You also get to make some latte art too.

The only downside to this game is that it is interspersed with long text based scenes with voice overs that are simply there to add context to the story. These may get boring over time. 

If you like cozy puzzle games like Unpacking, then Assemble with Care is definitely up your alley. 

Assemble with Care consists of 13 chapters and can be completed in about 1.5 to 2 hours. However, I feel that the pace of the game is rather slow which is actually a positive in this case. It allows me to break up the gameplay by chapters which meant that I could choose to play just one chapter each evening and fully enjoy the story.

This is the perfect game for shorter nights where you just don’t want to lose yourself in a game and end up heading to bed too late.

And last but not least…

10) Book of Travels

Book of Travels is an interesting multiplayer online RPG being developed by Swedish game studio Might and Delight, most well known for their Shelter series, an open world survival game. It was released on Steam as an early access game on 11 October 2021. 

Book of Travels features a beautiful hand drawn open world. I mean, look at it:

Instead of a regular MMORPG, Book of Travels is what Might and Delight defines as a “Tiny Multiplayer Online RPG” (TMORPG). This simply means that the game limits the number of players on each server. Also, you chat with others using symbols and emotes rather than with words. This was intentionally designed to craft memorable social interactions between players. 

You get to create your character and explore the world of Braided Shore as a merchant. The main objective of the game is simply to explore this vast open world that has many interesting mini-events that you’ll stumble into.

Yes, you can gather resources, craft items, engage in combat, improve your trade value and stats. But, you can also design your own adventure and explore the game as you wish.

Although Book of Travels is a Multiplayer Online RPG, you can choose to explore independently or find other players to travel with. 

And if you don’t happen to meet anyone in game, fret not there’s tons of players available on related forums which you can hop into to learn more about the game too.

Book of Travels already looks amazing in early stage access, I’ve been hopping in often while patiently waiting for updates. 

That said, the launch of Book of Travels didn’t seem to do well and Might and Delight had laid off 75% of their team back on 21 Dec 2021. Development of the game has slowed down since then.

However as of Dec 2022, the studio has announced that it is back to full capacity. 

What are your Best Cozy Games?

I’ve shared my current pick of the 10 Best Cozy Games on Steam here, I hope you’ll find a few good picks from this list. 

Other than those on this list, there are several Cozy Games that have yet to be released. I’m personally waiting for Mika and the Witch’s Mountain (ETA: Oct 2023) and Chef RPG (ETA: 2024).

If you think there are games that should be added in, do let me know in the comments below, I’m always on the lookout for new games to add to my collection. 

(p.s. i share my watchlist of cozy games for 2023 here!)


Posted

in

Tags:

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *