Are cozy games the next big thing?

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DaHeckIzDat
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Joined: April 9th, 2015, 1:41 pm

Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » September 3rd, 2022, 11:21 pm

I was watching last week's Extra Punctuation video (here it is, if you want to see it: https://youtu.be/Uq5Aukfbz3M) where Yahtzee said something that really made me think: cozy games might be the next big gaming trend. Cozy games are games with a relaxed and laid back atmosphere, like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, possibly even Minecraft. The goal in these games isn't to kill bad guys or save the world, but to simply exist in the world the game developers built for you and live a happy life.

These are games you usually can't lose. You could potentially do badly at the game, but you will never see a game over screen and could always, with effort, get things back on track. But likewise, you don't really "win" these games either. They might provide you with objectives and reward you for meeting those objectives, but you don't "beat" the game in the same way you don't "beat" life. In fact, most of these games don't even have an ending. They'll just keep going for as long as the player is willing to keep playing.

That doesn't mean there can't be some trace of traditional gameplay in these type of games. Minecraft and Stardew Valley both have combat elements, but nobody will tell you that's what those games are *about.* They're *about* building something from the ground up that will give you a feeling of accomplishment.

Yahtzee theorizes that these games are growing so popular because (at the risk of turning this political) people don't feel fulfilled with their lives anymore. They work endless hours at crappy jobs to not make enough money to live comfortably. These kinds of games provide the illusion of doing something that's both fulfilling and prosperous, usually while also living in a friendly and helpful community.

Personally, I never thought I'd be into these kinds of games. But then I tried Stardew Valley and immediately got hooked. Persona also scratches the same itch, even though it has the typical "kill the bad guy, save the world" shtick as most games because at least half of your time is spent hanging out with friends, going to school, and generally just *being* the protagonist. They provide the same feelings of attachment and satisfaction as you watch your skills rise and help your friends through personal problems.

What do you guys think? Are cozy games going to be the next big thing?

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ASalvaro
Posts: 496
Joined: May 24th, 2019, 11:51 pm

Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby ASalvaro » September 3rd, 2022, 11:33 pm

DaHeckIzDat wrote:I was watching last week's Extra Punctuation video (here it is, if you want to see it: https://youtu.be/Uq5Aukfbz3M) where Yahtzee said something that really made me think: cozy games might be the next big gaming trend. Cozy games are games with a relaxed and laid back atmosphere, like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, possibly even Minecraft. The goal in these games isn't to kill bad guys or save the world, but to simply exist in the world the game developers built for you and live a happy life.

These are games you usually can't lose. You could potentially do badly at the game, but you will never see a game over screen and could always, with effort, get things back on track. But likewise, you don't really "win" these games either. They might provide you with objectives and reward you for meeting those objectives, but you don't "beat" the game in the same way you don't "beat" life. In fact, most of these games don't even have an ending. They'll just keep going for as long as the player is willing to keep playing.

That doesn't mean there can't be some trace of traditional gameplay in these type of games. Minecraft and Stardew Valley both have combat elements, but nobody will tell you that's what those games are *about.* They're *about* building something from the ground up that will give you a feeling of accomplishment.

Yahtzee theorizes that these games are growing so popular because (at the risk of turning this political) people don't feel fulfilled with their lives anymore. They work endless hours at crappy jobs to not make enough money to live comfortably. These kinds of games provide the illusion of doing something that's both fulfilling and prosperous, usually while also living in a friendly and helpful community.

Personally, I never thought I'd be into these kinds of games. But then I tried Stardew Valley and immediately got hooked. Persona also scratches the same itch, even though it has the typical "kill the bad guy, save the world" shtick as most games because at least half of your time is spent hanging out with friends, going to school, and generally just *being* the protagonist. They provide the same feelings of attachment and satisfaction as you watch your skills rise and help your friends through personal problems.

What do you guys think? Are cozy games going to be the next big thing?

wasn't Ecco The Dolphin one of the first cozy games?

CaptainCruch
Posts: 514
Joined: July 17th, 2015, 11:26 am

Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby CaptainCruch » September 4th, 2022, 9:59 am

ASalvaro wrote:
DaHeckIzDat wrote:==
wasn't Ecco The Dolphin one of the first cozy games?


Calling Ecco The Dolphin a cozy game is like saying swimming from the US to Europe is a piece of cake.

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VideoGameCritic
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Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 4th, 2022, 10:46 am

This theory may also explain why Minecraft was a runaway success. As an old-school gamer, I never quite "got it".

JohanOberg
Posts: 109
Joined: September 21st, 2021, 8:22 am

Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby JohanOberg » September 4th, 2022, 4:40 pm

They're not for me, I like a videogame to have an end, and an ending.

Paul Campbell
Posts: 246
Joined: August 12th, 2015, 10:52 pm

Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby Paul Campbell » September 5th, 2022, 1:54 am

I barely consider these "games", but I do have a soft spot for Spiritfarer on the Switch. The music and animation, along with some of the best dialog I've ever witnessed, made this one a pleasure. It's more like Stardew Valley, where it keeps you busy with tasks, but it's more challenging and has a platforming aesthetic that feels more game-like.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 5th, 2022, 11:15 am

I wonder if Candy Crush falls into this category. I catch my wife playing it all the time, but without any apparent goal.

Robotrek
Posts: 546
Joined: June 6th, 2016, 9:24 pm

Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby Robotrek » September 5th, 2022, 2:30 pm

Minecraft has really evolved over the last decade or so. Tried it again recently and it's like a whole new game!

SuperiorShark
Posts: 73
Joined: August 5th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Re: Are cozy games the next big thing?

Postby SuperiorShark » September 13th, 2022, 6:11 pm

I think there's some truth to this. During the Nintendo Direct today, it seriously felt like half of the games shown off had some kind of farming/crafting features. Personally, I never saw the appeal of it.


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