we curate uplifting, compassionate, cozy games every day and produce the annual wholesome direct indie game showcase.

FAQ

Where can I view past Wholesome Games events?
We've got them all archived in this YouTube playlist!
Do you have a press kit?Yes! You can find the WD 2022 press kit here.Can we co-stream your events?
Absolutely!
What is Wholesome Games?
Wholesome Games is a community that started on Twitter when indie game developer Matthew Taylor began curating games according to their feelings of comfort, compassion, and coziness. Since then, the community has grown to nearly 500k members across Twitter, Discord, TikTok, YouTube, and more.
Why?
One of the goals of Wholesome Games is to change how we think about which games are taken seriously. For many years, the most critically acclaimed titles have been the ones with the darkest themes and grimmest depictions of life, but there's also a whole world of hopeful video games with rich storytelling, innovative gameplay, and beautiful art and sound. We want to be a part of showcasing the breadth of experiences that games can have for players.
What makes a game "wholesome"?
That's up to you to decide! It's subjective and we don't want to pretend that it isn't. Something we've always tried to be mindful of is that what looks wholesome to one person might not look wholesome to someone else.
If a game is cute and cozy but contains harmful stereotypes, is it wholesome? We say no! If a game is violent, but that violence is about overthrowing an oppressor, is it unwholesome? We say no! The opinions presented by our curation are just that: one group's opinions.The question of what makes a game wholesome is one that comes up again and again in our community, and while common themes sometimes emerge from those conversations, we think it devalues the discussion to suggest that there's ever going to be a comprehensive final answer.OK, but I hate the word "wholesome".
Honestly, so do we sometimes! Toxic positivity is a real problem, and lots of words and ideas like "wholesome" (or "family values") have been warped into dog whistles and harmful purity tests, or used to dismiss serious concerns.
We want to make absolutely clear that our values are diametrically opposed to these uses, and we can only hope that's reflected in our work.Are non-wholesome games bad?
Not at all! "Wholesome Games" is not a synonym for "good games" and we believe every type of game can--and should--co-exist, including the scary and violent games that we don't curate. Every game fills a niche, and while our group focuses on highlighting games in one of those niches, we all play and love games that aren't part of the genre too.
Are wholesome games political?
We believe everything, especially the media we create and consume, is political. We actively avoid hateful content, bigotry, and developers who have been exploitative or otherwise abusive, and we encourage developers to use their voices to support worthy causes. Sometimes it's a radical act to make dark or upsetting art, and sometimes it's radical to make hopeful art in times of adversity.

collaborate with us

We're always on the lookout for games that will resonate with our community!If you'd like to learn more, send an email to hello (at) wholesomegames.com with some information about your project.If you're a content creator or member of the press, sign up for the appropriate mailing list.

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Receive occasional emails from Wholesome Games whenever cool stuff is happening!We also have separate lists for streamers/content creators and press so we can send y'all extra stuff.

Matthew Taylor (he/him) is an indie game developer, the founder of Wholesome Games, and the director of Wholesome Direct.Favorite games
A Short Hike, Chibi-Robo!, and Hades.

Jenny Windom (she/her) is an indie game producer, community developer, streamer, and host extraordinaire of Wholesome Games.Favorite games
Outer Wilds, Florence, and Harvest Moon 64.

Esmeé van’t Hoff (she/her) is a Wholesome Games organizer, indie game developer, and artist!Favorite games Fantasy Life, Murder by Numbers, and Paper Mario: The Origami King.

James Tillman (he/him) is not a cat, your honor! He's also an indie game developer and producer.Favorite games
Psychonauts, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Universal Paperclips.

Victoria Tran (she/her) is an indie game community director, speaker, writer, and an organizer for Wholesome Games.Favorite games
Tetris Effect, Unpacking, and Undertale.

Wholesome Direct was created in 2020 in response to the cancellation of in-person game industry events like GDC. The showcase aims to shine a spotlight on new and upcoming games that are uplifting, thoughtful, and wholesome!

art created by @AlexStrook
  • Button City

  • Errand Boy

  • Ooblets

  • Kind Words

  • Snacko

  • Chicory

  • The Spirit and the Mouse

  • Spiritfarer

  • Sayri

  • Mondo Museum

  • Bird Alone

  • Little Witch in the Woods

  • TOEM

  • Winding Worlds

  • TokoToko

  • When the Past was Around

  • A Space for the Unbound

  • Book of Travels

  • Garden Story

  • Depanneur Nocturne

  • Calico

  • Rainy Season

  • Wayward Strand

  • Hoa

  • Sylvan Meadows

  • Haven

  • Tracks The Train Set Game

  • Frogsong

  • Later Daters

  • Clouzy

  • Creature Resort

  • Pushy and Pully in Blockland

  • Onsen Master

  • Old Friends Dog Sanctuary

  • Critter Cove

  • Roots Of Pacha

  • A Monsters Expedition

  • The Other Side

  • Battle Cakes

  • Alchemic Cutie

  • Pekoe

  • Ollie Oop

  • To The Rescue

  • Rolling Hills

  • Himig

  • Orange Island

  • Misc.


Following an outpouring of support for the inaugural showcase, Wholesome Direct 2021 returned with more than two million viewers and firmly established Wholesome Games as an important voice in the online era of video game showcases.

  • Bird Problems

  • Recolit

  • Snacko

  • Alekon

  • A Little To The Left

  • Ooblets

  • Spirit Swap

  • Behind The Frame

  • Skatebird

  • Here Comes Niko

  • Pekoe

  • Lake

  • Yokai Inn

  • Mythic Ocean

  • Kokopa’s Atlas

  • Button City

  • Letters

  • Hot Pot For One

  • Garden Story

  • Tracks Of Thought

  • Beasts of Maravilla Island

  • Hoa

  • We Are OFK

  • Paralives

  • KeyWe

  • A Walk With Yiayia

  • Dordogne

  • The Gecko Gods

  • Tasomachi

  • Please Be Happy

  • Witchy Life Story

  • BattleCakes

  • Bear & Breakfast

  • Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist

  • Sally

  • Rainbow Billy

  • Unpacking

  • Soup Pot

  • Cloud Jumper

  • Teacup

  • Moonglow Bay

  • Pupperazzi

  • Luna’s Fishing Garden

  • Witchery Academy

  • Amber Isle

  • Woodo

  • Wytchwood

  • Moonshell Island

  • Frogsong

  • Loddlenaut

  • and more!


The biggest showcase yet, Wholesome Direct 2022 featured exclusive footage and developer interviews from hotly anticipated titles like Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley, PuffPals: Island Skies, Coffee Talk Episode 2, Terra Nil, SCHiM, Mail Time, and many more.

  • Terra Nil

  • Little Bear Chef

  • Melodyssey

  • Lumbearjack

  • The Garden Path

  • Mika and the Witch's Mountain

  • 30 Birds

  • Mail Time

  • Usagi Shima

  • A Walk with Yiayia

  • Chicken Journey

  • PuffPals: Island Skies

  • Freeride

  • How to Say Goodbye

  • Calico

  • Paper Animal RPG

  • Fall of Porcupine

  • The Last Clockwinder

  • Lovebirb

  • Spirit Swap

  • Coffee Talk Episode 2

  • ODDADA

  • Frogun

  • Garden Witch Life

  • Princess Farmer

  • Ooblets

  • Bubblegum Galaxy

  • Here Comes Niko!

  • Snufkin: Melody of Moomin Valley

  • Feed All Monsters

  • SkateBIRD

  • Papertrail

  • Soulitaire

  • Passpartout 2

  • A Frog's Tale

  • Freshly Frosted

  • Kaichu

  • Wholesome Out & About

  • Paradise Marsh

  • Gaucho and the Grassland

  • Lil Gator Game

  • We Are OFK

  • Potion Permit

  • Pixelshire

  • SCHiM

  • Pekoe

  • Bilkin's Folly

  • Kitori Academy

  • Togges

  • Tracks of Thought

  • DokiToki

  • Critter Crops

  • Toroa

  • The Spirit and the Mouse

  • Snacko

  • A Little to the Left

  • Kokopa's Atlas

  • The Wandering Village

  • Lonesome Village

  • Melatonin

  • and more!