Today I’m wandering down the Road Less Travelled for Wyrd and Wonder. I don’t often post about gaming on this blog. I’m a bit of a sporadic gamer, but when a few weeks of silence go by, it’s probably because I’ve been sucked into a game and forgotten that books exist.

I don’t like games where things are constantly trying to kill me. I can just about manage in Stardew Valley as I can always run away (and local co-op has been my friend, since I get Josh to unlock all the mine levels for me). So cosy gaming is right up my street. Not all these games are cosy, but they fall well into my comfort zone.

Botany Manor

This was my choice of game to play during this year’s Wyrd and Wonder. It’s such a gentle puzzle game which will test your memory (unless you start taking screenshots of the clues, which is what I ended up doing). What’s it doing on a fantasy games list? Well, they’re not real flowers, and the gameplay is working out what strange set of parameters will make them grow. Playable over a few evenings, I’d recommend getting this on Games Pass, as it is quite short.

Platforms: Steam, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Xbox Gamepass, Nintendo Switch

Screenshot of potting bench in Botany Manor

Wylde Flowers

This was such a charming game with loads of characters and plenty of story. You play as Tara, a witch taking over her grandmother’s farm on a small island, where there appears to be something weird going on in the woods at night. Unlike others in its genre, it had a lot of unique dialogue, voiced by proper voice actors. In fact, the only times they got repetitive were when I’d delayed on changing seasons. I liked the fact you could slow down time on this so you could get all your tasks done every day, or speed up if here was nothing to do. It also has a diverse cast of characters.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade, Steam

Screenshot from Wylde Flowers of showing Tara in a magical landscape

Timberborn

This beaver building game is still in early access but has plenty of content, and I haven’t seen any bugs while playing. Humans have destroyed the world, and the remaining inhabitants are industrious beavers. You have to build up their civilisation while dealing with the threats of drought and bad water.

Platforms: Steam, GOG, Epic

Screenshot of Timberborn showing overhead view of a beaver city

The next three games I played in couch co-op mode, because it’s always better to have someone by your side to do the tricky bits. They might be slightly more stressful played solo.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

This is such a beautifully realised fantasy world, although the story is very sad. I recently played the updated version, which has been adapted for couch co-op, as well as getting a stunning upgrade in graphics. You can still play this by yourself, using each side of the controller to control the different brothers.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Windows

Screenshot of two trolls in Brothers game.

Unravel Two

What’s more adorable than one tiny yarn creature? Two tiny yarn creatures! My favourite bit of the co-op gameplay in Unravel Two was being able to climb on the other player’s back. Sometimes I’m just a bit useless, and if I can be carried to safety, all the better.

Platforms: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Screenshot from Unravel Two showing a red and a blue yarn person holding hands

It Takes Two

Two parents on the verge of divorce are transformed into their daughter’s doll-versions of themselves, and they must traverse the perils of their home to reach her. This is such a good couch co-op game. The parents are bickering as you disagree with how to do things. The therapist book was a bit annoying but this was great fun.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch

Screenshot from It Takes Two showing the characters riding frogs. There is a TAXI sign behind them.

I’m always on the look out for new couch co-op games, so if you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments!