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Video GamesApr 12, 2024 4:00 pm CT

What to play this weekend: Botanical puzzles, tactical RPGs, and the cozy life

Happy Friday, Watchers! There was no news this week, absolutely nothing to excited about on the Blizzard front, right? So, clearly you need some game recommendations for your weekend relaxation, right? It’s all about puzzles, tactics, the cozy life, with a tiny side of nuclear fallout.

Let’s dive in to what’s new and interesting in games this week!

Botany Manor (puzzle)

Botany Manor is as peaceful a puzzler as it gets. This first person title is full of relaxing exploration, set in a historical Victorian English manor and its grounds within an idyllic countryside.  Fans of Strange Horticulture, this may be your next big find!

The year is 1890, and you are retired botanist Arabella Greene, working on the capstone of your career: a botanical research book called “Forgotten Flora.” Explore your home and gardens as part of your research to find the ideal habitats for your rare plants, then watch them grow into their fantastical splendor inspired by real phenomena in nature. And don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, a gameplay recommendation from the developers.

Get Botany Manor for $24.99 for Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC on Steam. It’s included in Xbox Game Pass, and it’s on sale for 10% on Steam until April 16 in celebration of its launch.

Inkbound (tactical RPG)

Inkbound is finally live, leaving its Early Access period on April 10. Billed as “a multiplayer co-op roguelike from the creators of Monster Train,” this vivid title is truly fascinating. It’s got turn-based combat that lets you go as fast or as slow as desired given the fight, roguelike ‘dungeon’ progression, gorgeous animation, co-op functionality, and an extraordinary story.

Venture forth through solo or co-op mode (with parties of up to four players) to rescue the Atheneum. You must save the stories of the Atheneum (which contains every tale ever written), but each book represents a portal to a unique world where you have to conquer its threats in order to protect that narrative from unraveling. Develop your class builds and adapt your strategies through each run, exploring literally hundreds of ways to play.

Get Inkbound for $29.99 for PC on Steam. It’s on sale for 10% until April 16 in celebration of its launch.

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions (cozy life sim)

Yes, this one is a bit of an oddity, but it’s a worthy inclusion courtesy of Christian “Kalcheus” Thoma. Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is less of an outright video game, and more a “gamified focus tool set to a soothing lofi soundtrack.” Instead of queueing up a lofi video on YouTube, reward yourself with this absolutely precious title. The calming music and integrated soundscapes (think rain, fireplace, thunder, even white noise) combine into chill background noise, while your avatar and spirit companion (both customizable) work on a laptop, read, knit, and more in parallel with you completing your to-dos.

Earn XP and in-game tokens for cosmetics like different clothing, decorations, or colors for your spirit companion by knocking items off your to-do list, using the integrated Pomodoro timer, and even keeping the game open in the background. Heck, you can even queue up your favorite lofi tracks instead of listening to the built-in ones using the web music browser option — World of Warcraft lofi beats, anyone? Some of our Blizzard Watch writers are already using this while we hit the word mines — myself included.

Get Spirit City: Lofi Sessions for $11.99 for PC on Steam. It’s on sale for 20% until April 22 in celebration of its launch.

Fallout 76 (RPG)

Bonus round! There are some big Fallout 76 celebration events going on as part of the recent TV show release. First, the game is on sale pretty much everywhere, with a free play weekend running through April 18 at 12:00pm eastern on Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation platforms. Additionally, through April 15 players earn double XP in all Fallout 76 game modes, plus double the usual daily limit of Gold Bullion from Gold Press Machines. And in case you needed another reason to play, it’s currently the Mothman Equinox through April 16, because why not? If you’re new to the Fallout franchise, Bethesda has published a full guide to the Fallout games, and I highly recommend you read it.

Fallout 76 is currently on sale for all major platforms for $7.99. It’s also included in PlayStation Plus Extra and Xbox Game Pass, and available free through Prime Gaming. For every sale option currently available, check out Bethesda’s post on the Fallout 76 free play week.

Now tell us, Watchers — what are you playing this weekend? Share in the comments below, and maybe we’ll feature your new interest in next week’s round-up!

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