Whitethorn Games is known for being a publisher of accessible, cozy indies like Calico and Lake. Today, they aired a Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase to share a number of upcoming games for players to look forward to. Not only were three new games revealed during the showcase including one being developed by Whitethorn itself, viewers also got a look at new gameplay for titles like The Forest Cathedral and Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island. To help you catch up with all of the exciting announcements and information shared, here’s a full recap of everything shown during the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase!
Everything shown at the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase
Looking for a new horror game to sink your teeth into? Look no further than The Forest Cathedral from developer Brian Wilson! A new trailer for The Forest Cathedral was shown during the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase which further highlights the game’s central themes. More specifically, the game serves as a reimagining of the events surrounding real-life scientist Rachel Carson and her investigation into the harmful pesticide, DDT.
The game is set in a beautifully rendered forest on a remote island, with players taking on the role of the aforementioned Rachel as she works as a field research biologist. Players will help Rachel complete a variety of weekly tasks, and solve puzzles that blend 3D exploration with 2D platforming. The Forest Cathedral is set to release later in 2023 for Xbox Series X|S and PC via Steam. For more on the game, be sure to check out the game’s Steam page and add it to your wishlist if you haven’t already!
The next title shown during the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase was Skate Fish, a unique new mobile game from the makers of Bombfest. In order to catch fish, players will need to… skate. More than that, they’ll need to perform a variety of sick tricks using their phone’s touch controls. In Skate Fish you can select from a number of different environments each with its own collection of fish and skating obstacles.
To navigate these, be prepared to grind ledges, perform aerials, flip your board, and more as you work to catch a wealth of different types of fish. As you catch fish, you’ll also work to help fill up the game’s local aquarium. Not only is your board customizable, but so too is your character and fishing rods. Skate Fish has yet to announce a set release date, but will be available for both Android and iOS devices once released.
If you’re a fan of turn-based RPGs, you’ll certainly want to keep your eye on Whalefall, a game that’s currently being both developed and published by Whitethorn Games. During the Winter Showcase, Whitethorn Games shared some of the voice acting and gameplay elements featured in Whalefall. In the game, players will take on the role of Coty Bircann, a young recruit forced to become the head of the Riverwatch Forces “after the Stoneshield Legion commits an unspeakable act against one of the ancient and revered Skywhales that float peacefully above the world.”
The game features an epic three-act adventure where players will recruit friends to help grow their army, battle enemies, and explore the vast realm of Osfeld. Not only does Whalefall feature three replayable mission styles, it also has things like traditional random encounters and key story-driven levels. A release date has yet to be shared for Whalefall, but once released, Whalefall will be available on platforms including Xbox One, Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. For more on Whalefall, visit the game’s Steam page, and while you’re there, don’t forget to add it to your wishlist.
The next game shown during the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase was Tinselfly from developer Flopsy Koala. The game is described as an adventure title set in a science fantasy universe that features light action elements. Furthermore, it’s described as a “surreal, introspective adventure about dreams, nostalgia, and the majesty of utopian space travel.”
In Tinselfly, players will take on the role of Robin Aetherspring, a starship engineer who gets trapped in a strange spaceship graveyard. There, players will help Aetherspring investigate the graveyard’s origins, free her crew, and rediscover her lost love of space exploration. Tinselfly is currently targeting a Q4 2023 release, and will be available on PC via Steam. For more on Tinselfly, check out the game’s official Steam page, and be sure to add it to your Steam wishlist.
One of the three new games revealed during the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase was a delightful “cooking-adventure-meets-Metroidvania” called Magical Delicacy. As its name suggests, the game features cooking mechanics with players taking on the role of Flora who opens up a shop in a quaint cliffside harbor town with the goal of becoming a proper witch.
Not only will you cook up tasty meals, you’ll also brew potions in a customized kitchen while exploring the town, meeting residents, and delivering treats. Magical Delicacy will be available on Xbox Game Pass the day of release for platforms including Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, and will also be available on PC via Steam. For more on Magical Delicacy, check out the game’s Steam page and to catch future updates about the game’s release, be sure to add it to your Steam wishlist!
Next up, we got a behind-the-scenes look at the development of Botany Manor from developer Balloon Studios. With this, we saw more of the charming puzzle adventure game including some of its beautiful environments, fantastical plants, and unique puzzles that players will be able to solve. The game is set in a home in 19th-century England and follows retired botanist Arabella Greene.
Players will help Greene tend to her collection of rare, forgotten flora with players able to explore Greene’s home, study botanical notes and books, and work to find ideal habitats for her plants by doing things like solving plant-based puzzles. Botany Manor is currently set to be released later this year for platforms including Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam. For more on Botany Manor, check out the game’s Steam page, and while you’re there, be sure to add it to your wishlist!
Good news for those looking for a fun way to learn Japanese as the next game shown during the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase was Kana Quest from developer Not Dead Design. Not only will Kana Quest help you learn Japanese kana via a constantly evolving puzzle game, you’ll be able to take it with you on-the-go as it was revealed the game is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.
Kana Quest features over 300 hand-crafted levels, with players able to slide around kana tiles in order to make matches based on how each character sounds. As noted in the game’s press release, “Each world introduces new puzzle mechanics, deepening the gameplay and making even fluent speakers think about their next moves.” Again, Kana Quest is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year, and is available now on PC via Steam. For more on Kana Quest, be sure to check out the game’s Steam page!
The next game showcased was the latest from Röki developer Polygon Treehouse. Described as a “friend-em-up adventure,” Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island will see players take on the role of protagonist Alex who finds herself on the mysterious island of Ambrosia after a terrible storm washes her up along its shores.
Once on the island, players will meet a variety of characters (Gods) that they can build up friendships with. In the process of earning the camaraderie of these Gods, players will work to help restore their lost memories. Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island is set to be released later in 2023 for platforms including Xbox One, Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. For more on Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island, check out the game’s Steam page, and be sure to add it to your Steam wishlist!
Finally, we caught a brief glimpse of Kernel Hearts from Argentinian developer Ephemera. The trailer shown, while brief, makes the inquiry, “Do you want to be a star?” The trailer then shares that Kernel Hearts is coming in 2024. While there’s still a lot we don’t know about the mysterious Kernel Hearts, it seems like it will boast an interesting story with the game’s official website offering email sign-ups with the prompt, “Sign up to slay God.”
Whitethorn Games - Q&A
In addition to showing off several exciting and intriguing looking games during the Whitethorn Games Winter Showcase, the team at Whitethorn also took the time to answer a number of questions after the Showcase. Questions touched on a variety of different topics like the company’s ongoing accessibility efforts, its foray into development with Whalefall, and more.
When asked about Whalefall blending different styles, Whitethorn CEO Matthew White explained that Whalefall plays like the old-school Suikoden series but adds a visual novel on top. It’s blended, there are small squad battles, and larger scale military engagement battles that plays out on a hex grid. It’s episodic with 30 minute to 1-hour episodes, every time the story moves along there are new interactions with the game’s characters.
In terms of working with developers to make sure they include as many accessibility options as possible, Usability and Accessibility Specialist at Whitethorn, Britt Dye, answered on how it’s a collaboration with the developers that includes brainstorming ways to remove potential barriers, while also working around things like limitations in available resources and time.
After being asked about their favorite examples implemented so far in regards to accessibility, one of the favorites highlighted is the float option in The Forest Cathedral. It’s noted that even after implementing things like a “no spikes mode” for the game’s 2D platforming, the team saw room for further accessibility and went back in to add the float or “slow fall” option to help ease player reaction time difficulties. This can be used in tandem with the no spikes mode, or individually for players who still want the challenge of the spikes with more forgiving reaction time.
Another example shared by the team points to difficulty serving as a form of accessibility in and of itself, and how if there isn’t an option to make a game less difficult, you end up excluding a number of potential players. For more on Whitethorn Games and things like the company’s approach to accessibility, details about its assortment of upcoming games, and more, be sure to check out the company’s official website.