Get Warm and Fuzzy This Christmas With Cosy Game Recommendations From NFTS Students
'Tis the season to get cosy and what better way to spend your time than wrapping yourself in a blanket, grabbing a hot drink and turning on the Switch? Say hello to the warm embrace of cosy gaming as National Film and Television School Games Design and Development MA students recommend their favourite games of 2023 to play during the festive break.
Dave the Diver
This game is a triple threat: part restaurant management sim, part deep sea diving and part exotic fish hunting. It may have a retro style aesthetic but everything about this game feels fresh. It oozes a self-assured coolness and is an absolute joy to explore. Many outlets have touted it as their game of the year. An indie game darling!
So imagine you're a bug that has just left its cocoon, and then you make it your purpose to collect universe-containing orbs which you systematically jump in and out of to solve puzzles. Oh, and you can take one universe orb Inside of another. Are you still with me?
Cocoon is graphically sumptuous and its puzzles are tightened as far as possible. The ex-Playdead (Inside and Limbo) developers have been noodling on this one for nearly a decade, and you can really tell. Prepare to have your brain loop in on itself.
Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom
This may sound like an obvious choice for this year, but it's an obvious choice for an obvious reason. This is the best game ever made. It is a complete playground that allows everyone to express their most childlike desires. Fight, fly, build, explore.
Nintendo has taken the original world of Hyrule from Breath of the Wild and not only added an entire sky biome but a monstrously large, dark subterranean realm too.
Its game design systems run deep; the new build mechanic in combination with the ability to fuse weapons and shields with other items lets your imagination run wild with possibilities.
Explore the seas, hunt for treasure, flee from Lovecraftian style horror. Dredge asks players to fish deeper and deeper whilst upgrading their ship, tempting the inevitable march of insanity from witnessing horrors beyond comprehension. A little bit spooky, a little bit stressful, a good time.
Super Mario Wonder
2D Mario is back on top baby! Nintendo has taken the series to another level in terms of fun and play. This new title introduces a new mechanic, the titular ‘Wonder Flower’, which transforms a level into a completely different experience. Be it flipping gravity, turning you into a Goomba or having you run on the back of a stampede.
The coolest addition for Wonder in terms of accessibility is being able to play as Yoshi who can't die. This means that when you're playing in a group, less able players can still enjoy the game to the fullest. This goes way beyond playing as Tails on the second controller on Sonic 2.
A new benchmark for the series and games everywhere.
Baldur's Gate 3
Put your hand up if you'd heard of Baldur's Gate, or its developer Larian, this time last year? No? You still haven't? Well you're in for a treat.
Larian uses the rights for Dungeons and Dragons to create a masterful adaptation of the popular roleplaying game, which is comprehensively realised. You have a daunting level of choice at your fingertips as you navigate conversations, take on enemies and attempt to woo companions. Lose yourself in the hugely detailed stories which Larian has woven.
We hope you have enjoyed reading through this list of games that will keep you cosy and entertained during Christmas…and offer a glimpse into the immersive world you could be shaping!
Don’t just play games—create them! The National Film and Television School's Games Design pathways pave the way for you to transform your passion into expertise. Apply now and embark on a journey that blends your love for gaming with the skills to craft unforgettable experiences.
Games Design and Development MA
In Person | 2 Years | Full-time
Indie Games Development
Online | 6 months | Part-time