Slice of life pixel art games are just so calming right? Stardew Valley cultivated a huge following for a reason, as a cute adventure about finding yourself, making friends and falling in love in a small town away from a crap old office job. But perhaps, despiting liking the idea of getting away from it all, you’re a city person at heart. If that’s the case, Moonlight in Garland might be for you.
Solo indie dev Violet LeBeaux has been hard at work on her city lifestyle sim, which looks great for those who’ve exhausted everything to do in Stardew Valley. Planned to release in late 2022 on Steam, Moonlight in Garland encourages players to find themselves, love, design a home, and explore a big city at their own pace.
Garland is the big city that your character moves to, and it’s kind of ideal. You need to find a place to rent, meet your neighbours, and (as the trailer stresses) grow house plants. I mean at least if you forget to water these virtual ones you won’t feel as bad right? Also, I’m not quite sure if there is a canonical reason for this, but the recycling bin speaks to you and says thanks for recycling. Disco Elysium’s bin has a distant cousin it seems.
Moonlight in Garland gives me 2000s online sim game vibes. It fits somewhere between Stardew and Habbo Hotel in gameplay and styling, which is exactly up my alley. To my eye Garland’s pixel art isn’t as pretty as Stardew’s, but it is distinct.
Garland will also feature a familiar quest to Stardew fans: an opportunity to save heritage buildings. And when you’re not watering plants, you can do other idealic city life things like shopping and photography. There is also a mention of detective work, which seems like it could either be about legitimate crime, or snooping on neighbours. There has to be a little bit of scandal right? Otherwise it’s not a true slice of life.