I made the witchy cottage of my dreams in Tiny Glade

By admin Jun3,2024

If you love cosy games where the biggest challenge is choosing between which farm utensil to place next to your barn doors, then Tiny Glade may be just the game for you. It’s a creative building game like The Sims 4 but with none of the fuss of actually controlling lives – and no quests, combat or arbitrary challenges of any kind.

Instead, Tiny Glade simply offers a meadow and tools with which to build. The vibe of the game is cottage-core at its finest, with enough whimsigoth finery that you’ll soon lament that you can’t actually live inside your glorious creations. I’ve played the charming demo as part of Steam Next Fest, and you’ll find some thoughts from my time with it below.

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As a first look into the game, the Tiny Glade demo is somewhat limited. There is a small patch of land you can build on and only the summer season glade (with more autumnal and winter biomes to come with full release). There went my plans to recreate a ‘cheery’ Winterfell with less snow and somber Sean Bean dialogue. Instead, I opted to make a cosy cottage where perhaps a witch growing herbs could live.

What the demo does include, is a range of architectural mechanics like terrain adjustment, pathways, walls, windows, building prefabs, lanterns, flowers and more. Also included is a fantastic photo mode and timelapse feature, which enables you to see your designs come to life over time whilst listening to a soundtrack that is both calming and delightful.

At first I was stricken by the lack of furniture items to clutter my entryways and garden space. I decided that my witch also needed to have a fondness for collecting antiques in her spare time. This feeling was short-lived, however, as I discovered the secret way Tiny Glade is symbiotically interconnected. When you place certain objects next to each other, like a window on a wall, out pops random furniture objects that you can cycle through with a click of your mouse.

I moved a few walls around and saw an adorable wood pile decoration. I then designed a whole house around it because I stubbornly determined that my witch needed a pile of logs for the winter. How else is she meant to heat her home in this economy?

Tiny Glade screenshot featuring a cottage build.
The woodpile in question. As you can see, it is adorable. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Pounce Light

I then moved onto the roof, deciding that she needed a turret next to the regular house. This would be her little reading space, full of books about horticulture and occult studies. After placing the roof, out popped out a bird’s nest.

These little surprises were both delightful and quickly determined which direction I was going to be building. Without a clear vision in my mind, I ended up spending 2 and a half hours in the demo rearranging walls, creating balconies out of prefab foundations and testing the game’s abilities to my imagination’s limit.

Tiny Glade screenshot featuring a Bird's Nest in between rooftops.
The surpirse bird’s nest that once discovered, had to stay.Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Pounce Light

Emulating the legend that is Bob Ross, I came up with little stories as I built. A ladder for the witch to gather herbs from above and maintain the crumbling stonework. Towels all blazoned with Crab motifs – maybe she grew up by the seaside? Archways leading off into the meadow towards the ruins of an old Roman bathhouse. A beautiful balcony with which to look upon the umbrella-wielding sheep of the meadows below (yes, that’s a thing in this game). All of this land is how you know she has some serious money.

All the while, you’re treated to some truly divine sound design. The music plods along with a mixture of flutes and horns that feel like they’ve come straight out of a colourful afterschool TV program. That’s to say, everything is bright and cheerful. The Lego-like click-clacks and the pops of the various building features are intensely satisfying and managed to quieten my brain for a few precious hours.

Tiny Glade screenshot featuring a cottage build.

Tiny Glade screenshot featuring a cottage build at night.

The builds really come to life at night. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Pounce Light

It’s a simple thing, but I also admire the way the buildings deconstruct when you undo a move instead of disappearing instantly. I could gush about Tiny Glade all day, but I’d like to leave some of the game’s surprises for you all to discover for yourself. You can pick up the demo for free via the Steam store page, until June 17th.

The game isn’t due for release until later this year and promises to have extra features currently unavailable in the demo, such as gothic-style windows, pond tools and a five glades to build in with different dynamic weather. Personally, I’d love to see more animals. Perhaps a squashy little frog for my cottage inhabitants to care for.

By admin

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