Gaming the Holidays: Games for Cute-Loving Relatives

The holidays are beginning! And that means lots of family time. For many of our readers, that also means putting down their current favorite game in order to socialize with extended relatives. Or does it??

What if, instead of putting the controller down, we just handed it to Grandma? Or Grandpa, or your cranky uncle, or that cousin who makes candles—you get the idea. This year, we’re going to help you liven up your holidays, with game suggestions you can introduce to your family—even the non-gamers.

To start us off, let’s focus on Aunt Mitsy / Uncle Bob, who love their pets more than anyone else (including their theoretical children). These are the ones who insist on showing you pictures of their cats and/or dogs—which is great at first, but after two dozen pictures you tend to run out of ways to say “yeah, that’s so cute!”

So here are our top suggestions for: Games for Cuteness Overload Lovers

Steven Universe: Save the Light

Purchase Info: Microsoft Store | Release Trailer: YouTube | Game Website: Steven Universe: Save the Light

Based on arguably THE CUTEST television series ever, Save the Light is a direct sequel to the mobile game, Atack the Light, but the story stands alone and is perfectly delightful for newcomers to the series, even Uncle Bob. The battle system combines both real-time and turn-based combat, and it’s also easy to get the hang of quickly. And of course, it’s gorgeous!

The exciting exploration, playful combat, and cute-cute-CUTE graphics of Steven Universe make this an obvious choice for Aunt Mitsy, who will probably squee right along with you.

Maria the Witch

Purchase Info: Microsoft Store | Release Trailer: YouTube | Game Website: Maria the Witch

Maria is a novice postman witch, trying to collect all the letters under her care after some mischievous fiends steal them. The brightly colored levels, fun side-scrolling gameplay, and nostalgic anime character design makes this a Very Cute Game.


Purchase Info: Microsoft Store | Release Trailer: YouTube | Game Website: Cuphead

Although the overarching story of Cuphead is a bit dark—as Cuphead and Mugman are collecting souls to repay their debt to the Devil (yikes!)—the game itself has a very light-hearted feel to it. With endearing 1930s-style graphics and music, it’s a lively romp through tricky boss fights and devilish run-and-guns.

As for the challenging gameplay, you can decide whether to warn Uncle Bob, or simply try to hide your evil grin as you hand him the controller.

Slime Rancher

Purchase Info: Microsoft Store | Release Trailer: YouTube | Game Website: Slime Rancher

Aunt Mitsy will get a kick out of playing as young Beatrix, setting out the make her fortune as an adorable slime wrangler. The game is a charming mix of exploring, farm simulation, and first-person shooting. But the slimes themselves? Why, they’re wiggly little cuddle-monsters! Totally lovable! Although they will sometimes attack you—just like cats!

Stardew Valley

Purchase Info: Microsoft Store | Release Trailer: YouTube | Game Website: Stardew Valley

A fan favorite, Stardew Valley is a quaint little town designed with colorful 8-bit graphics. It’s all about farming! And relationships! And exploration! And dungeon delving! And fishing! It’s everything.

There’s not much more to say—Stardew Valley rewrote the book on cuteness overload. And its open format and carefree gameplay makes it a great choice to try out with Uncle Bob.


With any—or all—of these games, you’ll be able to perk up your holidays and find a new way to hang out with your cute-loving relatives.

Happy (gaming) holidays!

Suzanne Wallace
ID@Xbox Community Manager