A Tea Witch Simulator Could Be My Favourite Indie Of 2024

As a known indie game enjoyer, every Day of the Devs showcase is an absolute treat for me. The event, run by Psychonauts developer Double Fine and video game publisher iam8bit, is designed to showcase upcoming indies, and I always find at least a couple of games that look right up my alley. Or in this case, my exact cup of tea. This year alone, they’ve highlighted Cocoon, Sea of Stars, Viewfinder, Goodbye Volcano High, and Tchia, all games that I’m sure are on somebody’s GOTY list.


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They put on another showcase earlier this week prior to The Game Awards, and it’s a doozy. There were a handful of games that looked amazing: Cryptmaster, Holstein, Home Safety Hotline, Janet Demornay Is A Slumlord (And A Witch) all appeal to my love of creepy things, while Militsioner and Open Roads are likely to appeal to me on a narrative level. The big surprise for me, though, was a game I’ve never heard of before today, called Loose Leaf: A Tea Witch Simulator.


Brew Tea…

I spent a few weeks in Japan this year, and so I’ve found myself drinking a ton of coffee – I just really love Japanese coffee culture. That’s carried over into my life back home, where I’ve just begun collecting brewing equipment and have been ordering bags of different beans to try. I used to be a very bad barista who was, quite honestly, not that concerned with how to make a perfect cup of coffee, so the fact that I’m now balancing which water filter jug to buy in order to optimise my cold brew for the best taste is quite ridiculous. Loose Leaf has you doing very much the same thing. You can tweak factors like brewing time, the temperature of the water, ingredients, and more in order to make the perfect cup of tea.

… And Spill Tea

But that’s just half the game. The other half, which immediately made me think of Kabaret and The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood, has you chatting to customers who will ask you for tarot readings so they can find some guidance. Besides being bad at making coffee, I also am a very bad tarot card reader – I’ve spent many a late night sitting at someone’s table or on the floor, tarot cards spread all over the place, trying to help them figure out what to do about their career, or relationship, or potential move to another country. Just like in Loose Leaf, telling people what they want to hear isn’t necessarily going to help them. I’ll still yell “don’t panic” if I draw Death, but I’m not going to lie and tell them it’s all good if the Three of Swords comes up in a love reading.

Loose Leaf combines two things I enjoy that I’m bad at and puts them in a game, where I can experiment and play around with low stakes. I’m not gonna screw up a real beverage and get yelled at by my boss, or ruin somebody’s day by reading the cards wrong and telling them they’re going to get their heart broken. It’s just fun and games, and best of all, it looks fun. I can’t wait to get my hands on this game when it releases – it’s not confirmed yet, but I’m hoping for a 2024 release.

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