Every once in a while, a game comes along that’s so beautiful it stops you in your tracks. Sometimes it’s for sheer visual fidelity; the likes of Crysis, Skyrim, Final Fantasy, and Red Dead Redemption 2 all come to mind for their jaw-dropping looks at launch. Other times, it’s all in the art style; Tunic, Outer Wilds, The Witness, Hollow Knight – and now Summerhouse, a bite-size building game all about perfecting pretty properties, made by just one person and out now on Steam. Even just the first images caught my eye, but seeing it in motion is really something special.

Summerhouse is a simple game at a tiny price, and with a bonus Steam sale discount to celebrate its launch, it really is almost too good a deal to pass up. This gorgeous, artsy sandbox game comes from solo developer and artist ‘Friedemann,’ who says his new project has already had “Over 10,000 downloads, more than 100 positive reviews, and so many cute houses being shared” since its launch on Friday, March 8. “It’s not even been a full day yet – you’re amazing.”

This is the first solo project from Friedemann, who has worked on several other indie games before, and he explains, “Summerhouse, at its core, is a game about creativity. You can build a neighborhood of tiny, beautiful, lived-in homes in a variety of settings – the sea, the city, or the mountains. There aren’t really any rules, and you can’t win or lose the game; it’s basically a tiny, interactive love letter to the feeling of a childhood summer holiday with long, lazy afternoons and no rules or responsibilities.”

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The result is something magical; one of those beautiful little indie treasures you can come back to on a peaceful Sunday afternoon, or as a cozy wind-down after a long day at work, or perhaps to take your mind away to a precious, quiet moment amid a more stressful time. You might even discover a secret or two, though Friedmann encourages you to “Just chill out, build to your heart’s content, and soak up the atmosphere.”

Summerhouse is out now on Steam, with a 20% discount until Friday, March 22. That means it’s just $3.99/£3.19 if you buy it now, or $4.99/£3.99 once the sale finishes. Either way, that’s about the price of a coffee for a little slice of sheer delight.

Looking for more of the best building games to stretch your creativity further? We’ve got you covered, along with lots of cozy, relaxing games to melt away your worries.

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