I get it. Finals are rushing around the corner, the holidays are a breath away, and snowy weather makes for dangerous roads. Personally, I like to think that these winter months are sent to torture us because really, they bring nothing but stress. I however, am a strong believer that when the world around you is in chaos there is nothing better than a cup of tea and a good video game to whisk you away to a better world. I will say, however, that there are games that are the opposite of what’s you’re looking for: freeing yourself from the shackles of this stressful existence (let’s get real here, you don’t play Resident Evil to calm down). So – I am here to provide a sort of “how to de-stress guide” to get you through these intense months. I’m only telling you 5 games though; either because I’m too lazy or because I’m just as stressed as you are.
1 Flower, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Picture this- you are a flower. How stressful could that be? In Flower (developed by Thatgamecompany) you quite literally just play as a flower and get to exist in the simple world of flora and fauna- only really needing to worry about the strength of the wind. In times of stormy weather, why not take a rest and allow the gentle breeze to carry your petals away?
2 Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, Xbox 360
Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room- I know that this is a boob game (meaning that a huge appeal is boobs) but that is NOT why I put it here. I put Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 on this list because it is quite literally just a vacation simulator. What do people do in times of stress and demand? Vacation. In Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 you get the opportunity to play as one of the ladies from Dead or Alive as she relaxes poolside, plays beach volleyball, and races both friend and foe alike on jet ski. Sounds like the perfect distraction from your hectic world, doesn’t it?
Alright, I knew the moment I started this list that Animal Crossing would land on it- that much is obvious. Whenever people bring up relaxing and stress relieving games, Animal Crossing is pretty consistently brought up because where can you go wrong with calm music and fishing? I wanted to take the obvious a step further though; I asked myself “which Animal Crossing game is the best though?” and after a total of 3 minutes thinking about it, I landed on the title released for the Nintendo DS: Animal Crossing: Wild World. “Why?” you ask? Well the answer lies in your imagination (as well as my personal opinion and experience). Picture this- you are a little eight year old girl who is absolutely in love with your new Nintendo DS and are on the hunt for a fun new game to play. You stumble across this fun little title in your local EB Games and you throw a tantrum until your parents buy it for you and you stay up playing it (this is where I’m going to need you to close your eyes and picture what I’m about to describe). Now imagine staying up past your 9 o’clock bedtime under your sheets with nothing but the glow of your DS and the soft, plunking tunes of Animal Crossing: Wild World. Doesn’t that sound relaxing? Wouldn’t you rather be transported to the world of an 8 year old girl staying up past her bedtime to play a game rather than a 20-something franticly cramming for that Astronomy final? Yeah. Relaxing, right? (To my parents who are reading this- I refuse to apologize for the rebellion of 8 year old me).
4 Blues For Mittavinda, PC
Okay, so I get that this is a bit of an underground title to mention here but trust me- this little indie title released by Jack Spinoza on GameJolt is literally a walk-through meditation guide. A game centered around accepting death and it’s inevitability- Blues For Mittavinda allows players to take a breather in the middle ground through the unique use of claymation and the silky visuals and sound of the wild west. I know-sounds angsty, sounds depressing, sounds all of these things but trust me, it is anything but. Without giving too much away, Ill tell you that when you find Tondo, you must do as he says, the guy knows what he’s talking about.
Come on- it’s Minecraft. Whats better than just building things and digging?
D A L M A T I O N. P U P P I E S.