I’ll be real here- I’m sick. Like, we’re talking I-might-as-well-be-dead sort of sick. This is normally great news because it means that I get to take a break from all of my responsibilities to focus purely on getting better; the only problem with that is that it means I’m stuck alone in my apartment for hours on end with nothing to do. Well- almost nothing.
Now I know what you’re all wondering, just what makes a game good for this list? To this I respond by saying it’s different when you ask other people, but the defining factor is the game’s ability to keep you laying in bed in order to see the story out or to get past a specifically tough boss. As far as my opinion goes, I like games that have short stories that I can complete while I’m stuck in bed, as well as games that simply occupy my time long enough that the day goes by without me noticing too much. I’m also a fan of games that are able to make me feel emotion, whether it be frustration or joy, emotion evoked by video games does a wonderful job of occupying the mind and entertaining you through the long days of sniffling and coughing. This would mean that while I love the Final Fantasy series, I wouldn’t put any of the games on this list because I don’t feel that they suit the whole “being able to realistically finish it in a few days and also maybe go back to school at one point” thing.
1) Lollipop Chainsaw (Playstation 3, Xbox 360)
Okay, so every time I speak on this title I am honestly terrified that it will make me look like a total perv. I swear, I am not a pervert- I just like to kill zombies with flashy arcade-style combat while playing as a sassy cheerleader. There is something so captivating about spending approximately 16 hours mowing down fleets of the undead while also performing cool tricks with your boyfriend’s head, not to mention that the game just seems to get me on a spiritual level, and when you are sick with your body is betraying you, the spirit is the only thing you can trust. I wish that I could properly describe just what kind of experience Lollipop Chainsaw is, but much in the fashion of other Suda 51 title,s words do not do the insanity and charm of the game justice. With such a deep sickness sinking in like the one I am feeling, nothing can pull me from a slump like bright pinks, zombie killing, and Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey”. Trust me, if you’re bed ridden and searching for a title to occupy your time for a few days, charming the snot right out of your nose- this is your game.
2) Bloodborne (Playstation 4)
Frustration is an emotion, right? Bloodborne is notoriously difficult, agonizing, and brutal, but dear god do I love it. I swear, Bloodborne– heck, any From Software title makes me feel like I’m in a bad relationship. I hate it, it hurts me, it makes me cry, all my friends tell me to take a break or stop playing- but I just keep going back to it. I know, I’m probably not making it sound like a good game but trust me, you will understand exactly what I’m talking about once you clear a path through Yharnam. I recognize fully that you can’t complete Bloodborne in a day (trust me, if you could I would’nt love it any where as much as I do) but I do know that if I was looking for a game to play while I was delirious from whatever drug store medicine I decided to try, I would inevitably end up playing Bloodborne. I’ll be honest, thats the only reason its on this list- inevitability. Sickness is inevitable, death is inevitable, Bloodborne is inevitable.
3) Mario Party 8 (Nintendo Wii)
My dudes- it’s Mario Party on the most accessible platform why wouldn’t you play this at any given time? Also, it probably helps that the Wii forces you to move more than a thumb and a few flanges, which according to my local health practitioner is the easiest way to get over a cold. I will say that there is a reason I am recommending Mario Party 8 over Mario Party 9 or even any other of the literal bundle of Mario Party games available. It’s due to a few very basic and simple facts- the pop can shaking mini game, and the fact that it isn’t “let’s all get into a car” communist Mario Party (not that there’s anything wrong with that form of Mario Party, it’s just that when I’m literally unable to breathe I’d much rather relish in the destruction of my competition). Basically it’s Mario Party 8– this one should be a given.
4) American Mcgee’s Alice: Madness Returns (Playstaion 3, Xbox 360, PC)
This game is short, fun, and a little bit creepy. I think thats a fine way to describe what any player can expect when starting up a new game of American Mcgee’s Alice: Madness Returns. Imagine a Gothic Victorian England tainted with a goopy black substance that resembles blood and you basically already know this game’s general aesthetic.(And Bloodborne too I guess). I know- this does not sound too appealing while you are sick but as long as your stomach has an ounce of strength you should be able to make it purely because the focus of this game is not so much on grotesque body horror as much as it is psychological (I mean this literally- the whole idea is that Alice is out of her tree). I will say this- when I am sick I absolutely love being even the tiniest bit freaked out simply because it distracts me from the amount I am coughing and sneezing, if not just for a moment, and thats pretty okay to me.
5) Until Dawn (PS4)
Basically, you can beat Until Dawn in 8 hours- why not. Until Dawn is basically a movie as well, so you have plenty of story to occupy your time and many collectibles to focus your efforts on while you are bed ridden. While the setting is cold, dark, and dingy, it only ever seems to amplify the warmth of your bed as you try to make sure that everybody at the ski house survives until dawn (see what I did there?). While it could be argued that any heavily story driven title like this would achieve the same effect (such as any Telltale games title) the perfect balance of action, choice, story, and psychoanalysis that is found in Until Dawn makes for a fantastic way to pass the time.
6) Portal (PC, Mac, Playstation 3, Xbox 360)
Fun facts- Portal only takes a few hours to complete, and I once read in a book somewhere that keeping your mind occupied when you’re sick is the best thing you can do, so hey why not throw Portal on this list. Not to mention the fact that if you pick up Portal 2 you can force whoever is keeping you company to help you solve the puzzles!
7) Cooking Mama (Nintendo DS, IOS)
Do you like to do weird tasks in order to achieve the final goal of a random meal for hours on end to pass the time? Well guess what- thats what Cooking Mama is. Never before have I ever encountered such a fantastic way to pass the time than Cooking Mama. I’m sure you have heard of this game and can agree with me, seeing as this title is a household name, inspiring many sequels and spin-offs. I can picture it now- Sniffling, tired, too weak to go turn the TV on, but yet, right there is your DS with the soft glow and sound of Cooking Mama there to help you through this sickness.
8) Any Bethesda Open World RPG (If you got it there’s a game for it)
I stand by the fact that when there is literally nothing else to do with your life, you can just mess around in Skyrim or Fallout and find something to do. Whether or not you are sick does not change that. Do a quest or something, that should kill a few hours.
I hate being sick but I like video games, and I feel like a good game can definitely cancel out the negatives that come with being sick. If you can think of any of the ones I missed please comment below and let me know! But, for now, grab your Nyquil, tissues, and controller.