Gaming can be stressful! What with the failed missions and the repeated attempts and the twitchy situations. Sometimes, all that battle and war leaves me more negatively worked up than when I began my session – which defeats the purpose. Here are some games I’ve turned to for a gaming night of guaranteed good vibes.
Harvest Moon (SNES)
Cows, chickens, crops, and cabins. Nature, n’shit! What could be more relaxing? Being that Harvest Moon is an RPG based on farming, most of the gameplay revolves around daily chores. You’ve got to feed your livestock, tend to your crops, and run errands in a town. Is this starting to sound like a second job? Not so fast! You may be surprised at how gratifying the result of this work can be. Your surroundings become nicer as you get better at handling your chores. When more money starts to come in, you can buy upgrades such as a nicer house, bigger barn, and even some shinier tools. All of this results in a feeling of accomplishment that couldn’t have been achieved without this effort. Treat Harvest Moon like your very own digital zen garden – even if it is one where you can wind up with a wife and kid.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
In The Legend of Zelda series’ first original 3DS installment, A Link Between Worlds, it’s time to once again save Hyrule. This time, with a small twist – we can start at whichever dungeon we choose. The game just lets you off the leash in a way that feels equally exciting and calming – as though we’re on this adventure for ourselves and no one else. This change was a huge step forward for the series. More importantly, it breaks the player free from obligation and encourages exploration. Take a digital hike through Hyrule!
Minecraft – Creative Mode (PC)
While the Survival Mode of Minecraft is equal parts stressful and rewarding, it can be a bit much for the casual gamer looking to build awesome stuff. Zombies, Creepers, and other horrible nightmares aim to destroy you and your nifty little dirt hut. When set to Creative Mode, Minecraft instantly becomes a place where you can spend hours building random structures and items without having to risk life and limb. All of this, with a much lower chance of stepping on a LEGO brick while barefoot.
Tearaway (PS Vita / PS4)
While a bit odd, Tearaway‘s mechanics and graphics are centered around papercrafting. While the characters are charming, and weird; many of them are also editable by the player. It isn’t before long that the world of Tearaway is inhabited by creatures which you gave a facelift, or snowflakes you “cut up” yourself. Tearaway invites (practically begs) you to make it look interesting or funny, and this keeps it entertaining until the very end. Rather than posing a challenge, Tearaway exists to delight you.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)
This game’s actually a lot like Harvest Moon, except for one key difference: you can do whatever the heck you want, and nothing bad will happen. This is your world – the talking animals are just living in it. Make friends with your talking horse of a neighbor, catch and sell fish for some cash, buy some new threads with that cash, knock over a beehive, ignore your home loan without worry of interest, piss off your talking horse of a neighbor – the choice is yours! Slosh this freedom around with a hefty helping of cartoony audio-visuals, and you’ve got yourself a perfect Sunday afternoon game. Just tell Tom Nook to suck it when he gets snarky about how long it took you to pay off a loan. Suck it, Tom Nook!
Do you have any games that you’ve turned to for some total downtime? Leave them in the comments!