Feeling stressed? While some people might go for a movie, there are those of us who just want to dive into the low-fi version of video games. The cozy, laidback ones that feel like getting wrapped in a huge, fluffy blanket.
2021: The Year for Video Games
Nowadays, when people are spending more time at home than ever before, video games are experiencing an amazing surge in popularity. People of all ages are joining in, either to enjoy some good old me-time, or to spend time with friends and family who just can’t be there in person.
While there are those who enjoy the stress and adrenaline of outsmarting some seriously scary creatures or being kept on their toes, we want to talk about the mellow side of the gaming world. The games you like to play when you just want a bit of an escape from the twists and turns of everyday life.
2021 has certainly seen a lot of new games flooding the market, but we wanted to focus on our top relaxing picks for Nintendo Switch. So sit back, relax, and maybe find a game to add to your chill-out selection.
1) Stardew Valley
Live out your farming fantasy in Stardew Valley
Remember when FarmVille was all the rage like a decade ago? Well, Nintendo certainly did, and made their own version, allowing millions to live out their agricultural fantasy (farming WITHOUT all the hard labor? Ummm sign me up!).
In this version, players suddenly inherit a farm from their late grandfather in Pelican Town and work to fix it up, grow the crops, and get to know the local residents. For anyone who’s always dreamed of a rural life, particularly when living in an apartment in the middle of a concrete jungle, this is the perfect escape to the simpler, slower pace of a small town.
Abzû is the perfect marine getaway for the diving, or virtual diving enthusiast.
Love the sea? This game is an ocean fan’s dream with beautiful graphics and the simple goal of exploration. No need to stress about health meters or quests, players get to swim about to their heart’s content and most important: at their own pace.
Explore underwater environments from caverns to the ruins, and learn about an ancient civilization. Through puzzles, unlock the secrets behind their long-lost technology and uncover the mysterious forces that are harming this beautiful world.
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3) Pokémon Snap
Move over Pokémon Go, Pokémon Snap is here for the perfect relaxing nostalgia trip.
Can you believe this game originally came out 22 years ago! Neither could we. And what we love about the Switch version that was recently released is that it’s not super complicated and anyone can play (yes, even those of us who didn’t keep up with the 750 new Pokémon released since the original game came out).
As you play, you move along a set path with the task of spotting and taking pictures of Pokémon for the professor to analyze. It’s quick to learn and there are different levels to keep things challenging, but not too crazy so that you lose motivation.
4) Night in the Woods
Storytime and game time just got combined in this graphic novel adventure.
Jump into a storybook with Night in the Woods. It’s in the style of a graphic novel and your main job as a player is to wander about. In this game, you follow the main character Mae, who is returning to her hometown for the first time in a long while.
Like other exploration games, you connect with other characters (in this case, Mae’s old friends) to unlock new options and find out more about the town. Like anyone returning home after some time, Mae discovers that things have changed and you get to join in as she finds out more and more. But don’t worry, there aren’t a crazy number of options or convoluted things to figure out that’ll leave you frustrated. You just get to wander about, enjoy the illustrative style, and have a good time.
5) Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing is perfect for on your own or with friends!
Anyone could see this one coming from a mile away. But we can’t argue with this behemoth of a hit that is still going. The characters, the customizability, and the ability to hang out with your friends in (hopefully) idyllic little towns; this game has everything you need for a perfectly relaxing afternoon away from it all.
A Relaxing Adventure
And there you have it, from photo-shy Pokémon, to underwater worlds, to the charm of a small town, we hope you’ve found something that strikes your fancy for the perfect day in. Grab some snacks, get comfy, and let’s play!
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