We are right at the end of winter, and we do not have to deal with holiday rushes like Christmas for awhile now. With that in mind, my question for the month is:
What game do you like to relax to while playing?
Be sure to let us know your answer here, on Facebook, or Twitter!
Mike Husted, Author
My favorite game to play to relax is Super Mario Odyssey. Its low difficulty level with its fun quirks makes it a great casual game to play.
Monique Sheldrake, Senior Author
When I wanna have a relaxing game session, my favourite has to be going back to the original version of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. I know every bit of the game like the back of my hand from at least two decades of play, and even the difficult or frustrating bits don’t really bother me. I find non-puzzle platformers very relaxing and enjoyable, and Crash 2 is my go-to for feeling happy and chilled while playing.
Alyssa Vaughn, Senior Author
I really like playing Hohokum (Honeyslug, 2014) to unwind. The graphics are beautiful, the soundtrack is super relaxing, and there’s a lot to explore. I think the best criticism of the game I’ve heard is what Ashly Burch said during her Hot Pepper Gaming review: “Too puzzly to be an art game, too artsy to be a puzzle game.” But that really works for me when I’m trying to chill out. I’m more focused on enjoying the way that I can interact with the environment than trying to solve anything. It’s one of the only games that I can literally just play with.
David Logan, Senior Author
My favorite game to relax to while playing would have to be any game in the Hot Shots Golf series. I have really been enjoying how the latest addition to the franchise, Everybody’s Golf, iterates on the time tested features and adds new ones that keep the game entertaining and challenging. After a long day at work, I love to come home, pour a Rum and Coke, throw on the Lost Boys station on Pandora and play three or four rounds before bed. This is my go-to relaxation game because I don’t have to figure out any complicated strategies or worry about making sure my character is outfitted with the best weapons and armor to beat the next level. I can kick my feet up on the coffee table, fire up my launch PS4 and slide in the disk.
Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? It should, because I got game and the CPU doesn’t stand a chance when I am hitting perfect shots with every swing of my clubs. If you haven’t grabbed this game yet then you probably should. It’s fun, can be played in short or long play sessions, has a VS mode that ain’t too shabby and an online mode that host tens of thousands of players daily for tournaments or just to play a quick game.
Garrett Mefford, Senior Author
Whenever I play Animal Crossing, I can’t do anything but relax. Every time I set up my GameCube or charge up my 3DS, I’m just sucked into spending hours and hours in these towns. Animal Crossing is chill vibes personified. The mellow music, the cheery animal friends, and the low-stakes gameplay all add up to the perfect way to blow off some steam and take it easy.
Griffyn Pilcher, Author
Anno 2070 has got to be the single most relaxing game on the planet. The great music, easygoing progression, and ability to turn enemies completely off make this city builder a real stand out when I just want to chill out. The visuals are also incredible and provide a real sense that you’re creating a city.
Jake Sapir, Editor
I enjoy playing the Forza games to relax. They’re competitive, but they don’t have to be; you can set it up so it’s just you and the road. It’s an ideal game to play while listening to music as well, because it increases its relaxing potential. This is especially the case for the Forza Horizon games, with their open roads, off-road friendliness, and inviting locales. It’s sometimes nice to just drive around without a particular goal in mind, enjoying the scenery and the speed.
Haya Borham, Senior Author
My favorite games to unwind to would have to be Rayman Legends and Slime Rancher. Rayman Legends is not really story-heavy – its music and art are what make this platformer very appealing to me. The gameplay experience as a whole isn’t frustrating despite being challenging at times – you never really feel the urge to rage quit.
As for Slime Rancher, it could be labelled as my guilty pleasure – gaming-wise. With slime poop as the in-game currency, this game has a simple objective: you live on a farm, surrounded by cute slime-y creatures that you need to harvest, feed, and breed – the whole purpose and atmosphere of the game makes playing it very relaxing. And the fact that a chicken is referred to as a “hen hen” in-game never gets old.
Joel Campos, Senior Author
Mario Kart and Splatoon 2 are both great games for me to relax to. Neither game really takes much thinking and the sounds the gun makes in Splatoon are very pleasing to hear. Any game that I can sit down and play without much thinking is always a great way to relax.
Ryan Wagoner, Author
Lots of people like to claim Super Mario 64
as the first game they played that sold them on 3D platforming, and I had certainly tried to enjoy it as a child during the N64 era, but the game never hooked me. It felt aimless and frustrating. Finding stars wasn’t an accomplishment, it was a chore.
It wasn’t until Rachet and Clank for the PS2 that I truly began to enjoy 3D platformers as a whole. Tight controls, tons of humor, great voice acting, whimsical character design, loads of insane weapons that you can upgrade to almost overpowered levels; this game had it all. If I ever need to kick back and relieve some stress by blowing s*** up and turning enemies into sheep, Rachet and Clank provides the ultimate comfort food.
Alex Southgate, Author
Relax? What is this marvellous, mystical thing of which you speak? I usually don’t have time to draw breath, let alone relax. I tend to have a little pen of games that I go for when I’m having a coffee and taking a breather. Things that I can pick up and put down without really getting into any long-winded session. This list of games tends to rotate depending on my mood but my current title is definitely Enter the Gungeon. It’s a bullet-hell, so by no means what you’d call relaxing, but it definitely suits my purposes when I just want a quick little burst of fun. Incidentally, I’ll be talking about this game in a bit more depth very soon but if you like a good rogue-like and don’t mind bullet spray it’s definitely worth a go. Even more importantly, you can get a run or two down in an hour or so, so it’s great if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.
Bronson Earl, Senior Author
Stardew Valley. With its open-ended gameplay, it makes it really easy to jump in and get lost. You can spend days fishing, farming, dungeon-crawling, or finding a wife. Plus, with it being a Nintendo Switch title, I can play it in bed. Now that is what I call relaxing.
Zack Mellen, Author
It’s been out for a while now, but I still really enjoy playing Stardew Valley to unwind. The Animal Crossing games are really relaxing, too, and all the games in the Kirby series are great. Really, anything with a nice, calm atmosphere and good tunes works for me!
Elisabeth Conrad, Author
I third Stardew Valley! It’s a great game to just zone out to. And The Guild of Dungeoneering, that game is great because the levels are short, it’s noncommittal and absolutely hilarious.