5 Easygoing Video Games to Help You Relax in Stressful Times

Between pandemics, politics and others, you often have the impression that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. These are the times when avoid notifications and social media for a while is a good idea. Fortunately, video games can provide the escape you need.

Unlike games that push you from one checkpoint to the next, the following five titles allow you all to control what you do next. If you don’t want to achieve the game’s goals, you don’t have to. And yet each one offers more challenges or commitment when you are ready.

Let’s explore these relaxed worlds together.

“A short hike”

A Short Hike was published in 2019 by Adamgryu.

Combine the placid surroundings of Animal Crossing with the wonder of finding a vintage Zelda track, and you’ve A short hike. This open world quest game takes place on a beautiful island full of friendly animals.

It mixes a retro and peaceful pixel aesthetic soundtrack with great effect. A short hike is not a very long game, but you can proceed at your own pace. You are free to linger and explore the island as long as you wish. You don’t want to miss it!

This game is temporarily available for free on the Epic Games Store March 12-19, 2020. It is available for Windows PC, Mac and Linux.

Where to get it: Epic Games Store, Steam, Itch.io.

“Abzu”

Abzû was published in 2016 by 505 matches.

In Abzu, you are a diver who does not care about oxygen or energy when you are swimming in a beautiful underwater seascape. It’s an adventure game, but very cold.

At any time, you can explore ancient archeology, hitchhike on the back of a manta ray, or simply soak up the serene beauty of it all.

The soft soundtrack emphasizes the relaxing experience throughout history. The game also includes periodic meditation spots, where your character can simply rest and admire the scenery.

Abzû is available for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Where to get it: PS4: PlayStation Store; Xbox One: Microsoft Store; Switch: Nintendo eShop; PC: Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG.

“Stardew Valley”

Stardew Valley was published in 2016 by ConcernedApe.

Stardew Valley combines the best elements of the agricultural classic, Harvest moon, with easy-going social elements, and crafting and dungeon-fighting (which are completely optional). It also does all of this in a magnificent retro art style reminiscent of the best Super NES classics.

The main game takes place over three years (each with four seasons) while you maintain your late grandfather’s farm. You can grow as much or as little as you want, expand your home, raise a family, or just go fishing. The catchy soundtrack will stay in your head forever after playing this beautiful interpretation of life at a slower pace.

It is available for Windows PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, iPhone, iPad and Android.

Where to get it: PC / Mac / Linux: Steam, Humble Store, GOG; PS4: PlayStation Store; Xbox One: Microsoft Store; Switch: Nintendo eShop; Vita: PlayStation Store; iOS: Application store; Android: google play.

“Burnout Paradise Remastered”

Burnout Paradise Remastered was released in 2018 by Electronic arts.

The beauty of Burnout paradise is that you don’t have to run. This is an open world driving simulation that offers dozens of models of cars and motorcycles. You can perform stunts at your leisure, mow light poles, make gentle jumps, crash into billboards or just drive and obey traffic laws.

If you feel competitive, stop at an intersection and start a race. Everything is relaxed: the cops do not chase you if you go too fast and, in the event of a crash, your car regenerates instantly. Paradise City is also incredibly free of people. In other games it may sound strange, but in this one it is a welcome escape.

It is available for Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Where to get it: PS4: PlayStation Store; Xbox One: Microsoft Store; PC: Origin.

“Animal Crossing: New Leaf”

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released in 2012 by Nintendo.

Animal crossing first brought a relaxing joy to the players all the way back in 2001. Since then, each entry in the series has continued to deliver. As a resident of a small town populated by animals, you maintain the land, make improvements, catch insects, go fishing, dig up fossils and raise funds to expand your home.

The game maintains a real-time clock, so the world changes according to the time of day and the seasons. Although New Leaf is one of the oldest titles on our list, Nintendo has updated it frequently since its launch and has added a lot of content. It is still very interesting to play and is available on Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo will release the sequel, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, for Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020.

Where to get it: EShop Nintendo 3DS: Nintendo.com.

take it easy

We all have duties and responsibilities, but there is a limit to what we can manage physically and emotionally. Take time out to relax is not only healthy, but it can also make you more productive.

So don’t feel guilty if you can’t always keep up with the news. You can sit back, turn on a video game and relax for a while.

What games do you play to relax? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

RELATED: 4 easy ways to calm an anxious mind

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