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8 Games to Play When You Want to Relax

8 Games to Play When You Want to Relax

I don’t know about you, but 2017 feels like it has gotten off to a pretty rocky start, and during tough times, it’s not unheard of to practice some self care. Whether that takes the form of a relaxing bath or binge-watching feel good TV shows on Netflix, it’s important to take a step back and recharge. For me, taking some time off means retreating to my PS4 and wrapping a blanket around myself burrito style. If I’m in it for the long haul, a pair of comfy sweatpants are a must. If you’re looking to play some games when you need a little escapism, I’d start with these 8:

The Sims 4


If you feel like you don’t have as much control as you want, then I present to you The Sims 4. This is the ultimate game to play if you’re looking to create a fantasy world to live out your wildest dreams. Depending on your play style, you can tailor the game to cater to your needs. For example, I like creating characters from other media and placing them inside my own space. I have three children with Jon Snow and we live in a nice five-bedroom home located in the desert. I’m an astronaut and he’s a stay-a- home dad. The possibilities are endless! You can be as silly or as serious as you want. If you aren’t interested in creating virtual sims, I highly recommend playing the game for creating architectural masterpieces and practicing interior design instead. With no real objective, The Sims 4 is a perfect casual game to sink a lot of time into.

Stardew Valley


Let’s say you aren’t the type of person who wants to play as supreme leader. Stardew Valley is the next best thing. You play as a character who is living life inside of a cubicle, longing for some change. That desire is met shortly after inheriting a deserted farm from your deceased grandfather. You’re thrust into the world of dirt and hard labor, and it’s…surprisingly nice. Similar to the Harvest Moon franchise, Stardew Valley is a farming simulation that takes the charm of a small town and friendly locals and expands upon it. The pixelated art style is unique, and has a great soundtrack with memorable characters. Besides farming, you can fish and explore underground caves and form relationships and attend events. There’s something really rewarding that comes with salvaging an abandoned lot and nurturing the environment back to health. Be warned! You’ll spend a lot of hours on this game without realizing it.



What’s better than playing games? Having friends join in! Overcooked is a perfect game to play with people, and the more the merrier. This chaotic couch co-op game tasks each player with preparing a meal in a timely manner before the customer can storm off. This game relies heavily on teamwork, and the changing environment reflects that. In the Onion Kingdom, each kitchen you enter is different. Let’s say that there’s an order for a burrito. Great! But wait: you and your team are in outer space. Parts of the kitchen detach and float away. Did you leave your rice unattended over there? Too bad–now you’re stuck and something else is on fire. It’s a cute, fast-paced game that relies a lot on communication. Prepare for a lot of surprised yelling and frantic button-pressing.

The Jackbox Party Pack


With three installments of The Jackbox Party Pack available to us, now is a great time to buy and play them all with a group of friends. You use a smartphone or tablet device as your “controller”, and connect to the web address that will ask you to input a randomly generated room code. After that, you’re all set! Each party pack comes with 5 games, which can be played with up to 4-8 players (depending on the title you pick). There’s Fibbage, where you need to create the most convincing lie to trick your friends…or Tee K.O. where you have custom made t-shirts duke it out. But my personal favorite is Drawful, where each player is given a phrase or scenario  and is tasked with illustrating it to the best of their ability. Hilarity is sure to ensue, and the more players you have the merrier.



If you’re looking to play a game that embodies relaxation, then Abzû the game for you. You control a deep sea diver, and the game emphasizes swimming and exploring the aquatic life that you come in contact with. Every interaction between you and a gentle giant of the sea is peaceful and serene. The ambient noise in the background paired with the sounds of fish rushing around to greet you is subtle but really great. The rest of the score is orchestral and matches the mood to whatever you’re doing at the time. The underwater  environments you’re able to explore range from brightly colored coral reefs to dark and flooded ruins, but if you aren’t sold yet, you can also latch onto a humpback whale or shark and go for a ride.

Euro Truck Simulator 2


Whenever I need to clear my head, I always take a drive in my car. It doesn’t matter where I’m going–even if it’s just a lap around the block, going for a quick ride can do wonders for the mind. Enter Euro Truck Simulator 2. You play as a truck driver with the objective to transport items from one spot to another across Europe. Delivering cargo, hiring and managing other drivers, and updating your ride doesn’t sound calm at first…but it’s weirdly relaxing. You can drive all across the United Kingdom as slowly or as fast as you want and listen to the radio as you cruise along. If it’s raining, be careful not to get lost watching the back and forth of the windshield wipers. Paired with the sound of water hitting the windshield, you might become a little too at ease.



This mobile game has a simple premise that a lot of us have trouble sticking to: grow and take care of a plant. In Viridi, you plant a succulent seed and watch it flourish in real-time. Because this is a game, it takes away the actual stress of nurturing something without fear of killing it. It’s rewarding and exciting to open the app every day. Will there be little snails hanging out on the pot? Should I buy different types of seeds and see if they grow differently? Make sure you sing to your seedlings too, for extra plant parenting points.



You might be thinking: “Why would I want to play a first person shooter game when I’m trying to relax?” I hear you. It’s a stressful game, sure. Sometimes you’re placed in a bad match and you can’t move the payload because you’re the only one there. Maybe you’re sick of always playing the healer, or just got another replica skin in that lootbox you spent so long to get. But Overwatch is a fun game that focuses on the importance of teamwork and good composition. There’s no better feeling than matching up with a group of players who are all in sync with each other in order to reach a common goal. It’s even more enjoyable when you end up making actual friends through playing. Even if you aren’t big into playing online games, I suggest giving Overwatch a shot. The characters are diverse and unique, offering something different to every player. I’m confident that you’ll be able to find a hero that fits your style.

What games do you play to unwind? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook.

Images: EA, Chucklefish Games, Team 17, Jackbox Games Inc., 505 Games, SCS Software, Ice Water Games, Blizzard Entertainment

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