Relaxing Video Games to Play at Home

With the knowledge that we’ll all be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, it’s natural to resort to escapist forms of entertainment like Netflix, podcasts, or long afternoon naps.  However, months worth of passive watching and listening can grow monotonous––and video games are a great way to keep yourself alert, engaged and entertained.  

Here’s a list of games that have kept myself and my friends occupied for long stretches of time.  If none of these games are appealing (or accessible) to you, hopefully they serve as a stepping stone to discovering equally enjoyable ones.  Happy playing!

  1. New Horizons is the fifth title in the Animal Crossing series, and it’s better than ever!  Help develop an abandoned island, collect resources, decorate your home, and invite animal friends to reside in your community.  There is a multiplayer option as well, where you can play in real time with friends who also own the game. You need a Nintendo Switch console to play, but if you happen to already own one, New Horizons is absolutely worth the purchase.  It’s a great way to stay connected to your friends from afar––if you can’t be together in the human world, you might as well visit the museum together in Animal Crossing!

    Buy on: Nintendo Switch. $59.99.

  2. 2. Mutazione

    I highly recommend Mutazione.  It’s intimate, touching, and conveys the importance of community care––a message that is essential to spread right now.  You play as a 15-year-old girl named Kai who leaves her mother to care for her dying grandfather in an isolated town. There’s a catch, though––the community is filled with a variety of mutant characters who all have their own drama.  Spend time gardening for your grandpa, talking to residents, and uncovering secrets along the way.

    Buy on: Steam or Epic Games. $19.99.

  3. Night in the Woods is a story exploration game where players control a young cat named Mae who has dropped out of college and returned to her hometown.  This game is more of a serious one––you explore the disappearance of your friend Casey and a dark secret involving the town’s mine. While it’s less uplifting than some of the other options, the visuals are strikingly beautiful, and the game illuminates issues of class struggle, mental illness, and depression in a tasteful manner.

    Buy on: Steam, Nintendo Switch, Playstation.  $19.99.

  4. This is a simulation game where you inherit your deceased grandpa’s farm in a town called Stardew Valley.  You’re free to do whatever you want––grow crops, raise livestock, mine for ores, or even woo townspeople in order to marry them.  The opportunities and paths you can take are endless, and it'll get you hooked quickly. Up to three other characters can play together online as well, so be sure to team up and get farming!

    Buy on: Almost any platform.