Video games can be really intense and actually quite stressful, but the reason we play games in the first place is to be entertained and relax (at least I would think so). Sometimes it feels as though in the age of so many games coming out, so many massive huge big budget shooters, we’ve forgotten how to slow down and just relax while playing video games. Do you not remember sitting down and playing an old game like Sonic The Hedgehog on the Genesis or Super Mario Bros. on the NES and simply just…I don’t know…having fun? So I thought I would give a list of some of the games that I play to simply relax and just have some fun:
1. Lumines: Electronic Symphony
People who make fun of the Playstation Vita bother me. The machine has so many great games; so many incredible little gems, and yet, it is still a complete joke to so many gamers (or they have barely any idea what it is). But I’ve been a proud Vita owner since the year of release and one of the games that has stuck with me since is Lumines: Electronic Symphony. I was a huge fan of the original Lumines on the PSP, putting multiple hours onto that game, and I’ve done the same with Electronic Symphony. It’s a game where you can’t help but just get into the rhythm of everything. Throwing blocks down and the music starts playing, you just get so into everything that is happening, I still come back to this game every few weeks or so, even if I just play for a few minutes, to play a really incredibly relaxing puzzle game that is so good for one reason: it’s so damn simple. Simplicity can still be the key in game development.
Okay, this is a much different pick, considering I’ve only played this game once and I am still not sure whether or not I will play it again. The experience of this is so utterly pure and relaxing but also incredibly emotional. So I realize that it is a strange pick in certain ways. For those who have played it, they know what I’m talking about. A game with zero dialogue, no cutscenes, amazing visuals, and tells an incredibly emotional captivating story that is so purely video games. I can’t put it in any simpler terms; this is what video games should STRIVE to be. And this game is just something so utterly memorable, but one of the most soothing game experiences I’ve ever had, in terms of contentment, emotional attachment, everything. Everything just works so purely in this game to make it one of the most relaxing and enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve ever had.
3. Sonic Generations
I sort of think this is a controversial pick as well. A lot of people hate Sonic. I have a bias. The Genesis is the first console I remember playing and I even had a Dreamcast, so I do have just a complete nostalgia for Sonic and have been someone who gives the games a break. And I loved Generations. Like, a lot. Not a little. I loved every level pretty much (except those poorly designed boss battles). It is pretty easy for me to just pop this game in and play a level and just absolutely enjoy the living hell out of it and be totally content, especially the 3D levels which are so good because of their simplicity. If I’m going to be honest, are the 3D levels on autopilot in a lot of ways? Absolutely, but maybe that is part of the reason I love it. It’s simple and easy to pick up and play. It reminds me why I play video games in the first place: to relax and have tons of crazy fun. Hopefully people realize that is the reason they played games in the first place, not for a trophy or an achievement.
4. Donkey Kong
And now we’re going into classic games! I adore Donkey Kong and it’s only a recent obsession of mine considering an arcade machine just recently came near me (along with a bunch of other classic arcade games). I’m absolutely horrible at it, that’s the truth. I’m really, really not good at it, but I don’t care. It is so simple and just like Lumines, you simply get into the rhythms of the game, you get into the zone, and just totally get engrossed into such a simple video game. Think about it. This game was made in 1981 and it still holds up incredibly well. The mechanics are completely simple and enjoyable and the levels simply repeat after you beat the game. I can easily put a bunch of quarters into this game and play for a few hours and call it one hell of a time.
Another classic arcade game I’ve just recently got into. It really is just something you get into the zone of, as I mentioned with Donkey Kong. The way the game alternates between the survival mode where just an onslaught of enemies come and attack you and the normal game mode is just incredibly fun and keeps you on your feet. I don’t really have that much to say about it beyond what I said about Donkey Kong, I love it for the same reason: beautifully simple mechanics that still hold up incredibly well today.
And that’s the end of my list. What are some of the games that you find the most relaxing? The games you simply want to play to calm down and play something purely enjoyable? Not some overly stressful emotionally tearing storyline, but something just fun to play. (I’m looking at you The Last of Us!) Let’s forget about getting trophies or achievements, playing hardcore online player vs. player matches or co-op, just games that are entertaining, those games that remind us why we play games in the first place.
Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):
Jesse Jordon is an aspiring faux writer who writes this garbage on these blogs to make you laugh or learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally). (I think I just said my book was shit.)