Relaxing Games for Trying Times


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I go back to Cities: Skylines if I want to relax. It is like managing a virtual garden.

Golf on Mars. Just putt forever.

On the contrary, all the time you have is all the time you need.

Can I suggest Snowrunner? Which is a game about driving very slowly so you can admire the beautiful landscapes?

See, that sounds like a troll answer, but I genuinely find Dark Souls great for taking my mind off other things because it demands so much of my attention.

When I’m stressed out I play Slay the Spire. Other roguelikes don’t work for me cause I often feel that I only lose cause I’m not paying attention or forget some of the options. But in StS it’s all in front of you on the screen. Maybe I don’t win if I’m not paying attention but I can still get an interesting deck without thinking very hard about what I’m doing.

Not for everyone. The mortgage to Tom Nook may be tedious grind to those without employment.

Elite Dangerous is my zen game, exploration among the stars is very relaxing. Warp to a system, fuel scoop from the sun, scan for planets, warp to the next system and so on, interrupted only by sightseeing tours of spectacular stellar phenomena, and occasional trips to view the sunrise from an alien world.

That part is tedious. But it doesn’t last forever & then you’ve got money to burn for fun island development, moves, infrastructures, etc.

I don’t watch sports as a general thing, but I don’t hate them, either, and find games about them more engaging than watching the real thing, which is all preamble before saying they gave MLB the Show 19 away a few months ago for PS+ and for some reason I just started playing it in franchise mode, and I find it very relaxing to hit some balls, throw some balls, enjoy the color commentary, etc. It’s a nice change of pace from the constant shooting of things.

Farm Simulator 2019 is my zen game.

Can’t say I find it relaxing. Partly because I suck at batting and it’s very common for me to go on tilt and start swinging at every pitch. Partly because it’s such a repetitive time sink that it’s the only game that actually makes me question whether I’m wasting my life while playing it. But it’s so addictive!

I know you’re not supposed to swing at every pitch but I honestly can’t tell when they’re gonna be balls so I just go for it.

I’ve been told by some people that Euro Truck Simulator 2 is a relaxing game. I can only assume they are not driving their trucks at 150kph and zipping through traffic while trying to avoid tickets from police cars and speed cameras. Some people are just weird that way.

I find the trucks too unstable at that speed. 110-120 is about as high as I can safely go.

I find Tetris Effect, Magical Drop V, Puyo Puyo Champions, Puyo Puyo Tetris and Rez relaxing.

Don’t let the name fool you, as long as you drive responsibly then there is nothing to fear but half the fun is pushing the envelope for that juicy “time bonus” money. Essentially the Truck Sim of Train Sim games in my opinion; pick what job you want to do from a pile of options, earn money, unlock new locos to operate with said money, acquire licenses to unlock new job opportunities like carrying dangerous goods (e.g. HAZMAT), and do it all in one seemless interconnected world.

You won’t find any painstakingly recreated real-life routes or licensed locomotives and rolling stock in this title. However, if having more “game” surrounding the nuts and bolts of operating a train is what you want then Derail Valley might be for you.