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10 Relaxing Games To Take Your Mind Off Things

by Javy Gwaltney on Aug 07, 2016 at 08:05 AM

Busy week? Boss yelling at you? Bills to pay? Sounds like you either need a plan or some games to help reduce your stress levels. Abzû, an enchanting underwater adventure game, was released this week and it might do the trick. If you need even more suggestions for games in a similar vein, no worries – we’ve got your back.

Here are 10 chill games for stressful times.

Easily one of the most notable games from the last generation of consoles, Journey was heralded for its beautiful aesthetic and cryptic-but-emotional pilgrimage. Matt Miller reviewed the game and said “During the course of covering the game, I completed it at least three times, with one entire playthrough being with a partner. Each time, without fail, individual moments (particularly the final level) managed to give me goosebumps, and those moments have remained on my mind for weeks afterward. Give Journey the same attention you might bring to a musical concert, a well-directed film, or a long-awaited book, and its rewards are substantial.”

Sound Shapes
This one is for all the music lovers out there, as well as platformer aficionados. You control a small ball going from stage to stage, with collections of stages presented as beautiful albums, collecting musical notes that contribute to each stage’s slowly building soundtrack. It’s a colorful, enjoyable game with a great soundtrack that’ll more than do its part to help you unwind. You can read our review here.

Fans of colorful, bright environments won’t want to miss out on Proteus, which casts players as an individual exploring a mysterious island as it passes through the seasons. The sound design (filled with chittering animals and leaves blowing in the wind) and the gorgeous pixelated aesthetic create an experience similar to a walk in the park.

Endless Ocean
If the sea is your kind of thing, then Endless Ocean is worth dusting off your Wii to check out. You explore a number of underwater environments as a scuba diver and swim around with the likes of dolphins, sharks, and angelfish without worrying about them being hostile to you. The graphics are a bit fuzzy, but the game remains a pretty and soothing experience.

Unfinished Swan
Unfinished Swan is a charming experience where you play as a child named Monroe literally painting a world into existence. It’s a tad frustrating at first, trying to find your way around a white maze, but soon you ease into a groove where you’re painting hallways and pathways before you. Also, the score is stirring. You can read our review of the game here.

Continue on to page 2 to find even more suggestions for relaxing games.

Euro Truck Simulator 2
Do you ever yearn for the open road, but don’t actually want to go to the trouble of driving along it? Euro Truck Simulator lives up to its name, letting you drive across Europe to make deliveries. Sure, you can build your own truck empire – but it’s equally compelling just to drive along roads and play your own music. The perfect game for those who want the relaxation of a road trip without having to leave home.

Pokémon Snap
Pokémon Snap emerged in 1999 as the original oddball Pokémon game – one that doesn’t allow you to capture these little monsters and raise them as your own. Instead, it simply tasks you with taking pictures of them as you travel Pokemon Island in a small buggy. It’s a goofy, fun experience currently available on the Wii Virtual Console.

Dear Esther
Dear Esther is for people who like a large helping of heartbreak and a small serving of spookiness next to their R&R. The game casts you as a wanderer exploring an beautiful island while orchestra music plays and a ghostly narrator recounts the lives of the living and the dead in gorgeous, sad prose poetry. It’s a short experience, filled with sorrow, but there’s plenty here for explorers to uncover at their own pace.

A precursor to Journey, thatgamecompany’s second title is a lovely celebration of nature, letting you glide over fields of grass as a single petal of a flower, collecting more petals as you go along. It’s a simple, comforting game with mesmerizing visuals and a peaceful piano-heavy soundtrack.

Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley was released earlier this year and quickly became popular here at Game Informer, with editors cultivating their lands and trying to romance the locals. Stardew is as relaxed as they come, encouraging you to move at your own pace as you learn the villagers’ schedules and how to create the best farm you can. It is essential for those who are into Animal Crossing. You can read our review of Stardew Valley here.