We’ve all been there. After five to ten hours of struggling through a competitive online shooter or challenging action role-playing game, you start to feel that change setting in. Suddenly you’re making more mistakes, and taking longer to complete simple objectives that you’ve completed a dozen times. Maybe you’ve just ended your last few rounds with a .5 kill/death ratio…gross. This is what we refer to in the gaming world as the “tilt.”
Tilting can bring the most experienced gamers to their knees, controllers flailing with rage and headsets smashing to the ground. We could talk for hours about the Dark Souls and Battlefields that bring about this change in dedicated gamers, but dwelling never fixes the problem! Let’s instead look at some of the games that bring gamers back from the red. Let’s talk about those gifts from the Gaming Gods that soften the nerves like the first sip of a stiff whiskey…
I’ll start the list with an obvious choice, but a necessary one nonetheless. Minecraft has made its staple in the gaming world for a number of achievements. Possibly the most common call to action for Minecraft is that it’s just downright relaxing. Transport yourself back to the simple days, when you spent hours crafting the products of your imagination with your Lego collection. Creative mode essentially takes that concept and inflates to an almost infinite scale. There are no competitors, no cut and dry objectives, and no toxicity. Sure, the game has its challenging points. Survival mode includes things like aggressive enemies, hunger, a need for resources, and night terrors. Even with these features, Survival mode can still create a calm atmosphere that allows you find an escape.
So start yourself on a Survival run. Take your time, and just create what you need in that moment. Don’t give yourself a predetermined direction for your play-through. If you are looking for a creative play-through, think up a creative goal for yourself. I set out on a collaborative project to create a town with another friend. After a week’s time and a few more helping hands, we had nearly finished building an entire city. It gave me a sense of achievement, and I honestly felt refreshed.
The best thing about The Sims is that you can play the way you want. You can spend two hours creating your dream home or you can move into a one bedroom shack and focus on progressing with your character’s career. You can visit attractions around the city or you can shut yourself in your home to level your skills. No matter what, there’s always something to do that’ll keep you invested in the slow climb.
Again, there’s no competition here, no time limits, and no real stress. I’ve put countless hours into The Sims games over the years. Each addition brings along exiting new features, but keeps the same basic elements present. This means you can always count on the series to provide an outlet to live vicariously.
Mount Your Friends
I’ll admit…this is a weird game. It might be even more weird that it made its way on this list. However, I’ve experienced some of the most magnificent “rage-relief” moments from this quirky indie game. The great thing about Mount Your Friends is the simplicity of the game’s objective. After pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into constant questing, challenging boss fights, and stat-obsessing over builds, nothing quite cools the boiling blood like launching your half naked, pickle endowed, cat faced avatar across a sprawling mountain of the precariously placed avatars of your friends. It might be the single most ridiculous premise for a video game that I’ve ever experienced, but it works!
Not only is this game loads of fun, it’s cheap too! Fork over a couple bucks, wait a few minutes for the download, and you’re good to go. Within five minutes you’ll literally be crying from laughter, while your friend utilizes exposed sections of your beefy anatomy to launch his avatar twenty feet in the air, claiming the next spot at the top of “Buff Bro Mountain.” I also recommend using a game-pad or controller for this game.
I know what you’re thinking… there are tons of ways that Pokémon can be challenging and rage-inducing. This is true…if you’re not a filthy casual. If you drop online competitiveness and the “Beautiful Mind-esq” stat comparing, this game is actually very relaxing. How? This is how: Pick your favorites. Don’t pick your team based off of their stats. Pick from their appearance or their type. Whatever you might have an affinity towards…go with it! Then, take your time. Try to over-level your team in each area you enter so you can absolutely destroy the gym leaders. Collect any new Pokémon that you run across for the sheer purpose of expanding your collection.
Remember back when we were kids playing Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Silver, Gold, and so on? We didn’t care about the numbers. It was all about what we thought was cool. There’s no way you were pulling out the red string to connect the dots between the perfect combination to crush the neighbor kid. I bet you are now though.
My pick for the most relaxing video game of all time wasn’t even a second thought. When I need a break from the trials and tribulations of the gaming world, this is my go-to 99% of the time. Every feature of Animal Crossing seems like it should feel mundane. That just doesn’t seem to be the case. My heart warms every time I hear that theme music kick in and I see that familiar town fade into view. Everything in this tiny woodland village has just been waiting for me to return and break out the fishing pole. Whether I’m running around doing favors for my neighbors, or trying my hand at designing the interior of my quaint little house, I just feel at ease.
My recommendation for a relaxing Animal Crossing session is to just play the game. There is no other way!
What game helps you take the edge off? Comment below!