For many of us, gaming is not only a hobby of thrills and challenges- but one of relaxation. Not every player is looking to jump onto a roller coaster of passion and adrenaline- just as many gamers desire luxury cruises and leisurely Sunday drives. For gamers looking to unwind after a long day, forget their troubles, and kiss the sky- the following six relaxing games are more than up to the task.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The latest iteration on the 3DS makes fishing, bug catching, fruit picking, furniture collecting, and customizing more addictive than ever! For those that felt like the Wii’s Animal Crossing: City Folk took too few risks with the formula- AC: New Leaf is a huge breath of fresh air for the series. Step into your very own town as the undisputed mayor as you enjoy a wealth of new content in this massive leap forward for Animal Crossing! The 3DS visuals are beautiful, the customization options have never been more expansive, and the gameplay has been tweaked and polished to near perfection!
Endless Ocean: Blue World
If you are sick and tired of high-octane gaming, you can’t get much more laidback than the Endless Ocean series. Explore the ocean at your leisure, learn about marine life, make some friends, and do a little treasure hunting while you’re at it! While the original Endless Ocean was depressingly light on goals and content- its sequel more than makes up for this with admittedly endless replay value. It seems like every time you dive into the water- there’s something new to discover! Why not kickback, do some scuba-diving, and maybe take a few photos for your SD card?
The Sims 3
Want your Sim to play video games until she gets fired from her job the diner? Go right ahead! Do you want him to be the leader of a criminal organization? Reach for the stars! Curious about what will happen if she eats that week old pizza? Go for it! The sky is the limit as you guide your Sims through the trials and tribulations of everyday life!
If you aren’t in the mood for virtual hand-holding, you can throw caution to the wind, set your home ablaze, and blow all your money on lawn ornaments! Just be ready to bargain with the Grim Reaper if they screw up too badly… Just make sure you avoid the mediocre console ports and their fractured open worlds- stick with the PC version!
Animal Crossing: City Folk
The Animal Crossing series is all about slowing things down and setting your mind at ease. It’s therapeutic to, after a long day, settle on the couch with your animal neighbors and live your own little virtual life. Nothing relieves stress quite like writing fun little notes for your friends, hanging out in the city, and building your own personal mansion! You’ll find equally relaxingly enjoyable Animal Crossing titles on the GameCube and DS!
There may have been innumerable expansions and spin-offs, but the original MySims release is still the most addictive! It’s a game where you aren’t exactly living a virtual life like in The Sims 3- you’re more like a god pulling the strings of unsuspecting little people. Your true nature will be tested when you are made the puppet master of the inhabitants in your copy of MySims.
While it might not have the charisma and charming atmosphere of the Animal Crossing series, MySims has always roped in gamers with its quirky nature. The graphical style is, thankfully, much more appealing to the eye than its pseudo realistic predecessor series. If you are eager for more Mysims titles, give Kingdom and Agents a chance!
Endless Ocean and its follow-up are difficult to recommend to gamers looking for even the slightest adrenaline rush. For what they lack in action, both of these Nintendo Wii exclusives are breathtakingly beautiful with a visual experience reminiscent of an IMAX movie. The first game supports a customizable soundtrack that was sorely missed in the sequel- allowing gamers to play their favorite songs from an SD card. Despite this drawback, EO: Blue World features much larger areas, improved multiplayer, goal-oriented gameplay, and a heightened sense of awe.