There is no doubt that 2020 has been a rather atypical year Since its inception, and despite the fact that summer and the holidays have already arrived, there are still many who find it difficult to clear their minds.
That is why this time we wanted to dedicate this special to recommending some relaxing and violence-free games with whom to hang out quietly, and even release some of that accumulated stress.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
One of the most successful titles this year, curiously, has been one of the quintessential relaxing games. And it is that the latest installment of this exclusive social simulator from Nintendo takes us to a desert island with a pleasant and calm environment, where thanks to our work and effort, we can gradually see it prosper and grow with the arrival of new neighbors .
Maintaining the spirit of the saga, we can decorate from our house, the town, and even remodel the relief of the island. In addition to doing some outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting insects, looking for fossils, seeing star showers, walking on a beach and looking for shells, and even traveling and exploring other islands where you can find exotic fruits.
All this accompanied by a perfectly integrated soundtrack that makes the experience even more enjoyable, in a combination that will allow us to invest hundreds of hours without any effort, under total freedom throughout our sessions.
One of my favorites in this list, and that still today is one of the titles that has surprised me the most.
Long before the arrival of the last God of War, the guys from Santa Monica Studio had already left us another jewel called Journey, an award-winning indie delivery that proposed a huge explorable world with a curious multiplayer component, in which we can only interact with other players through sounds.
And it is that the game does not have a single line of text, basing its narrative entirely on its own images and music, and an end result that results in a truly intense and emotional experience. So, its biggest flaw is perhaps its short duration, which leaves us wanting more, although we will have a good replayability to try to unlock all the secrets and hidden objects.
Although Journey was released a few years ago as a Sony exclusive title for the PS3, we can currently find it available in digital format for PS4 and PC (Steam and Epic).
this time centered around the colorful and diverse underwater world full of thousands of fish that will respond to our presence and among themselves in a procedural way, thus creating an almost perfect immersive sensation.
Just controlling the diver, doing some tricks and getting close to the schools of fish conveys an almost unique feeling of tranquility in this environment.
Following this same idea of quiet games, we can dive and explore the blue basin to meet all kinds of marine species and fauna, which naturally react to our presence in many different ways. And it is that although the seabed is characterized by the absence of light, in this case we can find very well-led lighting, with many scenarios that will leave us spellbound in front of the screen.
Finally, and in perfect harmony with the artistic design, the joyous and evocative music of Austin Wintory is established as one of the best soundtracks of recent years, and a perfect complement to finish off the experience of this game, available at all platforms (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC for Steam and Epic.
Another company that has shown us to be really good at creating relaxing games is thatgamecompany (which in fact also collaborated on Journey), with great titles like Flow.
And it is that this game shows us that it does not take more than a good minimalist approach to achieve an enormous result: controlling a microscopic being within an enormous oceanic organism, seeing how life flows and evolves slowly through a hypnotic visual spectacle and auditory that, full of color and nuances, always manages to stay away from being overloaded.
Unfortunately, again we find ourselves with a somewhat short game, although it is undoubtedly a perfect experience to escape and let ourselves go for a few hours.
From the hand of a Spanish independent study, and the great support of Devolver Digital, we take this story of self-improvement where we must help this young woman to overcome depression by recovering the metaphorical colors of her grayish world.
However, beyond a beautiful experience, the most attractive aspect of this game is undoubtedly its aesthetics. And it is about designs made 100% by hand through watercolors, which have been implemented and encouraged each to create this authentic work of art.
With a fairly simple gameplay of platforms and puzzles, and as we already anticipated during our analysis, having stopped to observe some of the beautiful environments and scenarios that the game presents, and with more than 90% of the content unlocked, the game can be completed in just under four hours.
GRAY is now available for PC through Steam, in addition to its only presence on consoles for Nintendo Switch.
Better known for its platform titles, developer Ubisoft Reflections surprised us with this proposal that, using the engines and physics of those titles, focused on offering us a relaxing experience.
With a large number of sound and graphic stimuli, we will explore four worlds that we will fill with color and melodies as we interact with plant and animal life. In fact, in Ode there will be no real challenge, even its creators going to label it as a sensory experiment: we will only have to focus on enjoying the transformation of our character and everything around him.
Currently the game is only available for PC, exclusively on the UPlay platform.
Also from the creators of the artistic journey, we find another beautiful atmospheric adventure where we will embody the wind, which must rock a flower petal between its invisible arms. As you play, you will go through other flowers that will also let their petals join you.
In this way, we will be able to explore and navigate through the diverse changing environments at our own pace, being able to stay and enjoy each one of the places indefinitely.
Although it should be noted that, beyond its artistic beauty, and its interactive escape orientation, this title hides a really intense story and emotional journey.
Originally released as an exclusive to Sony consoles, we can currently enjoy this game on PC (available on Steam and Epic) as well as on iOS phones and devices.
Sky: Children of the Light
Beyond consoles and computers, there are also great proposals and relaxing games for mobiles like Sky.
Again from the hand of the award-winning thatgamecompany, this innovative social adventure comes to us. In it, we will incarnate one of the Children of Light, spreading hope through the desolate kingdom to return the fallen Stars to their constellations as we go forward and explore a kingdom in the clouds, with animations and scenarios of great beauty.
Although, as the game itself indicates, the visual section is only part of it, but its soundtrack and effects will also play a leading role.
Currently we can find this totally free game in both the App Store and Google Play Store, although its imminent launch on Nintendo Switch, dated for this summer, has already been confirmed.
One of the most awarded games on the App Store, and that continues to be offered today as one of the most beautiful relaxing games available for mobile platforms. Alto’s Adventure, by the Canadian studio Snowman, is an endless snowboarding runner that takes players through idyllic landscapes: snowy mountains, ancient forests and precipitous ruins.
The minimalist visual style, the great soundtrack and the simple, but versatile control, shape one of those video games perfect for lying in bed and disconnecting the mind. In addition, its sequel: Alto’s Odyssey is also available.
Currently we can find this totally free game in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
Closing this list of relaxing games, Monument Valley (as well as its sequel) could not be missing. It is an unreal journey through fantastic constructions and impossible geometries. Guide the silent Princess Ida through mysterious monuments, discover hidden paths, reveal optical illusions, and taunt the enigmatic Ravenmen.
To do this, we must complete a series of puzzles and puzzles through the manipulation of impossible architectures, and that many times will make use of visual illusions to give a return to reality.
We can currently find this game in both the App Store and Google Play Store.