For some in quarantine, video games have been a lifesaver. Even those that don’t normally indulge in video games might find themselves poking around for some good ole fashioned brain rot to help pass the hours. But finding a decent game can feel like an overwhelming task, and fair few of us can dedicate the spare time needed to research a game that doesn’t require extensive prior knowledge or experience in specific console gameplay. To reduce your stress, I’ve compiled a list of games even non-gamers can jump into easily, so take a look and see if anything described here tickles your fancy:
8. Her Story
Her Story is a weird game. An extremely good, award-winning game, but a weird game nonetheless. In Her Story, you must search through a database of clips from fictional police interviews in order to solve the case of a missing man, but the only way to access pieces of the interview is by typing in various keywords. Imagine if you were trying to solve a mystery by searching random terms in google, and that’s the gameplay of Her Story.
The gameplay may be simplistic, but the core mystery of the narrative is fantastic. I can’t say much more without giving away anything, so if you’re looking for a brief video game experience available right on your laptop, Her Story is the game for you.
7. Untitled Goose Game
It’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose. Untitled Goose Game is a slapstick puzzle game where you play a goose who bothers the inhabitants of an English village. As a goose, you can honk, flap, grab things in your beak, and run around town while you bother people.That’s it. That’s the game.
The aesthetics are utterly pleasant, and anyone looking for a good chuckle and an easy gaming experience will get a kick out of this game. It has a similar vibe to something like Goat Simulator, which might be the game to check out if you’ve already played Untitled Goose Game. This game is also available on PC, so take a gander if you think this game is more your style.
6. Jackbox TV
Some of us don’t want to play solo. We miss our friends, damnit. Well, Jackbox TV offers such a solution: you and your friends can participate in a series of digital mini-games filled with trivia questions, mad libs, and puzzles. You’ll likely find yourself laughing (or screaming) at your friends over the phone while you compete.
Jackbox TV is offered on virtually every gaming/computer platform, so neither you or your friends need to worry about accessibility. For non-gamers seeking a multiplayer game, Jackbox TV is a good way to go.
5. Five Nights at Freddy’s
Has everything listed so far been a little too cute and wholesome for your taste? If so, Five Nights at Freddy’s may be more your scene. In the game, you play a security guard working the night shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a fictional family pizza restaurant filled with dancing animatronic animals. At night, these animatronics come to life and try to kill you.
The goal of the game is simply to survive your five nights at Freddy’s, and the gameplay is a basic “point-and-click” system that anyone can manage without much trouble. Still, if there’s any game that’s refined the jump scare, it’s this spooky game. So take that into consideration when you’re looking for a game to play by yourself in quarantine.
Limbo is a beautiful, eerie game about a little boy who traverses a series of dangerous environments in search of his sister. The game is puzzle-based, and it includes a brutal trial-and-error system that violently kills the little boy if you select the wrong path. That may seem alarming, but the ambiance and noir game aesthetics are so intriguing that I highly recommend overlooking these gruesome aspects.
This game is available as a mobile app, but you can also download it on any of the most recent consoles or on your laptop using Steam, so please, give it a try.
Speaking of gorgeous games- we’ve now arrived at Journey. Although Journey is a sophisticated indie adventure game with phenomenal visual and musical features, it’s a game with straightforward controls that allows you to navigate the animated space with ease. You play a robed figure traveling toward a mountain in a vast desert, and at various points, you meet other players who you communicate with via chimes. Okay, I know it sounds weird but it makes sense in context, I swear.
There’s a reason this game won multiple “Game of the Year” awards in 2012. Seriously, Journey is a gorgeous game, so check it out.
It would make sense for Pokémon to be on this list, wouldn’t it? Over the years, the Pokémon game franchise has been fine-tuned over and over again to appeal to the widest possible audience, packing every new mobile game with a variety of fun features and new Pokémon to keep things refreshing. It’s a franchise that’s so ubiquitous that most people recognize at least one Pokémon (even if it’s only Pikachu) and it’s so user-friendly that new players get adopted into the world of Pokémon every year.
Pokémon is an old game franchise, but it’s worth looking into again if you find yourself wanting a pleasant, casual gaming experience. You can pursue the main plot, or you can divest your time in any of the hundreds of ways that the game provides for you. Collect all the Pokémon or catch three. Challenge a gym leader or go explore a spooky cave. The choice is yours.
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Ever since the stay-at-home order broke, Animal Crossing: New Horizons appears to have taken the world by storm. There’s just something intrinsically relaxing about terraforming a tropical island while the real world falls into chaos. In Animal Crossing, you have no major directives, and the game doesn’t reward you for playing exhaustively. Instead, it promotes a far more casual, relaxed experience as you go about your day fishing and gardening.
Unless you have a Nintendo Switch, you’ll be hard-pressed to find this game on any other platform, but it’s a worthy investment to reduce your stress during quarantine.