While we all love a good session of CSGO, Rocket League, PUBG or Rainbow 6: Siege, sometimes it's good to avoid the intensities of warfare or the anguish of intense competition and just settle down with a relaxing experience. One in which the pressures of competition, and life, just melt away.
I’ve been plugging away on Stardew Valley recently and it’s scratched an itch that’s been haunting me for a while. At some point most evenings I find myself cursing a latest Rocket League defeat, and it’s been really rather pleasant to escape to the country, pootling about my farm, watering the crops and heading into town for the Egg Festival. On paper, it’s a bit boring, but in practice it’s an absolute joy to gradually peel back the layers, improving the farm and increasing automation with no time restraints and most importantly of all - no pressure.
The process brought back to me the idea that it’s important we have all these other games that cater to all sorts of needs. Games don’t need to just be about killing, or challenge, or competition. Most of us don’t watch movies to get beaten down repeatedly, we usually watch them purely to enjoy them. That’s not to say there isn’t fun in a challenge, but merely that the two styles can co-exist.
I was also talking to a GD’er here, bluej511, who’s dipped into his own farming world for the first time with Farming Simulator 17. At its core, it’s a game about hard work, but like Stardew Valley there’s something to the rhythm of sow, grow, sell, repeat that soothes rather than simmers. It’s the ultimate escapism for the many of us who are perhaps cramped up in cities or sat indoors as the rain pours outside.
In the interests of getting hold of more of these sorts of games, I’d love to know the games you like to relax to, the experiences that help keep your pressure low between those bouts of Dark Souls 3. So which games do you find the most relaxing? Do you even like chilled out games, or are you always on the hunt for the next adrenaline rush? Let us know!