‘Cozy’ games: An oasis of tranquility for a busy life

sisters playing a video game on the floor
(Photos: Steam, Nintendo, and Epic Games)
In a world of rise and grind culture, busy work schedules, and dwindling free time, you may daydream about fleeing the harsh reality of daily life by traveling or settling in the middle of nowhere. Or perhaps, you might brainstorm how to escape your life without actually escaping it.اضافة اعلان

This is where video games, specifically the “cozy” kind, come in handy. While some games may cause emotional drain by featuring too much gore and violence, cozy games bring joy and relaxation through blissful scenes and whimsical adventures.

Before you start worrying that these cozy games are too childish for adults, consider this fact: more than three-quarters of this genre’s 215 million gamers are adults over 18, according to USA Today.

So here is a list of five games that just might infuse a sense of peace and tranquility in your busy daily grind.

Bear and Breakfast

Bear and Breakfast is a management simulation game played from the viewpoint of a brown bear. Although seemingly a lazy fellow, Hank the bear has decided to open multiple motels to host human visitors to the forest where he and his family and friends dwell.

The main objective of the linear-progression game is to maximize the satisfaction of these hotel guests. Knowing that bears are considered a threat to people, Hank disguises himself in human clothing to pass successfully as a normal guy.

With around a dozen zones to explore, players will enjoy the progression of stories, dialogue, and challenges, all infused with an odd nostalgia that adds a whimsical tone.

The game is available on Windows and Nintendo Switch.

Strange Horticulture

Strange Horticulture is a mystery puzzle game in which players take on the role of a local plant store owner in a place called Undermere. Through exploring the map provided at the beginning of the game, players can find and identify new plants while uncovering clues, scraps of paper, and lost notes that help them expand their plant collections, progress in the story, and discover secrets in the depths of the woods.

Every choice has a ripple effect, and many outcomes are possible in this choose-your-own-adventure story. But all game paths produce enchanting tales that help uncover the dark, intriguing secrets of Undermere.

Strange Horticulture is available on Windows and Nintendo Switch.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a third-person simulation role-playing game nominated for multiple awards. The story explores the simple life of a farmer who is also a fisherman, miner, and friend-maker. After the death of their grandfather, the farmer inherits the farm and has the chance to till the soil while exploring the nearby Pelican Town. ConcernedApe —the developer behind the pixel game — worked on it solo, making it all the more heartfelt. Stardew Valley witnessed over 400,000 sales in the first two weeks after its February 2016 release, and sales rose to 20 million by May 2022.

The game’s perks include its open-endedness, endless adventures, and unique exploration opportunities, allowing gameplay of over 200 hours without becoming boring or repetitive.

At the beginning of the narrative, the main character leaves their office job behind to pursue their farm dreams. Just like this character, players can escape the concrete jungle and their nine-to-five lifestyles by getting lost in the world of Stardew. Moreover, players can team up with friends ( up to four players) to build a farm and explore the nooks and crannies of Pelican town together.
While some games may cause emotional drain by featuring too much gore and violence, cozy games bring joy and relaxation through blissful scenes and whimsical adventures.
The game is sold across all platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, IOS, and Android. Yearly updates are rolled out with new content to keep users engaged and having fun.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing (AC) is a third-person game with a long and glorious history. From AC’s prototype to its New Leaf and Wild World variations, the gameplay has always revolved around building your own neighborhood in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic critters who accompany you along the way.

This newest edition, New Horizons, features everything diehard AC fans have come to know and love and more, from gathering and crafting items to making friends with animal visitors, customizing and decorating a personal world, farming, and cooking. A fun feature of this game is that it syncs with real-time, meaning that users’ progress depends on how late or early it is in the real-world day.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the 16th best-selling game in history, a fact attributed to its release coinciding with the beginning of COVID-19 and the quarantine.

The game is available on Nintendo Switch.

Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher is a first-person simulation game with a vast, open world to explore. Gamers play as the main character, Beatrix LeBeau, who moved away from earth to a planet named Far Far Range to live the life of a “Slime Rancher”.

A slime rancher’s job is to construct their own ranch and explore Far Far Range, all with the objective of collecting, breeding, and raising slimes. As players progress, they will discover notes left by the previous ranch owner to help them on their journey in the planet. The gameplay revolves around profiting off of cultivated slimes to make an entire ranch-worth of the game’s currency, “Newbucks”.

Slime Rancher is sold on Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

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