There are plenty of people who enjoy the idea of gaming but can’t stand the thought of a Call of Duty shoot-out. I totally get it and here are a few games that let you experience the relaxation of playing without the pressure of Gaming. Most of these are available for regular computers or mobile devices so you won’t need to invest in an expensive gaming system to enjoy.
There are few games out there that match the pure joy of Animal Crossing. Dumped into a small town with a bunch of new animal friends, Animal Crossing hasn’t changed much since its GameCube debut (of course Japan got it on the N64 first!). The point of the game is to make friends, expand and furnish a house and populate the local museum. Activities that any video game aficionado can enjoy. Available on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii for modern players, we can expect a new version on the Switch in 2020. Of course, the newest version will eliminate series staple Mr. Resetti, a sad day for non-savers everywhere.
If daily play and grind aren’t your thing, you may want to look in another direction. However, the fact that you can give it a try on your mobile with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a huge bonus if you’re not sure about investing in a gaming specific device.
Platforms: Mobile devices, Nintendo DS Series, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii
The game that made bureaucracy fun is as hilarious as it is difficult. Assigned to a job as an immigration officer in the fictional nation of Arstotzka during the Cold War era, your duty is to root out people who are trying to enter illegally. Oppressive tuba music and good writing round out a truly immersive experience. After 20 minutes of play, you’ll really start worrying about your family freezing to death. Just try it out.
‘Long live Arstotzka!’
Platforms: Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, PlayStation Vita
Into the Breach
I didn’t think I would enjoy turn-based strategy game Into the Breach as much as I did, but now I can’t stop recommending it to anyone who will listen. Mine is the Switch version and the fact that I can play a level in a few minutes then turn it off is a huge bonus, especially when I’m on the go.
The player is tasked with saving humanity, one island at a time, from the invading Vek. You start out with three mechs and position them to eliminate each Vek invader. The interesting part is that you know what each opponent will do before they do it so you can play your strategy. Unlike most mech-based games, losing buildings loses points, so it’s important to plan well before each round. Easy to figure out, but incredibly difficult to master- this game is infinitely re-playable.
Platforms: Windows, OS X, Nintendo Switch
Crusader Kings II
Do you like medieval European history? Do you enjoy palace intrigue? Do you enjoy dozens of tiny menus? Then I have the perfect game for you! Crusader Kings II sounds like a fairly straightforward game: Rule a medieval kingdom. Easy, right?
Nope. Every move you make, whether marrying your daughter to the neighboring kingdom or appointing your priest as a political envoy has consequences that will follow you throughout the game. With accurate historical references and multiple expansion packs to extend the experience, you can lose ages in your attempt to take over the continent as a ruthless dictator or benevolent monarch. I’ve been playing this thing for over a year without expansion packs and still haven’t mastered all of the maneuvering necessary to come out on top.
One of the best features of Crusader Kings II is that you don’t need a specific gaming device to play. The game will run on most modern computers.
Available for: Windows, OS X, Linux