Whenever I'm done dominating (or losing) in Overwatch, I want to get away and relax. Here are unique games you probably haven't heard of that can get you to relax!
In the world like it is today, with people more stressed out and anxious, I have a lot of appreciation for games that force you to slow down. There isn’t a particular quest line to follow or heads to pop. It’s just you and a game that doesn’t have complicated rules or mechanics. I have recently been playing three games exactly like that. If you ever need to wind down a bit, give these games a try!
Dorfromantik is a beautiful game with visuals resembling a tabletop board game. Each turn, you draw and place random tiles to expand a certain type of terrain. There are plains, forests, farms, rivers, train tracks, and villages. The goal is simple – build beautiful landscapes by placing tiles until you run out of tiles or compatible spots to place them. You almost have this “god vision” overlooking a small world as you expand.
There are some subtle but calming animations like birds flying and trains running on the tracks. The music is very comforting and chill. The game itself is the meaning of de-stressing. That doesn’t mean it has no challenges. There are quests and challenges that will grant you extra points if you fulfill the requirements. Your ultimate goal is to get the highest score possible! But the real prize is enjoying the beautiful scene you’ve created.
Continuing the theme of games that give you random items to play with, Garden Galaxy is a cute idle/clicker game. It used to be titled Gacha Garden. Gacha is the Japanese word for a vending machine filled with mystery toy capsules (I’m obsessed with them). In traditional gacha machines, you insert some coins and turn a handle, then watch as the machine rewards you with a capsule containing a mystery toy. That’s the idea of gacha – you pay and get random items. If you play any character-collecting mobile games, you’ll understand the pain of RNG.
But Garden Galaxy is not here to stress you out. Unlike most gacha, you will love everything it spits out! The gameplay itself is very straightforward. You start with a small platform containing a vase and some coins. Drop a coin into the vase, and it spits out items like new terrains, plants, beehives, trees, water blocks, a campfire, etc. The hardest part is deciding where to put these items as you expand your garden.
To get more coins, just click on what I’m going to call “spirits” – small dancing sprites around the map that drop coins. Spirits will drop all kinds of special coins, like water, farm, forest, etc. Each special coin yields items from its specific collection. You can also receive books that show all the items in each collection.
There are even items like a paintbrush, sundial, and weathervane that allow you to change the color of the background, time of day, and weather. You can create all kinds of moods to your liking! It’s not a game for you to speed through. I usually leave it on background while doing other things to wait for spirits to spawn and start clicking all over the map to get coins. Then spend a bit of time decorating and expanding my garden.
Out of Sight
The last game I want to share is “Out of Sight”. I’m sure you can tell by now I have preferences in-game aesthetics. I love, love, love the lighting and the scene set up in this game. It is also very simple to play. The game gives you a list of items to find hidden around the map. It is probably the only game out of the three I talked about that can possibly drive you crazy. There have definitely been times when I’ve spun the map at least 20 times and still cannot find the last item. But do not despair! The game does give you hints that circle a vague area where the item could be.
There are also structures that you can interact with like barn doors and boxes. Be sure to open and close them because the item you are looking for is very likely hidden in there. I absolutely love just looking around the map, just zooming in and out and spinning around the beautiful scenery. There’s something about looking at tiny things that fills me with joy.
One important thing to note about Out of Sight is that there is no time limit. Take as much time as you like to really explore each map. It really forces you to slow down. Enjoy the scene, enjoy the music, and really enjoy the struggle of not able to find things. Jokes aside, it’s a game I can fire up and just focus on looking for tiny things and block out everything else. With days moving so fast, so many things to do, so many people to socialize with…it’s nice to have a blank period just thinking about nothing as you search around a little scene looking for a rabbit.
I love fast-paced games, popping ults, and bunny-hopping all over the place for no reason. But I also enjoy serene games where everything is still, with only a few movements to indicate time passing. Maybe looking at tiny things helps me appreciate the actual little things in life – to pause and just enjoy small blissful moments, both in games and IRL. These three games fill me with joy and create a fuzziness in my heart. And I hope they can do the same for you too.