A Cosmic Forest is a free game by Titouan Millet. Filled with pillars of pure colour, drifting creatures and calm ambience, it is probably one of the most relaxing games ever created.
This title has been around for a while but I always find myself returning to it. If you know what you're doing you can beat the game in a few minutes, but the real draw is snaking your way through the abstract colour forest before you.
Games are highly dependent on their space. While games with higher production budgets try to express how real their worlds are, a title like A Cosmic Forest manages to pull off the same feeling of being somewhere through highly abstract design.
The forest is small but snakes around on itself to create the illusion of going on forever.
"My objective was making the player lose their bearings," creator Titouan Millet told me. He says the forest is meant to be disorientating. Viewed from certain positions, the forest looks entirely two dimensional.
"In certain places inside the forest, all you can see is lines of colours, and you can hardly interpret the perspective."
It was tempting to leave the player to wander forever but Millet decided to add smaller elements like stars and creatures to help players understand what they were seeing and figure out where they might have travelled before.
A little creative puzzle solving yields a brief but memorable ending. I won't give too much away, but I encourage players to hunt for spheres near the centre of the maze. It just the first step though; you'll have to figure out the rest.
More than anything, A Cosmic Forest has great atmosphere. It's tranquil and contemplative. If you've dealt with a long day at work or are simply looking for a game to play while you brainstorm, this is definitely the right place to look.