There are certain games that you play to feel an adrenaline rush, and others that you play when you need to just chill after a stressful day at work. Relaxing games can work wonders for catching up on podcasts, brainstorming, or if you need to put your brain on autopilot while you sort out some things in your head.
I’ve used games such as Minecraft, No Man’s Sky and Dragon Quest Builders to help me get through some pretty tough times over the past few years. I love a game that lets me get lost in its world, mining for stuff and building things out the way I want. I just throw on my favourite podcasts and go to work.
I sat down with Kotaku’s Gita Jackson and Keoni Nguyen to talk about what games they love to chill out to and why they can be exactly what you need sometimes.
We shared our relaxation games in the video above; here’s an excerpt.
Keoni: I like to have podcasts on when I’m playing Pokemon because I can actually take in what’s being said in a podcast or a YouTube series that I’m watching. I don’t really need to focus on what’s going on in the game, which is weird when you think about it. You’re playing a game, why not focus on that?
But sometimes you need that. I like to feel productive when I’m watching a show or listening to a podcast. I can’t just sit there.
Gita: I think this is truly a modern problem. I need to be taking in something else whenever I’m watching media. It’s so relaxing to go to movie theatres, for example, because I’m forced to just sit still for two hours. But whenever I’m relaxing at home and reading a book, I like to throw a record on, or when I’m watching a TV show, I’m checking Twitter.
When I lived in Chicago and had this 30-minute bus ride, I would play Bravely Default because that battle system is just that good. Every battle feels like a puzzle and you don’t have to really pay attention to anything that’s happening in that game because the plot is really dumb.
Paul: My chill game is No Man’s Sky. It’s a thing that I can do on autopilot. I equate it to driving and listening to a podcast or music. It’s nice to have your body and brain do something that doesn’t require all of your attention but you can still just zone out to it.
And I had zero expectations for this game because I didn’t buy into all of the hype and the game that people were imagining in their minds. So when I bought it and it was literally just you mining for stuff, getting lost in caves and running back to your ship before you died, to me that was the best thing in the world. It’s so nice to escape the daily stress of life and create my own little cabin in the woods.
Watch the full episode to hear more.