In a time when players can hack, slash, and mutilate monsters in titles like Elden Ring or blast enemies to pieces in games like the Call of Duty series, sometimes it’s nice to just kick back, relax, and play something good and wholesome after a day of adventuring. For every enemy shooter destroyed, bonfire lit, and zombie decapitated, there’s a game that’s cute and fun to take the edge off.
They don’t have to be complicated, action-packed, or even that long to be enjoyable. Sometimes all the game needs is a sweet story, cuddly characters, and enjoyable gameplay to keep the player coming back for more. If the time that was wasted was enjoyed, it wasn’t really wasted at all.
Although the game does come equipped with a survival mode, the true fans of Minecraft know sometimes it’s nice to just walk around other worlds and see what other players have built. From tropical island getaways to a full-blown replica of the Hogwarts castle, the creative possibilities are endless in this virtual builder.
Sometimes a session of Minecraft can be spent defending against creepers, zombies, and other blocky threats, but sometimes it could be like walking through an art museum to see what other people have created. Either way, it’s only as complex and difficult as a player makes it.
A Short Hike
A Short Hike is exactly what the title implies, it’s a short, relaxing, enjoyable little escapade through an adorable mountain town with cute animal characters. Right out of the gate, comparisons will be made to both Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda, and that’s not an unfair suggestion. It’s a top-down Adventure game with a cast of quirky characters who offer quests and items along the way.
Players will want to explore, interact and simply enjoy themselves in order to progress. The object of the game is simple, get to the top of the mountain, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an arduous journey. On the contrary, it’s one of the most delightful indie darlings available on the Nintendo Switch.
It’s not exactly Mario Golfbut Golf Story is a very interesting project. It could be considered a decent golf game that somehow got turned into a story-driven RPG or a story-driven RPG that added a golf game as a bonus. Either way, its mixing of themes and elements comes together remarkably well to create a unique experience.
Whether a gamer enjoys golf or not is irrelevant, as the story is truly the reason to pick up this game. Although the quest is to become the greatest golfer at the country club, the game is more about finding something enjoyable in an unlikely place. Much like the idea of the game itself.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
It seems like the Yoshi’s Island games are Nintendo platforms directed at younger players, but that’s not saying adults can’t enjoy them too. Yoshi’s Crafted World is the textbook example of cute and cuddly to the extreme. Simply put, it’s a Yoshi’s Island sequel with a macramé-inspired art style.
Everything is either knitted, glued, or cut out from cardboard, construction paper, and crayon. For a Nintendo game, there are heavy elements of LittleBigPlanet thrown in as well. It’s a simple distraction from the hustle and bustle of everyday life that any Nintendo fan would enjoy.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Yoshi wasn’t the only Nintendo character to go through an arts and crafts phase, as demonstrated by Kirby’s Epic Yarn. For some reason, Kirby feels like the more appropriate character to receive this treatment, as this adventure sees him transformed into a cute ball of yarn who can change into different things to unravel the obstacles before him.
It’s a game that’s as soft and squishy as Kirby himself, but there’s still plenty to enjoy about this stylish title. What it lacks in difficulty or complexity it more than makes up for in solid platforming gameplay and sheer adorableness.
Night In The Woods
“Life is hard sometimes, but that’s okay. Things often change.” That statement is essentially the message of Night In The Woods as players take on the role of Mae as she explores the secrets and shadowy places of Possum Springs. The game is an interesting narrative-driven adventure, to say the least, but it’s much more than just an average side-scroller.
It’s a game that’s primarily powered by its characters and the environment they call home. Mae, and by extension the player, are the audience to the strange and compelling events that follow. Playing this game is like curling up with a mystery novel on a rainy night, and it definitely has its fanbase.
Sometimes, all a player really wants to do is stop and smell the 16-bit roses. Stardew Valley could be the poster child for relaxing and comfortable video games, and there are more than a few reasons why. Along with raising a virtual farm, players can enjoy a variety of different activities to make their home in this gorgeous bit-sprite world.
Players can grow veggies, go fishing, take a nature walk, hang out with a wizard, raise farm animals, build things, the list goes on. It’s a game that encourages a very Zen-like frame of mind, sometimes it’s okay to simply just exist.
Dragon Quest Series
The Dragon Quest series might be a classic JRPG, but there’s something so lovable and warm about it that many gamers find comforting. While it’s true that there are tons of monsters, traps, and hazards throughout the series, all of the enemies and creatures are designed with a very fun and huggable exterior. Even the skeletons and zombies look like they should be on a Saturday morning cartoon.
A Dragon Quest game is like a warm hug wrapped in a robe wizard and carrying a Mithril sword. It’s the ideal series for players who enjoy such cozy fantasies as The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia at the end of the day. Sometimes a little fantasy can be immensely healthy.
Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Jumping off the previous statement, a little adventure can go along way and be very beneficial to players looking to get away from the day. Although any installment in the Zelda series will suffice, Breath of the Wild is by far the most intoxicating and the most elaborate.
Players can pick up their swords and set off on a marvelous quest through an enchanted fantasy world, leaving their troubles behind. Of course, hacking through monsters and vanishing bosses is only part of the equation. Exploration is the name of the game in the long run, and sometimes it can be fun to just play with the physics and tools Link is given in his journey. Ganon doesn’t have to be vanquished right away, after all.
Animal Crossing Series
Although the jokes have been made about going into debt to a family of tanuki, the Animal Crossing series is loaded to the brim with cutesy and comfortable elements that have kept players living amongst its cast of animal villagers for years.
From collecting coins and furniture to building houses and friendships with the locals to going fishing and bug collecting for Blathers’ museum, there’s plenty to do to make a player’s time more enjoyable. With the introduction of islands and other bells and whistles in the latter games, the series has only gotten better with age.
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