It's incredibly to stop and think that it was back in March, at the beginning of the official start of the Quarantine here in Canada, that I made my first relaxing video games list. I published "15 Relaxing Games to Play During the COVID-19 Pandemic (If your anxiety is as bad as mine)" back in March and then wrote "Another 15 Relaxing Games to Play During the COVID-19 Pandemic" after so many people found games to play, founds stories and games to relax with, and it made my weary, little heart happy.
So, it's September now and we're still in the middle of a pandemic. I'm personally not in quarantine anymore because I can't afford to stay home and be safe even though that would be the thing to do (don't we all wish it made sense like that) so I though I'd release another relaxing games list for those who wanted more ideas and/or options, and because 5 months went by and I promise you, there's quite a bit of new games that have been released since. So, set up you're next open tab, open steam or get a pen and paper, and let's get to it:
1. Cloud Garden
"In Cloud Gardens players must harness the power of nature to overgrow lo-fi scenes of urban decay and manufactured landscapes. By planting seeds in the right places, they’re able to create small overgrown dioramas of brutalism and beauty, salvaging and repurposing hundreds of discarded objects to create unique structures for nature to reclaim.
Players can dive into a relaxing sandbox mode with no goals, where they are simply left to delight in their own creativity and create beautiful scenes, or take on a “campaign” of six chapters, where the task is to strike a balance between nature and the manufactured by covering each scene with salvaged objects and lush vegetation."
"Townscaper is an experimental passion project. More of a toy than a game. Pick colors from the palette, plop down colored blocks of house on the irregular grid, and watch Townscaper's underlying algorithm automatically turn those blocks into cute little houses, arches, stairways, bridges and lush backyards, depending on their configuration."
"Build quaint island towns with curvy streets. Build small hamlets, soaring cathedrals, canal networks, or sky cities on stilts. Block by block. No goal. No real gameplay. Just plenty of building and plenty of beauty. That's it."
3. Far From Noise
"The sun is setting behind the horizon and night will soon fall. With no immediate means of escape, perhaps all that's left is to attempt to feel some connection with the world at the end of it all."
"Far from Noise is a single-player narrative told through dialogue choices. As day fades to night, experience quiet moments of interaction with a variety of creatures and witness the transformative forces of nature as they happen around you. Through conversation with a welcome companion, begin to discover your reasons for being out there, your relationship with the world, life and death, and if you'll see tomorrow."
4. Wide Ocean Big Jacket
"An aunt and uncle take their middle-school niece and her boyfriend on an overnight camping trip in WIDE OCEAN BIG JACKET"
"Take part in a classic camping trip: Roast hot dogs on the fire, go birdwatching, tell ghost stories, grab a beverage from the cooler and do cartwheels on the beach. WOBJ is a short story game including 20 chapters, 4 playable characters, 10,000 words of dialog and 8 explorable areas, all rendered in a beautiful 2D/3D art style."
5. The Almost Gone
"Trapped between life and death, a young girl must explore her surroundings to unravel the dark and poignant truth about her death. This point and click adventure is a compelling adult tale like no other, told like no other."
"Piece together this compelling story by revealing objects and memories, and decipher these clues to reveal more of the story and its secrets. From your own home to eerily deserted streets, beautiful apartment blocks to abandoned hospitals, you must search forensically for clues and the path forwards. Each new revelation takes you that one step closer to understanding, and to the people and places that surrounded you, in your all too short life.
Why are you here? Why are you trapped? Will you ever get home?"
6. Spring Falls
"Spring Falls is a puzzle game about water, erosion, and watching things grow. Manipulate the landscape and bring wildflowers to life as you make your way down a peaceful mountainside"
"Soft visuals, ambient guitar work, and environmental sounds come together to create a meditative, relaxing experience."
Available on: Steam & the apple store
"Flower lets you take control of the wind as you explore and navigate beautiful, lush environments. Journey through varied landscapes at your own pace, interacting with and changing the environment as you go, and find balance and harmony in your surroundings."
"This is an interactive escape that takes you on an emotional journey like no other game you've ever experienced."
8. When the Past was Around
"When the Past was Around - Prologue is the opening chapter of an upcoming adventure point-and-click puzzle game about love, moving on, letting go, and the joy and pain of everything in between."
"The game tells a bittersweet tale between a girl and her lover in a surreal world consisting of disjointed rooms from memories and time. With each gathered clue, solved puzzles, and unlocked door, the girl will find her way, unraveling the secrets between her and her lover, the secrets which she used to know."
"Mutazione is an adventure game where the juicy personal drama is just as important as the high-stakes adventure part of the story. Explore the community as 15-year-old Kai as she travels to the strange and secretive community of Mutazione to care for her ailing grandfather, Nonno. Make new friends; plant musical gardens; attend BBQs, band nights and boat trips; and embark on a final spiritual journey to save everyone from the strange darkness at the heart of it all."
"But as things developed, I found myself not just seeking out the characters I liked, but making sure I talked with everyone. There are a lot of things brewing under the surface: unrequited love, terrible trauma, and painful memories that characters try to hide or keep bottled up with the best intentions.
Those hidden things eventually become part of those major conversations that advance the story, with the optional conversations serving to help fill out your understanding or foreshadow what is going to happen. Kai’s main focus is on her grandfather and their story, but everyone else on the island is in the middle of their own story. And because it’s such a small and tightly knit community, those storylines are tangled together." D. M. Moore, The Verge. Available on: PlayStation 4, PC and Mac.
10. My Oasis
"My Oasis contains no content that can stress you out. As an idle clicker and tapping game, there are no intense controls, just easy gameplay and a relaxing environment. Collect hearts to collect various animals such as fox, deer, elephant, giraffe, penguin, and whale and complete the oasis."
"Peaceful sounds and calming music help bring you to a zen state in My Oasis. The island builder lets your Oasis gradually expand while you interact with the surrounding life in a relaxing atmosphere. Relaxation and simple tapper gameplay will calm your mind before you know it."
11. Adorable Home
"You and your partner have just moved to a new home in the suburbs with your furry companion, an adorable cat named Snow. What to do first? Let's clean up so you can start decorating!"
"Adorable Home is a passive and relaxing experience. Come back and check in on the game every couple hours to see something new, gather some love, and continue furnishing your home."
"You are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your habitats. Each habitat focuses on a key aspect of the growth of your preserves."
"Wingspan is a relaxing, award-winning strategy card game about birds for 1 to 5 players. Each bird you play extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your three habitats. Your goal is to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves."
Available on: PC
So, here you go. As Autumn approaches rapidly (faster than in other places, for some) I hope that this list and the games featured here provide you some solace, some peace, some tenderness during these stressful, confusion and isolating times. I hope that your family is safe and well and that you, too, are doing alright. With all my love, Aurelie aka A woman on the internet.