Games for when you want to relax

Sometimes all you want to do is relax. Kick back, put your feet up and forget about your troubles. And you know what that’s fine. We all have day’s like that.

It’s just that when I have a day like that I still want to play video games and these are my favourites

Flow. Originally released as a free flash game in 2006 by Jenova Chen to accompany his masters degree . Flow was then reworked and given a full release in 2007 by his development company; thatgamecompany. Flow is a simple game about the Flow of life about starting out as almost nothing. A tiny entity that can be eaten by almost any of the other, slightly bigger entities that inhabit the same space as you, Not enemies but simple beings that happen to live in the same space as you. As you play through the game taking other beings into you as you go through the game you grow ever so larger you become more able to defend yourself, more likely to stay alive. Less likely to be attacked or need to attack and as this happens the game changes, evolves with it and becomes less about survival and moves into a more relaxing experience, a more tranquil experience. The games ”final form” sees it slowly morphing into a meditative experience full of wonderful colours and an incredibly ambient music. It hits a switch somewhere in my brain and I just sink into the flow experience an experience that stays with you long after the game has been completed. link here Welcome to Flow in Games (jenovachen.com)

Seyonara Wild Hearts Now for a game with a little bit more action Seyonara Wild Hearts is a game that will have you running, flying, dancing and even skating through psychedelic pop worlds filled with colours. Bright, neon colours all bursting at the seems to pop out of their world and into yours. Yes Seyonara is a bit similar to an endless runner but, you will forgive it as an intriguing story that is coupled with a fantastic soundtrack that makes you want to see what’s around the next corner making the end of the game come a lot sooner than you expect. Your time will be short, the games only as long as the average music album but it will leave a bubble gum flavour on your tongue that will have you humming the soundtrack long after the credits have rolled.

Available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch

We Love Katamari is probably the most bonkers game on this list. It’s probably the most bonkers game on any list- It’s nuts. Originally released on the PS2 a long time ago. In an era when Vib-Ribbon was king and games like PaRappa the Rapper weren’t seen as strange relics from another time but games people were exited to play. We Love Katamari was something of an oddity even then, for it’s a game all about collecting things and I mean ALL of the things. It was all the fault of a God – isn’t it always! they had accidentally( after a drinking binge) destroyed the universe or something like that. And you playing as his son has to put it all back together – Actually I don’t really think the story counts. Just know that’s it’s as bonkers as the rest of the game and go with it. Soon you will be given your ball. A magic ball to help you on your quest. Your quest to pick up everything. Everything and anything. For example a level could have you starting out with your ball looking quite small, small enough to only pick up the tiniest of objects but as you pick up these objects they won’t be swallowed by the ball but become stuck to it making the ball bigger and as the ball grows larger in size you can pick up bigger things. A levels that starts with you collecting flowers will end with you collecting people, cows and even houses and as you go you can see all of the these different items pocking out of your ball in some sort of random order. If you fancy playing this little game of chaos a remake is out now on the Switch and PS4

Proteus A surrealist exploration game is something you don’t come across everyday but, today is that day and Proteus is that game. There are no goals in this game. The game’s only purpose is for you to wonder. Wonder around this magical island, watching the islands flora and fauna coming to life emitting dynamic shifts in audio as they go all based entirely on where you are, what your surroundings are and what season the game is currently in. it’s a lovely little experience, completion coming in about an hour. Currently available on most platforms

Journey I tried to not make this a thatgamecompany love in. But they make games that are so good, so relaxing and such fun to play I couldn’t leave this one out. Journey is game about discovery, about finding yourself and maybe even saving yourself and a game that I must admit I completely bounced of the first time I played it. I just didn’t get it. It wasn’t until maybe a year later when, on a whim I decided to reinstall it. to see if I could say what all the fuss was about, and I was so glad I did. For this time the game just clicked, it became more than a sand simulator. I suddenly didn’t want to rush to the end. Now I wanted to explore the land to see what was hidden just beneath the surface and there looking around me I stumbled across another play doing the same as me – just stumbling along enjoying their walk across the sand. Soon we walked to one another are separate walks became one, we fell into step. We couldn’t talk to each other. Journey doesn’t allow in-game communication. Until you complete the game you can’t even see the other players name, all it allows is for the player to make a small ”cheep” to get the other players attention but in that cheep we both found a way of connecting of somehow gathering together our shared experience of the game. The end goal became something for a later time what mattered to us was the Journey.

I still don’t know who the other player was and in some strange way I hope I never do. We have had all the time we needed to spend together.

Anything I have missed? I am sure there are loads 🙂

Tacoma

The humble walking simulator. It’s given life to some of my favourite games from the poster child of the genre the lovely Gone Home or the utterly brilliant Firewatch, it’s easy to say that the Walking Simulator has given me a fair sprinkling of games that I love. It’s a genre that is not for everyone but, It’s a genre I really enjoy and with that in my mind I took a trip to space to play on a space station in the future world of 2088 a ride aboard space station Tacoma.

Tacoma is Fullbrights second game after Gone Home, and looks to have expanded on the original game in almost every way. Where Gone Home is a single narrative, we move along with the main character unlocking the secrets with her. Tacoma is louder is, it could even be classed as crowded as this time the game uses multiple stories from a variety of different angle’s to tell complete it’s tale, this isn’t the only change where as Gone Home is set in a house, Tacoma is set in a space station, Gone home’s house is big, and full of secrets, yet still has to confirm to the traditional architecture of a house. it fells like a house, it’s wall are filled with family mementos with the standard paint on the walls, white walls and brown stairs. Tacoma’s space station on the other hand looks like it has been carved out by a collective, not a unit, it’s a place where everybody involved with living on the station has there own idea for how it should look, and have tried to add their little touches to it to add there presence too it. Maybe that was Fullbrights idea all along, to show us the house of the future, long gone are the days of the family unit, now we have a multi space where people of varying different backgrounds would come together to share a space, to give life too it. in a non traditional way.

Trudged

As I made my way to the station I was told I only had one job to do, Do it and leave do nothing more, nothing less. Of course it wasn’t that easy. When I arrived at my first collection point I was told that the extraction would take a little longer than I had expected and so given an option of staring at the wall, waiting for the device to do it’s thing or go for a wander around the station of course I decided on the latter so of I set in the initial hope of seeing a planet from space.

Now,

I knew the station was empty, all the crew had left the station because of something that had happened but, it still felt strange to walk around the empty station as if something terrible had happened and that I was the only person left alive, without the hum drum of day to day activity the station was an eerie place with the scattered detritus of other people’s lives still hanging in the air, it made me feel like a voyeur, an intruder as If I had pulled back the curtain on someone else’s life and it didn’t feel right.

Onto the next terminal

Very shortly I was told that the first part of the my mission had been achieved, that the first part of data had been downloaded but, guess what? A second piece of the data pie had to be downloaded from a second terminal and so off I wondered through now abandoned corridors waiting for something to happen for someone to jump out and me say boo – even though I knew the corridors were empty because nobody was there and I was there to find out why nobody was there still it was still kind of refreshing to find nobody around any of the corners waiting to strike, no lights flickering deceptively on and off as I wondered here and there and no droids that just happen to be still making their rounds in the darkness.

I’m sad to say

That the sense of isolaton only increased my interest in what was around me in the station. I started to wander into people’s lifes more easily. To root through their sock draws with more confidence, I wanted to see what had happened, I know had given my self two tasks, one was to retrieve the data as I was told to do, the other, and now important task to me was to find out who these people were. Not just how they had left, but what had made them think of doing it in the first place, what kind of person they were, It was at this point I found the holograms. The holograms were the pieces of people they had left behind memories they had made for themselves ( and now me) on everything from where they went to school, why they went to the gym and who they thought had caused the need to for the team to leave the station and with the holograms as my guide I now felt like a dectecive a real life Poirot with all of the answers at my finger tips and as my reserve fell away I know dived straight into peoples lives with the wantan abandon of a man on a mission the curtain was well and truly pulled back now. I plunged through the station looking for clues to my mystery any fears of being alone on the space ship now pushed firmly to the back of my mind as I ran from place to place linking clue with clue. Until I finally had a clear picture of who these people why they did what they did and in some cases, the names of the their children where they went to school and where they liked to shop.

Tacoma is a strange game with a nice twist at the end. If you are a fan of the waking simulator. you can’t go wrong here.