There’s a whole lot of depressing stuff going on in the world right now so you might want something that will just take your mind off it all. Enter chill video games. They require more interaction than your average TV show but they’re great for immersing yourself in a world that’s not your own.
If you want something that’s not too heavy-hitting there are quite a few games out there that are designed to be entertaining and chill. From simulators to therapeutic puzzles, here are some of the best video games to chill out and relax with.
The best relaxing video games to chill out with
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
When the world first went into lockdown in March 2020 we had the perfect game to accompany us. Animal Crossing: New Horizons allowed everyone to build their own island paradise, virtually invite their friends over and hang out.
Gameplay-wise in Animal Crossing you’ll need to complete daily tasks like farming fruit and vegetables, plucking weeds, catching bugs and fish and then selling it all for money to upgrade your house and deck out your island. It’s chill, it’s addictive and it’s incredibly wholesome.
If you’ve finished Animal Crossing another chill RPG simulator that comes highly recommended is Stardew Valley.
If you’ve always dreamed of free-flying then Feather is your game.
The Aussie-made exploration game places you in the feather of a bird with really no aim except to fly, swoop and glide around an island that has plenty of hidden mysteries to uncover. All that and the soundtrack slaps.
Big fan of renovation shows like The Block and Selling Houses? You’ll love House Flipper.
The game does everything it says on the label allowing players to buy a run-down house and become a one-man renovation crew to turn it into a dream home. Plus each house comes with its own secrets and challenges for you to uncover.
Now that you’re done flipping houses, why don’t you unpack one?
Unpacking is a charming little indie game from the Aussie devs at Witch Beam. It’s short, sweet and very zen, requiring you to unpack the boxes of one person’s life over a number of different homes they inhabit as they grow up. It’s got all the fun of finding a place for everything without the hassle of actually moving house yourself.
In Hardspace: Shipbreaker you’ll glide through space searching for abandoned ships to salvage for valuable supplies. Different gear upgrades will help you tackle harder missions and you can take all the dismantling at your own pace. Very chill space vibes.
Donut County has to have one of the most unique concepts around. Playing as a growing hole in the ground you’re tasked with meeting all the cute inhabitants of the surrounding town, stealing their stuff and then chucking them down the hole. Naturally, chaos ensues, but at least it’s chill chaos.
Indie game Journey cemented its place as one of the best games of the year in 2012. Ten years later and it’s still one of the best and most beautiful games to relax to.
Playing as a small robed figure in a larger than life desert land you roam the land jumping, and occasionally flying, on your quest to reach the mountain.
A Short Hike
A wholesome video game where you play as a small bird hiking around a beautiful mountain? Sign us up.
A Short Hike lets players explore mysterious trails, find treasures, interact with other hikers all on the way to reach the top of the peak. It’s the chill hike you need if you’re stuck inside on a rainy day (or in lockdown).
If you’re looking for other games to play this month check out our roundup of the best new video games hitting stores in January.