Playing chill games is one of the best ways to kick back and relax! Why not pick up one of these titles for a loved one this Christmas? Or, better yet, why not treat yourself?
I’ve always been a big fan of video games. At first, it was Pokemon and Super Mario, but quickly developed into some of the Playstation’s biggest hits! While some kids were out playing in the street, my friends and I were inside taking turns to beat the next boss in Final Fantasy IX! Even now, at the age of thirty, I’m still in love with gaming.
I’ve long since hung up grinding on World of Warcraft, and battle areas like League of Legends for chill games. Now, I’d much rather curl up with an easy-going game like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley. They provide endless amounts of feel-good chemicals and cause much less stress to my delicate brain. And as we approach Christmas, I couldn’t think of a better time to talk about my favourite chill games of the century!
If you’re looking for new games to try, or games for a loved one this Christmas, look no further. No, you won’t find shoot ’em ups or the latest MMORPG. But I assure you that there’s something for everyone.
5 Chill games to buy this Christmas.
Animal Crossing; New Horizons.
Since its arrival during the height of the pandemic, Animal Crossing has been on the tip of every gamer’s tongue. It not only helped to reconnect us but also acted as a much-needed escape. No matter what you’re into, ACNH is the perfect way to unwind and even hang out with friends! You play as a ‘human‘ character on vacation to an island rich with native fruit, flowers, and a money-hungry raccoon called Tom Nook! He gives you a home for which you pay a mortgage, and while you spend your time collecting bells to pay it off, you can interact with the other residents. But, capitalism aside, this game offers more than just paying bills. You can decorate your island, become besties with your canine neighbour and invite your friends over from their Nintendo Switch!
Happy Home Paradise was introduced as DLC in late 2021 and gave the player the ability to live their interior designer dream! Travel to work and help new and exciting creatures design their dream vacation home!
Animal Crossing New Horizons is only available for Nintendo Switch.
Disney Dreamlight Valley.
One of the newest releases on this list is possibly one of the most addictive. Next to ACNH, Disney Dreamlight has kept me entertained for hours on end. You play as a character of your making who has fallen into a Dreamlight Valley to help Merlin, alongside various other beloved Disney Characters, overcome ‘The Forgotten.’ And with that, I’ll say no more!
As you gradually unlock new areas and meet new characters, you can redesign the valley to your liking. Add paths, trees, and farmland, and even move buildings to suit your aesthetic. Your home is also yours to create and style as you wish with so many magical options to choose from! And don’t get me started on the clothing customisation aspect!
There’s so much to do and this game is still only in early access. It plans to release for free in early 2023, but you can buy it now for a reasonable price of between £20 – £25 depending on your console.
No chill games guide is complete without this masterpiece. Stardew Valley was created by just one man, Eric Barone, also known as Concerned Ape. And, once you dive in, you begin to appreciate the labor and love that was put into this game.
Stardew Valley was first released in 2016 for the PC and could be considered your typical farming simulator. You have the ability to form friendships with villagers, farm crops, and even explore forgotten mines. There’s little to no pressure to complete levels, and you can set up and run your farm how you want. From rearing animals to farming honey, there’s so much you can do to fill up your in-game days. And, if you don’t feel like farming, there are plenty of other things to keep you entertained. Why not dive deep into the mines or kick back and fish by the lake?
But if you really want a challenge there are plenty of ways to go about that. Players have come up with various challenging scenarios to keep things new and interesting. In my current play through I’m aiming to make money on nothing but honey! And prior to that, I was running a completely self-sufficient farm!
Stardew Valley is available on PC, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and even Android!
While released over a year ago in 2021, Cozy Grove hasn’t had the same hype as other chill games on this list. In my personal opinion and as a connoisseur of chilled-out games, those who don’t play this are really missing out. If you love your island on Animal Crossing, then you’re bound to love this island filled with whimsical, animal-shaped ghosts. Yes, you read that right; Ghosts!
Cozy Grove takes place on an island inhabited by dead, animal-like residents. You play as a spirit scout who works to restore colour to the otherwise washed-out landscape. This requires completing quests set out by your ghoulish friends, feeding the hungry campfire, and collecting badges. As the days progress and Flamey’s fire grows, you discover new parts of the island and with it, new ghosts!
But don’t expect to be glued to Cozy Grove for hours on end. There are only so many tasks to complete on a daily basis, meaning you have time to sink into your other chill games. A typical day in Cozy Grove consists of anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes before things run dry. Some tasks are fairly simple and straightforward, while others might take a few days to complete. While this can be frustrating, it’s a good way to keep you coming back day after day.
This beauty was released in 2017 for various consoles, but I mostly played it on the PC. It’s described as a first-person life simulation adventure game, but I’m not sure that does it justice. Slime Rancher is, above all else, a sandbox game, meaning it has no clear objective or end. You work as Beatrix, a slime rancher, who has found themselves on a foreign planet. Their job is to create a ranch fit for a variety of slimes, fruits, vegetables, and, eventually, odd machinery. You never meet any other humans, instead making do with chickens and slimes for social interaction. Sounds perfect to me!
Slime Rancher is a must-play for any fans of the above games. Its graphics, sound effects, and ‘no-rush‘ atmosphere make it the perfect chilled-out dopamine fix.
It’s currently available on almost everything from PC to Xbox!