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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

6 Cosy Games to Calm Your Soul




I’m a Melbournian stuck in what feels like the tenth lockdown since the start of the pandemic. I get stressed and feel trapped sometimes, but one thing that helps me step out of the box of lockdown is video games. And recently I’ve been playing a lot of download exclusives from Nintendo’s E-shop, as well as some more well-known hard copy games you can buy.


These games have one thing in common, they are incredibly calming and relaxing. While not everyone is in the same position as I, but we all feel stressed out sometimes, so I thought I’d share some of the most calming games you can find on the Nintendo switch, to get you in the mood. The mood to chill the hell out.


Animal Crossing.





We’ll start with probably one of the most famous “cosy games,” Animal Crossing: New Horizons. New Horizons allows you to play the role of an avatar who moves to an island, a deserted island getaway filled with beautiful scenery, ocean views, and beautiful insects that you can catch.


While you develop your little island, you meet new friends, animals who also crave the chill island lifestyle. Eventually, after the beginning stages of the game, you get the power to change your island on a whim, redirecting rivers and erecting cliffs. You decorate the place with furniture and decorations and your island can become whatever you want it to be.


This game is great to chill out to, there’s no rush to do anything and no end to kill the vibe, a perfect introduction to the cosy game genre.


Gris




This was my most recent cosy game purchase. You play Gris, a girl on a beautiful journey as she deals with her own dark past and sorrows. This is actually quite a common theme in cosy games, heavy emotional concepts.


Gris is beautifully drawn, with fine, watercolour detailing, the colours blossoming around beautiful and broken ruins that Gris must traverse. The music is calming, and the gameplay is tame and at a glandular pace. You take this journey and are just in awe about how gorgeous the backgrounds and ruins are in this game. This one is one you can find on the e-shop.


Littlewood.




A game that sort of blends the magic of Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley. You play va hero who has saved the world from the clutches of a dark wizard. Now though, with nothing else to do, your job becomes slowly rebuilding a town to live in, with new visitors that move in, and houses and amenities.


You can find romance, build a beautiful town, and discover the secrets of the world before the big battle between good and evil. The greatest part about this one is you can move things around and change your town with the snap of your fingers.


Stardew Valley.





The premier farming game, where you play a character who inherits your grandfather's farm. Thrown into a rural world you need to grow crops to make money and survive on the farm, the more you grow the more you can excavate and grow your property. Eventually, you can build and house farm animals like cows, sheep, pigs and chickens that you collect resources from.


One thing that sets Stardew apart from the other games (knock offs!), is the beautiful characters and town connected to the farm. You learn the backstories of a large group of townspeople. All unique, all loveable, and all make great friends if you put in the work. You can even find love, get married, and start a family!


This one is a must get if you love cosy games.


Journey of the Broken Circle





This side-scrolling platformer is a journey through conquering fears and finding the perfect match that completes you. You play circle, a Pacman shaped critter who is missing a piece of himself, and it’s your job to roll along and find that missing part.


Along the way he finds friends, possible other halves that give him different abilities like flight, speed or stickiness that all help him journey further on, but none of them quite complete him, and they always get on each other’s nerves. This one is good for simple, mindless gameplay as you roll backwards and forwards. And if you pay attention to the story you might learn something about self-actualisation and relationships.


Spiritfarer




Maybe my favourite one on this list, Spiritfarer is a beautiful hand-drawn, seafaring adventure that makes you feel good, and makes you cry at the same time. You play as Stella, the new Spiritfarer, whose job it is to ferry the spirits of people to their afterlife.


Sounds grim right? Not so. It’s sweet as you help these lively, colourful spirits with their last wishes, as you build houses on your boat for them, sail them places, and give them their dying wishes before you take them to the everdoor, where they are set free. I promise you, despite how I’m describing it, this game is so beautiful, and so relaxing, and so, so charming.


Pokémon Snap.


This one is a bit pricier as it’s brand new, but New Pokémon Snap is the most subdued game ever. Your job is to sit in a pod that follows along on a predetermined track and take pictures of beautifully rendered Pokémon.


You can catch the Pokémon eating, sleeping, playing or fighting, the more unique the Pokémon’s actions, the better the score you get when you snap the picture. This one not one of my all-time favourites but it did provide me with a good few hours of peaceful journeying through beautiful lands and taking pictures.


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