Why do we play video games? Because they are a form of escapism. For a moment we get lost in the video game world and forget our life troubles. But still, there are some games that you don’t want to play when having a bad day.
For instance, imagine having to sit through a session of bloodborne where you have to retry a mission 5 times because you keep on dying. Or engaging some online friends in a competitive match of Call of Duty. Worse still, imagine challenging a friend to a race in GT sport or a match in FIFA 19 only to end up losing to them miserably. Woe unto you if they are the kind who never shut up.
So in this post, we will be talking about another kind of game. Games that have a direct connection to your heart evoking only good feelings. However, if these games do not work for you there is a way you can make the usual titles work for you. Maybe you find peace by dismembering zombies and aliens. Violence escapism. So as a work-through, you could play the games in easy mode. This way they are not too challenging to the point of irritation.
Or you can play them in exploration mode. A game like Assassins Creed Origins has a discovery Tour Mode where there are no battles and the character cannot die. It allows you to explore the beautiful sceneries while riding on a horse or a camel. You can also go swimming, hiking or even commandeer a boat. That should be relaxing right?
But if you are looking for some unconventional titles, games that are designed with the sole purpose of calming you down then hang on. This is the list of the 5 best PS4 games to calm your soul.
This game may be a few years old but it is a timeless masterpiece. In the game, you play as a robed character in the desert who sets on a beautiful and mystical journey to a mountain somewhere far off in the Horizon. There is no kind of speech in Journey and instead, the player uses musical chimes to communicate.
Controlling the character is a breeze as not much movement is required. She just moves linearly towards the mountain. The game involves activities such as hiking dunes and sliding down on the other side, windsurfing, and exploring the ruins of what seems to be a once-thriving civilization.
On the way, you uncover useful relics like a scarf that gives you flying abilities. The developers of the game try not to make everything so straightforward on your so instead they give you subtle clues that give you the impression you are doing the actual relic recovery.
The accompanying music seems to complement your gameplay and has been highlighted by critics as being the soul of the game.
If you playing the game while connected to the internet, there are chances you will encounter other players along your journey. You will form a mutual friendship even with the inability to speak to each other and it’s always a sad moment when you finally have to part ways with them.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: March 2012
2. Stardew Valley
Stardew is a farming simulation game. Which I understand may not come off as the most exciting pastime for some people but turns out the game is quite fun. It’s not about just farming, you also get to socialize with your neighbors and town folks with the chance of marrying and starting a family.
It all starts when you receive a call informing you of the passing on of your grandfather who left you a piece of land in the small town of Pelican. Depending on the approach you want to take in playing the game you can choose from any of the 5 available maps. These include a piece of land with bigger foraging areas, one with more mining resources, and also one with a river that is great for fishing.
The game comes as a great opportunity to escape the brutal environment of the city both for your character and the many players who know nothing else but city life.
Stardew Valley has a variety of crops you can plant, harvest, and sell to make more money to grow your land. Fishing and mining are some of the other means of earning money that is provided in the game.
This game has a four-player cooperative mode so it may be also a perfect game for unwinding as a family. With all the different farm plots and marriage options, this game will never run out of adventure and provides you with a lot of replayability.
Developer: Eric Barone
Publisher: Eric Barone
Release Date: February 2016
3. Unravel Two
First, there was one yarn in the first Unravel. People loved it and so now we have two yarns in Unravel two. You can either control both yarns yourself or be joined by a colleague with each of you controlling their own yarn.
The two yarns work together to solve puzzles and manipulate the world. At some points in the game, you can merge the yarns into one multicolored yarn to avoid the hassle of having to replay a puzzle for each yarn individually.
The soundtrack is amazing and it’s what sets the relaxing mood. The two characters make their way through various puzzles by jumping, lassoing, and working together in those instances that you are playing with a mate.
Some stages of the game may be a bit challenging and seeing as we are in this game to relax that may not be ideal. Fortunately, the developers provide you with a solution. Pressing LB will display several hints that you can use to easily progress and continue with your adventure.
Developer: Coldwood Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)
Release Date: June 2018
Rime is an adventure puzzle video game set on a mysterious and beautiful island. You play as a little boy exploring the island with the guidance of a Fox spirit. The island has been divided into 5 large levels each with its own set of puzzles that you will have to overcome.
However, the puzzles have no time limit which means you can just ignore them and focus on exploring the awe-inspiring island. That enough should be enough to calm your nerves. You also get to mess with the various animals such as pigs that you find within the island.
RiME’s game plot is without a doubt my favorite aspect of the game. It is centered around a boy who loses his father when their ship capsizes and it’s how he finds himself on the island. In essence, the island represents his grieving journey where he will have to come to terms with the loss of his father.
But at the end of the game, you will realize that it was never as straightforward as you imagined. The developers manage to bring another twist that is even more emotional. But I wouldn’t want to spoil that for you now Would I?
So as much as Rime is a relaxing game, it will also give you a few sad moments. But it’s a totally worthy experience.
Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Grey Box
Release Date: May 2017
Flower is another game developed by ThatGameCompany, the same people responsible for creating Journey. And unsurprisingly, it is an exquisite piece of art with a clearly unconventional plot. One notable thing about the game is the excellent visuals, gameplay, and music.
The game involves guiding a petal of a flower through the air by controlling the wind around it. The flower glides through a field of flowers causing them to bloom and in turn earning a new petal follower for every flower revived. The result is a magnificent army of flower petals trudging forward together as they leave an even more beautiful scenery of the flowers they have rejuvenated.
This remains the working mechanics throughout the game but you still get a certain sense of fulfillment for every level completed. There is not much required from you in regards to control and when you compare the effort applied against the outcome, you get to understand what they say about small deeds having the biggest effect.
Again this game has no dialogue and instead the developers choose to communicate their message through the visuals, soundtracks, and the emotions it evokes from you.
ThatGameCompany has managed to create a metaphor in this game that requires in-depth analysis to fully comprehend. Looked at keenly, it’s a portrayal of our lives touching on issues like death, fear, and rebirth although it manages to be subtle about it so that you make your own conclusions.
The game visuals were stunning in the initial PS3 release but you will absolutely love them in the PS4 console. They have been revamped to a stunning 1080p and 60 frames per second.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: February 2009