We play video games for many reasons. Sometimes it’s because we’re stressed and need a break, others, it’s to “hang out” with our friends or be engrossed in a mesmerizing story. A lot of the time we just want to have fun. What about when you’re trying to wind down from your day? The moments when you don’t want a game too stressful, or it’s getting late, time to unwind. That’s where this list comes in, some of the best recent to semi-recent games to play before bedtime. If not a single one of these games is relaxing enough to get those z’s, then I will come tuck you into bed myself!
Some people might say that Minecraft can be stressful. Things to collect, sheep to murder, creepers to dodge and endless building. The best part about Minecraft? It’s your world. You can play however you want! Don’t want the stress of enemies? Peaceful mode. How about finding resources? Creative mode. Any way you slice it, Minecraft is about playing how you want in a world of your own creation. Want to increase this games bedtime potential? Get it on Switch! You can play lying in your real life bed, while also lying in your video game bed. How’s that for inception? (I still don’t get that movie).
If all of that doesn’t induce restful sleep then have no fear! A simple, yet addicting/soothing soundtrack is here. No, seriously, I’m listening to it right now while writing this. A full moon surrounded by little pixel stars will awe you. Lava you can see just over that ridge will guide you. Every creation you make will be special and if it isn’t then tear it down! The thing about Minecraft is that it always has a way of making us feel like we’re right at home and if that isn’t restful, I don’t know what is folks.
A game that I essentially completed as purely bedtime game. If you let it, Golf Story will steal your heart. The gameplay of a 2D sprite like golf game may not sound like much, but it’s as charming as can be. With a surprising colorful art style, the game truly pops! Golf Story makes good on just about everything it does. It has a writing style that makes you chuckle, while also keeping you interested with its numerous golf inspired challenges. It’s a game that is tough to put down but easy to pick up. Let the birdie and eagles sound cues help you find that relaxing place. Unless of course you suck at the game, in which case…. Moving on.
One of the most relaxing games around, no additional settings required with this one. A game that has you guide floating petals to help bloom other flowers? If that’s not relaxing AF, then what is? The environments are nothing to scoff at either: rollings hills, wide plains, everything is brimming with color, landscapes filled with flowers that beg to be bloomed. You never feel threatened, as combat doesn’t exist in this peaceful land. With each completed level you are given almost a slight lesson in what it means to take care of the world around us. Best part is, if seeing one flower bloom puts you at ease, wait until the finale of each level!
What could be more sleep inducing than a farm simulator? Of course that description is surface level. The amount of depth to Stardew Valley is unreal, but as this game is open ended,you never feel rushed. Didn’t do all the chores or run all the errands you meant to get done? No problem. The most relaxing feature about Stardew Valley is that there is always tomorrow. Simple yet peaceful interactions with town folks are pleasant. Wooing your favorite guy or gal villager? Much easier and stress free than real life, sort of. Just get your friendship level way up, collect a few things here or there and voila! Marriage! If that’s not your style and you simply want to be the best famer you can be with an upgraded house, then you can do that too. Fishing abounds as does mining, but the true draw here is simply making for an in-game farm that one can be proud of.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Have you ever wanted the allusion of having all the power but in reality being under a crippling amount of debt? No no, this isn’t the real world I swear! This is Animal Crossing: New Leaf, granted your character always seems to be in debt to the next big Tom Nook upgrade. However, you also get to be Mayor of the Town! When has power not been relaxing? Alright, alright, if that’s not enough for you then there is plenty leftover in this game. Fishing has become more relaxing than ever, not only do you get to chill and catch fish, you also get paid for it! How about collecting bugs to sell? Shaking money out of trees? Are you guys starting to see a pattern here? Alright, it’s true, acquiring Animal Crossings currency dubbed “bells” feels both simple and easy.
There is definitely something relaxing about being able to take all of your old furniture in a game and sell it. In fact, you can sell just about anything you collect, why can’t real life be this way?
If that weren’t enough, you get to shape your town as the mighty Mayor. Granted your villagers don’t ever seem like they are happy enough regarding your hard work, but who cares? You rule! On top of that everyone is friendly, interacting with NPCs is rewarding, so much so that at times the conversations will result in actual rewards. Other times you’ll get stories that’ll make you chuckle to yourself or maybe even put you to sleep! And of course we can’t forget you’ll get nicknames and phrases customised. Who doesn’t want to make their NPC friend say “pickles are for pigeons,” as their opening line.
Train ‘em, catch ‘em, level ‘em up. The formula for Pokémon hasn’t changed much over the years. Still it’s surface level of simplicity with an underlying complicated math equation that is battling, is surprisingly perfect before bed, and the art style is easy to digest while also being very colorful. The Pokémon,are super cute as well (so long as you catch the right ones). Battling NPCs and playing through the story will make you want more but is a digestible adventure. The music of this world is always breezy, similar to how every NPC acts. These titles are happy, even the “bad guys,” are about as G rated evil as it gets. Pokémon games are portable, fun, addicting and easy to play. If all else fails, just have Pikachu read you a bedtime story.
Persona 5. Hear. Me. Out. The art style in this game is not only unique, but gorgeous. Dare I say, captivating? No arguments? Good. Persona 5 has an addicting quality to it. The daily tasks that either pay you or up your stats. What’s best about these is they are much more enjoyable than real life chores or errands. Need to do the the task or thing? Just do the task or thing, presto! You’re paid or your stats go up! Having a time management mechanic that is smoother than real life, is as sleep inducing as it gets. All the while you’re pursuing the ultimate goal of wooing a certain waifu. Okay, okay that isn’t the ultimate goal in this game, but it sure feels like it at times!
The combat works perfectly here too. Getting sleepy? Didn’t attack fast enough? No problem, this is where the turn based strategy comes in handy. A mostly stress free combat system that dazzles with its sights and sounds, is perfect before bed. What’s Persona 5’s best quality to top off its bedtime game potential? The story! This game has so much story, plenty of dialogue and some top notch cut scenes. This solidifies it has one of the greatest bedtime games around. Because what’s better than being read or watching a story before bedtime? Interacting with one of course! And no we’re not getting tired of that battle music, we never will.