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Top 5 games to destress

By GiorgiaRLA 31 Mar 2021

We are swiftly approaching exam season, with many of us being in the thick of it already, and with the turbulent nature of the year on top of that thinks can get quite stressful. I have decided to share 5 games that I think are great for unwinding and giving you space to breathe. I like to call them detox games:

Animal Crossing

A Nintendo classic, Animal Crossing has the player start a new life in the virtual world! The newest edition, New Horizons has you move out onto a remote island and commence building the village up from scratch. There is nothing more satisfying than going from living in a tiny tent to having a 6-room mansion and comparing your baron starter island to your current metropolis! The joy of Animal Crossing is just booting it up, wandering around and chatting with your animal neighbours, going fishing, and slowly but surely paying off your mortgage so you can get an upgrade for your house. The stakes are low, the music puts a smile on your face and hanging out in your friends’ worlds is a blast. Animal Crossing is a classic title and different versions are available on each device: Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo DS/3DS, Nintendo Wii/WiiU, Nintendo Switch and there is even a mini version of the game called Pocket Camp for your smartphone!

the animal crossing game app

Harvest Moon/Stardew Valley

If you like the relaxing aspect of Animal Crossing, but would like more structure and possibly a story, then these farming simulators could be for you! There is something strangely therapeutic in the repetitiveness of sowing, watering, harvesting and selling crops. Watching your farm grow and interacting with the games’ cast of characters is great fun and I will never forget some of the hilarious conversations you end up having with your neighbours. I have no idea how to do these games justice as the concept is so bizarre, so please take my word for it that they are worth a shot!

a screenshot of a game

TheSims

Feel like someone has been messing with your life from above? Time for revenge! The Sims lets you create characters that you can either control or sit back and watch them go through life setting fire to their house whenever they try and use the coffee machine. Again, this game goes entirely at your pace, and you can save at any time which allows you to be able to jump in and out at your leisure. TheSims is available in some form on practically every device, so pick whichever you prefer. Personally, I play the Sims 4 on my budget 4GB RAM laptop and it runs perfectly, so I assume it will be able to run on almost any computer.

a green diamond drawing

Tetris

Need I give it any introduction? Tetris is so widespread that my first ever flip phone had it. A simple and fast-paced puzzle game, Tetris was my go-to stress reliever back in 1st year. 7 different shaped blocks fall from above which the player can rotate to fit into stacks. Complete a horizontal line of blocks and the line will be erased, lowering the ever-growing tower. The aim is to see how long you can survive with the blocks getting faster and faster. The repetitive and simplistic nature of Tetris makes it fun to play in short bursts to try to improve your score each time. Once you get the hang of it, you can even play it whilst listening to podcasts or something as it becomes second nature.

An old Tetris game

Minecraft

If you still haven’t tried Minecraft, you owe it to yourself to give it a go. Explore a randomly generated world full of different biomes to discover, challenge yourself to build a perfect replica of Hogwarts castle, (or just dig a hole in a wall and place a door at the entrance if you’re like me), and just experience pure freedom. Minecraft has been so popular for so long it is available on mobile, PC and most new consoles. The PC version is by far the best for multiplayer, which is where this game shines brightest, however, if your PC only has 4GB RAM like mine, it might not work very well or not at all, unfortunately. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop the other versions from being fun to play themselves.

a person with Minecraft on their phone

Hopefully, at least one of these will have piqued your interest and will help with managing stress levels. I wish everyone luck on their degrees and have a very happy Easter break! You deserve it!

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