Your favourite 'chill-out' games

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Hey guys, I have an idea! Let's talk about something positive. Holy fucking shit right?


What are the games that you play when you really just want to chill out on a sleepy Saturday night? Why do you like relaxing with these games?

I'm a big fan of exploring big, empty digital landscapes. It's very calming and meditative just wandering from place to place, trying to climb things, looking for pretty little bits and pieces, duelling the occasional enemy and enjoying the atmosphere.



In this case I've got a few that I really enjoy playing.


Shadow of the Colossus is a big one for me. I've spent many, many hours wandering around that world. It's beautiful and mysterious. The controls do grate on me every now and then, but it pales in comparison to the rest of the games presentation.


Guild Wars 2 has a fantastic world to explore. There are so many bits and pieces tucked away in every corner. Coupled with the excellent art direction, epic landscapes and really interesting conceptual designs and it's just a gosh-dang fun time all around. It can be a little hard relaxing and taking in the view when there are a dozen little nibbling enemies in every patch of land, but the combat is great fun in any case.


I've also recently started playing a game called Noctis. It's basically a massive generated online space exploration sim where you fly between systems and explore their worlds. It's very mysterious and obtuse in that old PC game kind of way, I find it fascinating.


Dustforce is probably my favourite chill out game (and one of my favourite games in general). I've spoken about it many times here before, but god damn do I love Dustforce. Check it out, watch the trailer. It's so zen and precise and beautiful.


I also have a very wierd obsession with the Google Earth flight simulator. I just put on some music, zoom in on somewhere mountainous and green and start flying. It's very relaxing.



So what's your list?
 

Total LOLige

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There's only one game that I play to chill out and it's Football Manager. I like it so much because I don't really have to do anything. Just fire it up and get lost in the numbers. Actually they're just great games overall. 170+ games on Steam and FM is the only one that is still engaging and doesn't bore the crap out of me(somewhat ironically). Populous II is pretty good for chilling out, with its quick missions and straightforward game play. All the clicking can be RSI inducing though.
 

The Wykydtron

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Not a difficult choice for me, I do some late night 30 minute/hour long runs of the Visual Novel Grisaia no Kaijitsu because the comedy and soundtrack have such a lighthearted and relaxing tone to them. I even have the excuse of my new laptop not having any saves on it to replay it properly.

I dare you to go through the prologue/introduction scenes and not laugh. It's impossible. Or rather, Michiru makes it impossible to not laugh singlehandedly, even if everything else managed to somehow fail.




Yeah Grisaia comes with my highest recommendations if you haven't noticed by now, get on that.
 

Elfgore

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The Wykydtron said:
Not a difficult choice for me, I do some late night 30 minute/hour long runs of the Visual Novel Grisaia no Kaijitsu because the comedy and soundtrack have such a lighthearted and relaxing tone to them. I even have the excuse of my new laptop not having any saves on it to replay it properly.

I dare you to go through the prologue/introduction scenes and not laugh. It's impossible. Or rather, Michiru makes it impossible to not laugh singlehandedly, even if everything else managed to somehow fail.




Yeah Grisaia comes with my highest recommendations if you haven't noticed by now, get on that.
Wait a second.... doesn't that game get very dark very quickly? Like guns, rape, murder, etc dark? I'll admit, I've played a bit of the opening and it was pretty funny, but the dark tones were already starting to arrive.

Mine anyway is either FTL or Rogue Legacy, fun game those. Simple, fun, and great time wasters. Even if I suck at them, I still have a blast. No stress, or real stress, I'll still cuss like the devil, but I enjoy every second of it.
 

CrimsonBlaze

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It's kind of weird that I mention these as my 'chill-out games,' but I associate them to games that I just pick and play when I have about 5-10 minutes to kill before I have to leave to do something else.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is one of my all time favorite games to play. When I'm waiting to depart, I would usually load it up, select a team, and just fight it out with the AI. Depending on the team, I could get to the 6th or 7th match no problem; sometimes it can difficult to 'chill-out' while playing this, since I will occasioanlly be up against a team that utilizes some if not all of the cheapest characters in the entire game: Son Son, Guile, & Sakura.

Skullgirls is another fighting game and I tend to go to this over MvC2 when I want to look at some pretty hand-drawn animations and have a laugh or two. Despite it being a bit more technical and serious compared to MvC2, I'm always in a great mood when I play this; even when Bloody Marie completely kills me as I am about to leave the house.

Samurai Showdown 2 is also a fighting game that I 'chill-out' to. Despite it being tough as nails in that classic arcade way, I am really determined to get better at it. Over time, I have actually gotten the hang of many characters and their specials. Now I just need to be able to get through more than 2 opponents before I have to turn it off.

Pokemon Puzzle League is the puzzle game that I tend to play when I have a little more time on my hands. It's easy to pick up and challenging to pull off a good combo (especially against stronger AI). All in all, I really enjoy it and the nostalgia trip itself is more than enough to put me in a good mood, despite the game being nearly unbeatable by the time you get to Giovanni.

Warioware Inc. Microminigames is a title I got for the WiiU because it is the only system in the living room and we needed a game that we could easily pick up while still being entertaining. Warioware does that, as the deceptively simple micro mini games provide a level of challenge that other games can properly emulate.
 

SuperSamio64

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I like just exploring open worlds in games like Assassin's Creed. Viscera Cleanup Detail is another good one because I can just stick on an audiobook and er...clean. It's like being productive, but not! Or I just join a server on The Ship and play as a passenger, whereupon it basically just becomes a turn-of-the-century-maritime-role-playing-game.
 

FPLOON

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Well, outside of Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix and Child of Eden, there's...

Hyper Princess Pitch: I don't care if it's Christmas-themed, I'm going to play the living shit out of this game!
(Wish I could play it ["properly"] with my PS3 controller...)

Touhou 6: The best relaxation is just letting go and going with the flow... of many, many, MANY bullets...

Monster Girl Quest: I'm always re-battling the monsters for... uh... "reasons"... (Yeah...)

Corruption of Champions: Nothing say relaxing than encountering that Minotaur that could fuck you up if you dare engage it with THAT low of a level...

Honorable mention to The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, because it's less "chilling out" and more "blowing off steam" if you catch my [emotional] drift, and any game that I have played with and/or alongside my mother...
 

Rblade

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Hearthstone is pretty laidback if you don't let the ladder anxiety get to you.

but what I really do to cleanse the old pallet is replay portal every now and then.

And when it should be really 0 effort I can always fire up hearths or minesweeper with my playlist running full volume in the background.
 

SilverBullets000

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Tldr, and I apologize for that (It's five AM and I'm normally better at that kind of thing, but I've been on something of a text-reading rampage), but Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
There is literally nothing to do in that game but make more money, buy more cloths, leave them lying around the house because you're out of space, and then repeat. It's so mundane that it warps back from boring to being the most relaxing thing I've ever played...well, until I try to fish anyway.
 

MetalShadowChaos

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I actually relax with Dark Souls 2. I've gotten good enough at it that I can just casually make progress on a specific character and just enjoy BEING them for a while. I usually mute the music and put on something like the Inside Gaming Podcast or Lets Drown Out if I'm doing something I've done before(I create a shit tonne of characters, but each one is intrinsically different because I get bored of the same thing again, like my Artorias cosplay where I have to do the entire run to the Iron Keep again with nothing particularly interesting to use).
 

Piorn

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Most of all, I enjoy games where you "grow". Where you start as a little guy with barely any money or troops, and slowly trade and fight your way up. Where you can jump right in, play and relax for some time, and feel like you advanced something.

Recettear, still haven't finished all items and just decorating the store and selling things is relaxing on it's own. You start with a tiny store, and need to repay your debt, while selling items and recruiting adventurers. Even though the growth in eventually capped, there are a lot of items for completionists to craft and discover. This game is quite a gem, and I wish there were more games like it.

The X series, I want to say X:Rebirth but they're still trying to get it to work. It can be fun at times but it's not in a state where you can trust the game. The concepts are solid, and just flying through space running trades and stuff is great. It just still has a lot of problems that are getting addressed bit by bit. I just love the feel of earning money and expanding your trade empire over the sectors, it's such a nice open-ended game.

Mount&Blade:Warband is another good example. You start as just some guy(or gal), recruit peasants, lead battles and work up the hierarchy while dabbling in politics and stuff. Eventually you can make your own faction or help another faction conquer the world.


Other games include:

The Path, for when it's late at night, raining, and you'd still like to take a walk in the woods.

GW2 is a big one, and I'd love to get some new content for it at some point. I've explored pretty much all of the world and done all content in the last 2 years, and would really like something new. The Living Story thing they're trying to push is a nice appetizer, but I'd like something substantial, like new fractals.

SotC, I don't think that even needs an explanation.

Same with Journey, beautiful.

I'd like to play some more SS13, but the community I used to play with seems to have dissolved. And it can get stressful at times.
 

Dragacane

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Games that I can just lay down on my bed/chair and play? First there are games I just play as my mind goes into auto-pilot are games that I can recount off by heart and that would be Metal gear solid for the PS1; I have games that haven't been finished but with my mind lazy, it needs something it knows. The second type of game is chill to is Minecraft and before I get universal hate from still playing it, my sister and I started a new-ish world together and I can like just calmly building a part of something for a short amount of time.
 

The Wykydtron

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Sep 23, 2010
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Elfgore said:
The Wykydtron said:
Not a difficult choice for me, I do some late night 30 minute/hour long runs of the Visual Novel Grisaia no Kaijitsu because the comedy and soundtrack have such a lighthearted and relaxing tone to them. I even have the excuse of my new laptop not having any saves on it to replay it properly.

I dare you to go through the prologue/introduction scenes and not laugh. It's impossible. Or rather, Michiru makes it impossible to not laugh singlehandedly, even if everything else managed to somehow fail.




Yeah Grisaia comes with my highest recommendations if you haven't noticed by now, get on that.
Wait a second.... doesn't that game get very dark very quickly? Like guns, rape, murder, etc dark? I'll admit, I've played a bit of the opening and it was pretty funny, but the dark tones were already starting to arrive.

Mine anyway is either FTL or Rogue Legacy, fun game those. Simple, fun, and great time wasters. Even if I suck at them, I still have a blast. No stress, or real stress, I'll still cuss like the devil, but I enjoy every second of it.
I've finished all of the routes aside from Amane's and Makina's and although things do have some dark plot elements (usually in the form of tragic backstory) it only gets that dark in Makina's Route i'm told in detail from a friend who played hers first.

No guns, rape, murder etc at all aside from Makina's Route which is ten times darker than anything else in the entire game, I cannot overstate this enough. It doesn't even have a good ending, you have a Bad End and a Not Quite as Bad End. I guess Yumiko's could kind of count but that violence is played mostly for laughs and "bonding over conflict" type relationship development. Michiru, Sachi and Yumiko have their dark elements but ultimately get a happy ending if you get the choices right and Amane has three H scenes in the first hour of her route and I just sorta stopped caring.

I'm sure Amane's route is taking the fact that we are all expecting the darker parts of each character to show up later but she ends up never having one. The fact that she seems far too convenient a person to not have some crippling catch is the bait. An anti-Makina if you will, seeing how the route choices go Makina > Amane > Michiru > Sachi > None of the above = Yumiko. So understandably if you jumped right into Makina you would be ready for every route to be full of violence so Amane is like a cool down one maybe? Might just be overthinking this but hey why not?

Makina's Route is basically FrontoWingu just taking our expectations that the cute loli character would have just as harmless a route and just crushes our expectations spectacularly.

Thinking about it, Grisaia is pretty dark in places but everything gets resolved in the end for a happy ending so that's all that matters to me ultimately. After all, the game is about a group of people getting over their own unique forms of massive psychological trauma if I were to put it completely bluntly, not having any dark plot elements would be ineffective and unlike some i'm not of the persuasion that something that deals in dark elements isn't allowed to have a happy ending.

If you want a *consistently* dark plot with happy endings though, I'll recommend you Comyu.
 

ShinyCharizard

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The Wykydtron said:
Elfgore said:
The Wykydtron said:
Not a difficult choice for me, I do some late night 30 minute/hour long runs of the Visual Novel Grisaia no Kaijitsu because the comedy and soundtrack have such a lighthearted and relaxing tone to them. I even have the excuse of my new laptop not having any saves on it to replay it properly.

I dare you to go through the prologue/introduction scenes and not laugh. It's impossible. Or rather, Michiru makes it impossible to not laugh singlehandedly, even if everything else managed to somehow fail.




Yeah Grisaia comes with my highest recommendations if you haven't noticed by now, get on that.
Wait a second.... doesn't that game get very dark very quickly? Like guns, rape, murder, etc dark? I'll admit, I've played a bit of the opening and it was pretty funny, but the dark tones were already starting to arrive.

Mine anyway is either FTL or Rogue Legacy, fun game those. Simple, fun, and great time wasters. Even if I suck at them, I still have a blast. No stress, or real stress, I'll still cuss like the devil, but I enjoy every second of it.
I've finished all of the routes aside from Amane's and Makina's and although things do have some dark plot elements (usually in the form of tragic backstory) it only gets that dark in Makina's Route i'm told in detail from a friend who played hers first.

No guns, rape, murder etc at all aside from Makina's Route which is ten times darker than anything else in the entire game, I cannot overstate this enough. It doesn't even have a good ending, you have a Bad End and a Not Quite as Bad End. I guess Yumiko's could kind of count but that violence is played mostly for laughs and "bonding over conflict" type relationship development. Michiru, Sachi and Yumiko have their dark elements but ultimately get a happy ending if you get the choices right and Amane has three H scenes in the first hour of her route and I just sorta stopped caring.

.
Actually Amane's route does indeed get pretty fucking dark. Mainly involving cannibalism, and sexy time while in the middle of cannibalism....

But yeah, Grisaia is a pretty damn good chill out game. It's consistently hilarious for the most part and the Main Character is fucking awesome.

OT: I like to sit down and play through Devil Survivor 1 and 2 when I want to relax, both great games with many different routes to complete.
 

Jason Rayes

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It's kinda lame but I still kinda like Bejewelled 3 for when I just what relax and not actually game. It's kinda Zen.

I wouldn't list a visual novel. My last one was The Song of Saya. Brrr.
 

giles

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ShinyCharizard said:
Actually Amane's route does indeed get pretty fucking dark. Mainly involving cannibalism, and sexy time while in the middle of cannibalism....

But yeah, Grisaia is a pretty damn good chill out game. It's consistently hilarious for the most part and the Main Character is fucking awesome.
Well, I wasn't at all shocked by the cannibalism. Maybe that's because that was the first thing that came to mind when the weird situation was laid out after a few days.
I also got pretty annoyed with Kazuki, who had a way to navigate out of it from the very beginning but waited on the fleeting hope that help might come. If she was half the "next level genius" the game makes her out to be she'd have gone for sending a few people out immediately to get help. I understand she didn't do so because of the wounded but she essentially went "all in" on betting on a happy end instead of going for the most efficient way. Maybe that's where the fact that she's just a little girl comes into play..

Anyway, yea Grisaia is a ton of fun, due to a combination of the main character having no idea how to deal with people like a normal person and Makina/Michiru escalating any situation they're in. Getting really impatient on the translation of the sequels, which is currently on hold for an unknown period of time...

OT: Hearthstone is pretty relaxing. The game has too many random elements to take it seriously, idk how people can have "ladder anxiety" or why people add me after a game and get mad at me for not playing the metagame "who the fuck runs X in their deck?!"
 

Lilikins

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Hmm if we are talking about games where I just sit back and relax and screw around with without using all too much thought..

Anno 1404 to just build some giant fricking city and then shut it off and never load up that save file again haha..

Viva Pinata is one of the most laid back and good natured games I know. If Im at home on a Saturday night just having a few beers and having my cat sleep on my lap thats my go to game I admit.

Binding of Isaac is also another one Ill just randomly play to relax (and rage at times...) but still relaxing and fun even after the amount of time Ive put into it.

Last but not least, my alltime fav anyways, Heroes of Might an Magic 3. if its 10ish in the evening and I start a new game, I know Ill be sitting there till 5 or 6 in the morning haha.
 

Casual Shinji

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Ratchet and Clank

Either the second one or the third. Nothing complicated or emotional, just a simple but fun cartoon space adventure. Not really difficult, but very satifying nonetheless.