As many of us know, quarantine sucks. Some of us are working, some of us are working from home, and some of us are bored. Most of us would turn to games for some boredom relief, but with all the bad happening in the world right now, who wants a high-stakes, high-energy game to just add to the stress? I have decided to compile a list of my favorite stress-free, relaxing games that can be played at any time, whenever you have time, or even on the go for a breather. I have an Xbox and an Android phone, but many of these games can be accessed on other platforms. I am going to start with mobile games, which are more likely to be widely accessible.
Firstly, I have a mobile game called Axolochi. I found it on the Google Play Store, and it is a simple little game about raising “axolochis,” which resemble axolotls. You feed them, play with them, and bathe them. The app will notify you when the little bubbles get low, but there is no long-lasting penalty for ignoring the game if need be. The colors are bright, the noises are adorable, and the music is soothing. There are minigames that can be played with the axolochi that are not required, but nice if you would like to do something more than give your axolochi a shower. The goal is to collect all species of axolochi and all of the decorations for the tanks. There is a little secret cove that a lot of decorations go towards, which features darker colors than the main tank. You can use coins or pearls to purchase axolochi eggs, food, and hats to decorate your axolochi with. All in all, it is a very relaxed, calming game for mobile.
Another mobile game I use is called Happy Color. It is a very simple color-by-number game that has grown from simple designs to complex with different color schemes. It gets very addicting, but I find it calming to just sit and tap on my phone for a while. You can download the pictures you create as well as the animation of the picture being colored in. It does have ads that play in between pictures, but they can be skipped or closed out of.
The final mobile game I am going to discuss is one cat people may know very well already: Neko Atsume. A simple little cat game, you provide food and decorate your yard with a various assortment of goodies to attract cats to your yard. Most of them stick around to have their picture taken, but some must be caught right when they arrive. It provides a small amount of challenge for those who want it, but otherwise, the game is very relaxing. You can choose from a variety of room themes, add
an addition to your room, and collect all sorts of cat-themed decorations and furniture to decorate as you please. When cats visit, they leave rewards of silver and goldfish that can be used to purchase themes or goodies. It is very easy to collect a lot of fish, and you have a camera in-game to photograph the cats you see. You can have multiple photo albums for each cat and for a variety of things.
Hopefully, there are some games that sound interesting here; I use all of these games whenever I need to take a breather and just exist in another mindset for a while. In a future edition I will discuss some Xbox games I find calming, and while they may not be playable on a PS4, they might be playable elsewhere such as a PC or Nintendo Switch!