Playing games is fast becoming the ultimate form of escapism. After an exhausting day at work or at school, some gamers let off steam on popular first-person games. Others choose more relaxing options to unwind. With its lengthy catalogue of casual entries, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform for some chill gaming. To top it all off, its portable format makes it easy to pack and tuck in a quick session on a long commute. So, does your brain crave some mental downtime? These recommended Switch games are sure to ease your stress.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The Animal Crossing series might be the textbook definition of casual gaming. And in 2020, New Horizons provided a much-needed virtual escape to hardcore gamers and casual players alike. The latest instalment in the beloved Nintendo franchise took the world by storm to become the 15th best-selling title of all time. Two years after its release, New Horizons has lost none of its soothing magic.
The game features core gameplay elements, from socialising with fellow villagers to hunting down bugs while introducing new mechanics like terraforming. Several updates have also upgraded the overall experience with the addition of fan-favourite activities, such as cooking and swimming. So, if following a linear storyline isn’t your thing, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect go-to title anytime you need a break and feel like immersing yourself in a carefree world of adorable creatures.
Bear and Breakfast
Management games can often be more daunting than relaxing. Contrary to challenging titles à la Anno, Bear and Breakfast takes a laid-back approach to the genre. Freshly released on the Switch, this management adventure game has you running a bed-and-breakfast. Only you’re playing as a cute bear. So, help Hank the bear and his friends turn a derelict shack in the woods into a pleasant B & B.
Build the comfiest inn to attract new customers, keeping them happy throughout their stay. You can personalise and customise each room, but also collect new items by completing side quests. With a charming art style and a catchy soundtrack to boot, Bear and Breakfast is everything you need if you like your management games cosy.
This indie farming simulation game was entirely developed by one man, Eric Barone. Taking inspiration from Harvest Moon, Barone addressed some of the infamous franchise’s shortcomings. And the student might have surpassed the master, as Stardew Valley is an undisputed critical and commercial hit. In this casual game, a burned-out protagonist quits their day job to move to the farm inherited from their late grandfather. They must run the farm profitably and bond with the people of nearby Pelican Town. Players can also explore a vast map, from the exotic Fern Islands to the sun-scorched Calico Desert.
Exploring may trigger cutscenes, while side missions unlock new content like casino mini-games. If you’re in a less casual mood, there and then, you may feel like switching from fictional games to real money slots online. Top platforms offer lucrative bonuses to get you started, such as welcome offers. Hundreds of slots await to earn a chance to win the jackpot. And that includes farm-themed slot machines to keep the Stardew Valley vibe going.
Many video games have you fighting to rescue your friends from the clutches of terrible villains, if not saving the world altogether. Littlewood puts a sweet spin on the formula. In this quirky RPG, evil has already been defeated. Now rid of the Dark Wizard and his schemes, the world of Solemn is at peace. And it is up to you to explore every corner at your own pace, from the enchanting Endless Forest to the Dust Cavern.
Along the way, harvest materials and resources to craft new items. Taking after Stardew Valley in its cutesy design, Littlewood also allows you to fish, mine ores, and chop wood. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the townsfolk either to unlock relationship paths and, eventually, retrieve long-lost memories from your past.
Video games can be great stress relievers. With their undemanding gameplay and calming environment, casual games even more so. And the Switch boasts countless titles for a chill gaming session. Of course, we’ve only mentioned a handful. But from indie gems to super hits, we’re sure you’ll find just the right game to take the pressure off.