A Short Hike, Stardew Valley, Haven – These works show that a video game doesn’t have to be pessimistic or violent to be great. These titles are great for distracting yourself for a few minutes or long hours.
Let’s start with a certainty: better to be a detective frog than to be human in 2021. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and the various disasters (ecological, democratic, etc.) that are brewing in the world, the rise of ” healthy games It may sound strange. Or, on the contrary, it can be considered very logical. the healthy games appointed benevolent, warm and comforting video game experiences, without being stupid or naive. Popularized by American developer Matthew Taylor in 2019, the term has spawned a veritable online community. ” Often the most popular video games are those that address dark themes and have a pessimistic view of the world. », we read on the collective’s website. « But there is a whole universe of optimistic video games that tell beautiful and rich stories. »
Therefore, exit the first person shooters Violent or scary dystopias and pity for sad spirits who are sorry that video games have become too easy. Because the other advantage of healthy games is that they are generally available to the general public, not just experienced gamers. If you’re looking for a getaway for a few hours or a virtual blanket to hide in every night, here are our favorite healthy games.
Our five feel-good video games to distract yourself
A short walk
At the beginning ofA short walk, his heroine sighs: ” I need a break “This is exactly the experience that this video game offers. We play Claire, a bow tie who comes to rest for a few days at her aunt’s vacation home, in the heart of a natural park. Our protagonist expects an important phone call, but He cannot find a net. His only solution: to go around the island and climb a mountain, to reach its highest point. On his way, he will meet other hikers, solve puzzles and even find some treasures.
A short walk it is a relaxing experience from start to finish. Its handling is very simple, its graphics adorable and its soundtrack perfectly accompanies our adventures. It is also an adventure à la carte: if there are a few puzzles to be solved to finish the game, the others are more or less optional, depending on the player’s wishes. Will you become a beach volleyball champion with a stick? Can you unearth an old forgotten treasure? Or maybe you prefer to learn to fish? At the end ofA short walk, we feel renewed, without having sore feet.
Available in : PC, Mac, PS4 and PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Animal crossing is often cited as the essential example of healthy game. But it is about forgetting a bit quickly another heavyweight of the genre, less known to the general public. Within Stardew valley, we play as a person who has just suffered a burnout in a company that looks strangely like Amazon. Then we moved to Pelican Town, a quiet country town, where our grandfather left us an old farm. It is up to us to repair the old building, buy animals to raise them, plant our garden … but also, if we want, to find love among the villagers.
Stardew valley it is a simulation game. Each action must take into account the time that passes (one day equals ten minutes) and the energy of our avatar, which is gradually decreasing. But the interest of Stardew valleyis that we can do what we want with it. Some people will prefer to focus on developing their farm, investing in livestock, and maintaining it; others will go and tell a story to discover the secret stories of each inhabitant; Stardew valley It can even turn into an action game, if one decides to explore its mysterious cave full of monsters and treasures. It’s endless fun and a much more moving (and addictive) experience thanAnimal crossing.
Available in : PC, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One
AND Stardew valley It’s a game with no real end Florence shows that just half an hour allows you to get attached to the characters and be touched by their story. We follow the path of Florence Yeoh, a young woman who suffocates in her boring work and under the too strict gaze of her mother. Secretly, he dreams of being an artist. One day, she (literally) meets Krish, a cellist with whom she falls in love. Then we accompany him in this new relationship, with his joys and sorrows.
Within Florence, each scene is accompanied by a simple game (a puzzle to solve, a picture to paint, etc.). The objective is not really to win a challenge, but to put ourselves in the shoes of the heroine and make us feel her emotions. We get caught up in this sweet and sour story, without words or dialogue, which recalls the importance of beautiful encounters, but also their sometimes necessary ending. As in life, Florence is not a game where you can lose. It’s just a matter of moving on.
Available in : PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch
Frog Detective is the hero of Frog detective And, as the name suggests, it is a detective frog. The first investigation leads our batrachian to explore a mysterious enchanted island. But before solving this riddle, you will have to find toothpaste, a ball of yarn, a bar of gold, well-cooked pasta and, why not, win a dance contest.
Created by Australian developer Grace Bruxner in 2018, Frog detective is a series in two episodes (a third is in preparation for 2022) that pays homage to detective stories, but also gleefully pokes fun at them. Our Green Detective spends more time having silly conversations with his sources than investigating their affairs. It’s very well written, it’s pretty short (each survey takes a good half hour to complete), and we regularly mess up behind our screens. So what are people asking for? Become a detective frog, of course.
Available in : PC, Mac, English only
When you are young, you often feel alone in the world. In the case of Yu and Kay, it is little more than an impression. The couple left their home planet, where he and she were engaged to arrange marriages, to live their relationship freely on an abandoned star. But it is not enough love and fresh water to survive away from home.
Developed by the French studio The Game Bakers, Refuge takes a surprisingly fair look at the couple. Even if your everyday problems don’t necessarily resemble ours – finding vegetables to eat, cleaning strange rust-covered planets, repairing your damaged ships – others are much more familiar, based on clogged shower siphons, Little outbursts of jealousy. . and the desire to create a life for two, despite obstacles. Refuge It is also an adventure game, in which you have to explore planets and fight monsters. Unfortunately, this experience is sometimes a bit repetitive and frustrating (advice from a friend to avoid nervous breakdowns: go to the accessibility and adjustment settings “wavy wire adhesion“Usually. You’ll thank me later). But the relationship between Yu and Kay is so touching that we quickly forgive him for his few faults.
Available in : PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The continuation in video
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