I thought 2019 was pretty bad, then 2020 rolled around. The brink of war, burning continents, and now the plague... it's been a lot. But hey, at least we have video games to help take the edge off in these trying times. Here are ten great, light-hearted, and funny games to help brighten even the gloomiest of days, and maybe remind us that despite everything the world isn't so bad after all.
- ★ Featured favorite: Super Time Force
- Of course: Minecraft
- Wrangle some slimes: Slime Rancher
- Build a city: Cities: Skylines
- Farm 'em up: Stardew Valley
- Co-op cook off: Overcooked 2
- Light in the dark: Child of Light
- New horizons: Astroneer
- Bittersweet masterpiece: Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Hilarious and addictive: Two Point Hospital
Few games are as creative and immersive than Minecraft, with its gorgeous blocky art style and endless opportunities for creativity. Playable with friends, Minecraft is a leader in endless fun, with infinitely-generating maps that can be experienced in creative mode or in a tougher survival mode.
Slime Rancher is a fun sci-fi sim with RPG elements. Throughout the game, your aim is to explore large alien worlds while wrangling cutesy slimes for fun and profit. It's light entertainment for gamers of all ages.
Another creative title, Cities: Skylines gives you endless creativity within a complex city-planning sandbox. Manage traffic, pollution, population density, and many more systems while creating the city of your dreams. Endless, attention-grabbing fun.
Stardew Valley is a leader in feel-good distractions. Set in a gorgeous hand-crafted pixel world, Stardew Valley puts in you in command of your very own farmstead, next to a large local community of NPCs you can develop friendships and relationships with. Few games are as light and fun as this, and it's well worth your attention.
Overcooked 2 is a hilarious and fun title for local co-op mayhem. With up to four players total, Overcooked 2 puts you in command of your very own restaurant kitchen, tasking players to manage the prep, cooking, and plating of various wild and wacky dishes. It may sound easy, but the game is adept at throwing curveballs...
Child of Light is an accessible and gorgeous RPG which is a fun title to play in co-op with a younger child or sibling. Child of Light takes inspiration from classic turn-based RPGs of old, set in a fairy-tale like world full of charm and wonder.
Astroneer is a gorgeous and light-hearted survival simulator, set on vast procedurally-generated planets. In Astroneer, teams of up to four players can explore and colonize uninhabited planetoids, building facilities to aid their research and gear.
While Ori and the Will of the Wisps can be a bit dark at times, the tale it tells is one of hope and love, in a world filled with colorful charm. With precise combat and platforming, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the perfect game to pick up for darker days.
The fact the game is all about hospitals and treating comedic fantasy illnesses may not be the best distraction from Coronavirus, the fact it's full of laugh-out-loud comedy and addictive gameplay makes it therapeutic in light of what's going on in the world. Two Point Hospital is a healthcare business management simulator with rewarding gameplay in a comedic world.
Happiness to be had
If you look at the news or social media, it seems like an endless stream of negativity and dark events outside of our control. While it's important to remain informed, it's also important to take a break from fear every now and then, and gaming is the perfect way to do it. For me, nothing is more therapeutic than gaming.
Super Time Force is a personal favorite of mine, partially because it's the first game I ever reviewed personally, but also because it's always the first game I think of when someone asks me for a "funny" game to play. The writing in Super Time Force is simply hilarious, full of scathing wit and sardonic quips. Also, you can play as a badass skater dinosaur called Zackasaurus.
Stardew Valley is another obvious choice for feel-good relaxation, set in a gorgeous pixel-style world with light-hearted RPG mechanics and a chill atmosphere. I'd also strongly recommend Two Point Hospital, despite its medical themes. It has truly hilarious writing, and the absurd and creative illnesses are as funny as they are rewarding to cure.
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