After a long hectic day, every one of us looks for some time off from our daily lives. One of the ways to temporarily evade stress and anxiety is to play chill or relaxing games. These games help you to take your mind off of your usual schedule and act as a refreshing break that can help you to re-energize and re-focus on important things.
Nowadays several relaxing games are also being used to treat conditions like PTSD and others. Researchers have been working on studying the effects of chill games on people having stress-related issues. Well, there is no doubt that playing games release dopamine (the feel-good hormone) that helps in reducing stress.
Today here on Benettonplay we present before you a list of the best relaxing games that you can play to unwind and de-stress after a long hectic day. You can also read Comfy Sack’s study in which they surveyed more than 1000 US gamers and found out the most stressful and the most stress-relieving games that they play.
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Best Relaxing Games
Now without ‘relaxing’ further let’s dive into the list of best relaxing video games.
Developers – ConcernedApe
Release Date – Feb 26, 2016
Platforms – PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC & Mobile Devices
When it comes to relaxing games, the first game that pops up in my mind is Stardew Valley. The game takes place in the fictional Pelican Town, where you assume the role of a boy who inherits his dead grandfather’s farm. The farm that the boy inherits is in a dilapidated condition and he takes up the tools to transform the farm.
There are a lot of things ranging from growing crops to marrying and having kids that you can do in the game, the choice is all yours and you are in the driving seat. Steer the game in whichever direction you want and have fun with it.
Stardew Valley is one of the best relaxing games that fall into the RPG genre.
Candy Crush Saga
Developers – King
Release Date – April 12, 2012
Platforms – Android, iOS, Web browser, Tizen, Windows Phone, Fire OS & Windows
The most popular and most played tile-matching video game. Candy Crush needs no introduction almost everybody has played this game or games similar to candy crush at least once in their lifetime. As of 2022, Candy Crush has more than 3.4 billion downloads, which means roughly 3 people out of 7 have played Candy Crush.
This endless puzzle game took the world by storm and held onto the first spot of the most played apps for quite a while in the mid-2010s. The controls of the game are ever so simple but as you progress, the levels start to put up challenges. Even if you finish the last available level in the game, King frequently adds new levels to the game. So, it is never-ending fun.
It is a perfect game to play if you want to take a 5-minute break. The satisfaction that one gets after completing one of the levels in Candy Crush is different.
Paper Toss Boss
Developers – Backflip Studios
Release Date – July 2, 2015
Platforms – Android & iOS
Simple yet challenging. This chill game is perfect for playing after taking a few minutes off of work or at the end of the day. There is a long roster of things that you can toss including crumpled paper, banana, tomato, disc, bouncing balls, and even watermelon just to name a few.
The game gets challenging due to a running fan, it changes the wind speed and direction after every flick. You need to take into account the direction and strength of the wind direction before making the shot. Your highest score is the number of times you hit the target without missing.
There are eight difficulty levels and you can choose the difficulty levels as you like. Paper Toss Boss earns its place in the list of best relaxing games.
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Developers – PeopleFun
Release Date – June 14, 2017
Platforms – Android & iOS
Wordscapes is a mix of Boggle and Crossword puzzles. The gameplay is fairly simple (well, that’s why it is a relaxing game). You need to find all the words by combining the letters available in the circle. You can adjust the difficulty level of the game, based on the difficulty and the level being played the number of letters in the circle may vary anywhere from 3 to 7.
There are ginormous 6000 levels in the game after which you can unlock the master levels, which are infinite in number. The game also publishes a puzzle of the day every day. You can easily take a break of 5-7 minutes and play this chill game (it might as well improve your vocab).
Developers – Resonair, Monstars & Stage Games
Release Date – Nov 9, 2018
Platforms – Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Xbox Series X/S & Oculus Quest
Again, no one needs an introduction to the legendary video game of Tetris. But, do not confuse it with the Tetris effect/syndrome, although it takes its name from the syndrome itself. If by any chance you haven’t heard of Tetris, it is a block-dropping arcade video game, where blocks of different shapes fall and you have to place them in a playfield to create a horizontal line.
The space in the playfield is limited. When you successfully create a horizontal line, the line disappears and every block over that line falls below increasing the area of the playfield. Now, you might say that these are exactly the original Tetris elements, what new does Tetris Effect introduce?
Tetris Effects introduces themes and music into the game, where the gameplay is tied to the beat of the music. The higher the beat, the tougher the gameplay, lower the beat, the easier the gameplay.
Tetris Effect blends the old Tetris elements with the new tech in an innovative way which makes the game much cooler. The game also makes you nostalgic and solidifies its place in the list of best relaxing games.
Developers – Giant Squid
Release Date – Aug 2, 2016
Platforms – Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Windows & Amazon Luna
ABZÛ is one of THE best relaxing games that you can find. If you Google “best relaxing games”, you can find the game at the first or second spot in the horizontal suggestions list. In the game, you take up the role of a diver who explores the deep blue sea.
The diver aims to pursue the things involved in harming the ocean’s environment and ultimately revitalize the ocean. The art direction of the game is what breathes life into the beautiful and relaxing scenes. You can unlock new areas that feature ancient technology, ruins of an ancient civilization, and other fascinating and breathtaking scenes as you make progress in the game.
The game gives you a dream-like feeling of exploring the sea, you can even ride on the backs of bigger sea creatures like whales and sharks and continue exploring. ABZÛ was essentially developed as a game that focuses more on exploration and a game that can provide a relaxing experience to the player and it succeeded in that.
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Developers – Frozen District, Empyrean & Ultimate Games
Release Date – May 17, 2018
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC & Mobile Devices
The next entry in the list of best chill games is one of Steam’s best-sellers, House Flipper. It is a satisfying simulation game. In the game, you have the liberty of painting walls, laying down the tiles, cleaning the heaps of garbage, installing your favorite gadget, and demolishing walls that you don’t like.
The game gives you a sense of satisfaction when you renovate a gross and dirty house into something sellable. The realism that the game employs is on a whole new level. For example, to paint a wall, you need to dip the roller into the paint bucket, and then when you apply it paints a line on the wall, it’s not just you press a button ‘paint’ and the wall gets painted. Also when the roller gets dried up, it needs to be redipped into the bucket. To cite another example, if you need to install a radiator, you need to do it by actually screwing all the screws in, one at a time.
The game is a perfect pick for killing for a short duration of time while having fun.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Developers – Nintendo EPD
Release Date – Mar 20, 2020
Platforms – Nintendo Switch
Animal Crossing is a life simulation game played in real-time. The game is an open world, where you control a character after customizing it. The weather in the game adjusts to the seasons of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, which is a new feature of the game.
You can collect wood and then craft them into a variety of furniture and other items. You can also plant trees and flowers, catch fish and bugs and do a lot more things. The characters in the game are cute and the colors are soothing, which gives the game a satisfying and relaxing feel.
Animal Crossing is the best-selling video game of the Animal Crossing Series and the second highest on the Nintendo Switch (following Mario Kart 8 Deluxe).
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Developers – Nintendo EPD
Release Date – Mar 3, 2017
Platforms – Nintendo Switch & Wii U
This might be a controversial entry on the list of the best relaxing games, as you may think that BOTW is an action-adventure game. You are right, the game falls into the action-adventure genre, but it also has relaxing elements in it.
The game was placed second in the Comfy Sacks’ study to find out the top 10 stress-relieving games. This open-world game takes place in the fictionalized Hyrule kingdom where you control Link, the video game protagonist of the Zelda video game series.
A soft piano score plays while you explore the Hyrule which soothes one’s soul. The music and the color palette used in the game do an amazing job and it increases the game’s replayability. BOTW is one of the games where you just want to pause for a while and enjoy the serene beauty complemented by a beautiful soundtrack.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild deserves its place in the list of best relaxing games.
The Sims 4
Developers – Maxis
Release Date – Sep 2, 2014
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, macOS, Windows & Xbox Cloud Gaming
The Sims is one of the best games when it comes to the best de-stressing games. The game lets you do various activities that can help you to relax. In Sims 4, you can paint, catch fish, do gardening, play music on a guitar, violent or a piano and so much more.
This social simulation game is going to be free to play from October 18, 2022, which makes it all the way more accessible. Activities in the Sims are countless, apart from the activities mentioned above, you can go on hiking and enjoy the scenic beauty, get a massage from an expert, pet animals, go sunbathing, do meditation, and even do Yoga.
The ginormous number of activities that we get to do in the Sims in the manner we like makes it one of the best relaxing games out there.
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How can gaming help in reducing stress?
Games are made for people to take a break from their routine, break the pattern and temporarily stop thinking about their daily chores. Gaming results in dopamine secretion which helps in lowering stress levels.
What are some best relaxing games that I can play online?
Flow, Casanova, and Candy Crush Saga are some of the best relaxing games that can be played online by visiting their respective websites.
What are some of the best relaxing games that I can play on Android?
Stardew Valley, Candy Crush Saga, House Flipper, Paper Toss Boss, and Wordscapes are some of the best relaxing games on Android.
What are some relaxing games like Stardew Valley?
Harvest Town, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Slime Rancher are some of the best relaxing games like Stardew Valley.