What is fun gaming?
Cozy games are usually healthy, low stakes games and can be played for hours.
Since you’re not usually racing against the clock or worrying about your character dying, the most important element of cozy games is that they are relaxing.
These games encourage players to take it easy and just have fun. And, like most media outlets, they allow you to engage in activities that you may not do in your day-to-day life. For example farming, or delivering mail or hiking up a mountain (much more relaxed if you can do it from your living room).
fun games also often have an atmosphere that can be noticed from a mile away. They usually have cute characters, calming music, and sometimes surprisingly heartbreaking stories.
What are some fun games?
The fun game genre has exploded in recent years, probably helped by the pandemic. While people were trapped at home, many looked for ways to escape and games became an easy way to do that.
With their low barrier to entry (not counting the cost of the right gaming system), cozy games were a perfect solution for people who were previously uninterested in video games.
Today there are fun games for all kinds of people with all kinds of interests, here are a few of the most popular.
Animal Crossing New Horizons (Nintendo Switch)
The jewel in the crown of fun gaming is Nintendo’s Animal Crossing New Horizons. It came out in early 2020, making it the isolation game of choice.
New Horizons is the fifth entrance to the Animal Crossing series and while the previous games would also count as fun games, Nintendo took it to a new level with ACNH.
In ACNH you play as a human character (with a very big head) who moves to a tropical island full of talking animals to start a new life. Assisted by the capitalist raccoon Tom Nook it’s your job to make the island a thriving community.
Despite there being some “boring adult” themes, such as paying off your loan to Nook, building island infrastructure, and dictating community policies, the game is very chill. You spend a lot of time fishing, picking flowers and going out with your animal friends.
The disadvantage of ACNH is that it’s only available on the Nintendo Switch, so if you don’t have one, you just won’t be able to play.
WATCH BELOW: Stardew Valley Trailer
Stardew Valley (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mobile)
Released all the way back in 2016, Stardew Valley is a very popular fun game. Partly because the game is available on most platforms, but mainly because it is a very good game.
in his heart Stardew Valley is a pixelated farming simulator but, as any fan will tell you, it’s so much more than that. Developer Worried Monkey did an amazing job of creating a world so healthy you’ll want to pinch its metaphorical cheeks.
In Stardew Valley You play a character who quits his 9 to 5 office job to run his grandfather’s old farm. When you first arrive, the farm is in disarray and the villagers who live nearby treat you with suspicion and sometimes outright reproach. It’s up to you to restore the farm and build relationships with the villagers.
Where the game thrives is how the characters all have unique and interesting storylines. Despite being 2D pixels, they each have depth and you can’t help but know more.
Stardew Valley is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and even mobile phones. It may take you a while to get the hang of the game, but it’s well worth it.
Disney Dreamlight Valley (PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch)
It’s quite surprising Disney did not start with cozy gaming before, but their release in 2022, Dreamlight Valleyis a strong addition to the genre.
In dream light Valley you play a human character who somehow travels to a magical world called Dreamlight Valley that is completely populated by Disney characters.
When you arrive, you discover that the valley has been infected by this dark force called ‘The Forgetting’ and it is your job to fix it, with the help of Mickey Mouse, Elsa and WALL-E among other things. It sounds stressful, but most of the time you spend your time helping characters run errands.
Besides the addition of licensed characters, which sets? Dreamlight Valley apart is the scope of the game. The world is bigger than the one in ACNH and Stardew Valley and the character customization is fantastic (partly because the clothes are beautiful. Princess dresses? Yes please).
The game is still in early access, so there are some teething problems. The decoration features are frustrating and the game has been known to crash from time to time. The number of characters is also quite limited at the moment, but Disney has promised that an incredible lineup of favorites will be added in the near future.