For many, lockdown is the perfect opportunity to become a baking expert, an Instagram yoga guru, or start that cross-stitch kit you probably won’t finish. For others, it’s an ideal time to indulge in another world and get that high score on their favourite game.

Gaming has long surpassed the archetype of nerd glued to a screen. There is a game out there to suit everyone, from high-fantasy RPGs to the leisurely joy of watching your apple orchard grow and harvesting the fruit.

Video games can be social and an excellent way of enjoying time with your friends while practising social-distancing.

Being able to take yourself out of your present reality, overcoming small challenges, and working towards a personal goal can do wonders for your mood. We’re not recommending that all your time should be spent playing games but an hour or two here and there can be great for lockdown morale.

Here’s a (totally unbiased) list of the top games to be playing while in lockdown:

For the child at heart

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Nintendo Switch and Wii U

It’s a classic adventure and puzzle game and, like the majority of the Zelda games, it allows the player to adventure at their own pace- but Breath of the Wild is particularly special.

The best feature about this game is that there isn’t really a “right” way to do anything. You aren’t limited to a certain move or strategy that will achieve the desired result, which makes for a real feeling of autonomy when playing the game.

Great scriptwriting, explorative, great for new gamers- available here

Little Big Planet – Across the PlayStation consoles

This reinvention of the 2D platform game has a gorgeous, home-made, Bagpuss-esque aesthetic that is both comforting and mesmerising.

Media Molecule, the creators of Little Big Planet, have filled this world with gorgeous naturalistic lighting and every surface is textured and breathes with life.

The physics used in this world have had so much attention paid to them that, on a good screen, this world looks tangible and breathtaking. One of the best aspects of this game is that you can return to past levels to find new objects and the game actively encourages that.

Heartwarming, cute, and fun for both kids and adults- available here

Tearaway Unfolded – PlayStation 4

We couldn’t mention Little Big Planet without also mentioning Tearaway Unfolded (which is by the same creators). It has a similar arts and crafts aesthetic but the world is entirely made of paper. Like Little Big Planet, the graphics are beautiful.

This game is really cute because you are prompted to create aspects of your world. Characters you come across ask you to make them new noses, smiles, outfits etc and you will often find something you made earlier pop up again in the background of the game.

READ  Call of Duty League is shifting to online-only games

This game is made for children but is an endearing play as an adult.

Beautiful, pure, and so much attention to detail- available here

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

The newest installment of Animal Crossing gives the player even more customisation options than ever before. Options for hairstyles and skin tones have been expanded and there are no traditional gender options- so your virtual islander can look just like you.

You create your own individual paradise as you explore, customise and create your way around the Animal Crossing world. Even the most repetitive actions can leave you feeling satisfied which is a wonderful aspect of this game. One of the best bits about Animal Crossing is that it is designed to be played for the long-haul, so you can take it at a leisurely pace and will find new things in the game daily.

You can visit your friend’s islands and hang out and take yourself away from the stress of everyday life.

Animal Crossing is the comfy pajamas of the gaming world- available here

Plants vs. Zombies – PC, Xbox, PlayStation

This game is for ages 10+, but Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is surprisingly difficult for a game in which you can play a giant corn on the cob.

This game is a shooter game, but it’s really funny at the same time as having bright graphics and a fast-paced game. It’s special because there is nothing out there like it. Yes, it’s a shooter game and there’s hundreds of those, but it’s so silly that that’s what makes the game so unique.

You can customise your orange, or your corn, or your superhero zombie in ridiculous wigs, hats, and dresses with lippie. This game makes you realise that it’s simple things that are enjoyable.

Wild, bright, and hilarious- available here

For the doomsday prepper

Plants vs. Zombies makes a good segway to more dark and spooky games. For those that want to live their end-of-the-world fantasy these games are ideal. We wouldn’t recommend them for children or for anyone looking to have a relaxed and enjoyable time.

We Happy Few (PEGI 18)- PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

This game came about after a Kickstarter funding campaign in 2015 and it has a real indie feel. Set in a retro-futuristic Britain after an alternate ending to WWII, this action-adventure survival horror game requires patience and nerves of steel. The game itself is colourful but the story is pretty dark. The UK has been under quarantine in 1964 and people are forced to take happiness pills called ‘Joy’ to keep them in line.

You play three separate stories (as three equally terrible people) as you piece together why Britain has ended up in dystopia. This game has an extended gameplay as you need to eat, sleep, and stick to curfew to get by and dig through bins, toilets, and lockers to find food or odd bits and bobs that you can throw together into weapons.

Spooky, well made, frustrating in a good way- available here

READ  The RetroBeat: Next-gen console debuts aren’t what they used to be

The Last of Us (PEGI 18) – PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4

This game should not be played in the dark, but it is seminal in terms of storytelling and has some of the best voice acting you will find in a game.

This game is dark, really really dark. There is nothing glossy about this game. Set against the backdrop of a zombie infection you will see the cruel bleakness of this world.

What makes this game unique in terms of zombie games is that there are different types of zombies, each with their own skills, depending on how far gone they are in terms of infection. This game is genuinely terrifying, but the narrative is absolutely incredible.

Sadly the second installment of this game was meant to be coming out but has been stalled by the current Covid-19 crisis.

Gritty, relentless, will suck out all your joy – available here

Bioshock Collection (PEGI 18) – PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC

It’s been around for a while, but it’s aged well. The game has a good storyline that’s packed with loads of twists in the plot and the aesthetic is incredible. It’s sort of 1920s but in the future, not quite steampunk but quite steampunk. There is something very familiar yet warped about it.

Something we really like about this game is that you have the option of fighting either with weapons or magic (or a combination of both) so there’s more than one way to fight in the game. It’s not the best shooter in the world, but the impact of this game comes from the sadness and vulnerability of it. The gameplay is tense and with a sense of dread, which is what really draws you into it and makes you feel part of the story.

Cool aesthetics with the odds stacked against you- available here

For the indie gamer

Some indie games may not be the flashiest, easiest to navigate, or the best quality but they usually offer something off-the-wall with the worst game often having a soft spot in many player’s hearts.

READ  This is one of the best value Samsung S20 deals we've seen and it is filled with data

Octodad: The Dadliest CatchPC and Playstation

After that dark interim we are back to silly and light-hearted. This game is as touching as it is infuriating to play. Imagine you’re a well-meaning, yet somewhat useless, dad in American suburbia. Now imagine you’re also an octopus. That’s the essence of this game.

The tasks are mundane – mow the lawn, navigate the supermarket, cook on a BBQ – but are rendered almost impossible by having to move your limbs independently in order to complete them. Watch as your cephalopodic body reduces any room into a pile of rubble.

Slapstick, strangely touching and emotive – available here

Firewatch (PEGI 16) – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

This first-person wilderness adventure game is all about the narrative. It could be described as part psychological thriller and part drama with a bit of outdoors simulation thrown in for good measure.

You control the narrative, and every choice you make becomes part of the main character’s story. You get incredibly attached. This game will have you feeling a spectrum of emotions in a very short space of time, which is a testament to the writing.

It can be warm and funny or absolutely nerve-wracking or even lonely and desolate.

Think edge-of-your-seat fiction that is as beautiful as it is haunting. Play it slowly to really enjoy the tension of the story build.

Pretty, sometimes sad, sometimes stressful – available here

Goat SimulatorPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

If we were being generous we would say this is like Grand Theft Auto if the creator was vegan but in reality, you are basically just a goat that can break as much stuff as you want.

To call this a game is to do so in the broadest sense of the word. There isn’t really any objective apart from blowing things up, licking things, and smashing into stuff. This in itself is cathartic- but I think it’s the absurdity of the game that has made it a cult classic.

Stupid, intentionally buggy and botched, really silly- available here

What are you playing?

This list is by no means the most extensive or definitive. It’s purely some of the games that we’ve really enjoyed, learned something from, or thought were ridiculous enough to use up a few hours of social isolation.

Obviously baking bread, growing a herb garden or learning yoga may give you some tangible real-life skills that you may use once we’re back to business as usual- but wouldn’t you just rather be a goat running around and licking things?





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here