Any recommendations for games to play when winding down

Are there any good games you have played or heard about that do not involve shooting, fighting or sports?

Basically I'm sick of playing shooters, fighting games and anything with a competitive facet. Looking for something that is good for winding down and doesn't involve fast paced button mashing.

I'm thinking something along the lines of Harvest Moon but open world with a greater focus on exploration.

Comments

  • +1 vote

    drug lord 😂😂🙈

    • +1 vote

      Wonder if we played the same Win 95 version that had Black Sabbath's Iron Man riff at the start?

  • +2 votes

    Animal Crossing.

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    Cities Skylines
    Kerbal Space Program
    Prison Architect
    Braid

    Risky option - get into Xplane. Learn to fly. It's an amazing experience (especially in VR)

    Otherwise for downtime I highly recommend getting into board games (check out boardgamegeek).

    If board games aren't your cup of tea maybe spend more time on YT or Twitch. Watch some gamers play stressful games whilst you chill with food and drink.

  • +1 vote

    Breath of the Wild

  • +2 votes

    I'm a fan of Stardew Valley for the slow pace and control. Not that keen on much else that's new, hubby keeps trying to get me onto something else but don't like any of them so far.

    Older games could be a good go-to. I personally still like them better. Super Mario, Tetris, Sonic etc. Although they can get a little frantic and frustrating at times, they're good for a little relaxing mindless play.

    Oh and can't beat Sims for losing a few hours doing absolutely nothing but decorate a few rooms and come up with a family for them.

    •  

      If you're into Stardew and that, Story of Seasons and pre-split Harvest Moon Games :)

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    Death Coming,
    Journey,
    Stardew Valley,
    Story of Seasons,
    Lego Harry Potter,
    Graveyard Keeper

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    disco elysium

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      im playing this now. so great. Maybe not 100% relaxing because of all the adult themes, but still really great and no button mashing

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    Get Oculus, get into VR and get active. I was an ex COD / FPS addict and got really bored. But Oculus quest change my gaming path completely. I got addicted to playing table tennis out of all games! It's fun, if you have the ca$h, you know it's worth the investment. The accountant would tell you how to claim tax deductions.

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    mirrors edge

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    Streets of Rage series. You can get the lot on Xbox live and PSN, Depending what you play on?
    If its PC im sure they're all on Steam?
    Part 4 is amazing and great way to unwind :)

  • +1 vote
    •  

      Thanks for the relaxing game. Took my time with the first level to just let it soak in if you know what I mean?

  • +5 votes

    Civilisation 6 - Assuming you have a computer. Once addicted you'll never be bored again :P

    • +3 votes

      I was going to suggest this as well. Great game, huge depth and doable at your own pace and zero stress (mostly, until India nukes you AGAIN)

    • +2 votes

      Playing it now, great game! Going for a culture victory with Greece after getting my arse kicked as Queen Victoria. Fun finding out the different strengths of the various leaders

  • +2 votes

    Kings Bounty.

  • +8 votes

    European Truck Simulator 2

    Just drive around in the truck picking up cargo - you have to obey the speed limits as you can get speeding tickets, need to stop for fuel, red lights (okay you don't have to but it's part of the fun). Surpisingly you get sleepy playing it

    • +1 vote

      Really addictive. After having spent 50 game hours, thinking of getting a game wheel now!

      •  

        I got a barely used Logitech G27 for $300 on gumtree. It's a great wheel and they come up for sale often on gumtree/Facebook/eBay.

    •  

      How could I have forgotten this one! I’ve got both ETS and ATS. Very relaxing.

      I think what I find most interesting is that none of the “real” things you have to do (follow the speed limit, signal your turns (and there’s not even a penalty for disobey that), get enough sleep, etc) are mandatory. You can turn off tickets, sleep simulator, fuel usage, and so on. Yet the “fun” (is that the right word?) comes from colouring within the lines.

  • +2 votes

    Elite dangerous! Want to relax? Fly the stars and do so mining. Watching those limpets bring in the cash never fails to disappoint. Explore the stars and cash in exploration reports or take on a mission if you’re after some action, it’s basically whatever you want it to be

    •  

      Except for the extreme stress and frustration of the initial learning curve it is a great game.

      •  

        I played for ages just shooting pirates and found a tutorial handholding my way through the various stages. but yeah you're right - was completely lost initially and wondered what to do. ive learnt alot more in a week doing that and found theres just so many layers to this game that its crazy. you can get lost and overwhelmed just researching all the add ons or you can just get into a ship and skim the surface

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    Red Dead Redemption 2

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    Civilization 4, easy to get into and the turns are short, so you won't spend too long playing ;)

  • +1 vote

    Leasure suit larry

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    Get a Switch and Super Mario Odyssey.

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    Helltaker

    Pros
    -free
    -puzzles
    -memes
    -demons

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observation_(video_game)

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    Highly recommend a little indie game called Islanders, routinely on sale for $3-4 and it is super chill. They describe it as a minimalist city builder but it's really more of a zen puzzle game where you have limited buildings to place, but each time you hit a score threshold you get more buildings. There's a leaderboard but it's all really low pressure and has a relaxing aesthetic and soundtrack

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    I recently picked up Dreams and it's great for this kind of thing. You can either create your own little games (could be relaxing if you're the creative type), but you can also 'Dream Surf', which is playing other people's games. As the name implies, its basically channel surfing but with games. It's super quick and easy to jump into a game, have a quick play then jump into something else.

  • +1 vote

    Divinity Original Sin 2 - RPG which is amazing

  • +1 vote

    Have you tried chess?

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    Alien Isolation.

    Haha but seriously, maybe Gone Home or Firewatch. "Walking simulator" games that tell a narrative that don't require much thinking and more absorbing of the storyline would be good games to wind down to, I would presume.

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    Dead space series

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    Project Hospital

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      I quit after 1 day…

      •  

        There's a bit of a learning curve, especially if coming from Two Point Hospital, but very much worth it!

  • +1 vote

    Factorio, Civilization 5, Stellaris, Rimworld

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    Football Manager. Good luck trying not to be addicted.

  • +1 vote

    Train simulator

  • +1 vote

    The outer wilds. NOT outer worlds. It's a different game.

    I think it's on game pass. If you're reading this and you want an incredible experience, play the outer wilds

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      game pass for console, not for pc

      •  

        It's definitely is on game pass for pc

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          no it's not. the outer worlds is which is not what OP is talking about

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    Brain It On, if you like puzzles. This is something that I've found the closest to Gravity Master - an age old swf that can be played on any PC.

  • +1 vote

    Alto Odessey (or Alto Adventure)
    Very zen snowboarding scrolling game.

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      Put a lot of chill hours into Odyssey. Adventure I couldn't get into afterwards, seemed much less polished.

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    PC Building Simulator ;)

    You are given PCs and each have issues (ie. Viruses, slow computer, requires an upgrade) and you open them up, disassemble and assemble parts to solve the issue before firing it up to your monitor to complete your tasks. You get paid for labour and if you can somehow fix the issue with spare parts for extra profit but some customers want new parts.

    There's no time limit and problems start from simple to more complicated and it's actually how computer shops fix issues customers bring to them.

  • +1 vote

    Return of the Obra Dinn
    Amazing concept, graphic simple in a very complex way, I love the music, reasonable story with nice plot twist.
    I wasn't able to stop until I finished it (about 7 hours) and would love to forget everything about it so to play it again.
    Is a different gaming experience

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    +1 for death stranding. It is basically a walking sim, but there is a strange relaxing pattern to the monotony. At least until you come across the BT's - but seriously it is a slower paced game and really enjoyable if you are after that. No Mans sky is fun for a little while until you realise you are doing the same thing over and over - then it gets boring but perhaps with VR it changes the experience?

  • +1 vote

    Satisfactory seems perfect, it's what I use

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    Wreckfest is a pretty fun physics game which you can play offline against bots

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    Minecraft (if you can get past the blocky graphics)

    there is some combat but there's plenty to do

  • +1 vote

    Forza Motorsport 7 - custom paint & design element. Puts me to sleep every time

    •  

      My wife says it's Barbie dolls for boys :-D

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    Wii Sport keep me busy and exercise on the go :)

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    Recently have been into some deckbuilding games that are turn based and can be played at your leisure. Look into Slay the Spire or Monster train.

    If not that, city building like Anno 1800 is great

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    Stranded Deep - a great castaway survival game - also made by a couple of Brisbane devs
    ABZU - an underwater adventure - swimming with orcas, sharks, dolphins and whales
    Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles - a fun open world adventure game with no combat - also made by a couple of Brisbane devs

  • +1 vote

    Personally I would recommend Word of Goo for fun building puzzle game.

    Subnuatica while a fantastic immersive game is not always relaxing but it all you care about is avoiding FPS or competitive games it does have much to recommend it.

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    the last of us 1
    red dead redemption 2

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    I started Forager last night. Seemed interesting so I said I'd play for a few minutes, next thing I know it's 3am.

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    ninokuni?
    (Haven't played it but looks relaxing!)

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    Ark on an unofficial server, find one with a good community, doesn't need to have many people at all but you can avoid PvP if you want but most likely if there's not many people on then they won't attack you :)

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    Highly recommend Subnautica, its a survival game but its actually more about exploring a really cool and beautiful underwater world through a story line. Great game to wind down. It's one of those games you get really embedded in and look at the clock and realise 4 hours passed.

  •  

    I have been playing Mini Metro on my phone recently and find that a nice pace.

    Maybe I just miss commuting by train

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    im playing luigi mansion 3 at the moment - a bit boring honestly

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    Bubble shooter. Can be infuriating but oddly you do get a feeling of triumph when you finally win.

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    Valiant hearts, Limbo, Inside.

  • +1 vote

    The Stanley Parable
    What Remains of Edith Finch
    The Witness

    • +1 vote

      Edith Finch is a great experience. Really chill but very interesting. Very cool.

      •  

        Was definitely an interesting experience that's for sure. Didn't know what to expect but walked away satisfied. Won't say anything else as it may spoil it.

  •  

    I recommend getting kong throwing stick and a puppy. Seriously the best wind down game you can have.

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    Stardew Valley. Hitman.

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    Chess

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    You haven't mentioned platform so assuming everything's fine.

    PS4/PC/Switch:
    Dragon Quest XI
    Dragon Quest Builders 2

    PS4:
    Persona 5
    Horizon Zero Dawn
    Witcher 3

    PC:
    Persona 4
    Witcher 3

    Switch:
    Octopath Traveller
    Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
    Xenoblade Chronicles
    Xenoblade Chronicles X-2
    Leben of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

  • +1 vote

    If you're looking to unwind, another option would be to stick some headphones on and listen to a guided meditation for a bit. I like this one, even with the corny music, but there are plenty out there.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p_yaNFSYao

    It's funny how so many people work stressful jobs trying to do their best in their role while managing limited resources. And then one way to relax might be to spend hours playing a computer game which involves resource management. I don't have anything against those games, but it's not really giving the brain much of a break.

  •  

    Try Stranded Deep, I'm enjoying it at the moment. Survivalist with no PvP so just one big sandbox of islands

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    If you have a pc, vr and a wheel, you have to try euro truck simulatior.

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    Terraria in journey mode is pretty fun and relaxing!

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    Just Cause 4. Just watch some gameplay on YouTube. It's relaxing, fun and looks amazing.

  • +1 vote

    Microsoft Flight Simulator…. Visit places of the world you've always wanted to go, but never had the $$$ or time.

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      Fs2020 comes out this month. I can't wait!

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    Dragon quest 11

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    Garbage truck simulator.

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    Assetto Corsa with the canyon mod which includes incoming traffic.

    Blast through the hills overtaking civilian cars with oncoming AI traffic.

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    I was going to suggest no man's sky but looks like it's been said. Recommended in VR if you have the gear

  • -1 vote

    tic tac toe

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    I use chess against a computer.

    When playing a serious game I set the AI so it's a bit better than me (playing someone a little, but not too much, better than you is the best way to improve for any game). But for winding down I make it a bit worse than me (ie pretty bad 😂) so I don't stress and most days can get a gentle ego boost.

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    If you have a PS4, most of the exclusive titles are single player and have massive worlds to explore. Have been playing Ghost of Tsushima as my wind down game and having a blast. Easy to pick up if you don't have time to grind out a game. Alternatively, I love souls like games as I can just come back after months of not playing and pick it up - but I have to say the difficulty is probably not that great for alleviating stress haha.

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    Settlers of Catan

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    MS Flight Sim 2020

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    I usually play games where I can walk away without needing to pause i.e. play at my own pace.

    Recommendations:
    Learn Japanese to Survive (It's an RPG but you learn a language as you play. It also goes on sale a lot)
    Limbo / Inside
    Little Nightmares (One of my favourite games!)

  •  

    Abacus.

    Not the baby ones, unless that's yo tingg

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    Super Mario

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    Farming Simulator, its actually quite relaxing

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    Tropico series, makes time go quick