There are so many video games out there and they cover a huge array of interests. What if you just want to hang out and goof off for funsies though? Check these games out that just want to be fun in a casual-yet-deep kind of way!
Now, this is just a sampling of games I’ve been checking out that are definitely not the expansive iconic big name publisher titles you’re used to. Remember, they’re indie or even ported from another country! There’s a lot to work with here!
Castaway Paradise – PlayStation 4, Mobile & PC
You are probably like me in that you appreciate and love Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, right? Exactly. Thing of it is, unless you have a Nintendo system that has an Animal Crossing title — you’re kind of out of luck. While we have a new Animal Crossing coming to Switch, folks like me aren’t really wanting to go set up other consoles or get handhelds out just to play one game. Good news — Castaway Paradise exists.
When I saw Castaway Paradise on the PlayStation Store, I was already snickering at the likeness it had to Animal Crossing. See, when games are popular and kind of niche — there’s no shortage of companies who want to try and do their on take on the same game. This is no different. Mind you, the game’s a few years old and at times it shows that. Very similar to Animal Crossing, Castaway Paradise shows you’ve washed up on an Island that has gone through some intense storms. The folks that makeup this Paradise need your help to get this beachfront neighborhood back to good.
Unlike Animal Crossing, Castaway Paradise makes you wait a bit while you handle things. You can’t just only focus on one activity without the game giving you a tiny little waiting period so you can go focus on other chores folks may need you to handle for them.
Honestly, there’s not a ton to tell you about Castaway Paradise that doesn’t similarly mirror Animal Crossing. With enough changes to the UI and, in some cases, paid microtransactions (I haven’t seen them much on PS4, but I heard it happens on mobile) it doesn’t feel like a one-for-one copy of Animal Crossing. Some of the really rad things in it come from creation, farming and the far more engaging characters. While Animal Crossing’s inhabitants will make you think they talk like babies sometimes, Castaway Paradise never goes to that level. Just imagine your friends as animals and that’s kind of how it goes. It’s a good time. You will definitely enjoy getting lost like I did for several hours at a time.
Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God – PlayStation 4, PC, Switch and Mobile
When it comes to the kind of gentle slice-of-life games I play, few have been as exciting for me as Marenian Tavern Story. This game follows a young woman who is rebuilding a Tavern from the ground-up and has to adventure out in this new land to seek ingredients and adventure. This sets you to make friends in town and take them out into the lands to not just find some decent mushrooms and fruits but to slay the monsters that are threatening the townspeople all over.
Slaying monsters gets you more ingredients and your adventures yield quite the results. Heck, if you only care about ingredient gathering and not so much about the fighting — you can auto-fight. Put some proper gear and such on your crew and press a button and they’ll get through the nasty business with very little input from you. Take those ingredients back and you best hope you have the recipes and utilities for the food here.
The tavern almost feels like a totally different and more complex challenge. Cooking food helps not just you and your adventuring team, but you use it in the tavern to feed the townsfolk. Better make sure you don’t give them the same food too much though, because they get tired of it. You want them to keep talking though and bring business in. That’s why you’re here, you know? Adventure and heroism come second to feeding this hungry little poof-ball God that delights on having you rush around to cook and feed everyone.
This game is so relaxing that I’ve put over twelve hours into it and those are broken up into segments because the game would slide me into nap-town. Not out of being boring, mind you, but because there’s such a lovely monotony that sometimes you want in games. Always pushing forward but through adventure-cook-townsfolk-adventure-etc. There’s something kind about it and with beautiful retro visuals and enchanting music — you will definitely covet this little niche title.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Switch
I am desperately in love with Yonder. I remember the first time I encountered this game and my silly ass thought I should play it for a Twitch stream. Nope! Unless you’re the most chill person on the planet, Yonder is just going to be mind-numbingly non-engaging for a stream. I know this because the second I started playing it — that ounce of ‘ON’ that I have? Gone. I just stared in absolute wonder while I moved through this game. That’s really all you can do.
Imagine if Zelda: Breath of the Wild connected into Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon but without the stress of either. There’s no stamina loss once the sun goes down, there’s no concern about health bars and ultimate chaos. Yonder is about cleaning up the deep purple mystical energies that are fogging up this lovely other-worldly land. Not through battle but through taking on the help of other townsfolk and magical entities. There’s no hunting but you can farm, mine, fish and explore to your heart’s content in a gorgeous landscape.
Yonder is the meditative practice that most of us need and you should definitely pick it up if you need a chill wind-down game that will still keep your brain beautifully active.