Games to calm the nerves

Donkey Punch

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2012
Maybe this is a sign of getting old, but I'm looking for video games that would serve as a stress reliever, something that doesn't have dangerous situations (like jumping over pits in Mario games) or goals. I feel like most games put you in an excited state caused by adrenaline, which doesn't really allow your body to rest and causes (or reinforces) anxiety, and I want to discover games that do the opposite. If I could find something I could play before bed for 20 minutes and calm the nerves, that would be great.

I played Flower for PS3 recently, and it's sort of on the right track, because the visuals and sounds are relaxing, but the gameplay itself is still goal-based, so it has the same obsessive-compulsive quality to it, like pretty much all other games. Same for other "goal-less" games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon.

Maybe some of you will understand what I'm talking about and others won't.
I think it's a bit hard to find relaxing games on "serious" consoles like the PS3. Whenever I am looking for these types of games, I usually just turn to iPhone games instead because the library there tends to have more "fun" games. You could mostly find Angry Birds type games there wherein you could just pull on a string and let go and win the game that way instead of jumping platforms or slashing enemies.
Well there's Cloud which is a very calm indie game, and there is fLOw from the same school of game design. Neither game has any real impetus toward stress - you can take your time and just enjoy the very quiet music. The graphics are nice and it's all very relaxing.
Technically, if a game isn't goal-orientated and doesn't have a 'death state', it's not really a game. It will resemble something like a tech demo, which won't be much fun. You do need a degree of tension in a game and other motivational factors to keep the player hooked. If you're looking for something more relaxing, it's better to play a point 'n click adventure game. I recommend the Monkey Island series which even received remakes in recent years.
i find ACNL to be very relaxing. i don't play often, but when i do it reminds of Charlie Brown for some reason. Just clean and carefree. sometimes i enjoy it
For me, some times if I just want to chill I will put on a game that allows you to do a bit of exploring and just walk around. The Legend of Zelda is goal-based and has plenty of dangerous situations but there is no rule that says you can just ride your horse and fish for 20 minutes. Have you tried Journey for PS3? That sounds like it may be up your alley as a stress reliever.
To relax, I'll usually play a game that I'm familiar with and have beaten a number of times. I find it's fun to revisit that classic but also not be overly challenged by the game. But I don't think that's really what you're asking for.

Try something like Take On Mars where you're exploring the surface of Mars in the rover, or the free SpaceEngine - a free space simulation program that lets you "explore the universe in three dimensions, from planet Earth to the most distant galaxies."
Animal Crossing, The Sims, or in reality any fun game on easy mode.
Tetris works for me! It stresses my sister out, though, so it won't work for everyone.

Latest posts

Latest threads