Let's relax and play a game.
August 12, 2011 8:39 PM   Subscribe

I would like to find some PC, GB, GBA, or PSP games that are very calming.

I've grown tired of playing video games that make me twitchy and tense, or games where I play for some sense of power. I'm currently searching for games that have an incredible calming, flow-like play to them. Games that I would fit into this category are games like Osmos, Zen Bound, and Lumines, games that bring stress down and drop me into a sort of non-addicting flow of play.

What games do you recommend?
posted by Philipschall to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Minecraft is really addicting and pretty sense-of-power-ish, so to speak, but when I need calming, I just hit a random seed in singleplayer and do nothing but just walk around and explore, it feels wonderful.
posted by Senza Volto at 8:51 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


posted by Seboshin at 8:52 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Animal crossing
posted by mulligan at 8:54 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Minecraft on peaceful mode.

And, maybe they're too old, but Myst/Riven/etc are incredibly beautiful, no dying, no time pressure, and nice music.
posted by bluesky78987 at 9:45 PM on August 12, 2011

Osmos. Definitely Osmos.
posted by Homo economicus at 9:48 PM on August 12, 2011

*for some reason my copying and pasting of the url in the link didn't work. Once at the linked to website, just click on the "Osmos" tab.
posted by Homo economicus at 9:51 PM on August 12, 2011

Also here to recommend Minecraft on peaceful mode, endless fun and exploration. The Harvest Moon series would fit the bill, as well as Flow, which actually is specifically asked for in your question.
posted by Odinhead at 10:11 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I find World of Goo to be relaxing, though YMMV.
posted by Gymnopedist at 10:17 PM on August 12, 2011

I play Chime and Osmos, and recently Limbo for a relaxing game experience like what you are talking about. Audiosurf may work for you too.
posted by gemmy at 11:55 PM on August 12, 2011

Minecraft. I found it calming even on Hard mode, with monsters: once you've built yourself a safe area it's relaxing to potter about knowing the rain and undead are safely kept away.

I have friends who love Osmos and play it in the evening to relax before bed, but I found it frustrating.
posted by BinaryApe at 12:18 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Audiosurf. Bonus, you get to pick your most chilled-out music to play it with, if you want. Of course it lets you use hardcore death metal too... your choice determines how the game plays :)
posted by fearnothing at 1:51 AM on August 13, 2011

Katamari Damacy. It can be a bit frantic if you're in a mode with a time limit but there's something zen about it. You don't solve problems, you outgrow them.

Take all your troubles, roll them up in a big ball and fling them into space.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:26 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh man, how could I forget Audiosurf? Seconding Audiosurf. Once you get into the rhythm, it becomes electronic meditation.
posted by Senza Volto at 4:31 AM on August 13, 2011

Harvest Moon might be good for you, as might Professor Layton and other puzzle games.
posted by naturalog at 7:36 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by everyday_naturalist at 9:06 AM on August 13, 2011

Flower is just what you're looking for, although I don't know what your abbreviations stand for so I'm not sure if you can play it.
posted by exceptinsects at 9:22 AM on August 13, 2011

If you consider it a game, Electroplankton.
posted by box at 1:21 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oops, that's a DS game. Okay, then, take a look at the GBA Bit Generations series.
posted by box at 1:23 PM on August 13, 2011

You may be interested in The Endless Forest.

"The Endless Forest is a multiplayer online game for Windows in which the player is a deer in a peaceful forest without goals or the ability to chat. Unique pictograms above registered deer's heads represent their names. Players communicate with one another through sounds and body language. During ABIOGENESIS, every deer runs around, rubs against trees, or sits next to sleeping deer to cast Forest Magic on one another or party under a night sky filled with floral fireworks in a spectacle, created in realtime, by authors whenever the mood hits them. The Endless Forest can be run as a screensaver or an application."
posted by carlh at 5:09 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

DS game Soul Bubbles is very serene.
posted by teki at 3:59 PM on August 14, 2011

I prefer relaxing games too. I second justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow's suggestion of Katamari Damacy (though I found the PSP one, Me & My Katamari, frustratingly difficult to control.) I'm partial to Sushi Cat. Like Boomshine, it's the sort of thing where you make one choice to click, and then watch the results.
posted by tomboko at 4:49 AM on August 15, 2011

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