Pretty PC games for the tired and uncoordinated
December 17, 2018 2:31 PM   Subscribe

I love Botanicula and Seasons After Fall, and the aesthetic of Hollow Knight and Ori and the Blind Forest (though the dexterity those two need for boss fights / mid-level puzzles is a bit beyond me most of the time). What other games could I try?

I'm looking for visually beautiful, (optionally) eccentric puzzle/platform games that aren't completely out of reach of tired people, basically, if there are more out there. (I really like and have played all Amanita's games that I can find, mentioning Botanicula specifically just because it's pretty much perfect.) If it's on Steam or GOG, so much the better, but any and all recommendations would be appreciated.
posted by Otto the Magnificent to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
I just finished Gorogoa (previously on the Blue) and it is so gorgeous and pretty and jaw-dropping.

There might be one or two puzzles that requires a bit of timing/dexterity.
posted by invokeuse at 2:38 PM on December 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

I would highly recommend Inside. It's dark but gorgeous; the shadows and light are beautiful. It's puzzle based but not too difficult and is pretty short.
posted by DTMFA at 2:39 PM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Cave?
posted by humboldt32 at 2:59 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Subnautica is free to own right now on the Epic Game Store, usually $29.99. It's a really beautiful game, the screenshots don't do it justice - so much of it is seeing the light streaming down through the waves, or looking up and watching the fractured clouds through the churning water, seeing dusk descend and the waves turn shimmery gold, and the deepening night as the bio-luminescent creatures come alive. It's really magical descending down through a towering kelp forest as the light fades around you into the depths. It's a solo survival game where you have to explore and scavenge for materials and food at your own pace while you discover more about the alien environment you are stranded in. Only thing I would mention is that the system requirements seem quite hefty if you're trying to play it a max graphics.
posted by xdvesper at 3:13 PM on December 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

GNOG is a beautiful puzzle game - doesn't take more than a few hours to complete, but good fun if you like abstract puzzles where you do stuff to try to get other stuff to happen.

Seconding Gorogoa and Insider, both of which I enjoyed very much. Again, only a couple of hours to complete these, but worth the time nevertheless.

Hob is one of the best games I've played this year. It's a puzzle/platform game with a minimal amount of combat that doesn't build much in difficulty. I loved it and will play it through again soon, I'm sure.

RiME is another really pretty puzzle platformer. A bit of coordination is needed to complete some of the puzzles, but the game is mostly about the journey/story, so it doesn't ramp up a lot in difficulty.

Lumino City should appeal in exactly the same way as the Amanita games. It's charming.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is one I've recommended for kids, but I loved playing it as it's entirely about exploring, collecting things, and crafting simple objects and materials to fulfil requests from game characters. Totally relaxing and non-violent.

Firewatch is very enjoyable. Another that's as much interactive story as game. Not really platform-y, but there are puzzles to solve.

Epistory is another very attractive game, but being able to type reasonably fast is a requirement to progress to the end.
posted by pipeski at 3:30 PM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Gris, Child of Light, Limbo, Inside, What Remains of Edith Finch. These are all games that are pretty, more focused on atmosphere, platforming & puzzles. Gris and Child of Light in particular are beautiful stories that you'd really enjoy.

The Witness is also super chill and has been discussed on the blue as well. This post on metroidvania, sidescrollers, & platformers may have some good recommendations but some of those games are technically challenging, so buyer beware.

Firewatch is also a really worth checking out, a walking simulator where you're in the woods taking care of a firewatch tower and your only connection is a voice on the other line. It's beautiful and engaging. And the voice-acting will make you believe that these characters are real.

This post on self-care games also has some more chill not as aggressive games worth looking at.

I know I'm posting a lot to my own posts and I'm sorry for that but I've posted extensively on video-games over on the blue, so there's lots to discuss and pick at. Hope some of these recommendations help.
posted by Fizz at 3:31 PM on December 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

Subnautica also has varying difficulty settings as well as a crafting-only setting where you have unlimited resources and can breath underwater and can just swim around exploring and building shit forever. However, the actual game can get pretty resource-grindy, if that's not your thing. But since it's free right now, if you have a machine capable of running it, get it just for the building/exploring mode alone. It really is that beautiful.

The game Everything is a bit of a one trick pony, but it's a good trick if you're into Alan Watts. It's incredibly soothing.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:35 PM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

They recently released Katamari Damacy Reroll for pc

Visually beautiful ✓
Eccentric ✓✓✓
Not completely out of reach of tired people ✓, at least for the ps2/ps3 originals


Good soundtrack but with serious earworm potential
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:53 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I found no man’s sky very pretty, even more so with recent updates, and difficult challenging enemies easy to avoid, but combat isn’t the primary function of the game, exploration is. I clocked a full 20 hours of gameplay on one planet and it’s moon, most of that time was just spent climbing mountains and exploring caves. It was a real pretty planet.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:06 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Came here to recommend Subnautica, so I guess I'll enthusiastically third it. It's not a platformer, but it's honestly so so beautiful. Later in the game it can get kind of scary, so I ended up using a cheat code that makes you invisible so I could just relax and enjoy the game in a chill way instead of being scared of giant ocean monsters.
posted by omnie at 4:30 PM on December 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Road Not Taken is a "turn" based puzzle game with simple controls, so you will always have the time to think out what move you're going to do next and don't have to worry about button mashing at the right time.
posted by foxfirefey at 4:41 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you have access to a Playstation device (picking up a refurbished Vita for the depth of its cheap games catalogue might be worth it) definitely play Hohokum. A+++

Morphopolis is about bugs and lushness on Steam, it's one of the more out of the ordinary hidden objects games.

Seconding Yonder: the Cloud Catcher Chronicles. Very charming and mellow, and oddly stylish for its childlike quality.
posted by Mizu at 6:25 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Lots of good recommendations already, though no one has mentioned The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which was the first game that came to mind for me. I have screenshots from that game that are nearly worthy of printing and framing.
posted by EKStickland at 8:45 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Child of Light is absolutely beautiful, and very relaxing to play.
posted by sarcasticah at 8:29 AM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

lots of great reccomendations here, I'd also suggest Kentucky Route Zero, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and Tacoma. All three The Room games are fun too

Also, though they are amazing games and I loved them, Inside and Limbo both take a level of dexterity that you may find frustrating, especially if you're tired. I have gaming-dexterity issues too (which can be really annoying because in real life I'm really good with my hands) and both of those I could get halfway through and then would have to hand the controller off to someone else and watch them finish.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:50 PM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank you all! A lot of these sound fantastic, I'm looking forward to trying pretty close to everything, time/limits of human endurance permitting.
posted by Otto the Magnificent at 6:59 AM on December 21, 2018

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