Looking for Low-Stress/No-Stress Puzzle-Adventure Games for PC
June 19, 2019 5:54 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for PC games similar to Eastshade. (Think: Myst, but not nearly as challenging.) I have searched the Google Machine, Steam Machine, and YouTube Machine, and while the results are sorta-related, the search algorithms aren't really paying attention to what I am looking for...

I just finished Eastshade, and loved every second of it. The difficulty is exactly the challenge I am seeking, and I would love to play more games like it. This is the gaming genre I was born to play. No stress, interesting, not terribly challenging, and great length of play.

I had a friend play Myst back in the 90s, and it was way over my head, and still is to this day. I tried Return to Mysterious Island in the early 2000s, and it was okay for me, but I wasn't patient enough back then like I am now.

I need (well, strongly desire) more games like Eastshade. I will be starting its prequel Leaving Lyndow soon, but I need more titles to choose from.

I searched for related games on Google, Steam, GameJolt, and YouTube, and while the suggested results are close, nothing comes from better recommendation than an actual human, thus I am asking here.

Looking forward to your ideas and responses!

P.S. And if you have any ideas for low-stress/no-stress/ultra-chill games in general, that would be okay, too, even if they aren't puzzle-adventure games like Eastshade.
posted by TinWhistle to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
Unfortunately I don't currently have a PC that can run Eastshade but back when I did I was eagerly awaiting its release because it looked to be exactly the kind of thing I'd love. There really isn't anything else like it that I could tell, but anyway take my recs with the knowledge that I have not played the game in question.

However, there are some chill games that are beautiful that involve puzzles and/or exploration, at least in some aspects, that I really like. A whole genre that might interest you is the casual world of hidden object games. There are tons of them floating around out there, they're pretty easy to churn out? But some are legitimately good games and some are just a great way to stare at gorgeous art for a few hours. Most of them are very simple by gamer standards, but they can boast some complex stories and ways of telling those stories, as well as some challenging puzzles (that you can always look up a walkthrough for, I won't tell!)

One company that makes hidden object games with love and care is Artifex Mundi. I've played and enjoyed the Enigmatis series, the Eventide series, and the Grim Legends series, as well as a few other ones that have been included in bundled Steam sales. They vary in quality but they're all a fun way to pass the time and always have some pretty art, good music, or interesting worlds to visit.

I also absolutely loved Memoria, which has some of the best world building of any game of this type that I've played and Nearwood, which is extremely pretty. There's also the Lost Lands series which gives sort of goofy modern Narnia vibes, and Darkarta which has a fantastic aesthetic and ambitious story.

Apart from the point and click hidden object puzzle genre, you might also enjoy The Witness, which is gorgeous and exploratory but has truly challenging puzzles that are also how it tells its story which I found just fantastic. On a more chill note there's Yonder the Cloud Catcher Chronicles, which is cute as heck but not deep enough for my tastes. You might also really love Lego City Undercover, because it's all about exploration and little goals and messing around interspersed with helping your friendly lego citizens and apprehending criminals using very silly methods. And, because probably someone will suggest it, have you tried Stardew Valley?
posted by Mizu at 7:56 AM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Witness: Distinctive art style with a calm, almost serene atmosphere. Its simple challenges are made brain bending by blurring the boundaries between a puzzle and its environment.

(edit: oh wait, that's already been recommended. Sorry!)
posted by Eleven at 8:08 AM on June 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

P.S. And if you have any ideas for low-stress/no-stress/ultra-chill games in general, that would be okay, too, even if they aren't puzzle-adventure games like Eastshade.

You probably don't need anyone to tell you about Stardew Valley, but seriously: Stardew Valley.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:32 AM on June 19, 2019 [6 favorites]

Drawn: The Painted Tower was widely loved and recommended on MeFi in its day. It's a puzzle adventure game also based on paintings. More recently, Firewatch might be enjoyable for you -- it isn't threatening or stressful. And if you want to go old school, Titanic: Adventure Out of Time is like $6 on GOG -- it's a puzzle game where you are free to explore an incredibly faithfully reproduced Titanic.

I love all three of these games so, so much.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:35 AM on June 19, 2019

Also, I forgot but maybe Everybody's Gone to the Rapture? It's pretty amazing, I'm going to replay it soon.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:42 AM on June 19, 2019

perhaps the games from Amanita Design (steam link)?

Their first(?) game, Samorost is flash-based and free to play (covered previously) and the sequels are on steam.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:09 AM on June 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

Uncharted is Mr Lareg's favourite game. It's a kind of Indiana Jones adventure game with lots of puzzles to sole in order to progress towards the treasure.great clues and backstory, and the tales often draw on historical figures or events.
posted by Enid Lareg at 9:59 AM on June 19, 2019

Tegami - gorgeous folded-paper style art
Broken Age
posted by bile and syntax at 10:27 AM on June 19, 2019

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
What Remains of Edith Finch
are both gorgeous exploration-and-light-puzzle games. Edith Finch especially has some really great gaming experiences and visuals. Both are chill in the "game" aspect, but have some spooky/tense twists as the story unfolds.
posted by Wulfhere at 11:06 AM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not adventure, but Little Inferno is a very atmospheric, laid back furnace-simulating semi-sandbox. It's relaxing, interesting, and depressing all at once.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:11 AM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

You might like Gorogoa. It's not 3-D or open world, but it's extremely clever, and gorgeous.

The old LucasArts '90s adventure games are way outdated graphically, but fun. Sam & Max Hit the Road is great fun. (The puzzles are more whimsical than clever, so don't be afraid to hit a walkthrough.)
posted by zompist at 2:11 PM on June 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I bet you'd like The Room and its sequels. They are gently puzzling. There isn't as much exploration, but that didn't bother me any.
posted by tacodave at 4:22 PM on June 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

I loved The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and The Witness.
In the same vein is The Path, which I still think about sometimes a decade after playing it.

You might also like the newly released Draugen, which is very chill and a little bit scary - not at all hard and more of an interactive movie.
posted by gemmy at 8:08 PM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Less on the puzzle, but good old Minecraft on peaceful mode is all about randomized exploration/wandering and finding new spaces. And it can be quite beautiful! You don't have to build anything unless you get inspired to.
posted by Wulfhere at 4:24 AM on June 20, 2019

« Older What are the basic knowledge blocks of skincare?   |   Trades where you can still make a really good... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.