Chaos isn't a pit. It's a game I want to play. But like, literally.
January 16, 2022 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for video games where the sole purpose is to restore order to a messy place?

I love to relax by playing games where you enter a messy place and restore order bit by bit.

I've only played two that are like what I'm talking about:
  • Viscera Cleanup Detail
  • House Flipper
Yes Please!
I want to fix broken stuff, clean stuff, organize stuff, arrange everything so it looks nice, paint the walls, rebuild stuff etc. I can imagine if there's, for example, a gardening game I'd also enjoy weeding, planting, landscaping, etc.

No, Thank You.
Not an adventure/action/RPG/platformer where you happen to be cleaning as well like Super Mario Sunshine, or a game where you have to match 3 to get to restore order like Merge Mansion.

Side Note
I do not mind weird, small, janky games. In fact I kind of love them.

I have a Switch, PC, Playstation 5, and a Google Pixel.

Any suggestions?
Thanks folks!
posted by moons in june to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (19 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Unpacking! On my phone so I can’t link but you’ll love it.
posted by Merricat Blackwood at 1:07 PM on January 16, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Wilmot's Warehouse. You play a little dude sorting out a jumble of goods and organizing them so that you can deliver them as quickly as possible upon request.
posted by praemunire at 1:17 PM on January 16, 2022 [7 favorites]

unpacking is very enjoyable, although it's the opposite in one sense of what you're asking for. I didn't think I'd enjoy a games where the entire mechanic is taking items out of boxes and finding places to put them, but it's a fun, if short, game.
posted by pipeski at 1:23 PM on January 16, 2022

This is my favorite part of Animal Crossing, and there's very little bullshit in the way, it's basically the whole game.
posted by bleep at 1:27 PM on January 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Stardew Valley can be a lot of this, depending on how you choose to play it.
posted by saladin at 1:29 PM on January 16, 2022

Response by poster: I think you guys are right about Stardew and Animal Crossing having components of this, and I do absolutely love them, but I think I'm looking for a game where the sole mechanic is to clean, restore, etc.

Also I did love Unpacking! I should have added that to my list because I think it fits what I'm looking for.
posted by moons in june at 1:34 PM on January 16, 2022

Do you have the Happy Home Paradise dlc for Animal Crossing? It’s a lot closer to what you’re asking for than the main game.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:07 PM on January 16, 2022

Match 3D Master on mobile. You clean up the chaos of a pile of objects, end clean each level. I'm embarrassed at how much I play this lately but it's calming.
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:13 PM on January 16, 2022

Best answer: I’ve heard good things about PowerWash Simulator, which is just about using a power washer to clean dirty things. It’s supposed to be super satisfying. The link is to Steam but it’s available on many platforms.
posted by ejs at 2:38 PM on January 16, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I've only ever played the free version of this, which definitely fell into the "weird, small, janky" bucket, but you might like Amazing Fix?
posted by eponym at 2:39 PM on January 16, 2022

Best answer: Cloud Gardens

"A chill game about using plants to overgrow abandoned wasteland dioramas"
posted by bluecore at 2:41 PM on January 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: ejs beat me to mentioning PowerWash Simulator. It's very comparable to Viscera Cleanup Detail, without the comedy splatstick overgore framing, and instead comedic levels of mud and grime. Also without the setback mechanics of spilling buckets and tracking footprints and malfunctioning equipment adding mess back in and whatnot, so it's even more relaxing than VCD. But a similar effect of loading into new level and really only being able to laugh at the state of everything seeming impossible at first, before getting down to it.

It is still pre-release/beta/early access state, so the usual caveat emptors for such things apply. The main thing I'd caution about is that the in-game upgrade economy is a finite pool--you get paid fakebucks for each level, and that's all you get, so be careful to save up for the permanent equipment upgrades and it's best to not spend anything at all on the consumables.
posted by Drastic at 2:52 PM on January 16, 2022 [5 favorites]

Untangle, from Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle collection (which I’m sure I first learned about on Metafilter) might fit the small, janky bill. (That collection also has an implementation of Mastermind, in case all the Wordle chatter has anyone in the mood for that.)
posted by yarrow at 4:21 PM on January 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

It’s not quite what you’re looking for, but Hardspace:Shipbreaker might scratch the same itch. You play the role of a salvage expert disassembling decommissioned space ships. There are endless/“casual” play modes if you want to avoid the time limits or story.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:23 PM on January 16, 2022

How do you feel about Sokoban-style puzzle games?
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:31 PM on January 16, 2022

Best answer: Train station renovation is like a more grounded vViscera Cleanup Detail. There's a free demo too.
posted by Lorc at 12:46 AM on January 17, 2022

Best answer: Assemble With Care is a short game about a professional repairer-of-things. It involves taking apart broken objects, fixing them, and reassembling them.

It's got a very gentle, positive vibe. It's been a while since I've played it, but I seem to remember that you spend at least as much time learning why the object is important to the person who brought it as you do fixing it.
posted by yankeefog at 3:25 AM on January 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

There's a Shadow Warrior version of Viscera Clean-up Detail - not sure if it comes with the main game or can be gotten as a stand-alone.
posted by Twicketface at 6:02 AM on January 17, 2022

This might be a bit out of left field but the organizing/order out of chaos thing is what I like about Color Puzzle. It's very satisfying going from a complete mess to a neat organized range of colors.
posted by omnie at 11:34 AM on January 17, 2022

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