Top 5 Games I Play to Relax

Okay, so I just finished drafting the manuscript for my next novel (formerly titled Stone Cold but now titled It Hunters), so it’s time to relax. I like to take a 2-3 week break after finishing the first draft before I start my edits. And with the extra time on my hands, I spend a lot of it playing video games. I play a wide variety of games, from cozy games to hardcore shooters. I finally kicked the MMO addiction, which makes me happy. I also play a mix of old and new games. In this post, I’m going to talk about the five most common games/franchises I play to relax.

Stardew Valley

Yes, this is the one cozy game that I’ve become obsessed with lately. There’s something calming about the monotonous farming life and cute/quirky townsfolk. Sure, there are some strange things going on, and that story is fun to progress, but everything about this game from the music to its pacing helps me remain calm. It’s great after a long day at work too.

And yes, I play Animal Crossing and the gothy spinoff of Stardew, Graveyard Keeper, but that game requires more mental effort to play, which makes this cozy game my favorite.

Final Fantasy

I’ve loved RPGs since I was a child, and in addition to the video game RPGs, I love tabletop RPGs and play them regularly.

Final Fantasy (the first one released on the NES) was one of my relaxation games even in childhood. It’s an epic story told at a slow pace. Sure, it’s a bit hokey and grindy at times, but there’s a weird comfort in mindlessly circling a town, killing monsters, and gaining XP and gold.

My favorite game in the series is VI, but later entries have more action-oriented and active battle systems, which means I can’t just zone out and button mash my way to victory.

Castlevania (the series)

And now we get gothic and action-platformy. I love the entire Castlevania series (and my desire to kill Dracula shows up in my books), and I’ve played every game in the series except the tournament fighter (which I didn’t know existed until recently).

The older games are known for being NES hard, but I really do find comfort and calmness in the repetitive action-platforming environments.

And let’s face it, the music is gorgeous.

Bloodrayne

And once again we have vampiric action. Yes, I love the sexy redheaded dhampir who’s on a personal quest to kill her father, the king of the vampires. She’s hot, she’s fast, she sarcastic. I love Rayne.

And oh, in the first game, she’s killing Nazis, because daddy has aligned with them.

The graphics and controls are awkward and dated now, but I still enjoy the game and its sequel Bloodrayne 2.

Wolfenstein the New Order

Oh look, once again, we’re fighting Nazis. But this time, we’re playing an iconic FPS series. I’ve played all the first-person Wolfentein games, and I still play the older games on PC.

This is the fastest game on this list, and it’s probably the most shocking. There is no mindless repetition. It’s intense, fast, and furious.

But there’s something weirdly calming. I can’t explain it, but it’s true.

These are just some of the games I play to relax between drafting and editing. What do you do to relax?

Promotional Hype

My debut novel, Liam’s Doom, is on sale at all major and minor retail outlets from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to Bookshop.org. I request that you support Bookshop.org, as their site supports local and independent bookstores. The eBook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through my webstore.

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And my prequel novel, Blood/Lust is also available as an Amazon exclusive.