Have you found yourself with a sudden increase in free time? Perhaps you’ve started spending a lot more time at home in the last few days. If you’ve begun to go a little bit stir crazy, consider checking out these five games to help pass the time. We made sure to stick to games available on multiple platforms as to not leave anyone out!
Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android
This has been one of my favorite indie titles of all time ever since it released in 2016. Since its original launch for Windows it’s been ported to virtually every other gaming platform out there – if you have a modern device of some sort that has the ability to play games, chances are you have the ability to play Stardew Valley.
You begin the game by taking on the role of a character who, after becoming bogged down by the grind of day to day office work, decides to give it all up and move to the country to inherit their late grandfather’s farm. Throughout the game you build the farm back to prosperity, make friends with the villagers, and even potentially get married and raise a family. Since the game’s original launch Stardew Valley has seen several large additions, including new marriage candidates, new potential farm layouts, a full multiplayer mode and much more.
There’s a lot to love about Stardew Valley – charming graphics, unique characters, an addicting gameplay cycle, and a soundtrack that you can really chill out to as you pick your latest crop of hot peppers. With the weather starting to warm up, it’s a good time to open the windows and start a new life on the farm in Stardew Valley.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Windows, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
Court dramas can sometimes be heavy. The Ace Attorney games manage to make a trip to the courtroom a lot of fun, instead, thanks to compelling writing and a cast of fun characters.
These narrative puzzle games first released in America on the Nintendo DS starting back in 2005, and the Trilogy edition has not only done a total high-def graphical overhaul, but has conveniently included the first three main titles of the franchise (Ace Attorney, Justice for All and Trials and Tribulations) in a single neat package.
These games are narrative-focused, so it might feel a little bit like reading a book at times. Of course, when the writing’s as good as it is, you probably won’t mind the lack of active gameplay. What’s not to like about a cranky old woman who literally has the name “Wendy Oldbag?”
If you like a good problem-solving challenge that just so happens to have some of the best writing Capcom has ever put in a video game, consider adding this to your library.
Fallout: New Vegas
Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Perhaps you’re sitting at home thinking “man, I thought the apocalypse would be more exciting.” Well, fortunately for you, the Fallout series exists. Any of the games will give you that post-apocalyptic feeling, but when it comes to just having a simple, rowdy good time, I tend to go back to New Vegas over the others. The game released back in 2010, so it definitely looks and often feels like a decade-old game. In spite of that, I contend that it has some of the best writing in the franchise and the overall vibe of the game and its DLC makes it worth revisiting.
If you really need to get some aggression out of your system, why not pick up a game that lets you fight various mutated animals, maybe have your brain ripped out and replaced by some weird scientists, take over Hoover Dam for a faction of your choosing (or for yourself), make friends with robots, and gamble away your life savings in fabulous Las Vegas?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
By now you’ve probably binge-watched Netflix’s Witcher series and you’re patiently waiting for the next season to come out. Sure, you could read the books – you definitely should read the books – but why not pick up one of the video games? The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is not simply a fabulous interpretation of the fantasy book series, but it’s also perhaps one of the best video games ever made.
Even if you’ve never played a Witcher title before, it’s easy to jump right into this, as they do a pretty solid job at explaining the events of the previous games. The plot is so remarkably well-handled regardless of which of the many different branching paths you end up heading down over the course of the story, and the characters are so nuanced that you might be absolutely convinced you’ve done the right thing until you realize right at the very end that you screwed up. And on top of that, the game’s just gorgeous. It’s easy to just get lost out in the wilderness, riding your horse into the unknown.
A plus for folks who have both a Nintendo Switch and a PC – you have the ability to have cross-play between both systems by sharing a save file. So if you want the best graphics possible, you can play on the PC, and if you want the flexibility to chill on a couch or in bed while playing, you can play the same file on your Switch. Technology is pretty cool, right?
Untitled Goose Game
Windows, MacOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Look, I get it. You’re frustrated, and you’re cranky after being stuck inside for however long now. Maybe you want to let out that building stress and it’s coming out in unhealthy ways. Instead of snapping at your family members, consider buying Untitled Goose Game, in which you get to be a terrible goose that annoys every other person you encounter in a cute little English village.
This little indie title combines puzzle elements with stealth gameplay for a gaming experience unlike nothing else I’ve ever experienced before. There’s goals to achieve over the various locations in the game, and there’s a number of different ways to check everything off your list. But you can also just be an awful goose to people, honking at them and chasing them around until they inevitably shoo you away. Perhaps there is no simpler joy in gaming than being a mild annoyance to someone.
Hopefully you’ve found a game on this list that will keep you occupied while you spend a little more time at home than usual. And if not, stay tuned, since Scoop will be back soon with more recommendations for how to pass the time with comics, films, tabletop games and more. For more video game entertainment in the meantime, you can pick up The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Video Games, available now.