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Best comfort games

Games for the soul: 7 best comfort games for when you’re feeling under the weather

Home » Lists » Games for the soul: 7 best comfort games for when you’re feeling under the weather

Life sucks, don’t it? Well, we all at least have times where it does. We all have our preferred ways for dealing with feeling down in the dumps. For us, it’s usually playing video games. Not just any game though: we have a go-to selection of comfort games that never fail to make us feel a bit better.

Our selection of comfort games that we play when we’re feeling under the weather are rather random, in truth. Some make us feel better because they’re utterly relaxing. Others make us feel like we’re achieving something. Some, on the other hand, simply give us an outlet to let out our anger and frustration.

So: if you’re feeling a little down and need a pick-me-up, give one of these games a try. We promise you’ll feel at least a bit better when you’re done.

1. Loddlenaut

Image: Moon Lagoon/Secret Mode
  • Loddlenaut is available on PC

Loddlenaut is the ultimate in comfort games. This under-the-sea adventure is free of peril and stress. Rather, it’s all about cleaning up the ocean, making friends with fish, and generally having a nice ol’ time at the bottom of the sea. In our Loddlenaut review, we called it a “wonderful little underwater romp”. Aw.

OK, OK, the message of Loddlenaut is an important one: it might be set in a fictional sea and feature fictional sea creatures, but ultimately it wants to teach us the importance of looking after our oceans. But being in control of cleaning those oceans, and getting to see the difference your efforts make over time leaves us with a seriously warm and fuzzy feeling.

And seeing the axolotl-like loddles play with random toys we buy them is pretty cool too.

2. Balatro

Balatro Jokers screenshot
Image: Playstack
  • Balatro is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

Balatro isn’t going to be everyone’s idea of a comfort game, we get that. But there’s a good chance you’ll find the endless replayability of this poker-influenced roguelike just as cathartic as we do. Perhaps it’s the repetitiveness of going through the motions, or maybe it’s the thrill of the possibility of winning. Whatever it is, we just can’t keep away from Balatro, and if we’re feeling a little blue, it’s an instant pick-me-up.

If you’re yet to play Balatro, it’s a card-based roguelike that uses the basic rules of poker hands. Your goal is to beat the target score in each round and, with over 100 Joker cards in the game that all massively change the rules (as well as various powered-up cards that help boost your score), no two games ever feel the same. It’s one of the most captivating card-based roguelikes we’ve ever played: we said it in our Balatro review and we expect it to remain true for a long time to come.

3. Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator

Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator screenshot
Image: Nacon
  • Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

Some people find actual gardening to be a good way to relax and unwind when they’re feeling stressed. Not us. It’s too much hard work: too much mud, insects and heavy lifting for our liking. But Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator? Now that’s a whole other matter. Being able to decorate an idyllic garden paradise from the comfort of our sofa is serious food for the soul. We had a lovely time playing it for review.

Garden Life has a series of missions to complete, and there’s a loose story to follow that revolves around restoring a community garden. It’s a joy to play through, but you can take it completely at your own pace, focusing on planting whatever plants you want and whatever decorations you’d like. It’s seriously chilled-out, cosy fun: if you like simulators without any of the stress, confusing controls and high pressure tasks, this one is for you.

4. Islands of Insight

Islands of Insight screenshot
Image: Behaviour Interactive
  • Islands of Insight is available on PC.

Puzzles won’t be everyone’s favourite way to relax, but if you do like to give your brain a bit of a workout, Islands of Insight is the best way to do it without adding any extra stress. We called this open world adventure “one of the best puzzle games we’ve ever played” in our review, and it really is. The beauty of Islands of Insight is that it can be played however you want, and with hundreds of puzzles to choose between, you can simply focus on the ones you enjoy the most.

Islands of Insight was designed to be played online, but you can enjoy it totally solo too (in fact, a dedicated offline mode is coming to the game soon). You might just encounter some other players in the shared world, but the puzzles will be yours to solve alone. There’s a huge range of puzzle types, from block puzzles, match-three, hidden object and lots more.

5. Wobbledogs

Image: Secret Mode
  • Wobbledogs is available on Switch and PC.

Is there anything more comforting than playing with dogs? We’d wager probably not — and that’s exactly why we think Wobbledogs is one of the best comfort games you can possibly play. These bizarre creatures might not look quite like your typical Labrador or Cocker Spaniel, but their mannerisms will be instantly familiar. They’ll eat, they’ll poop, they like to be petted and they’ll gladly fetch the ball.

With no real goals to work towards in Wobbledogs, it’s essentially just a sandbox for you to mess around with a bunch of funky-looking dogs. It’s a wonderful little title to relax with — just whatever you do, make sure you turn on the “no deaths” option otherwise you might find yourself getting rather emotional.

6. Lake

Image: Gamious/Whitethorn Games
  • Lake is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

In our Lake review, we said we wished we could stay delivering mail in this game’s sleepy little town forever. There’s something so special and relaxing about making your way around a picturesque lakeside town, delivering packages to its pleasant (if a little bizarre) residents. It’s easy to relate to the game’s protagonist, Meredith, too. You see, she’s escaped from her high-power city job to help out her dad in her hometown for a few weeks. Escapism all around, then.

Lake is very much story-driven, and completing it will take no more than six or eight hours. But it’ll be a wonderful six or eight hours as you simply melt into this lovely little town, being part of its scenery. With no stress, no danger and certainly no time restraints, Lake is without a doubt one of our favourite comfort games.

7. Diablo 4

Diablo 4 loot reborn
Image: Blizzard
  • Diablo 4 is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

OK, we admit that Diablo 4 might be quite different from the other titles we’ve put on this list of comfort games. It may be more violent and demon-filled than the other games we’ve selected, but there’s a good reason for that. Sometimes, the best way to relax and relieve yourself of the stresses of the day is simply to slay your way through hordes of monsters.

We’ve even wrote before how Diablo 4 is the best stress relief. It’s essentially the digital equivalent of one of those wrecking rooms you can visit in real life; you know, where you break up breeze blocks and old TVs with a sledgehammer. Turns out whirlwinding through hundreds of demonic skeletons or getting your Necromancer army to slay through endless hellbeasts has a similar effect. So, if you’re stressed and full of rage, pop on Diablo 4, find the nearest Helltide and get hitting stuff. You’ll feel better in no time, we promise.

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