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Some of us relax by turning to games which require intense focus, such as Doom Eternal , but for the purposes of this list, we’ve picked out the chillest PC games in our libraries. These are the games we turn to when life gets too intense and we just want to slam our heads into the sand to ignore it for a bit—without any added frustrations.

But even though all these games are chill, they’re very different. Whether you want to live another life in s Japan, slam galaxies together, or solve a gentle mystery, these are, for our money, the most relaxing games you can currently play on PC. In most games, falling off the side of a mountain means death, or at the least a ton of lost progress. In A Short Hike, gliding from near the top of Hawk Peak down to the little outcroppings in the cliff face, or all the way back to the beach, is perfectly serene.

There’s no pressure to rush up the mountain, even if the summit is the ultimate goal of your hike. Wander around, help other park visitors, collect coins, and take your mind off of your phone. Read more A Short Hike is a relaxing game about enjoying a wee trek opens in new tab. Yeah, this is a videogame about preventing spaceships from exploding while paying down crushing personal debt.

But it’s surprisingly calming! You float in zero-g with your metal-cutting tools in hand, thrusting gently along a still hull to dissect an empty freighter, cracking its bones open like a dead whale.

Alongside blue-collar sims like Euro Truck Simulator 2, Hardspace is a game about labor, and about grappling with a delicate, three-dimensional puzzle, often from the inside-out. The jangly cowboy soundtrack slows the whole thing down nicely. Read more Hardspace: Shipbreaker is relaxing until an explosion propels a hunk of nanocarbon into your face.

The problem with the stunningly beautiful and richly detailed worlds of Assassin’s Creed Origins opens in new tab and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey opens in new tab is, well, you have to stab a lot of people in them. Those people want to stab you too, as it turns out. But there’s a way to explore those breathtaking open worlds without combat or stress, and you can learn quite a bit while you’re at it. Both games have a Discovery Tour mode, letting you travel through ancient Egypt and Greece as a student of history.

Visiting cities and landmarks will trigger educational audio lessons and short vignettes, and there’s plenty of extra reading if you want to learn more. You can travel on foot, by horseback, on boats, or by simply teleporting to the locations you want to visit and learn about. And there’s zero stabbing involved.

Wattam opens in new tab , from the creator of Katamari Damacy, is a game about friendship and poo. Lots of different colored poo, holding hands with one another and with a toilet while singing and dancing in a circle. If you want to get technical, it’s kind of a physics sandbox, where you control a range of characters and objects with silly and sensible interactions.

Most of the joy is in those pairings: letting a mouth with legs eat a strawberry and turn it into poo, or finding salmon eggs to please a forlorn piece of sushi. It’s the kind of game you just play around with and chuckle at every so often. Ahh, contentment. Read more Wattam review opens in new tab. Year Developer Campo Santo There are some stressful, scary, and occasionally sad moments in Firewatch opens in new tab , but there are also hours of peaceful rambling to enjoy in its gorgeously stylised Wyoming wilderness.

Exploring the woods as Henry, using your map and compass to navigate, chatting with Delilah, is so relaxing that I wish there was more of it in the game.

For the most authentic, challenging hiking experience, disable the marker that shows you where you are on the map. Read more Firewatch review opens in new tab. Year Developer D3T Despite being a martial arts revenge epic, the original Shenmue opens in new tab is deeply chill.

It’s the quiet moments where it shines: exploring s Japan as teenager Ryo Hazuki, going to work, feeding a kitten, collecting capsule toys. The sleepy suburbs of Yokosuka make for an evocative setting and it’s one of the nicest places on PC to just exist in—especially when winter comes and the snow begins to fall. If I could live in any game setting, it’d be here. Year Developer Thatgamecompany Delightfully weird petal-’em-up Flower opens in new tab , which started life as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, is finally available on PC.

In it you control the wind, blowing petals around and creating gorgeous swirling shapes that restore nature and colour back to a dead world as you go. Watching those grand, sweeping landscapes spring back to life as you blow across them is immensely satisfying, as is the sound of the breeze blowing through the swaying grass.

Read more Chillout games are having a moment opens in new tab. Year Developer SCS Software Hauling heavy cargo around grey, rain-soaked European motorways might not sound that relaxing, but it is.

The swish of the wipers going back and forth, and the mundane scenery gently rolling by, is hypnotic to the point where hours can suddenly disappear. And if you really want to escape into the, er, fantasy, stream a radio station from whichever country you happen to be in. The fluid, intuitive swimming controls, soaring music, and gentle pace make it a great game for zoning out.

There’s even a dedicated meditation mode which lets you sit back and soak in the watery world around you, including a huge variety of exotic sea life. Year Developer Expansive Worlds The Hunter opens in new tab is a game where you spend long periods of time slowly stalking animals through the wilderness, so it’s a good thing its natural environments are so beautiful. The forests in particular are actually stunning, with dense foliage, natural lighting, and ambient sound design that really makes you feel like you’re in the great outdoors.

The hunting is fun, with a deep scoring system, but I often find myself ignoring it to just enjoy a peaceful walk in the woods. Read more The Hunter: Call of the Wild review opens in new tab. Year Developer Frogwares Despite revolving around a series of gruesome murders, this Sherlock Holmes adventure opens in new tab is a surprisingly chill way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The pace is nicely sedate, the puzzles aren’t too taxing, and it has the ambience of a cosy British crime drama. It also helps that it’s one of the best detective games on PC, with actual dead ends and red herrings, and the possibility that the person you’ve sent to jail might not actually be guilty of the crime.

Year Developer Carl Burton This interactive art installation opens in new tab stretches the concept of a game, but it’s an incredible, atmospheric experience all the same. Mundane objects and settings appear before you in the form of minimalist, stylish dioramas, but slowly mutate into surreal, unpredictable dreamscapes. The artist behind Islands is Carl Burton, whose work outside of games includes the gorgeous animated vignettes he created for the second season of the Serial podcast.

Read more The dreamy interactive art of Islands: Non-Places opens in new tab. Year Developer Bohemia Interactive This sedate, science-based simulator opens in new tab sees you exploring the surface of the Red Planet with a variety of realistic rovers and landers, and the the feeling of being alone on a distant planet is palpable.

The quiet howl of the wind as you trundle through the dust creates an evocative atmosphere, and the steady pace of the rovers makes for a weirdly hypnotic game. The manned survival missions, inspired by The Martian, aren’t quite as chill, however. Year Developer Ubisoft Reflections This colourful 3D platformer opens in new tab started life as an experiment in procedural animation, but eventually became a game in its own right.

Navigating robotic hero BUD around this blocky, stylised world is oddly relaxing, especially when you get the ability to glide and float around. The sequel, Grow Up, is worth a look too. Read more Grow Home review opens in new tab. You can take your ship and lazily hop between systems, checking out random planets as you go, and it’s a great way to experience just how many different landscapes and life-forms the game is capable of generating.

Honestly, life’s too short to spend hours stuck on a shitty toxic planet with no fuel. Year Developer Ed Key, David Kanaga This surrealist exploration game opens in new tab marries sound and visuals in a really captivating, imaginative way.

As you wander around a procedurally-generated island, constructed from simple, abstract shapes, the dreamy music reacts to your actions. Then the seasons begin to change, dramatically transforming the landscape around you, and you feel your worries slip away.

It only takes an hour to finish, but the layout of the world is different every time. Read more Proteus review opens in new tab. Year Developer Giant Army Universe Sandbox opens in new tab is an enjoyable and completely physics-driven simulation of the universe. You can view realistic models of solar systems, distant galaxies, and planetary orbits.

Or you can turn into an evil deity and start causing mayhem among the stars, smashing galaxies together and hurling the Earth into the Sun. Read more Universe Sandbox review opens in new tab. Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.

He loves sci-fi, adventure games, taking screenshots, Twin Peaks, weird sims, Alien: Isolation, and anything with a good story. UK Edition. PC Gamer Newsletter Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. Contact me with news and offers from other Future brands Receive email from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors.

Andy Kelly. See comments.



Stress relief games download pc


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