We play games for various reasons. Sometimes we want a pump of adrenaline, sometimes we want to socialize. And sometimes we want nothing else but a tub of chili cheese nachos dip, soda and to zone out.
I love zoning out on trippy video games. In fact I love it so much that sometimes I plan those nights ahead. I am in my mid thirties, I have an often stressful job, chores, etc. Sometimes all I want is to just unwind on my cozy couch, in front of my PlayStation. I will now recommend you 5 games that can help you relax with me.
5 – Cloudpunk
Cloudpunk is basically a taxi driver simulator. Given that you are from the future and your taxi is hovering hundreds of meters high between the aerial highways of a cyberpunk city.
The graphics are simple, voxel based but you need nothing more to chill.
Endless rows of bright neon signs unveil from the thick fog as you navigate between the narrow alleys between dystopian Megacorp HQs.
There is a story which is not too lengthy, however for the most of the time I completely ignored it. My goal on these nights is not to achieve something, I just want to soak in the visuals of the game, chilling on its synth style ambience.
4 – Cyberpunk 2077
Stayin on the cyberpunk track, CD Projekt Red’s ambitious RPG is a real eye candy. Given you have what to run it on smoothly.
Cyberpunk 2077 got a lot of criticism, and rightfully so. However one of the absolute strong points of the game is Night City itself. It is an architectural masterpiece, a true homage to dystopian artpieces, such as the Blade runner movies.
It is a shooter/RPG, which might not be the most relaxing thing. However I invite you to hop in a car, set the game time to night and just drive around aimlessly with your radio station of choice.
It is one of the trippiest, most relaxing things a video game can offer. My favourite combo is a slower car that is easy to navigate, some rain and the Royal Blue jazz radio.
3 – Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima is a beautiful game. Not the best game I’ve ever played, but definitely aesthetic.
If you want a virtual stroll in nature, and just zone out on visuals, I highly recommend you to just gallop around the island of Tsushima aimlessly.
The atmosphere of the game is amazing, the Japanese instrumental ambience in the background really soothes your soul.
Also if you happen to have a PlayStation 5, it is a must play. The Dualsense integration of the game is the best to date in my opinion, they really maxed out what the controller is capable of. The subtle scratch of metal and wood in your palm when you sheathing your katana, and the various knocks and thuds as your horse gallops on different terrains is very satisfying.
2 – Journey
Journey was made for this, just to zone out on trippy visuals. It is not really a game, more of a walking simulator. But the visuals… Despite having simple graphics, the color palette goes through the entire spectrum, often leaving you with your jaw hanging.
For the most part it is a very relaxing puzzle game, but from time to time you will have some action sequences. Where the creators excelled is tailoring the soundtrack to the dynamics of the gameplay. Put your headphones on and enjoy as the ambience peaks in its catharctic glory at the visually most stunning scenes.
Also Journey has one of the best endings, which for some reason left me with tears in my eye. I will not spoil it, you should play it.
1 – Abzû
Abzû, similarly to Journey is sort of a non-game. While it has its action sequences of sorts, you mainly just swim around in search of the obscure history of an unknown land.
Bonus: It takes two
While it is a bit different, I want to mention It takes two. First of all it is a strictly co-op game, so you definitely need another player to join you.
Action is in the core if this game, unlike Ghost of Tsushima or Cyberpunk, you can rarely choose to just chill.
However there are some sequences in the game where you feel just like your brain is melting down from the visuals.
Falling through iridescent chasms, riding rainbow coloured slopes, or flying through outer space. This game never chills. Or in fact from time to time it allows you to rest, and play with the environment. For example in its ice village, where you can choose from various activities to enjoy. Ice skating, snowball fighting, riding a sleigh, and so on. It is beautiful, it is atmospheric and unforgettable. I highly recommend giving it a go.
How about you? Do you enjoy just zoning out on trippy visuals, or you prefer more action or something that requires brainpower? Let me know in comments.