As a hobby, gaming can be equal parts chill and stressful. The latter feeling can spring up whenever gamers find themselves locked in for intense multiplayer sessions across competitive shooters, fighters, sports simulators, and so much more. But whenever you find yourself looking to sit down, pick up a controller, and catch a more relaxing vibe, there are a ton of games out there that can help you embrace that dream scenario. We've found 20 cozy games that do a splendid job of putting gamers at ease thanks to a combination of non-competitive gameplay mechanics, charming visuals, and riveting story threads that keep you playing for as long as possible.
The 20 Best Cozy Games to Catch a Vibe To
1. ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’
The Nintendo Switch game that helped millions of players get through the mental anguish of the pandemic is still worth adding to your collection of cozy games. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will put you in the best of moods as you explore your very own island and customize parts of it to your liking. In its current state, a wealth of updates and expansions have improved the game via customizable vacation homes, more decorating options, special seasonal events, and so much more.
2. ‘Stardew Valley’
Thanks to the amazing work of Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone, fans of Harvest Moon have the perfect spiritual successor to that famous farming life simulator. Stardew Valley lets you live out the relatively calm life of a humble farmer who's responsible for renovating their grandfather's plot of land and home. As you breathe new life into your farming expanse, you'll get to take on side quests, go fishing, and even mingle with the denizens of "Pelican Town". You might even get married to one of them! This soothing farming experience is the best one out there, folks.
3. ‘Donut County’
A game that's all about moving through a colorful world with a mysterious hole may sound like a strange concept, but it works extremely well within the confines of Donut County. Across a bunch of self-contained locales, you'll have to swallow everything in sight with your whole and widen it from its starting size to claim even bigger items. The inclusion of fun puzzles and a late-game item unlock adds a nice wrinkle to the overall gameplay that keeps you on your toes right up until the very end.
4. ‘Coral Island’
Coral Island is another relaxing yet highly addictive farming simulator that transports players to a beautiful island. It's up to you to tend to your crops, animals, and even the coral reefs surrounding your new home. And of course, you'll run into a community full of friendly NPCs that offer great conversation and make you feel right at home. Work hard to make sure your island destination comes back to life as you go diving into the clear blue waters to repair the coral reef and go mining for gemstones on the side.
5. ‘Chicory: A Colorful Tale’
Chicory: A Colorful Tale will definitely appeal to gamers who want to relive their coloring book fandom. As you venture through this game's vibrant world of "Picnic Province," you'll get to inject actual color into it with your trusty brush and reveal its true beauty. And during your artful escape, you'll run into tons of cutesy anthropomorphic allies along the way. Coloring in every section of this game's whimsical world with a co-op buddy magnifies the fun factor this game exudes. Draw on anything and everything to your heart's content.
6. ‘Disney Dreamlight Valley’
Once you learn that this game is pretty much "Animal Crossing: Disney Edition," you know you gotta pull up to it and drop an embarrassing amount of hours into it. Disney Dreamlight Valley takes place within the magical "Dreamlight Valley" and gives you some tasks to complete as you live out your days among Disney's famous faces. Clearing out the dark magic-powered "Night Thorns," stuffing your pockets with "Star Coins," and building up your preferred dream home in a village full of Disney's best heroes and villains will have a profound effect on young and old gamers.
Spiritfarer is a different sort of escapade when it comes to this collection of the best cozy games. For one, it deals with the sobering topic of death and how the deceased may have one final request before they move on to the "great beyond." As ferry master Stella, you'll be responsible for taking care of the wishes asked of you by so many spirits during your voyage to the "Everdoor," which is a grand gateway to the afterlife. Life sim elements (gathering the materials needed to improve your ship) and platforming mechanics equal a worthwhile experience that's self-described as a "cozy management game about dying."
What we're about to introduce you to right now is a puzzle game that does a great job of not trying to make you rip your hair out. And that's because it centers on an activity you're quite used to doing every time it's time to embark on a big move. Unpacking is a self-explanatory game - with boxes full of your most cherished items, you must fit them into your room full of shelves and other spaces that can hold them. It's a simple yet immensely delightful block-fitting puzzle and home decoration game that'll please you greatly.
If you played the hell out of the SimCity games and Cities: Skylines, then we'd like to introduce you to a more tropical take on those metro city-builders. ISLANDERS gives players procedurally generated islands every time they start up a new session and tasks them with constructing what they see fit with the implementation of buildings. With different themes to tap into, such as forestry, farming, or fishing, your custom island expanses will look as varied as possible the more you play. ISLANDERS provides endless hours of replayability, which means you'll never run out of islands to create and maintain.
Have you ever watched one of those Discovery Channel documentaries about the vastness and allure of the sea? They're incredibly soothing and put you in a zen mood every time. Abzu offers that wonderful experience in the form of an adventure game where you dive deep into a massive body of water that's home to all sorts of wildlife and other types of marine life. It makes all the sense in the world to add this one to your playlist of cozy games since swimming alongside a school of fish and taking in the wondrous sights of the great sea will certainly put you in a tranquil state.
11. ‘Cozy Grove’
Going camping can be considered as one of the cozier activities you can do in a real-life setting. It's especially splendid in Cozy Grove, which is a game all about camping on a haunted island that always throws new elements at you due to its ever-changing environments. You'll take on the role of a "Spirit Scout" who must explore every portion of the island daily and adhere to the requests of all the local ghosts you'll befriend over time. Crafting, fishing, and being exposed to major alterations to your new island destination are the three main pillars of this 2D camping adventure.
12. ‘New Pokémon Snap’
If you're in the market for some of the best cozy games on your Switch, then feast your eyes on one of the very best examples in New Pokémon Snap. Just like the N64 original, you'll hop into this game as an up-and-coming Pokémon photographer who's responsible for snapping pics across several gorgeous island locales. It's up to you to get the best shots of common and rare "Pocket Monsters" to help the research studies of Professor Mirror and his assistants Rita and Phil. Jump into your "NEO-ONE" vehicle and embark on an exciting trek so you can document all sorts of cute creatures in their natural element.
Kasi's concept is simple and straight to the point - you play as a plant and live out the soothing lifestyle of one that steadily grows over time. As you receive all the usual nutrients and sunlight needed to grow even larger, your plant will accrue extended vines and regular leaves. It doesn't get any cozier than watching your custom plant achieve its true potential as daytime/nighttime elements transpire around it.
We have another city-builder/puzzle game in store for you all here. And like the other picks on our list of the next cozy games, Dorfromantik offers a pretty calm take on the genre when you're tasked with creating a picturesque landscape. To do that, you'll be treated to a wealth of hexagonal tiles that can be used to produce new land elements and combined to create bodies of water and railroad tracks. You'll be fully immersed once you craft multiple biomes to your liking and put your city-building skills to the test during each Dorfromantik playthrough.
GRIS' striking art style should instantly inspire you to see what it has to offer. And once you finally take the plunge, you'll be amazed by its moving plot and simple yet concise control scheme. Dive into this one without doing much research on its storyline so you can be surprised by the big reveals that occur in the troubled life of the young woman at the heart of this game.
16. ‘Night in the Woods’
Night in the Woods is an instantly relatable adventure game for gamers who once chose to leave their college studies behind and return to their hometown. College dropout Mae Borowski is the anthropomorphic protagonist you'll take control of during this particular scenario as you explore the curious town of "Possum." You'll bump into old friends and come across some strange happenings in a game that will make you reflect on your trials & tribulations during your days as a 20-something.
17. ‘My Time at Portia’
You obviously adore everything about Stardew Valley, right? Then we're quite confident that My Time at Portia's farming simulation formula will also appeal to you with its alluring and engaging 3D gameplay. In My Time at Portia, you play a character who has taken over a neglected workshop once owned by your family. It’s your job to build it back up, all while meeting and talking with other folks in town.
18. ‘Little Witch in the Woods’
For a cozier take on Hogwarts Legacy, go ahead and embrace this cutesy magical life simulator called Little Witch in the Woods. As the young apprentice witch named Ellie, you'll spend your days and nights perusing through a mystical forest as you gather ingredients for extensive potion-making. Alongside those tasks, you'll also discover hidden parts of the forest overworld, run into fantastical NPCs that you can befriend, and tend to your studies at "Witch School."
This life simulator/RPG adopts a pixelated 2D art style and gives you the freedom to live out your life across several generations of a family blessed to have a mystical tree in their midst. Kynseed comes from a team of developers that previously worked on the Fable series, which should offer a ton of excitement to the folks who played those games extensively. When it comes to quality cozy games, the usual life/farming sim mechanics you're used to seeing fit right into that style of gameplay. Become a blacksmith, apothecary, or goods store owner as you mingle with random townsfolk, locate strange artifacts, and engage in action-packed turn-based battles.
20. ‘Jigsaw Puzzle Dreams’
For the final selection on this list of the finest cozy games, we're here to offer you all a digital interpretation of putting puzzle pieces together to produce awe-inspiring pieces of art. Jigsaw Puzzle Dreams also lets you customize the main room where you'll be completing all your puzzles, which offers another engrossing gameplay element to become addicted to besides attaching randomly generated pieces into place.
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