Being happy makes us feel great, so it’s a shame that brains are a funny thing and we can’t just flick on the happy switch whenever we need. Things are pretty tough for many of us in the world right now, and we could all do with a pick-me-up.
Thankfully, until scientists invent such a thing — we’d argue that chocolate comes close — there’s an abundance of cheer-inspiring video games we can turn to when in need of some virtual sunshine to combat the rainy windows in our minds. In that vein, join us as we set sail for the land of smiles with seven wholesome video games that we like to dive into when feeling glum.
7 wholesome video games to cheer you up
Coffee Talk (PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One)
The work of a real barista is far from a relaxing one. Then again, most don’t work in a midnight bar which only handles a small number of customers and friends. Coffee Talk is an unusual setup, but one that’ll have you engrossed in its story in no time at all. As the regulars filter in and out of your shop each night, you’ll learn more about their lives, troubles and aspirations. You’re not there to fix them, mind, all you’ll be doing is serving up the drinks.
Pay attention to the orders coming your way or craft something fresh and beautiful as you relax to the mellow beats of its soundtrack. The hurdles your patrons are facing are often serious, but there’s heart, humor and charm here that’ll elicit plenty of smiles throughout the game’s short but sweet running time. Read our review by clicking here to find out more.
Related reading: The best visual novels to play (read)
Minecraft Dungeons (PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One)
Think of a dungeon. You’re probably imagining a pretty gloomy place — a few rats scurrying here and there, maybe a skeleton or two. Well Minecraft Dungeons certainly features its fair share of skellies, but it also demonstrates that underground chasms and vaults don’t need to be dour. Combining the inspiring titles’ block-based world with an impressive lighting system, Minecraft Dungeons is an unexpectedly pretty place to romp through, and an impressively funny one as well.
By all accounts, a dungeon-crawling spin-off to Minecraft really ought to have been a cheap cash-grab. Yet Mojang has put in the work and produced a superb standalone title that outdoes many of the genre’s top contenders. If you’re after a fresh co-op title that’ll generate more than a few laughs — especially for younger players — then Minecraft Dungeons will keep you busy (and happy) for a good while to come.
A Short Hike (PC)
Sometimes the best way to lift the spirits is to escape into nature. That’s not possible for a lot of us right now, or indeed ever for some of us. A Short Hike won’t replace a real-life walk through the woods, but this fittingly brief little indie jaunt will certainly raise your mood (as well as your elevation) before setting you loose on a joyous and liberating flight.
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