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#1 Posted by GalacticGravy (561 posts) -

OK here's the deal:

You need to be able to put the controller/mouse down at any moment in the game and walk away without penalty (lost progress for not saving doesn't count, I mean within that play session). No multiplayer-only games. I want to play alone for these.

Let's take Puzzle Quest for example. On the map, in the menus, during a battle, during dialogue, and everything else there is nothing "active." At any moment you could walk away for two hours and nothing would be different.

To clarify, this does NOT apply to games like FTL and Sim City. Those game can pause and send commands, yes, but there is still action in which you may need to work on the fly. Don't ask why. In the words of George Carlin "These are my rules, I make 'em up."

I ask because I've played a lot of stressful games lately and honestly I just need something to chill with. It's a mental thing for me to know that there's never any pressure ever, and it's really important when I'm trying to play something relaxed. Board games are really good for this, but it's hard to find one that's fun playing alone.

#2 Posted by Peanut (956 posts) -

The answer is Animal Crossing.

#3 Posted by Clonedzero (4196 posts) -

Anything turn based.

X-com. Civilization V.

#4 Edited by ThunderSlash (2080 posts) -

Noby Noby Boy

#5 Posted by Reisz (1554 posts) -
#6 Posted by GalacticGravy (561 posts) -

@peanut: I used to play the Gamecube one but I really with they'd release the new one on consoles. I don't like playing handheld games for physical comfort reasons.

#7 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Pokemon dude.

#9 Posted by StarvingGamer (8687 posts) -

Fire Emblem Awakening

Final Fantasy Tactics

#10 Edited by devotfeige (117 posts) -

The Ace Attorney series is good for this. The video game equivalent of reading a pretty damn good book, up to and including putting a bookmark in it on virtually any line of dialog and coming back to it later.

ETA: Not necessarily a console release, which I just saw you specify in a comment, but it's out on virtually everything now, so people can generally find something that works for them.

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Dungeons of Dredmor.

#12 Edited by Anwar (887 posts) -

Okay, some may call me crazy, but Demon's Souls and Dark Souls can work within your guidelines, thing is that you can't pause the game with pressing only button, but you can quit the game at any time. The game saves at that exact moment and you can come back to it and you will be exactly where you left it. Only exception is a boss fight.

Edit: oops, didn't read the last part carefully enough, something NOT stressful, this doesn't apply to the Souls games, my bad.

#13 Edited by BigJeffrey (5209 posts) -

Persona games

#14 Edited by GalacticGravy (561 posts) -

@anwar: Nah, dude. If an enemy is attacking me I can't put the controller down. When I mean "at any time" I mean it, and I don't mean pausing. No twitch. No reaction time. None of it. Just me operating menus, or placing dudes like chess pieces.

#15 Edited by Jeust (10973 posts) -

Turn based strategy games like Total War: Medieval 2, Civilization V and Advance Wars. Everything is turn-based so you don't really miss out on anything appart from an short animation.

Turn-based rpgs like Final Fantasy VI, X, X-2 and Pokemon.

Turn-based strategic rpgs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea.

I think the key word here is turn-based. Almost every game that is like that should fit the bill: http://www.giantbomb.com/turn-based/3015-192/

#16 Posted by Clonedzero (4196 posts) -

@anwar: Nah, dude. If an enemy is attacking me I can't put the controller down. When I mean "at any time" I mean it, and I don't mean pausing. No twitch. No reaction time. None of it. Just me operating menus, or placing dudes like chess pieces.

Play some Civ 5. Do science or cultural victory. most relaxing thing ever.

#17 Posted by EveretteScott (1562 posts) -

This is, a very weird request. Is it possible to humor us/me and say why besides 'reasons'?

I also second most if not all turned-based games.

#18 Posted by GalacticGravy (561 posts) -

@everettescott: Because I want to play a game where I can take as much time as I like. Spent the last week dying to bullshit in Rogue Legacy and I want to play something more chill. I really don't think it's that weird, man.

#19 Posted by GalacticGravy (561 posts) -

Also the Myst series! I can't believe I forgot about those.

#20 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

Some people complained that Final Fantasy XII played itself for the first 20 hours, so thats a possibility. The Franchise / Dynasty mode of many sports games don't require anything other than menus and there are no time constraints during those menus if you just want to simulate through all the actual games. I used to do that a lot. Umm, the first half of Heavy Rain is pretty much like that since your inputs dont Really matter during many of the fight scenes.

And anime porn novel games, if you're into that. Those games will literally play themselves while you watch. If that's what you're in to.

#21 Posted by believer258 (12444 posts) -

Pretty much anything turn based. Civilization comes to mind.

#22 Posted by BeachThunder (12724 posts) -

Most adventure and puzzle games.

#23 Posted by sqrabbit (120 posts) -


#24 Posted by TheHT (12095 posts) -

Adventure, strategy, and puzzle games (without time limits).

#25 Posted by Zelyre (1316 posts) -



Fallen Enchantress


Fallout 2

Heroes of Might and Magic

Galactic Civilizations

Tactics Ogre

Final Fantasy Tactics

King's Bounty

Legend of Grimrock

Endless Space

#26 Posted by EveretteScott (1562 posts) -

@galacticgravy: There's nothing weird about it at all. You just seemed to be acting like you didn't want to say that. That could have just been what I took out of your original post though. I do totally understand what you mean.

#27 Posted by JoeyRavn (5000 posts) -

Almost any game will have a certain degree of pressure put on the player. Even if you play by yourself, you'll still be competing against the AI. Besides, the requirements you list make it very, very, very hard to find a game that fits your criteria. I would say Electroplankton, but you said you don't like handhelds...

You could try some strategy games, as others have suggest, but, still, they can be exactly the opposite of "chilling" some times. Fire Emblem comes to mind as a potentially nerve-wrecking game. Made one mistake? Lose that unit. Forever. Unless you restart.

Animal Crossing does seem the best option for a game to relax, but there is no actual pause in the game. It continues to run in real time when you're in the menus.

#28 Posted by Castiel (2805 posts) -

I've heard Dark Souls is pretty good in that regard.

#29 Edited by Xymox (2131 posts) -

Yeah, do NOT go with Fire Emblem as Joey said. I recently picked it up and loving it, but when that game tells you something if fucking means it. It's like hey man if an archer shoots your pegasus it will DIE. I'm like kk whatevz I know what I'm doing brah. Few turns later I move my pegasus into a position without first checking if the weapon of one of the enemies is a bow, and sure enough he comes up to me and 1-shots my pegasus in the face. So yeah. Not Fire Emblem.

I was in the same situation and I've just been really tired of being frustrated with games. Don't know when it started, but it's there. The answer, as peanut said, was Animal Crossing. I didn't like handhelds either. In fact I've despised them with a passion ever since I saw and played the original GameBoy. I never understood the point of a handheld system. And I've frequently had decently long commutes (~1 hour long ones).

But I'm not gonna lie - the first when playing the 3DS one of my hands just wasn't up to the task and kept falling asleep - but it sorted itself out and the discomfort is barely noticeable now if at all.

@peanut said:

The answer is Animal Crossing.

It's a super relaxing game but do keep in mind there's not much too it. It's more of a layered experience meant to be played over the course of many months as opposed to "yo dawg I beat this game over the weekend". I just find myself popping it in close to when I'm heading to sleep to wind down.

As for pausing in Animal Crossing, it's not really necessary, but you can always hit the home-button on a 3DS and it will indefinitely suspend a running game. So it's basically a hardware pause button that lets you pause even if a game doesn't let you.

I've also been considering Civ 5 but not in its current state.

I'm planning on removing all military units from Civ 5 and just have a 100% peaceful playthrough (just "build stuff"). Might be nice.

Also if you're into it, Minecraft on Peaceful will also work.

#30 Posted by SenorMartinez (34 posts) -

Progress Quest, you don't even have do anything while you are playing. It's the ultimate in passiveness.

#31 Posted by Kinapuff (244 posts) -

@senormartinez: I can't believe it took this many posts to mention it! Good man.

#32 Posted by Hamst3r (4638 posts) -


#33 Posted by joshwent (2487 posts) -
#34 Posted by fisk0 (4841 posts) -

Wizardry 8 can be set to turn based mode (exploration is still in real time, but if an enemy sees you it'll switch to turn based mode and wait for your input, no matter how long you'll take). Many other first person dungeon crawlers were entirely turn based as well, but there was a point when they started doing the active time battle thing, where enemies would make moves between or even during your turns. I'm not entirely sure when that started happening, but the first few Wizardry, Might & Magic and Bard's Tale should be safe

#35 Posted by EnFinlay (3 posts) -

Pretty much anything turn based. Civilization comes to mind.

That would be perfect. Stays forever, to my knowledge.

Or, go retro - Heroes of Might and Magic II.

#36 Posted by AtomicEdge (311 posts) -

Endless Space is pretty cool and looks and sounds amazing.

A couple of times I have played, an AI that I have not even met yet has suddenly won the game without warning, and that can be a bit of a shock. I'd advise doing lots of exploring.

Also if you want the purest form of comedy, just rename your solar systems to Dickus, Recturum, Titsoria, Mingeria and Ballbagus.

#37 Posted by LackingSaint (1889 posts) -

EVE Online is pretty passive. I mean you're actively doing stuff technically but it's a lot of just hanging out in the GiantBomb chat while your ship carries out a routine.

#38 Posted by afabs515 (1375 posts) -

999 and Virtue's Last Reward

Phoenix Wright

Turn based strategy games

Most single player RPGs

That should be a good start.

#39 Posted by Coafi (1494 posts) -
#40 Edited by Haruko (382 posts) -

Paper Mario any of them but I'm currently playing Sticker Star and loving it. Plus you can just shut the 3ds at any time and it pauses it.

#41 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2341 posts) -

Portal and Portal 2 as long as you don't leave while you are in motion.

Garry's Mod if you don't have NPC's spawned in (or AI turned on) and you just mess with posing ragdolls or building things

That new Viscera Cleanup Detail game has no combat in it as far as I know, you can just leave at any time and come back to clean up a few more blood stains every now and then while you clean your real room

Do some 60 minute iron man AI matches in WWE 13, its like a glitchy wallpaper

Dear Esther I'm assuming has zero combat in it and at no point do you ever come into danger, so you could play it then walk away when you get to a scenic overlook area

Crayon Physics Deluxe and The Incredible Machine

Minecraft's creation mode

#42 Edited by audioBusting (1665 posts) -

999 and Phoenix Wright had been suggested, so dare I say... visual novels? On the puzzle-gaming front, I would recommend SpaceChem. Some sections have time constraints and active control but the restart penalties are negligible. Most of the game would be staring at the screen thinking of a solution anyway.

#43 Posted by maverick1 (92 posts) -

tiger woods pga tour 14. You can ven turn the announcers off and have a nice round of golf. You can pretty much set the controller down at anytimr and go do something else then come back later to it. I don't know maybe its just me but playing that game puts me in a zen like state of mind.

#44 Posted by Atlas (2463 posts) -

Recently the game I've been playing when I want to have an almost completely passive experience is Magic The Gathering 2014, which came out last month. It's not quite as deep as you'd want a MTG game to be, but it's totally turn-based, it's very relaxing to play, and it's a ton of fun, because MTG is a great game. One small caveat: there are cards that you can play at any time, even on other people's turns, called Instants, which sometimes are best used with specific timing e.g. right when your opponent is about to play a card, you can play a card that counters it. But that's the only active element of the game, and there are decks that have zero instants in them.

#45 Posted by Twiggy199 (518 posts) -

I've solved your problem, iPad!.

#46 Posted by Zlimness (586 posts) -

@senormartinez: Your passive level varies when it comes to Progress Quest. You can chill and take it easy, or build an empire. Back in the days of Expodrine, we ran a guild, traded, PVPed and served hot and cold beverages in our bar. Those were the days...

#47 Edited by Drebin_893 (2955 posts) -

I can't recommend Civilization V enough.

#48 Posted by MikkaQ (10346 posts) -

Might I recommend Conway's Game of Life? It's about as passive as game can get.

#49 Edited by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1816 posts) -

I think you should just play kinect games, don't have to worry about putting down the controller when you are the controller.

In all seriousness though, Hero Academy or chess.com sound like the thing for you.

#50 Edited by JouselDelka (966 posts) -

I can't recommend Civilization V enough.

That game needs me to read and understand too damn much. It's a university course not a game, man.