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#1 Posted by Fezrock (731 posts) -

Hey all. My girlfriend broke up with me today, which I didn't see coming, and so naturally I'm not feeling so great. I don't have the money right now to just go on a trip and get away for a few days either, I'm just going to be home. And I'm looking for a few gaming suggestions to help me get over things. There's basically two kinds of games I'm looking for:

1. Something highly kinetic, but also relatively easy, that I can both get lost in and vent my frustrations on. I was thinking maybe something like Thumper, but I'm not sure how easy or challenging that is.

2. Something genuinely funny/sweet/charming that isn't about relationships or dating. And not charming gameplay-wise, like Stardew Valley, I mean charming characters; quite possibly some sort of visual novel.

Any thoughts?

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#2 Posted by The_Nubster (4169 posts) -

That's rough. I'm sorry to hear. And let me preface this by saying that you should always take the opinions of internet strangers with a grain of salt.

With that being said, Yakuza 0 was really there for me in a great way when I was feeling extremely down. You're playing two of the most badass, don't-give-a-fuck characters in all of the history of videogames, and you spend the entirety of it either beating skulls so hard they worship your kickassery, watching them plough headling into impossible situations and come out on top, or singing fucking karaoke and disco dancing because why not. It's both engaging narratively and gameplay-wise, and also mindless enough to help you completely forget whatever might be going on around you.

Best wishes to you. It's never an easy thing, but the community here can be pretty helpful in dealing with stuff. Stay busy. If you need to talk, as best as the schedule allows it, I'd be happy to lend an ear if you wanted to PM me. Beyond games, don't be afraid to go for walks or call on your friends or family or listen to music or even just let yourself grieve. Do what you need to do.

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#3 Posted by Charongreed (110 posts) -

I'll suggest Diluvion. It's not hugely long or deep, but I thought it was a lot of fun to explore and I liked the characters and story, if it ended up being a little predictable.

Or, as a more silly alternative, McPixel is a lot of fun and one of the few games I think the jokes land relatively reliably. Not much of a story, but its fast and fun and there's a lot of it.

For a third, Krater is a weird, charming thing that has a lot of personality, but there aren't really any characters in it.

Hope you feel better quick, duder.

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#4 Posted by bobeta (62 posts) -

When I was quitting drinking I played a lot of Borderlands and Borderlands 2. Good, simple games that can keep your mind off things for hours.

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#6 Edited by alxtx (1 posts) -

Time lined up for me and The Last Gaurdian came out just as I left a six year relationship. The game is very warm and welcoming but the simple loop feels satisfying and the world let's you get lost in it. Building a bond with that catbirddragon was special.

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#7 Posted by Francium34 (329 posts) -

Rayman Legend? It's not too difficult, has some great rock music-themed levels. Also colorful and funny. Dirt cheap too, $5 on xbox this week.

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#8 Posted by TheHT (15859 posts) -

Charm-wise, it doesn't get much better than Botanicula imo.

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#9 Posted by StoneyBologna (24 posts) -

Peggle or Destiny. Both are mindless time sinks

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#10 Posted by imhungry (1126 posts) -

It's not kinetic at all but if you want goofy charm and aren't opposed to playing a visual novel I'd recommend any of the Ace Attorney games if you have a DS/3DS. For something a little more involved gameplay-wise but still charming, also check out Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale which you should be able to run on pretty much any PC no matter how bad.

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#11 Posted by Rich666 (426 posts) -

I'm really sorry to hear that. When i ended a relationship with a girl i was with for 6 years, i found a lot of solace / distraction in Dark Souls. It really worked for me because the game didn't care how depressed or shitty i felt. It just proceeded to stomp my ass into the dirt. In the end it was what was best for me. But to each their own i guess. I hope things work out for you for what that's worth.

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#12 Posted by wollywoo (261 posts) -

For #2 I have to recommend Night In The Woods if you haven't played it. Definitely funny, sweet, charming. Pretty visual-novel like in that it's mostly about exploring and talking to people (with very light platforming elements.) One of the best game stories I have ever seen.

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#13 Posted by Onemanarmyy (4398 posts) -

Long engaging stuff that prevents you from thinking about other things: Civilization, CK2, Any CRPG, Dota, Any simulation or city builder.

Fast fun stuff to keep you happy: Ziggurat, Fifa, Rocket League, Tesla vs Lovecraft, Trackmania, Diablo, Crazy Taxi, Crimsonland, QP Shooting Dangerous!

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#14 Edited by soulcake (2776 posts) -

Agony ( please don't play it it's terrible ! )

When i am down i tend to play stuff that would totally change my state off mind, Stuff like Crusader King II Hearts of Iron IV have weird meditating value's, especially if you try something dumb like Rule the World with Luxembourg. But then i might just be a weird dude who get's a kick out off reshaping the world in a videogame.

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#15 Posted by HellBrendy (1310 posts) -

Sorry to hear that. You are not me so I can only speak for my self but when I’m dealing with sadness Injust go back to the games I know I love. No need to experience anything new as the mindset I’m in will probably just cloud the experience and make everything not funny. That’s why I love to go back to games I know I love - I don’t have to deal with anything new, and I get to replay some great games.

Time heals and I hope you feel better soon.

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#16 Posted by Captain_Insano (3512 posts) -

The Borderlands suggestion was a good one. I think you want something kind of mindless (not that it requires no thought) that can eat up a lot of hours easily. I'd probably retreat into an old favourite like Transport Tycoon or Civ V, but Borderlands was a good pick.

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#17 Posted by dudeglove (13746 posts) -

Saints Row IV and Dying Light

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#18 Posted by meteora3255 (678 posts) -

@hellbrendy: I feel the exact opposite. If it's a game I love then I know what's coming and don't need to focus or think, which leads my mind to wander back to whatever is making me feel bad.

I would recommend XCOM. I know you wanted something "easy" but XCOM requires you to focus on it which can really help take your mind off things.

Also, any free to play MMO would give you a huge amount of mindless fun of you find the right one.

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#19 Posted by Dr_Beaverah (53 posts) -

The dating game.

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#20 Posted by stantongrouse (217 posts) -

Sorry to here that, it's not an easy thing to just not think about - hope you find a few games to help! Personally, I use a few games to help with things like social anxiety that rears its head every once in a while. Some good games that have "taken me away" so to speak recently have been Gorogoa (short but very engaging while it's there), The Talos Principle (a bit old now but a really nice balance of puzzle game and narrative to get absorbed in). They might not be to your taste but I also find arcade style racing games a nice brain calmer - Riff Racer (not the best driving but generates tracks from your music collection and you mentioned Thumper) and Distance (might still be early access though) are two that hooked me in.

Hope you find some things to get you through the week/weekend.

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#21 Edited by The_Greg (542 posts) -

@fezrock: Sorry to hear it. You'll be ok soon enough.

Honestly, I would recommend doing things other than gaming for most of your spare time. Get out of the house, see your friends and family, have a drink (not too many), have a laugh, do stuff you might not normally do.

That being said, you can't do that for every waking second. I'd suggest anything that you already love, that you can spend a lot of time in, without realise how much time has passed... For me, that's any open world action game or RPG. Elder Scolls, Fallout, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Far Cry, GTA, MMOs.

I also used to find Rock Band very therapeutic.

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#22 Posted by TobbRobb (6583 posts) -

Yeah if I'm just looking to lose a week to a game, it'll be something with a good loop that keeps going. Games like Civilization, Crusader Kings 2 or smaller scale games with a similar feel like Northgard, Frostpunk etc.

I also get the same effect out of system building games like Opus Magnum, Factorio, Rimworld or Prison Architect.

I can also tend to lose myself in a good RPG every once in a while. But that's a lot more hit and miss in how invested you feel in the world, characters or mechanics. I really just disappeared into Witcher 3 and Persona 5 as the biggest ones in recent years.

For kinetic games then yeah, Rhythm games like Thumper are good. But they tend to be hard. If you like anime music and want to develop carpal tunnel, maybe I could recommend some Osu! :P

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#23 Posted by Fezrock (731 posts) -

Thanks all for the suggestions, I'll dig into them today, and, more important, thanks for the kind words.

I am going to do more than just game. I'm going out with some friends tonight, and will try to get out of the house a bit over the weekend. Unfortunately, the weather here is supposed to be terrible for the next week, which rules a fair number of activities out. And gaming is an important hobby to me, so I plan on doing a fair amount of it.

I will say, while I haven't felt this kind of pain in a long time, I have on occasion been in exceedingly terrible moods before. And in those cases, I was never able to concentrate enough to play slower paced, systems-heavy games; even though I usually love that style of game.

Also, I should've mentioned, I only have a PC and a Switch. Which means I can play almost anything, but the true PS4 exclusives are out of reach (e.g. it'll be another 11 days before I could play the Yakuza 0 port).

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#24 Edited by BaneFireLord (3568 posts) -

I'll second the Saints Row IV recommendation. It helped me get through a similar situation back in 2013 and perfectly fits both of your criteria.

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#25 Posted by AdamALC (289 posts) -

Yakuza series, easy to get lost in.

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#26 Posted by AlisterCat (8084 posts) -

I find that something like Terraria, Minecraft or anything where you build is really good. You focus on so much more than the moment to moment action that it distracts you well.

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#28 Posted by eskimo (513 posts) -

If you're not averse to spending $20 then I'd recommend Mothergunship for category 1. Its kinetic, fast paced, has a good loop, and isnt too taxing.

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#29 Posted by Marcsman (3823 posts) -


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#30 Posted by development (3172 posts) -

Slime Rancher. Doesn't quite have combat, but you can blast "bad" slimes and they die. I listened to the audio book of Neuromancer when I played it.

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#32 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

Ooof that's rough. Sorry to hear that OP.

Like some other said something active but mindless like Borderlands or Destiny would probably be what I'd be looking for in your shoes.

Mario odyssey or Breath of the Wild on the Switch probably would work too if you haven't played either of those yet as both have engaging gameplay but not a ton of story elements that might inadvertently be upsetting.

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#33 Edited by NTM (11817 posts) -

I don't love it (I like it, but find it super repetitive), but maybe Saints Row 4? It's super easy, it can be funny, and you run super fast and jump and fly really far through the open world, and the 'relationships' are really just there to poke fun at relationship systems used in Mass Effect, where they're all just getting to the point of 'you wanna fuck?' It's kind of funny and I doubt you'll get much out of it in a way that correlates to an actual relationship. Also, perhaps something that might totally take what's going on off your mind for a while, try one of the Souls-Borne games like perhaps the recent remaster of Dark Souls. You may be absorbed in that world due to, well the world, and the challenge will have you focus on it alone.

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#35 Edited by blackichigo (436 posts) -

I would suggest the "Dating" game. *Bu Dum Tish*

But seriously man I know it sucks. But rather than playing video games by yourself I would suggest you hangout with people you might have payed less attention to while you were in a relationship, maybe some of your family members or friends. Maybe play some tabletop games with people you know. Hell man, join or go to a gym. Just stay active. I know it sucks man but I promise you you'll get through it.

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#36 Edited by shorap (429 posts) -

@blackichigo: I'll echo this as well. Playing games during a break up is cathartic but human interaction, in any form, will help more and this is coming from someone who is generally introverted.

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#37 Posted by Fezrock (731 posts) -

I ended up hanging out with friends Friday night and Saturday night, and that was really good. I agree that human interaction is generally the best, but I've reached that point in adulthood where its hard to do that with friends more than a couple times a week. I could always go out somewhere by myself, but I've just not up for that yet.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I ended up playing some Borderlands 2 and Aviary Attorney (its like Ace Attorney but with birds!). I've also added a bunch of games from this thread to my steam wishlist.

I can't quite figure out if I'm feeling kinda okay or if I'm just numb.

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#38 Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan (1560 posts) -

If you want to ruin your life there's always Dota.

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#39 Posted by Zleunamme (1042 posts) -

Silent Hill 2

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#46 Edited by deactivated-5bb014b65074f (13 posts) -

I know it's been a little bit, but I hope you feel better OP!

If you like hack and slashy games or "Diablo clone" games... Maybe check out Grim Dawn? It's not the happiest game, but at least you get to beat things up real good!

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#47 Posted by Otacon (2337 posts) -

That's rough duder, hope you're ok. I remember after my last break up I sat in my Ryu dressing robe and got oddly into sound shapes of all things. I also played a bunch of old megadrive games, but the best thing of all was playing Tearaway with very angsty in game customisations! But yeah, hanging out with buddies if you can really helps.

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#48 Edited by Bucklebutt (127 posts) -

West of Loathing is genuinely funny and charming. Highly recommend. Good luck buddy, keep your chin up! (silly walking, minesplaining, and 'lot available' moments had me literally laughing out loud)

Wish someone from this site was championing this game. One of the best games I've played all year.

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#49 Posted by FacelessVixen (2602 posts) -

Well, I played a lot of Skyrim when I was having some girl problems, but that kinda ended up being my purgatory for analyzing the situation and trying to make the best of it before eventually calling it quits. So, I can't really recommend a game, at least not ones that are exclusively singe player if you're like me and tend to dwell on the shit that went wrong without having other people to distract you from it.


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#50 Posted by billmcneal (1251 posts) -

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV Turtles in Time