There are games that I have often been able to rely upon to chill me out. Tetris is a big one for me. Simple mechanics, simple goal, only the briefest moments of tension that hardly matter in the long run. I feel good after playing Tetris. Especially Tetris Effect, of course, with the visuals and music setting my mind at ease. I could play Tetris and lose myself for hours.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is similar in that regard. Quiet, natural ambience. Sure I may crash several dozen times before getting the route right, finding the shortcuts and what have you. Still, that game seems to have been made with relaxation in mind. The secret areas are even called Rest Areas and feature little more than your character sitting at a campfire, enjoying the environment. Another game that seems designed from the ground up to just let the player relax.
This isn't about those games, though. In fact, lately I've been playing Control. I've been playing Control for a few weeks. Still on my first playthrough. I'm fairly sure that I have blown past any estimate for which the game should have lasted. I may be nearing the end... I don't know. I tend to investigate every room, not necessarily in the pursuit of a side quest, not necessarily seeking combat, but just as an excuse to wander around The Oldest House. The same The Oldest House for which a terrible catastrophe is unfolding. People are getting possessed; angry, sometimes monstrous looking fellas are trying to kill poor Jesse; creepy people are acting creepily; and so on and so forth. The tone throughout is one of dread.
Work has been incredibly stressful lately, and my go to relaxing game has been Control. Something about just hanging around that building, looking at the architecture, and the design, and the pseudo-70's/80s aesthetic of some areas. It soothes me, and my shoulders ache a little less, and my head stops throbbing. I usually need meditation for that. Some of that building even reminds me of times in my youth, hotels, museums, science centers, among other places. I look at some of the carpeting and think, 'yeah, that'd be nice in the basement. I wonder if I could tackle that next summer...?' Somehow, I've taken this tense, suspenseful title filled with mystery and death, and twisted it into a scenic exercise where I just take in the atmosphere of the building, sometimes reminisce, and sometimes plan my own home, and usually just breathe.
Are there any games that any of you are either currently playing or have played for which there is similarly no good reason why you should find it/them incredibly relaxing? Where you zone out, all of your worries melt away, even though the game is clearly designed to not do so to such an extent?