I’ll be honest, friends: I’m thick with cold and I’d like this day to end. Maybe you can help me make that happen. Once I’m done here, I’m going to crawl under a blanket and play something comforting that will distract me until bedtime.
So I’m here to ask: what’s your comfort gaming for when you’re sick?
For me, I’m looking for the sweet spot between “easy sense of accomplishment” and “engrossing enough that I briefly forget my sinus pain.” A game with which I can interact without a lot of focus, but which has enough going on that I can binge on it.
That rules out most action games, from deadly platformers to first-person shooters. I don’t want a poorly timed sneeze to cause me to flinch into spikes or bullets. It also rules out a lot of strictly narrative games too, though. I don’t want to squint at a million lines of text in 80 Days or Disco Elysium while my eyes are streaming.
So I turn, mostly, to strategy and management games. They tend to let you control the flow of time, or be turn-based, and so they won’t run away from me if I’m slow and slouched in my chair. But I can also think a lot about them, noodling over road layouts in Cities: Skylines or empire expansion in Civilization.
Broadly, job ’em ups are a good fit for when I’m feeling rough. Even Alice’s recent fave, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, fits the bill. It’s got a little light combat, but it’s mostly about committing easy favours for people and most of the tasks it adds to your todo list can be struck off within a few minutes. It’s a steady drip-drip of dopamine I can zone out to.
So tell me, what’s your comfort game of choice and why?