Animal Crossing

The Best Games for Escapism

This morning I woke up to the gloomy prospect of five more years of Tory government. With the union and our place in Europe, potentially, under threat, the grey skies outside my window feel more than a little symbolic.

Not wanting to relive the horror on the news tonight, I shall be looking for welcome distractions. This got me thinking about the games I might play. Mass Effect is right out, as it’s a political space opera. The Last of Us is more than a little bleak, for my current state of mind and although some gaming warfare may be cathartic for a short while, I’m thinking, games without guns may lift my mood a little more.

If there’s one thing games have the power to do, it’s create complete fantasias and let you float through them. So, I’ve come up with my list of the best games for escapism to a happy place.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley moon
Calm, meditative gaming in Monument Valley

I know I go on about this game, but it really is a gem. Monument Valley is like the gaming equivalent of meditation. It takes me to a happy, beautiful place of fantasy Moorish palaces, with water gardens and minarets, in a calming colour palette.

The puzzles make you pause, but you’ve got all the time in the world, so I never feel like throwing my phone across the room in frustration. Instead, I enjoy every moment I spend in this mysterious, gorgeous world.

Red Dead Redemption

Although, the wild west isn’t exactly a utopia, Rockstar’s wild west,

Red Dead Redemption horse
Riding into the sunset, Red Dead Redemption style

in Red Dead Redemption is a joy to behold. Sure, I might come across the odd den of thieves or even a lynching, but ultimately, I can just ride into the sunset. It’s just me and my horse (as long as we don’t get set upon by pumas), a beautiful soundtrack and the wide open skies and landscape. It’s like taking a back to basics holiday, from the comfort of the sofa.

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing
Everyone’s friends in Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing is a happy, happy place. Anthropomorphic, cartoon animals, living in a bright, colourful world with no supernatural threats or demons or nasty animals that steal your ice-cream. It’s just a place where the sun shines and flowers bloom. Okay, so it has a mole problem, but that can be sorted with the pat of a shovel. If only life could be more like Animal Crossing.

Space Channel 5

Ulala, Space Channel 5’s roving reporter, is a bubbly spirit, even in

Ulala Space Channel 5
Strut your fab-u-lous stuff with Ulala

the face of adversity. Adversity, in this instance, comes in the form of aliens who are abducting citizens and can only be defeated via a dance-off. Now that’s my kind of adversity.

Space Channel 5 is all retro future, with knee high platform boots, lots of plastic mini dresses and bubble helmets. Nobody dies in Ulala’s world, they just join the dance troop and step to the funky beat. It’s like a 90s nightclub in space, with ray guns. What’s not to love?

Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution
It’s time to dance dance.

And if all those games fail to lift my mood, I can turn to my trusty dance mat and get those endorphins going. This is science my friends. Sparking up DDR will open a whole world of J-pop I’ve never heard of, but somehow can’t help smiling and bopping too. Throw in some familiar, yet cheesy classics and you’re on to a frantic day of mat dancing. ┬áPlus, the songs will probably be from the 90s, taking me back to the days of Cool Brittania, Brit pop and New Labour, when we thought everything was great and we really did live like it was 1999.



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