Did you know, according to PC Gamer, Steam has accumulated over 30,000 games since January 2019? Wow. Just wow. It’s impressive, but through all those Steam games, how exactly are you supposed to know which games are right for you? This list will help give you a small dose of the more relaxing side of Steam, and the games that’ll fill you with all the right feelings at the right time.
Sometimes, when you’re feeling stressed, there’s no better remedy than your favourite tranquil game to ease your troubles. Who knew inner peace could be found literally at my fingertips? All it takes is a quick playthrough and I’m there!
All good gamers on Steam have a few go-to Steam games that just work for them, no matter their mood. When you’re down, you need games that are atmospheric, games with tranquil soundtracks, that let you roam and explore risk free. On this list, you’ll get to sample 10 of my all-time favourite wholesome games for relaxing and trying to find my happy place.
1. Slime Rancher
Slime Rancher is the tale of a young rancher named Beatrix LeBeau, who travels to a new world named Far, Far Range where she starts her new life farming the indigenous slime that live there. Yes. That’s right. You get to farm slime. Extremely adorable slime at that.
It’s a sandbox game, meaning in Slime Rancher you can roam freely about the world, with very few limitations are put on what your character is capable of. Hours of peaceful playtime can be spent exploring Far, Far Range and finding new species of slime and food as you go and bringing them back with you to the ranch. Alongside the adventurousness of the game, there is also the heart-warming story of Beatrix as she sends letters to and from her love on earth.
2. A Story About My Uncle
When a young boy goes searching for his lost uncle, he finds an old suit that allows him to do incredible things, and ends up in an incredible world he never thought could exist.
In comparison to the sandbox experience of Slime Rancher, A Story About My Uncle is a sweet and simple platforming game from start to finish, while still having some of the most beautiful visuals you’ll ever see. The platformer revolves around a type of grappling hook technology to get you from A to B. There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but once you get the hang of the controls, you’ll be so immersed in the mythical setting that you’ll forget about everything else going on in your life.
3. The First Tree
Following two stories running parallel, a fox trying to find her family and a young boy trying to reconnect with his estranged father in Alaska, this is one of the outstanding Steam games that become absolute magic as you play.
While beautiful and tranquil, this game is actually fairly short, with a game play that reaches less than two hours. However, this only makes every minute all the more poignant and meaningful. Wrongly been call a ‘fox simulator’ game, The First Tree is an emotional journey and adventure of a fox trying to reach the auspicious First Tree. While this game has a set story, it works better if you let yourself roam and circle the edges of the world, just so you can soak up and take in everything you possible can.
“Destroy negativity, clear your mind!”
Ever played Plants vs. Zombies? How about Defense Grid: The Awakening? This game is kind of like that, except instead of trying to kill oncoming enemies or hordes of zombies, you’re trying to stop bad moodlets from effecting you.
A tower defence styled video game that’ll help you really visualise your negativity and pent up rage when you’re down, and then blast it away with lasers and explosives. What could be more positive than blowing your hateful emotions to smithereens?
There’s nothing quite like the wonders of the ocean to set you in a meditative state. In 2016 when ABZÛ dropped, it quickly racked up award after award after award. And then again, in 2017, it was nominated for a BAFTA Games Award. That alone should tell you where it ranks in the world of Steam games.
From the same art director who also worked on the very successful Journey, ABZÛ will take you on a diver’s adventure through the immense hidden world underneath the ocean’s surface. This game is brimming with colour and terrific animations that’ll make you feel like you’re floating through the entire playthrough.
One of those Steam games that must’ve been created by some of the world’s greatest artists. Refunct is a parkour platformer full of cube-shaped beauty and an absolutely pressure-less gameplay experience.
It’s a peaceful, open world with no death or violence involved in the slightest. While it hasn’t received a heaving amount of publicity, this is one of those rare and soothing gaming experiences that can be wholly enjoyed by the young and young at heart.
7. Stardew Valley
“The world is grim enough. Let’s all just get along.” Is the motto here.
Wholesome, outdoorsy and uplifting, Stardew Valley takes place on an inherited farm, handed down to you from your grandfather. With just a few tools in your arsenal, it is now your job to turn this plot of land into a thriving and blossoming farm.
This game is jampacked with all the heart-warming care and peaceful, enriching experiences that are missing from so many simulation games. As a farming game, it’s agricultural based, giving you a chance to raise animals, grow crops, share resources and even build a local community with your friends online.
Different from the other games on this list. EDGE is a 3D platformer simplistic in design and gameplay. The story here is, you are a cube. That’s it.
The real appeal and wholesomeness that comes with this game lies in its retro style and classic Classic 8-bit inspired soundtrack. It’s also huge with over 100 levels to play through, each with its own unique cube-shaped track. This game is reliable and addictive, and perfect for those in-between moments where all you want to do is take your mind off of things.
9. Game Corp DX
You run a game studio. You build your company from scratch and create your own games. This is the unassuming basis of Game Corp DX. Unlike most tranquil Steam games, Game Corp DX doesn’t scream at you with in-your-face mindfulness, but it’s surprising just how relaxed you can become while playing a game based on running a mega-corporation and earning money.
Overall the game has a very positive feel and an easy difficulty for all players. The main appeal comes from the fact that you get to see what it’s like creating and developing your own games within the game.
10. Grow Home
Join an adorable robot named BUD (Botanical Utility Droid) as he tries to save his planet. You’ll discover a world of floating islands, weird plants and exotic animals as you climb up a giant beanstalk as you make your way through the game.
This game combines so many things I love. Nature, robots, good music and good visuals. Not only that, but the amount of personality that you get from this game will leave you smiling, even when you’re in your foulest of moods. It’s light and whimsical and full of good feelings and good messages.