In anticipation of next month’s World Peace Day, we’ve rounded up some of the best non-violent games around. So if you’re tired of all the digital bloodshed and pixelated conflict this list will be sure to guide you to your next stress-free gaming adventure.
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Flower is one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in gaming. Where most games constantly demand from you and punish you when you don’t adhere to their strict objectives, this unconventional title simply allows you to just be.
Flower places you in the serene dream of a flower where you become a single petal floating through an array of vast and strikingly beautiful landscapes. By interacting with other flowers, more and more petals gradually start to join your journey and soon you’re controlling a stunning multi-coloured wave of petals.
What makes Flower feel especially immersive and intuitive is the fact that you control your string of petals using the PlayStation controller’s motion sensors, creating a strange sense of intimacy that few games can match.
If you’re looking for a tranquil and truly relaxing gaming experience, Flower is certainly one of your best choices out there.
Everything is a profound experience that veers away from the often shallow and conventional standards of games. At first glance it might seem like something a game design student cooked up for a school project, but once you allow its intriguing concept to unfold, it becomes unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
Simply put, in Everything you can play as everything. From a microscopic cell to a colossal galaxy, the entire universe is at your control.
As an extra philosophical layer, you are also treated to various audio extracts by late-British philosopher Alan Watts, who often spoke passionately about the interconnectivity of everything in existence.
Stardew Valley is a relentlessly charming narrative-driven farming sim that places you in charge of your late-grandfather’s farm in the fictional Pelican Valley.
You will spend your days restoring the farm to its former glory by planting and tending to your crops, exploring the idyllic town and mingling with its range of eccentric inhabitants.
Beyond your usual daily duties, Pelican Valley also offers a few intriguing mysteries to discover and even provides you with the option to do a bit of battling if you’re looking to add a bit more tension to the game (totally optional though.)
Brought to us by the creators of Journey, Abzu is a visually-striking title that takes place deep within the ocean, a setting seldom explored in video games. It provides us with a slow-paced but thought-provoking experience where we take on the role of a mysterious diver who is tasked with restoring life in a decaying ocean.
Thanks to stunning art direction, complimented by beautiful musical scores, Abzu tells its endearing story without using a single word. While the game takes a linear approach, the well-designed levels brilliantly create the illusion of a vast ocean world.
The constantly evolving scenery also ensures that the gameplay feels fresh and, while gameplay is quite simplistic, the sheer beauty hidden around every corner is almost motivation enough to keep you going forward.
Gone Home is a short but beautifully-crafted narrative-exploration game that is often credited with popularizing the walking simulator genre (games like Firewatch and Tacoma). Set in 1995, you play as Katie, the eldest daughter of the Greenbriar household. You’ve just returned home from a year abroad to inexplicably find your family missing.
Now it’s up to you to rummage through the house and discover the emotional story behind your family’s absence. Throughout the game, you will uncover a blend of heart-warming revelations and heartbreaking occurrences that took place in your absence, which will eventually reveal the startling reason behind your family’s sudden disappearance.
Feature image: Stardew Valley/ConcernedApe