Bad news, the Coronavirus situation is rapidly getting worse with each passing day, and many are recommended to self-isolate. Good news, there’s never been a better excuse to hole up indoors and catch up on some gaming.
Be it through hundreds of hours of gameplay or the soothing quality of a game’s pace, our writers have come together to offer their picks for the games best suited for long periods of solitary confinement. If you’ve played any of these games before, isn’t it high time you gave them another go?
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
“If you sat me down and asked me to name a great game to play while you’re locked up inside for a number of days, I’d probably name some sort of longform RPG like Final Fantasy VII or Trails of Cold Steel. But I’m not gonna do that.
“It just so happens I’ve been pretty sick myself recently, and my sinuses’ impromptu best friends have been pure Chinese black tea and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4. I’ve been planning on venturing through Naughty Dog’s hit series again, what with the release of their latest title just on the horizon, and this was the perfect time to do it. Nathan Drake, Sully, Elena, etc. have all acted as my replacement friends during the time I’ve been unable to see the few I have in real life – and listening to them seamlessness bounce off each other with sarcastic remarks as I watch Drake climb, fall, shoot, and blow shit up has been a pretty big source of joy.
“I would tell you more about why these games are great to play during isolation, but I’m off to play Uncharted 4. See ya.” – Lewis Mackin
“If you don’t have Stardew Valley yet, get it. Right now. This is the investment you’re going to need to get you through social distancing. First off, it’ll last you a long while. There are already tons of content in the game, the creator is constantly working to add more, and if you’re on PC, then there’s no short supply of mods to work with. More importantly, though, it’s relaxing. Soothing. Even the most hardcore of introverts might start to feel a bit wired locked up at home, but Stardew‘s low pressure, satisfying progression, love-filled dialogue, handcrafted music, colorful world, and basic gameplay loop work perfectly to ensure a calm experience for all players. Best of all, though? As of last year, Stardew is multiplayer. If you’re missing your friends because school was called out or you’re not able to see each other, everyone can get together on a farm and play together. In vanilla, up to four people can be on a farm, but there are mods that raise the limit or remove it entirely. Pour yourself a nice cup of tea, curl up under a blanket, and get farming.” – Max Broggi-Sumner
Lisa: The Painful RPG
“While Lisa: The Painful RPG is a fairly short game, it is very easy to get immersed into the post-apocalyptic environment and story of the game. This story-driven RPG will keep you invested with its extremely dark humor and provide you with a high-quality, yet emotionally painful, experience as you follow Brad on his journey to find his adopted daughter in a world where almost all women have gone extinct and sexually depraved men are desperate for a woman. You will definitely need a few days to recuperate emotionally and play the sequel, Lisa: The Joyful, after you play this game. And what better time to go on this journey than while we are all stuck at home being quarantined.” – Emma
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
“When you’re cooped up indoors, what’s the one thing you’re going to miss most? Being able to stretch your legs? Walking around open spaces? The smell of fresh air? If you can’t live without these things, then The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has got your back. Stepping out onto Hyrule Field is like opening a window into another world. It invites you to walk alongside the windswept grass and fill your lungs with its sun-kissed air. The hours melt away as you pick which mountains to scale and what unchartered territory you want to discover next. Be it on foot, horseback, or through the air, Breath of the Wild celebrates our primal urge to explore at a pace dictated entirely by you. It’s such an absorbing and relaxing experience, you’ll think twice about sending that angry Tweet concerning the planet’s toilet paper shortage.” – Theo Durrant
No More Heroes
“For an unlucky few, “self-isolation” is a new concept. Your imminent social plans are now swept out from under you by the Corona lurking in the air. Your spring break is left without direction. You haven’t seen the outdoors in days. You are left to your own devices in ways no social creature should sustain. But for 13 years going strong, Travis Touchdown has been a professional at self-isolation. Even as he bounces between motel room and residential trailer, Travis Touchdown leaves room for the essentials. Retro consoles of questionable origin, adult films, and your cat Jeane. Travis is mutually equipped to play with Jeane or play with himself until purpose calls.
“On top of all that, the city he is left to roam may be more desolate than your own neighborhood. As Travis rides his Schpeltiger modified scooter in pursuit of cash and opportunity, you will be surprised at how few civilians are walking around. With this in mind, the core gameplay loop of accepting odd jobs on your way to respective assassinations is fairly insular. You are only meant to purge this earth of human contact, not engage in it. Through fear of disease or technical limitation, isolation can manifest suddenly and unexpectedly. When such conditions arise, learn how to grapple with them from a champ.”
Honorable Mention: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
“With only a couple dozen hours left until its launch, Animal Crossing: New Horizons inadvertently chose the optimal time to release. Boasting literally years worth of content, you’ll have no shortage of activities to engage with as you settle into a daily routine of digging up fossils, weeding the gardens and doing a spot of fishing. Even if you’re forced to barricade yourself inside during the quarantine, the latest Animal Crossing installment is guaranteed to keep your social life thriving… even if your only neighbors are a sporty elk and a ninja chicken.” – Theo Durrant
In all seriousness, stay safe out there. The Coronavirus outbreak is going to get worse before it gets better. The best thing you can do for yourself and others is to be considerate about your social distancing. Catch up on your gaming backlog and keep a level head. We’re all in this together until it blows over.
Writer of words for tired eyes and lover of games that make me smile. Blogger and YouTube content creator who can’t keep quiet when it comes to gaming. Don’t like my work? Fight me IRL in Smash Brothers.