These 5 “feel good” video games will warm your heart as winter approaches

A Short Hike, Stardew Valley, Haven – These works show that a video game doesn’t have to be pessimistic or violent to be great. These titles are great to distract you for a few minutes or long hours.

Let us start from a certainty: it is better to be a detective frog than to be human in 2021. Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic and the various disasters (ecological, democratic, etc.) which are brewing in the world, the rise of ” healthy games It may sound strange. Or, on the contrary, it can be considered very logical. the healthy games appointed caring, warm and heartwarming video game experiences, without being stupid or naive. Popularized by American developer Matthew Taylor in 2019, the term has spawned a veritable online community. ” Often the most popular video games are those that tackle dark themes and have a pessimistic view of the world. “, we read on the collective’s website. ” But there is a whole world of upbeat video games that tell beautiful, rich stories.

Therefore, exit the first person shooters Violent or frightening dystopias and pity for the sad spirits who regret that video games have become too easy. Because the other advantage of healthy games is that they are generally available to the general public, not just experienced gamers. If you’re looking for a couple of hours’ getaway or virtual blanket to hide in every night, here are our favorite health games.

Our five wellness video games for fun

A short walk

A short walk, the joys of walking without blisters on your feet // Source: Adam Robinson-Yu

At the beginning ofA short walk, her heroine sighs: ” I need a break “This is exactly the experience this video game offers. We play Claire, a bow tie who comes to rest for a few days in her aunt’s vacation home, in the heart of a natural park. Our protagonist is waiting for an important phone call, but he can’t find a net. His only solution: to go around the island and climb a mountain, to reach its highest point. On his way, he will meet other hikers, solve puzzles and even find some treasures.

A short walk it’s a relaxing experience from start to finish. Its handling is very simple, its graphics adorable and its soundtrack perfectly accompanies our adventures. It is also an adventure à la carte: if there are still a few puzzles to solve to complete the game, the others are more or less optional, according to the player’s wishes. Will you become a beach volleyball champion with a stick? Can you find an old forgotten treasure? Or maybe you prefer to learn to fish? At the end ofA short walk, we feel renewed, without having sore feet.

Available in : PC, Mac, PS4 and PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Dew valley

In Stardew Valley, you can find love or become a hen’s best friend. // Source: ConcernedApe

Animal crossing is often cited as the prime example of healthy game. But it is a question of quickly forgetting another heavyweight of the genre, less known to the general public. In Dew valley, we play a person who has just suffered a burnout in a company that looks strangely like Amazon. Then we moved to Pelican Town, a quiet country town, where our grandfather left us an old farmhouse. It’s up to us to repair the old building, to buy animals to raise them, to plant our garden… but also, if we want, to find love among the villagers.

Dew valley it is a simulation game. Each action must take into account the time that passes (one day equals ten minutes) and the energy of our avatar, which gradually decreases. But the interest of Dew valleyit is that we can do what we want with it. Some people will prefer to focus on developing their farm, investing in livestock and maintaining it; others will go and tell a story to discover the secret stories of each inhabitant; Dew valley It can even turn into an action game, if one decides to explore its mysterious cave full of monsters and treasures. It’s endless fun and a much more emotional (and addictive) experience thanAnimal crossing.

Available in: PC, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One


In Florence, love grows, so does its absence. // Source: Annapurna Interactive

AND Dew valley It’s a game with no real end Florence shows that half an hour allows you to become attached to the characters and be touched by their story. We follow the path of Florence Yeoh, a young woman who suffocates in her boring work and under the too strict gaze of her mother. Secretly, he dreams of being an artist. One day, she (literally) meets Krish, a cellist she falls in love with. Then we accompany him in this new relationship, with his joys and sorrows.

In Florence, each scene is accompanied by a simple game (a puzzle to solve, a painting to paint, etc.). The objective is not really to win a challenge, but to put yourself in the shoes of the heroine and make us feel her emotions. We let ourselves be carried away by this bittersweet story, without words or dialogue, which recalls the importance of beautiful encounters, but also their sometimes necessary outcome. As in life, Florence is not a game where you can lose. It’s just a matter of moving forward.

Available in: PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch

Frog detective

In Frog Detective, rest is as important as investigations. // Source: Club des vers

Frog Detective is the hero of Frog detective And, as the name suggests, he’s a detective frog. The first investigation leads our batrachian to explore a mysterious enchanted island. But before solving this riddle, you will have to find toothpaste, a ball of yarn, a gold bar, well-cooked pasta and, why not, win a dance competition.

Created by Australian developer Grace Bruxner in 2018, Frog detective is a series in two episodes (a third is in preparation for 2022) which pays homage to detective novels, but also blithely mocks them. Our Green Detective spends more time having silly conversations with his sources than investigating their affairs. It’s very well written, it’s fairly short (each survey takes a good half an hour to complete), and we regularly get confused behind our screens. So what are people asking? Become a detective frog, of course.

Available in: PC, Mac, English only


In Haven, the space opera meets the daily life of a couple // Source: The Game Bakers

When you’re young, you often feel alone in the world. In the case of Yu and Kay, it’s little more than an impression. The couple left their home planet, where he and she got engaged to arrange marriages, to freely live out their relationship on an abandoned star. But it is not enough love and fresh water to survive away from home.

Developed by the French studio The Game Bakers, Refuge takes a surprisingly fair look at the couple. While your day-to-day problems may not be like ours – finding vegetables to eat, cleaning up strange rust-covered planets, repairing damaged vessels – others are much more familiar, made from clogged shower siphons, small fit of jealousy. . and the desire to create a life for two, despite the obstacles. Refuge It is also an adventure game, in which you have to explore planets and fight monsters. Unfortunately, this experience is sometimes a bit repetitive and frustrating (advice from a friend to avoid nervous breakdowns: go to the accessibility and adjustment settings “adhesion of the corrugated wire“Usually. You’ll thank me later). But Yu and Kay’s relationship is so touching that she is quickly forgiven for her few faults.

Available in: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

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