Growing up, I used to love the bright and sunny days over summer vacation. More often than not, I was playing outside or hanging out with friends, but sometimes it’s great to relax indoors with the windows open and a great game loaded up. There are a lot of titles that would be great to play with open windows on a nice day, but this list focuses on more recent titles that can be beat in a single sitting. Let’s get into it!
Abzu is a game where you play as a diver exploring ancient ruins and meditating with ocean life. It’s simple visual style and relaxing pace really help set the tone for the game. Abzu could be completed in just a few hours (2 to 4) depending on how much time you spend exploring. It’s a game you’ll finish and be glad you played.
Bound is the kind of game that I probably wouldn’t have tried were it not free on the PlayStation Network for a while, but I’m glad I did. In Bound, you play as a pregnant woman, working through the inner demons of her past as she walks along the shoreline. Ultimately on her way to see her father for the firs time in what we can speculate is a long time, our character stops at various points along the beach to reflect on her inner demons. The artistic style of this game makes the world feel as though it’s made entirely of origami paper and really helps the player understand that a lot of the story is told in metaphors. We find comfort and protection in dance as a monster goes around destroying the world and trying to stop us. Bound will take right around 2 hours to complete.
Journey isn’t a game, it’s an experience. This short, open adventure through sand, sun, and a long forgotten civilization will leave you feeling like you spent 2 hours in deep contemplation about the meaning of life. The soundtrack is an incredible mix of strings that really works to tell the story. Journey has some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen in a game and is a game I return to time and time again, whenever I have a few hours to myself. Journey will only take you around 2 hours to complete, but it’s a game that will stick with you long after the credits roll.
If you’re into platforming games, this one’s for you. Unravel sees our main character, Yarny, venture through the world, overcoming obstacles while trying to keep from entirely unraveling. You’ll use the yarn trail you leave behind to solve puzzles and overcome challenges, picking up more yarn along the way to keep you going. As you go through the game, you unlock pieces of a bigger story of the woman who made you and the family she loves. The environments are detailed and full of life.
Unravel is a good game if you will be spending a lot more of your day inside, as it will take you 6 to 7 hours to complete.
This one actually caught me off-guard. The art style reminded me a lot of Journey (the game, not the band) so I gave it a whirl. You play as a young boy washed up on shore and trying to figure out what’s going on with the world around you. You’ll venture around, solving puzzles with your fox friend, all the while trying to figure out what it is you’re supposed to be doing. There are a few frustrating puzzles in this game, but overall it was a great experience.
At around 6 hours to beat, RiME is another game for a longer day, but it’s well worth the time invested.