Games of Joy - Your Recommendations?

jpishgar

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Nov 24, 2019
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I made a huge mistake in trying to replay Enderal in order to try out that Forgotten Stories DLC that came out a short while back, and goodness that was not smart. It's a great game, I very much highly recommend it, but it's not what I'd call a pleasant or "happy" game. There's a Mass Effect 3 thing going on that is perhaps not the best timed. I have to put it down for the moment. A plague and apocalypse are perhaps not the best fantasy experiences at this juncture, right?

So I put the question to you - what are some dumb fun games of pure joy that you'd recommend I dive into? I'm looking for games like BroForce - stupid joy. Or serene and light contemplatives like Stardew Valley. What's your go-to for amusing delight? Something that doesn't require too much brain power or emotional investment.

Much appreciate your feedback!

-JP
 
"A plague and apocalypse are perhaps not the best fantasy experiences at this juncture, right?"

I know, very well I might add, four people who spent most of last week playing Plague Inc. who all named their plague Corvid-19, Corona Virus and the like to see who could be the overall worst in a playoff like scenario (no sports on TV mind you). So dude, you're good with Enderal I think.

Anyway, PCG had an article on this about *weird Googling sounds* 2 weeks ago. https://www.pcgamer.com/the-funniest-silliest-most-uplifting-games-on-pc/ Appropriately enough The Stanley Parable is free on Epic as I write this. (Don't forget to peruse the comment section for readers suggestions).

That said, my usual foray in blissful ridiculousness usually involves Saints Row the Third. On a less vulgar level the Lego games have a rather charming sense of humor about them.
 
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jpishgar

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Nov 24, 2019
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Plague Inc is great, but really the overall flavor of that game is more playful than it is four. Like playing Necronator back in the day.

Great shout out on the silly and uplifting games list, much obliged. I've done The Stanley Parable and that was a great time. Awesome to hear it's free to nab on Epic right now. I may head back into Saints Row and finish up those DLC packs for a nice mindless stint of fun.

There's also that new Federations expansion for Stellaris, though that might require a tad more thinky meats than I'm willing to throw down at the moment.
 

spvtnik1

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Jan 13, 2020
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When I'm that far out of my own skin I usually plop on some television, the ultimate low-impact entertainment. If you have Hulu, Baskets is a total romp.

As far as games, I just tried Anno 1800 last weekend while it was up for free trial on the Epic Game store, and I found it pretty enjoyable. But I wasn't tempted on the $30 sale price. Honestly given the track record with Epic, I really recommend people keep an eye on their weekly free offerings. Something for everyone, there is.

I've always viewed the Assassin's Creed games as "bright" for some reason... they generally don't require a lot of emotional investment and have really great environments.

Southpark: The Fractured But Whole was just on sale for for super cheap, like $8. Totally worth it. It's still on sale for $12.49 and I would say that's still a pretty good deal. It doesn't matter if you've played the The Stick of Truth.

Personally, I've been dividing my time between that and Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I also bought The Division 2 while it was on a super-deep discount, but I've yet to fire it up.
 
Jan 16, 2020
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The first t hing that springs to mind? Brutal doom. The OTTP violence, the brutal finishers and explosive joy brings me makes me happy.
 

Mknott

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Nov 25, 2019
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Metal gear Solid: Revengeance.

When I first picked the game up I was getting ready to travel for a funeral the next morning. I was extremely down and couldn't keep my head in check and saw that it was on sale - no joke it pulled me right out of my funk and I blitzed through it overnight.

It's pure dumb fun with a ludicrous soundtrack and such extremely over the top cutscenes you can't help but get into the vibe of everything. It's my tonic for any situation because everything is happier with insane butt rock that flows to your attacks and the bosses health and is an absolute joy to watch or play.

This is how the game starts and it only gets wilder from here.

 

Zoid

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Jan 13, 2020
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Stardew Valley, Abzu, and the Stanley Parable have already been covered, but are certainly high on the list.

Other games that I would recommend either for plain dumb fun or for bringing you joy:
  • 100 Foot Robot Golf
  • Just Cause 3
  • Kerbal Space Program
  • Rocket League
  • Any of the Lego games
  • Grow Home
  • The Deadly Tower of Monsters
  • Super Bunny Man
  • Undertale
  • Overlord II
  • Forza Horizon 4
Finally, the game that has brought me the most joy in recent memory is Super Mario Odyssey. I know this is a PC gaming forum, but man, if you want a joyful game, that's the one.
 

jpishgar

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Nov 24, 2019
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Much obliged for the awesome suggestions. Lots of great recommendations in here.

When I'm that far out of my own skin I usually plop on some television, the ultimate low-impact entertainment. If you have Hulu, Baskets is a total romp.
You know, I've been on a The Expanse kick lately on Amazon Prime. Surprisingly good show. It's gritty, the tech isn't too absurdly beyond where we are now, and there's an interesting interplay. I think it's prompting me to head back to Stellaris. I think a Stellaris playthrough with either The Expanse or Babylon 5 going is about the height of indulgence.

As far as games, I just tried Anno 1800 last weekend while it was up for free trial on the Epic Game store, and I found it pretty enjoyable. But I wasn't tempted on the $30 sale price.
I enjoyed Anno 1800, but didn't get nearly enough replayability out of it as I got from Anno 1404 or 2070. The production chains got a little too convoluted near the end, and if I'm looking for a deep-dive into OCD-territory, it's RimWorld or Satisfactory.

Honestly given the track record with Epic, I really recommend people keep an eye on their weekly free offerings. Something for everyone, there is.
Not to derail the thread too much, but a quick hot take on this - the frequent free games is the smartest darned thing ever. Gamers are now just jumping into the launcher, grabbing the free game (or games!) and popping off. Sometimes, every so often, it's a game you absolutely want to play. But the result of the whole thing is that gamers are building up these portfolios of "ugh, I really, really, really should play some of these games..." the same way we have a Steam library. It adds a whole pile of value to keeping an account there, reduces the barrier to entry, and gives a reason to keep logging in to check what's free to play this week. Way more clever than scooping timed exclusives, I think.

I've always viewed the Assassin's Creed games as "bright" for some reason... they generally don't require a lot of emotional investment and have really great environments.
I could never bring myself to give the AC games a go. I think the various reviews of the slow-walk follow missions highlighted ad nauseum have turned me off of them. I get that's doubtless not the gist of the gameplay, but it's such bleh. Though...I do see that one of the AC's is free to play right now...

Southpark: The Fractured But Whole was just on sale for for super cheap, like $8. Totally worth it. It's still on sale for $12.49 and I would say that's still a pretty good deal. It doesn't matter if you've played the The Stick of Truth.
I LOVED Stick of Truth. I was a little put off by The Fractured But Whole gameplay. It felt as though they took the original gameplay (JRPG style) and went too heavily into the tactical. Kind of just wanted more of Stick of Truth gameplay, but new material. I couldn't get through more than a few hours of But Hole. Does it improve past the first bits?

I've been dividing my time between that and Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
You're a more patient man than I.

Maybe ABZU or Starbound could be of interest.
Great recommends! Both are on my queue for next-up. Though I've heard one can get a little into the weeds in Starbound, no?

If you like Rick and Morty and the writings of Justin Roiland I'd like to suggest Trover Saves the Universe,
I do. Is it anything like Accounting? I someone envision Justin Roiland screaming vulgarity at you and clumsy claymation wobbley gameplay. What's the run-time like? 10+ hours?

The first t hing that springs to mind? Brutal doom.
Newp, can't. I one of those that get queasy. I'd love to! But for some reason Doom is one of the only handful of games that makes me ill. That and the old 360 shooter Descent.

Overlord II
Overlord and Overlord II was awesome. I do wish they'd make a new one.

Finally, the game that has brought me the most joy in recent memory is Super Mario Odyssey.
Burn the heretic!
(I'm kidding, half of you are playing Animal Crossing right now.)
 

Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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@jpishgar Been years since I played it, so I am not sure about that one. At least I don't think you could do that back in 2016/2017. I stopped playing just after they introduced a bit more in-depth quest system in the game, making the end game feel a bit more exciting also.
 

spvtnik1

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Jan 13, 2020
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I enjoyed Anno 1800...
Anno 1404 is on sale and I'm eyeing it, but I agree, the production tree seemed to get muddled early on.


a quick hot take on this - the frequent free games is the smartest darned thing ever. Gamers are now just jumping into the launcher, grabbing the free game (or games!) and popping off. Sometimes, every so often, it's a game you absolutely want to play.
Absolutely. And, in the case of the Division 2, it has actually led to a purchase (even if it was a steep discount).

I could never bring myself to give the AC games a go.
Black Flag is exceptional, because they pretty much nailed the Pirate Life™ and hit a decent balance on the whole "obligatory-animus-plot" thing. I put an easy 60 hours in to that one.


I LOVED Stick of Truth. ... It felt as though they took the original gameplay (JRPG style) and went too heavily into the tactical. ... I couldn't get through more than a few hours of But Hole. Does it improve past the first bits?
My question is, who is playing the Southpark games for the gameplay?? I followed the advice of a Steam review, and played the game on the hardest difficulty setting, "the way it's meant to be played." But I eventually did hit a wall with it. Going back and forth between locations is kind of dull, but there's always something around the corner. Currently, I would recommend the Stick of Truth over Fractured But Whole.


You're a more patient man than I.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is, simply put, Skyrim without the fantasy, and that appeals to me in every way.



I will add that I started up The Division 2, and it is surprisingly more immersive than I expected. Cut the soundtrack, don the earphones, and use backspace to toggle run/walk. For that deep discount, I've already gotten more than my money's worth. The environments are very well done, with a dumb yet eerily relevant plot.
 

Zloth

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@jpishgar - you appear to have played everything! OK, here's one: Rollers of the Realm - a pinball/RPG crossover. (Well, mostly a pinball with some RPG flavor.) You might have a time getting even 10hrs out of it, though, so you might want to wait for a sale. Then again - it's only $10 so a sale isn't really going to save that much.

P.S. GoG has been giving away free games for years now. Origin did for quite a while, too.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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I've played a bit of Two Point Hospital recently. Games fun and maybe offers a lighter take on disease outbreaks.

I looked through my GOG Galaxy account and out of 182 games there are literally three that aren't at least vaguely dark or traumatic, and I'm sure you've played Undertale and Ori given your other responses. :p

People also seemed to like Untitled Goose Game recently, and I heard that What The Golf was a lot of random fun although I havent played them myself. EDIT : And I just noticed WTG doesnt have a Steam release yet, oopsie.

On the other hand I have a Switch and I also loved Mario Odyssey, Mario Vs Rabbids Kingdom Battle is alright too.
 
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Colif

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My avatar insists I say Journey

Its only a short game, it can be finished in 1 hour... but I couldn't stop playing it.

I have explained here somewhere already, it was all about its unique multi player system. It never allows you to play with people on your friends list, if you met anyone along way it wasn't anyone you knew.

The only way to communicate with people is via noises produced by the buttons on controller, no direct voice communication, reduces everyone down to just 3 sounds. It only tells you the names of the people you met along way at the end of the game. I played with people from all around the world, many I couldn't understand after the game ended. Amazing really.

It doesn't force you to play with people, its a matter of choice. It meant that sometimes you meet people and they just ignore you and go on with their journeys alone. The special ones are with people who aren't in a rush and are in it for the fun and discovery of out of the waay places... or you meet the masters of the game who know how to exploit the physics of the game to truly fly around inside areas of the game not meant to be shown to public...

For an hour long game, I spent months replaying it to see what would happen. Game itself never changed story wise, it was the journey through the story that was unique every time.

It was originally on Playstation and is now on PC as well
 
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Oussebon

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I don't have a go-to, really. Wandering in modded Skyrim's plains around Whiterun with the exploration music, perhaps... But I recently finished Epistory: Typing Chronicles, and it was charming and quite beautiful. Visually, as well as for the story it told and how it told it.

It's a lovely journey of (re)discovery and

coming home to yourself

Not too long. Fulfilling and engaging without being an emotional roller-coaster. Joy might not be the right work, but peace, certainly.
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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I would like to add Magicka to the list (or Magicka 2, but I still haven't gotten around to playing it).

Tropico could also be a more fun alternative to the Anno series.
 

McStabStab

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Jan 13, 2020
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City builders are my relaxation usually. Cities: Skylines, Surviving Mars, and Anno 1800 are my current favorites that don’t get frustrating like Frostpunk or other more difficult building/management games do.
 
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Inspireless Llama

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Dec 20, 2019
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For pure joy I'd defeniately recommend Postal 2. It's game full of bs (it's offensive and you need to enjoy it, but still it's pure fun). It's also an old game (2001).

Also, ETS2 is very relaxing. It's not a "happy" game, I guess it's neutral, but still :p

"Stanley Parable" comes up too as a game that doesn't require brainpower and certainly lights up the mood.

Then there's "Mini Metro". It's a game that requires some thinking, but generally I found it relaxing.

And now I'm actually going to recommend anime LOL. There are some visual novels (you need to enjoy them though) that are hilariuos and basically just require you to listen and read. I'm thinking about Nekopara now. It's somewhat sexually orientaed (game is censored though) and I wouldn't play it with your wife sitting next to you if she doesn't enjoy anime, but it gave me alot of WTF moments that made me laugh out loud.

@McStabStab when I'm playing Cities, I mess up my traffic and I spent 4 hours fixing it, I'm not relaxed :D
 
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