Question Recommendations: Game with calming effect

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May 24, 2021
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What do you mean with "focused attention"?

The first game that comes to mind is Stardew Valley.
Journey and Abzû are also pretty relaxing.
Most building/management games, at least those without combat mechanics, are relaxing. Cities: Skylines for example.

By focused attention I mean a game that has enough action going on to require you to focus your attention so you don't lose the game or get bad results. Sorry, don't quite know the right terminology.
Journey is more a game than Abzu. I almost suggested it too except I wasn't sure about the focused attention bit.

There is no chance you lose game in Journey by doing anything (besides getting trapped out of bounds but that only part of game if you find people who know how to escape the game) as its pretty obvious where you are going. I lost months in it (which is impressive in such a short game). The way it does multiplayer is what made it special to me. Always a unique experience.

I liked it so much my Avatar based on the final form in game. I can't listen to its music without wanting to play it, hence I don't listen to it. I don't want to buy it on Steam, I don't want to play it to death. I still want to like it. It helped me in some bad times, as a distraction.

I played Abzu after Journey and it being Single player only meant I played it about 5 times max, to find everything, then never again
I find Crusader Kings 2 also pretty relaxing, but your mileage may vary and I'm not sure it counts as "focused attention".

Same for the Civilization series. Turn based games in general might be worth looking into, as a lack of time pressure means they're usually less stressful than a lot of other games.

Minecraft (perhaps on peaceful mode) might also work.

There's also a ton of simulation games that are generally pretty chill.
focused attention while at the same time be relaxing

Turn based games in general
Yes, my first thought too—Civ, Endless Legend etc. There are also space-based ones if you prefer that setting.
simulation games
Factorio, Infinifactory, MS Flight Simulator.

Also Match 3 or Hidden Object:

i have watched enough Factorio speedruns to know that if you don't keep your eye on ball (so to speak) it can all go bad (Guess it depends on if its a death world or not)

Sim city, Cities Skylines. these all can be relaxing and stressing as well.

As can Stardew Valley if you get caught up in making as much money as possible instead of enjoying the quiet farm life.
Biomutant comes out today. I've bought it and it has mixed reviews. I'm yet to play it as it releases in 2 hours. One of the positive reviews I saw said that the main downside is that it's really not challenging, but it's good for a calm zen gaming experience. Might be worth a try. It seems to also be quite repetitive (in case that's a problem).

If you buy it through steam and play for less than 2 hours you should be able to get a refund if it's not for you.
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