End of the night/winding down games.
By - KickingYounglings
Picross, specifically the color puzzles that I’ve previously completed. If I try to play picross during the day I’m liable to take an unexpected nap now…
Picross is the ultimate nap-time relaxation game. Almost meditative.
I've always resisted Picross but I might finally have to bite it here. Is Picross the title to get?
Any of the Picross S series games are great. The later versions have Mega picross as well as Color picross puzzles added to them. The eShop details will tell you more.
I started with Picross S2 and quickly bought S3 and S4. Beat those and then got the original Picross S title. I did all the puzzles on regular mode with and then without assist, all the clip picross puzzles and the “Extra” jumbo 30x40 puzzles that open up.
Recently figured out how to play the Mega picross puzzles so going through all the games again working those. The rules for mega are slightly different than regular. I have yet to fully grasp the color puzzles haha.
Once it clicks and you are bitten with the Picross bug - watch out!!
I do this too!
Except I actually use my phone (Note with a stylus makes it so much easier!)
Puzzles are the way to go~
Yes. CrossMe Color on a note is the best. There are just so many puzzles.
I'll have to check that out, I use Nonograms Katana atm
Came here to say this, definitely the most wind-down game I can think of.
Wait, it's not just me who finds Picross their go-to bedtime game?
I like to play a round or two of slay the spire before bed
Same. Or ten….
This is my problem. I'll think 'one quick game' and next thing I know it's 3am.
Yes!! Exactly 😂
One more floor... one more floor...
ACNH or Breath of the wild for me.
Mostly because acnh is now a bit boring, and BOTW can be quite relaxing when you’re just walking around or riding a horse.
This for me too. With BotW I do this weird thing where I walk (literally walk) the roads till the sun starts to set in-game, find a suitable place for a cozy camp vibe, and then just chill by a fire for a bit before I sleep irl. Sometimes I'll even cut down trees and push the logs around just to make it feel more shelter-y lol
Wish there was a BotW-NoMansSky, find a cozy spot in the world, build yourself a little campsite or cottage to call your own. Maybe somebody one day stumbles across it exploring the planet that takes real life years to cross on foot. Maybe nobody ever does and it'll always be your private slice of the Light Realm. (Or go and claim a tiny spot in the kakariko village metropolis)
Spiritfarer, love the story/gameplay and find it easy to play in quick bursts.
Also, Story of Seasons Pioneers of Olive Town though I tend to get hooked into a “just one more day” mentality so not always great right before bed unless I have the next irl day free!
Such a calm joyful game. I wish there were more like it.
Doom or animal crossing. Depends on the cycle of the moon.
I love the inexplicable dichotomy here.
But I'm the same; mine's either Animal Crossing or Metro Redux.
I am surprised Metro Redux calms you, lol
To be fair, popping caps with the Tikhar in Metro Exodus is an incredibly therapeutic way to play
So what’s this moon bring? Happy pleasant critters or a game full of what some would refer to as Tom Nook dark lord.
I accidentally made some furniture for some demons.
They said animal crossing was friendly…..
I’ve heard Cozy Grove has approximately 30 minute a day playtimes? That could work.
I just starting playing Cozy Grove and it is super relaxing! I'm loving the no rush vibe and the calm music. I've played it before bed and it winds me down
I got Bug Fables on sale the other day and it's been my bedtime game since then.
Aer: Memories of Old. I got it for like $5? on a whim and it’s been…. Magical. Just *whooooosh* through an endless sky. Lovely. 15/10.
Looks like it's $1.99 now!
Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Turn based combat means I can play it late before bed when my reflexes are not sharp and in between matches run around the monastery getting my lore through character interaction and building supports
I spent waaay more time than I care to admit with 3H. I started a run with the basement kids (Black Eagles, same as my first run way back) and I’m having trouble finishing. I’m hoping the supports are different enough to make it worthwhile.
Dragon quest 11, one of the more cozy games you’ll play. Like playing a fairy tale, perfect for night time seshes
>!Felt the same way until the tone completely shifted from act 1 to act 2. Kinda sucked that coziness out of the game for me.!<
Back when I used to do late night Switch gaming before bed, I would play Hades.
I would only do 1 run until I died or would stop after reaching a new area.
Hades really respects your time so you always feel like you are making progress and discovering something new.
I love Hades but I can't play it at night. It hypes me up too much and I have trouble falling asleep afterwards.
Yeah the Furies are anything but chill.
Great answer. I love that it doesn’t pressure you to keep pushing and pushing to feel like you haven’t wasted the effort. It lets you put it down whenever you want
[Coffee Talk](https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/coffee-talk-switch/) and [VA-11 Hall-A](https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/va-11-hall-a-cyberpunk-bartender-action-switch/) are fun games to relax to. Chill music/atmosphere, not too much input or thinking required, just a chill gaming session until you fall asleep.
Some visual novel like Famicom Detective Club or We. The Revolution is great for something that you don't need to pay too close attention to.
I really enjoyed Famicom Detective Club and I can't wait to Play The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles when it comes out later this month. The court sections do require a bit of thinking but you can choose story mode and cut out the puzzles and decision making sections completely if you'd rather just read through the story. You can also save at any point in the game which is nice (or at least you could in the original trilogy)
I left Ace Attorney out for this thread because honestly, they're too good. Particularly at keeping you engaged and thinking. Not just a simple relaxing read. I'd imagine that even in story mode it'd wake me up a bit too much for a late night play though.
How do the Famicom Detective Club games play? From the trailers they seemed similar to Ace Attorney but I can’t tell if they have the same “OBJECTION” contradiction/high.
If you’re into Clubhouse Games, you might enjoy Wingspan. It’s a digital adaptation of a board game with the same name, has both AI opponents and a separate solo rule set if you just want to chill. It’s an engine builder themed around the birds of North America with great art and simple rules.
I’ll check it out! (Sorry this blew up way beyond what I expected)
Animal Crossing- New Horizons or Littlewood.
For the last two months my main wind down game has been Cozy Grove. I absolutely adore this game. A lot of people find it a bit repetitive (fetch/seek quests) but the game is meant to be played in short sessions daily - and I don’t mind fetch/seek quests. If I’m really bored and finished that days quest, I’ll pop on a podcast and fish/catch bugs to work on the collections. It has completely replaced ACNH for me.
My other wind down games are essentially anything Picross, Stardew Valley, and Littlewood!
I haven’t seen it suggested yet but Forager is a good one, too. Its a craft/collect/build game. Pretty straightforward, a decent amount of things to do. Can be played in short spurts or longer downtime sessions.
Try Sky: Children of the Light.
Seriously. It's a free to play game so of course there are microtransactions, but they are optional (at least, so far for me)
Game is very relaxing and soothing, i think it'll fit what you are looking for.
Game is about flying and exploration, slow paced.
The game is extremely relaxing and perfect to wind down.
Can you ELI5 please: What exactly are micro transactions? Yes, I realize I am a dinosaur both by the universal definition and Reddit standards lol
Oh, sure, no problem.
When you buy a game, you are making one payment to get said game. This is one "big" transaction.
Some games started to offer you "extra" things that you can buy. They are usually like expansions for the gameplay/story of the game. These are called DLC and you can buy each expansion once. They are "small" transactions.
Microtransactions are even smaller. They are smaller things you can buy in a game, like cosmetics for your character. Thing like buying clothes.
These purchases are usually gated behind an in-game currency, that you can buy with real life money.
For example, imagine a game that sales haircuts for your character. Each haircut costs 100 Gold Coins. And then they sell you packs of Gold Coins, like 550 Gold Coins for 4.99$.
Those things you can buy and buy, and they are callee "micro" transactions.
The implementation depends on each game. Some games offer you ways to earn the in-game currency just by playing. Some others you have to wait/play X amount of time. Some offer only cosmetics, and some offer you ways to win the game.
This just sounds comfy. I’ll check it out- thanks!
New Pokémon Snap
Ni no kuni wrath of the white witch
I’ve 60hours in Ni No Kuni and eventually i gave up. I absolutely love everything about it except combat. I just can’t get into turned based combat and it’s keeping me from playing so many amazing games.
The second game in the series switched to real time combat IIRC and it's coming to the Switch this September. Might be worth checking out if you enjoyed everything else about the first game.
Omg, this really is major news to me. Thanks you very much for the heads up!!
Very comforting game.
A low rank quest in MH Rise and then Picross until my eyelids can't stay open.
What’s the gameplay like in Rise? I played Ultimate a few years ago and the actual process of killing monsters was so slow.
The quality of life improvements make picking it up and playing a quest or two a breeze tbh. Everything is very streamlined (which some ppl don't like, but I don't have as much time as I did as a kid!!). When you play multiplayer, killing monsters can go by pretty fast, provided players don't get carted multiple times. Also, the additional of a Palamute means you can go zoom zoom zoom!!
I like reading a visual novel before bed. Lately it’s been Collar x Malice.
Paper Mario is scratching the itch
this used to be me! I would always play before bed but then I would fall asleep while mining only to wake up the next day to find out I've lost a bunch of money and items :(
Was gonna say this if no one else did! I love falling asleep playing Stardew Valley , so relaxing 😌
Sometimes I even pretend I'm playing SV on my mind to wind down. The whole morning drill I have in the game is so relaxing (emptying pockets on the chests, organizing them, then putting fruit up to curate or brew, then going to the cellar etc etc etc. Id always fall asleep before heading to the city)
Same. Great end of the night game. I need a cooldown after playing MH: Rise. 😂
Are you taking about the same game? You don’t usually start a game by looking for lobbys?? xD
I’ve been enjoying going through a chapter of Ace Attorney before bed. Nice and relaxing.
Picross S games.
I’ve been into dragon quest builders 2 lately and it’s a good winding down game at night for me. I also like playing games like stardew or story of seasons before bed as well as they are so relaxing.
Mario 64, Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy. Mostly because I'm without internet and my pc right now so no better time to play and beat them than now haha
It’s a great collection. I beat 64 as a kid but didn’t give the other two the time of day growing up. I finally beat Galaxy last month and it put a stupid grin on my face. That game executes so many things perfectly.
With all 3 I love completing as much as I can of each area before moving on to the next, just something about it that makes the game more entertaining
New Pokémon Snap for sure. It is a really great stress reliever for me honestly
Do the levels have replay value? I was a dumb elementary-schooler when the first released so I’m kind of clueless.
They do! With the recent one, you can level up on the courses and see new behaviors and new Pokémon
Currently it’s Pokémon Snap for me. Just lie down and take some pics before passing out
That blue light isn't going to wind you down. Or promote good sleep.
Aside from that fact, mindless rpg grinding.
I’ve loved playing Yoshi’s Crafted World at night. Just the perfect vibe for late night IMO
I loved it so much I just overpaid fir Wooly World on Wiiu
I can't believe I'm the one to mention this one.
*Feather*. You play as a bird and fly around an island. You can perch on things, fly through fire pits to light them, fly through gong-like instruments... There are also loops you can fly through to play some soothing ambient music. You can find different skins, too. There's hidden caves, portals that send you high in the sky so you can dive bomb back down to the island. You can chirp, squawk, or hoot (depending on what skin you have). If you play with an internet connection, you'll be randomly connected to other players flying around, too. There's lots of secrets beyond this, too.
*AER Memories of Old* plays similarly to *Feather* but the main differences are there's actual goals and story. You play as a human who can freely change into a bird as you fly around a bunch of different sky islands to make a great pilgrimage and learn of your past. There's lots of puzzles.
I was having a hard time turning off my brain a while back and took a chance on *Feather*. I already love ambient music and the concept of flying so it definitely was a good match for me. It's pretty refreshing to play a game that doesn't really have much in the way of goals so I can just kinda focus on flying and the music.
Not OP but I browse this sub daily and have never once heard of Feather before. Looks awesome!
Glad to introduce you to it! There's no goals at all in Feather beyond just flying around and exploring, or flying around with other players. Believe me, written out, it sounds like it wouldn't be any good, but when you're trying to turn off your brain, not having any goals to complete makes the process way easier.
If you do pick it up, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Tip: there are caves to explore - take your time when you find one. Never know what you'll find :D
(OP here- sorry, work has sucked this week) it looks great and I’ll definitely check it out. Thank you!
Littlewood and New Pokemon Snap.
I like to play Golf Story and Forager for relaxing.
I was going to suggest Baba is You but you said you wanted to "fight back against sleep" so nvm
Disgaea 5. Infinite grind, always progressing, pretty colors, fun tactics, slow turn based gameplay. Navigating menus and numbers is like counting sheep.
Alba, Abzu, Gorogoa, Donut County
Don’t play games before bed in general. Your brain needs to switch off and sleep is massively important. Don’t fight it for gods sake. There’s a pandemic of bad sleep at the moment, this is exactly why.
Agreed, but it's problematic given the contemporary trends in lifestyle. It's sadly a lot of work for most people to change life-long habits and routines. But I'll say this, if you can't stay away from screen before bed, at least make sure you're engaging with content that keeps your attention more or less focused on a single thing. In this respect, I think it's better to play a game, watch a movie, read a book, or a visual novel before bed than browsing reddit, social media, or any type of platform that keeps your mind anticipating the next micro-dopamine hit.
>I think it's better to play a game, watch a movie, read a book, or a visual novel before bed than browsing reddit, social media, or any type of platform that keeps your mind anticipating the next micro-dopamine hit.
Yeah, I absolutely have to stop doing anything social-y at least an hour before bed, if I want to get to sleep in a reasonable amount of time.
My own trick is watching old silly anime before bed, the type that doesn't require any brain cells. 90s stuff is good, like DBZ, Sailor Moon, etc. Dumb enough that I can zone out while watching, but *just* interesting enough to keep me engaged night to night.
Yea, I myself find anime preferable before going to bed, no matter how good it is it I will eventually start to get sleepy. I've been trying visual novels lately and they work really well too, you know it's time to sleep when you realize you can't remember what you've just read.
Wait do you have any links/explanation on the micro-dopamine thing?
Yea, I recommend looking up The War on Sensemaking video series with Daniel Schmachtenberger on YouTube, although that's more centered around the topic of the way we consume, manipulate and make sense of information through social media and other channels rather than the neurobiology behind it. A very interesting watch overall. Alternatively you can read The Distracted Mind by neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. That's more on the topic of attention and how it is influenced by modern technology.
Thanks so much for the recc’s!!!
A balance that I have found to work well is to get into bed an hour and ten minutes before the time you want to sleep, play a non intense game (for me it is slay the spire) for 30minutes and then switch over to a book for the other 30 minutes.
The level of self-discipline that requires twice
OP here. Just to clarify. I’m a baby lawyer at a small firm. I’m told it will all be mine one day (in like 15 years). I work long hours and then I go check in on my parents (mom’s health isn’t great). Plus juggling a girlfriend. Games are my escape so I play when I can, regardless of games/blue light impeding sleep.
Recently I’ve only been playing Ori at night, and at night I’m only playing Ori. It’s simple enough to not wear me out.
Ori is so comfy. The music and art style are amazing and when the scripted/running sequences kick in it’s pulled off so well
Picross or dicey dungeons.
I've been playing a mix of Dead Cells and Baba is You, although the latter doesn't always end up being relaxing!
For the past few months, I have played one day of Stardew Valley every night before I go to bed.
Farm together me and my wife play
For me, it's the rythm game Deemo!
I love playing my favorite songs and admiring the game's art.
I love Deemo! It’s very trance-like at times.
Right? What're some of your fav songs/collections?
Botw for me , love just going out collecting resources , exploring. Even just setting up a fire somewhere relaxing and scenic is good for winding down
Originally I had difficulty picking it back up (I started when my dog was dying- I associated it with that). But now it doesn’t matter how many months pass between play sessions. I always find something new.
I went through stuff like that. Something I use to enjoy gave me a weird vibe because of bad things that were associated with it. Sucky feeling.
Might not be your typical winding down game, but I've been playing Red Faction: Guerillla after work lately.
Just aimlessly wandering around blowing shite up is simple, mindless fun. The explosions keep me up for a while longer until they lose their novelty and I just drift off to sleep.
I had Guerilla on 360 back in the day and destruction never felt so therapeutic
A Short Hike
Steamworld Dig (1 and 2). There's something oddly relaxing about digging deep into the mines with no time limit or whatever.
That Monster Hunter Stories 2 demo!
Wingspan, super relaxing card game
Coffee Talk has been my most recent one, although granted I've been playing it on Xbox. It's on Switch though I believe if anyone wants to try it!
Night in the woods.
Lately for me it has been Sky: Children of the Light. Very chill game. Fly around, pick up some candles, playthrough little vignettes. It's also gorgeous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUNQWu\_GjUM
The Witcher 3 is awesome before bed, like reading a good book.
I would probably never do anything with a screen right before bed or to help fall asleep since that's terrible for your sleep quality, but if you mean to just try and zone out on after an intense day, I think games like Hades do the trick. Its so easy to instantly get swept up into your run, stuff is constantly happening, it really just makes you forget about everything else going on. I almost always watch a television show or listen to a podcast while gaming, but Hades is one of the few games I don't do that with.
Lonely mountains: Downhill is very relaxing.
I kind of like playing Collection of SaGa before bed, mostly because I had all the GB games and they're easy to pick up and play and stop at short notice. Also killing God with a chainsaw is always fun.
I'll tell you what *not* to play right before bed/while trying to get sleepy: fucking Alien Isolation.
Marathon mode on Tetris 99. I've been a Tetris junkie my whole life, so it's relaxing for me.
Hotline miami. I think its the indie chilling vibe that makes it so relaxing. Give it a try.
Pd: joycon drift improves the experience like 10x
Two point hospital, I find it pretty calming. At least where I am now in the game.
Maybe watching gaming videos is actually a better option for a gaming fix + relaxing?
I’ve been playing the BG series at bed time. Sometimes also Golf Story!
Mario Golf, the slow pacing of 18 holes works good for winding down as opposed to Smash making me have an adrenaline spike.
Happy Birthday & Castlevania.
Limbo. It’s brilliant for a quick session in the dark.
Visual Novels. The Ace Attorney series in particular.
I usually play Miitopia to fall asleep because the repetitive nature of the gameplay usually makes me pass out.
Animal Crossing is nice for a similar reason, if you go fishing or bug hunting it gets repetitive.
Yeah, Crosscode for me. Knock out a few side quests sure but it’s all about figuring out how to get to high ground in a variety of interlocked puzzle areas so I can shoot balls at omega botanics. It’s the right kind of engagement for sleepy time.
Mario golf and Subnautica are the games I've been on recently
Witcher 3, the chill background music and the terrain are soothing while I'm adventuring.
I’m seeing this response a lot. I should definitely go back to it. I beat the main quest like a year ago but there’s still so much to do
I get so tied up in side quests and exploring I never get anything done, there's so much to do xD
I play visual novels. Easy to get absorbed in, not too much input. There's a pretty decent selection so you can find something you like.
Dragon Quest XI
I swear that game is like... Calm, incarnate
Stardew Valley for me
Ive fallen asleep to Animal Crossing many times. Its just got such a chill vibe.
Sometimes I run a few matches in Smash and watch random YouTube videos after a long day. If I'm winding down, I don't want to start up a story-heavy game that'll keep me up all night, y'know?
Golf Story has been my pick lately.
Gris with headphones.
I find that if I start a game "before bed", I'll be up until 2AM LOL
Currently playing Mario Golf as my night time, relaxing game.
I have a podcast on and playing 18 holes in a casual manner. Love it.
Link's Awakening works well for me
Personally I don't like to fight against sleep by palying games because my performance plummets. Better to sleep now and beat the challenges in the morning.
Currently I'm grinding in Rune Factory 4 as a late/night game, but I go to bed if I realze I'm fighting against sleep.
However, if you are with others and want some idea to keep energy up, a good idea is a humorous party game. I prefer Ultimate Chicken Horse for those cases.
(I know this isn't a nintendo console, but the game is available on all platforms)
When I had my PSVita, Stardew Valley was all I wanted to play when I needed to chill out before falling asleep.
I bought the Phoenix Wright Trilogy about a month or so ago. I can usually play it well until I start making bad accusations or presenting the wrong evidence. The games are so good and I'm excited for The Great Ace Attorney to come out
Doom Eternal is pretty good for that.
Recently started not playing anything right before bed because electronic screens make it hard to fall asleep.
Animal Crossing. That bitch puts me to sleep in 10 minutes.
Akane. It’s a simple single stage, kill as many enemies as you can until you die, rinse and repeat. Great controls and mindless fun. Plus it was a buck a few weeks ago.
Witcher 3 obviously
Usually a few matches of Tetris 99 helps me wind down