The peer pressure to look busy in public settings is real, but that doesn’t mean we always have to be. Here are some relaxing video games accessible to anyone with the internet.
In “Sort the Court,” players rule over a medieval kingdom by answering their subjects’ demands with a simple “yes” or “no.” The object of the game is to grow your kingdom enough to be invited to join the Council of the Crowns, an alliance group. Membership in this group solidifies the legacy of your kingdom.
At the bottom left-hand side of the screen, there are three icons that represent the kingdom’s population, contentment and wealth. Depending on how players choose their responses, the three numbers will fluctuate. Building population means getting closer to joining the Council of Crowns, but it also means players need to work harder to keep the population happy.
The characters in the game are creatively imagined, and the bigger the kingdom becomes, the more diverse the subjects are. Occasionally the characters and questions are a little redundant, but players can switch their responses up to get new outcomes.
It only takes about two hours to join the Council of Crowns, but players can continue to play after joining the Council of Crowns to finish out any dialogue options they wish to pursue. “Sort the Court” also saves players’ progress after they close the tab, making it a great game to play in small increments as a stress reliever.
Victorian-era London has fallen below the surface and into the depths of a cavern, never to see the true light of day again. “Fallen London” is a gothic, narrative game where players get to choose their own adventure. Depending on the choices players make, the main character can also level up in various skill categories. The level of different skills can determine the success of the characters’ choices.
The main story text box is at the top of the screen, and the choices are listed below. What response the players choose changes the outcome of the story. According to the game creators, the game has about 1.5 million words, so it would take about 80 hours just to read all of the different plot paths characters can take.
To keep players from doing the full 80 hours at once, most choices in the game cost action points. Action points are represented on the left side of the screen with a burning candle, and players start with 20. Over time they gradually regenerate, and the more serious choices cost more points.
If at any point players get lost, Fallen London has a Wiki site to help.
This nostalgic classic is my personal favorite from the list. For those who don’t know, Mario is a side-scrolling adventure game where players fight enemies plaguing the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Toadstool. If players die three times without finding any one-ups, they lose all progress and have to start over.
The game on this website is a version of the 1985 “Super Mario Bros.” game originally made for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s been modified to be playable by computer, and the website includes an informational section on the history of the Super Mario games.
The controls are listed at the top of the screen, and at the bottom left-hand side, players can choose what specific level they’d like to play on. This game is good for both short-term and long-term playing because of the map selection feature.
While there are multiple websites players can use to play this game, this version includes a pause feature, which is useful for anyone trying to play the worlds chronologically in more than one sitting.