5 small video games to play quietly by the fire

For the holidays, the Tech&Co editorial staff offers you a selection of games that will help you relax.

The Christmas holidays are always an opportunity to take your time, to savor the last moments of the year. Sitting by the fireplace, it is too common to finish your yearbook, the outline of which you have forgotten. To get away from imposed activities, Tech&Co’s editorial staff has selected five video games that will allow you to recharge your batteries, gently. So ditch that Christmas movie you watched last year, and swap your cup of hot chocolate for a controller, mouse, or even your phone.

• Cutest: Tinykin

french creation, Tiny is the work of the Splashteam teams. Based in Montpellier, the studio is updating the game mechanics similar to the Pikmin series. The player contains Milo, a scientist who during his studies crashed on Earth. As in the main Nintendo series, the goal is to repair your ship by collecting objects. Only problem: Milo is small.

Stuck in a house, Milo must scan every corner of every room to find resources to continue his journey. In his adventure, he can rely on small, small animals that, according to their colors, have specific skills. The red ones explode when thrown, the green ones allow you to reach high points placed on top of each other, while the blue ones can be crossed by electricity.

With these fun companions, the player transforms into a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or even a library. Perfect for end of year celebrations, Tiny can be eaten without trouble. The puzzles are not solvable, without being too simple. So, there is no hassle to guarantee gaming sessions while relaxing, in a colorful universe.

Tinykin is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series as well as PC. This title is included in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.

• Most addictive: Powerwash Simulator

There are countless simulation games that put you in the shoes of a police officer, a home renovator or a bus driver. In Powerwash Simulator, you play as a high-pressure jet washing specialist. The scenario here is typical: a volcanic eruption covers the entire area with a layer of dirt, which you are responsible for removing.

In this game, developed by FuturLab, everything depends on the game mechanics. Like a shooting game, you control your high-pressure gun. Just aim to get the dirt off it with a blast of water. Then a deep sense of satisfaction took over.

Once an element is completely purified, it lights up with a blue beam. An emotion that drives to completion, each time dispensing a small shot of dopamine. Everything down to finishing the smallest tasks. The editorial staff of Tech&Co specifies that it cannot be held responsible in the event of addiction to Powerwash Simulator.

Powerwash Simulator is available on Xbox One and Series as well as PC. This title is included in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.

• Most relaxing: Unpacking

In Unpacking, Witch Beam you want to switch to. Not to discover a new home, but to fill and empty boxes. Because that’s the whole point of the game: getting rid of your stuff after the move. The player represents a girl. Without writing and without words, the strength of the title of the Australian studio is to tell a silent story. The stages of the character’s life are told through the evolution of his properties.

Like a “puzzle-game”, the player must position each object correctly. So, a pillow will have a hard time finding its place in a bathroom, while pans hardly leave the kitchen. Will play Unpackingit’s taking a free personal development session with Marie Kondo sauce.

Unpacking is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Series, PlayStation 4 and 5 as well as PC. This title is included in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.

• Most soothing: Dorfromantik

That’s hard to believe Dorfromantik is the work of four game design students. However, the title is the first from German studio Toukana Interactive. With its relaxing music and soft colors, Dorfromantik proposes to build an entire region, brick by brick. Or rather tile by tile.

The player has a set number of tiles, which are randomly composed of trees, agricultural plots or houses. He must place them next to each other to create a harmonious whole. By joining several trees together, a forest emerges. Here in the village, there in the field.

As you progress, objectives and new landscape elements will be unlocked. With each quest completed, additional tiles are added to the player’s stack. The game ends when the last available tile is placed. That can happen slowly depending on the inspiration of each one.

Dorfromantik is available on Nintendo Switch and PC.

Most Narrative: Reigns

Reigning, it’s the Tinder of video games. One swipe right, one swipe left. Here, it is not a question of accepting or rejecting temptations, but of responding to situations. The player is put in the shoes of a king. When facing your subjects, you must respond to their request to swing right or left.

Every decision will have effects on your relationship with the church, the people, the army or your resources. If during your reign, one of its categories becomes too weak or too strong, you will fall and die, in more or less severe pain. But you immediately pursue your choices in your descendant’s shoes.

Released in 2016, Reigning got a sequel at the end of 2017, which puts the player in the role of a queen. In 2018, the franchise was adapted to fit into the Game of Thrones universe. A futuristic turn has been taken in the mobile porting of the series with Ruler: More. Finally, the latest addition to the license, Ruler: Three Kingdoms depicts a story based on a Chinese epic.

Reigns games are available on Nintendo Switch, mobile, and PC. The Reigns: Beyond episode is an Apple Arcade exclusive. The Reigns: Three Kingdom episode is exclusive to Netflix.

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