People play video games for a litany of reasons. Some like a grueling challenge. Others want to experience a good story. Others still just want to relax after a long day. If you’re looking for a game that lets you breeze on through without making you work for it, you’re in luck. Here are five great games you don’t have to be a seasoned gamer to play.
1. Cookie Clicker
Lots of games are designed around high scores, but they generally make you exhibit some sort of skill before awarding you with a stratospheric score. Not so with Cookie Clicker, a game that strips away any and all forms of failure and becomes strangely addictive in the process.
What is Cookie Clicker? It’s a free browser game that begins with you clicking on a cookie. Each click earns you an extra cookie for your stash. You can then spend the cookies you’ve earned to buy items that accrue cookies on their own, meaning you no longer have to click. You can buy cursors, grandmas, farms, factories, mines, and even antimatter condensers to increase your rate of “cookies per second.”
If you grow tired of watching your cookie collection grow, you can let the game run in the background as you go about your day, resting easy that your cookies are in good hands. Go ahead, give it a shot. You can play Cookie Clicker here.
2. Gone Home
Like most games on this list, Gone Home isn’t a traditional game like Super Mario Bros. or Halo. Gone Home is more like an interactive short story. You play as a young woman visiting her family’s new house after traveling through Europe for the past year. No one’s there when you arrive, so you take it upon yourself to explore the new dwelling and find out what your family has been up to since you’ve been away.
The result is a deeply touching narrative that unfolds as you make your way from room to room, opening drawers and closets, and inspecting the things you find, including letters, mix tapes, and keys to locked rooms down the hall. It’s such a well designed experience that you just might forget you’re playing a game at all.
3. The Walking Dead
All of the recent titles from developer Telltale Games are fairly easy to get through because they focus more on story than on actual gameplay. Your main job in these games is to make key decisions that steer the narrative.
Telltale’s first Walking Dead game is also its best. It might not put up much of a challenge, but don’t think for a minute this game doesn’t have teeth. The post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead is the polar opposite of a happy place. This game introduces characters, gets you to care about them, and then kills them off with a ruthlessness you haven’t seen since of Game of Thrones. It’s easy to play though, but it leaves a big impression.
4. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Lots of games geared toward kids would qualify for this list, but the LEGO series stands out for its broad appeal and its easy charm. LEGO Star Wars kicked off the series by re-creating all six movies in the Star Wars universe using LEGO blocks and plastic characters. It’s just as silly as it sounds.
Best of all, the game is so easy that virtually anyone can play through it. That’s a good thing for people who are new to video games, or for anyone looking to relax with a controller in their hand. Since LEGO has licensed loads of franchises, you can also play through Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, and The LEGO Movie if you’d prefer.
5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
What makes Animal Crossing easy is that it has no goal, so it’s impossible to fail. That’s not to say there’s nothing to do in the game. On the contrary. You play as a character who hops off a train at a seemingly random stop and is instantly made the town’s mayor.
From there on out, how you spend your time is up to you. You can collect insects, dig up dinosaur bones, pull weeds, pick fruit off trees, or just wander around and talk to your new neighbors.
If you’re into fashion, you can buy all kinds of clothes for your character. If you like interior design, you can shape and decorate your home to your liking. If you get bored, you can set the game down for days, weeks, months, or even years. When you boot it up again, your town will still be there, waiting for you to spend your time however you want.