Cozy gaming doesn’t need to be relegated to blanket forts and cold winter nights; in the summer months, gamers need comforting, relaxing games to provide those holiday feelings. Never underestimate the bliss of virtually exploring a sandy warm beach, swimming in a glistening sea, or defending a melting ice cream from ravenous seagulls.


6 Games That Make You Feel Like You Have Traveled The World

Video games live and die by their setting, but these games – set in real-world locations – capture the feeling of actually visiting exotic locales.

Whether these games are set in sunny destinations or simply embody the carefree feeling that would pair well with an iced glass of lemonade, here are some cozy summer gaming choices to play basking in the sun or taking shelter in the shade.

5 Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

December 11, 2020

Ustwo Games

Grab a camera and join Alba on a summer vacation to a Mediterranean island that her grandparents call home in Ustwo’s 2020 relaxing, slow-paced open-world game, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. As no childhood trip is complete without taking copious photos of everything, players must take a tour of golden sandy beaches and lush forests while searching for over 62 species of birds and animals to photograph for Alba’s beloved scrapbook. If that wasn’t enough responsibility for one kid, Alba is also tasked with rescuing beached dolphins, cleaning up the community, and saving the island from corporate greed and rampant tourism.

Amazingly, playing this game also helps the environment in real life, as the developers of Alba: A Wildlife Adventure planted a tree for each download of the game, in partnership with Ecologi, and have planted an incredible number of at least 1 million trees since the title’s release in 2020.


14 Best Relaxing Slow-Paced Open-World Games

There are some great open-world games that are perfect for those who want to relax, and these are the best options to play.

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is a short, sweet game, easily completed in one sunny afternoon, and lacks any complex storytelling or peril that would ruin the relaxing atmosphere. The features and game mechanics are simplistic and limited, perhaps disappointing any cozy gamers expecting the usual freedom to farm, harvest, cook, and mine to their hearts’ desires, as photography, signature collecting, and occasional animal rescue are this game’s sum total of activities. However, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure epitomizes the feel of a summer vacation, with bright cheery music, adorable animal animations, and gorgeous sun-washed scenery that will make gamers feel smug they aren’t outside getting sunburned.

4 Tchia


March 21, 2023


For gamers looking for a colorful summery title with edgy, gripping gameplay and real peril, Tchia is a fantastic adventure game that doesn’t shy away from serious topics or scrimp on feel-good moments. Inspired by New Caledonia (an island in the South Pacific), the landscape of Tchia is truly gorgeous, with clear sparkling blue water, plush greenery, and mountainous terrain, which players can climb, sprint or glide across at their leisure.

The charm and joy of Tchia, which is different from other open-world games, is the “soul jumping” feature, allowing players to embody up to thirty animals and over a hundred inanimate objects; nothing is more thrilling than swimming as a shark, flying as a bird, sprinting as a deer or even digging up treasure maps as a dog. Playing Tchia means being free to indulge in any whim, launching from mountaintops and climbing trees to get to desired destinations with ease.


10 End Of The World Games That Are Actually Beautiful and Relaxing

Games about the apocalypse and what comes after don’t necessarily have to be all doom and gloom, and that is the case for these 10 games.

Despite the seemingly child-friendly animations and the allure of playable animal NPCs that would have children squealing in delight, this game’s mature themes are not for kids. Tchia contains surprisingly dark storytelling and significant violence; the protagonist’s father is kidnapped in the game and in need of saving but is brutally killed before he can be rescued, and multiple children are consumed by a demon. At times, little girl Tchia must embrace her inner Rambo to infiltrate enemy territory and save her loved ones, strangely comparable to action titles, without the combat features. However, while Tchia is not entirely serene, it does capture many cozy, lighthearted elements of the genre, like playing the ukulele, journaling, and socializing with different characters in a stunning, warm environment. No matter how unnerving other aspects of gameplay can be, players can always self-soothe by harvesting ingredients, cooking different cuisines, and enjoying a wholesome meal in the glow of a campfire.

3 Dordogne


June 13, 2023



Step back into restless childhood summer breaks with Un Je Ne Sais Quoi’s Dordogne, a nostalgic storytelling game where not everything is sunny. Tinged with sadness, Dordogne starts with grieving adult, Mimi, clearing out her grandmother’s home after a long separation. Interacting with her grandmother’s belongings absorbs Mimi’s childhood memories of time with her grandmother while her parents were absent. Players must traverse the fractious familial relationships and uncover secrets by selecting dialogue options and inspecting household objects.


8 Beautiful Photography Video Games

These photography video games with imaginative gameplay are among the genre’s best titles for gamers to check out.

Set in the idyllic countryside of Southern France, Mimi wanders sun-soaked watercolor backgrounds of teeming forests and glistening rivers, which were hand-painted by Cédric Babouch. Despite its heavy subject matter, Dordogne is saturated with innocent mini-games including making breakfast, unpacking suitcases, gardening, taking photos, and filling notebooks with stickers and drawings. Reminiscent of cozy games Unpacking and Assemble With Care, Dordogne is a heartwarming, poignant tale that will have players dreaming about their own childhood Summers.

2 Spiritfarer


August 18, 2020

Thunder Lotus Games , Kowloon Nights , Canada Media Fund

Ever fancied running an adorable Bed and Breakfast atop a boat, gliding across glistening waters while fishing, harvesting, and hugging animal hybrids? Although not specifically set in the summer months, the 2D platformer Spiritfarer is full of sunshine, with a backdrop of a beautiful ocean and warm sunsets to keep players in sunny spirits (and also socializing with them, literally). Acting as Stella, players must create homey accommodations for their guests, all friendly anthropomorphic spirits with charming backstories, fetching them their favorite food and going on detours to their desired destinations. Guests make requests for rooms that suit their needs and wants, which players build with collected resources and arrange onto the boat in a Tetris-style mini-game and players traverse the new additions to the boat in a platformer style, hopping from one ledge to the next.


6 Games Where Dying Is Rewarded

Dying is not always considered a failure in video games. In fact, the following titles provide special rewards for players who end up dying.

Most importantly, Stella must keep them comfortable while transporting them to their final resting place, the Everdoor, where they can pass away peacefully. Despite dealing with death, Spiritfarer is not morbid or depressing, in its content or its style. Instead, it is surprisingly sweet, light, and reminiscent of summer. With all the familiar features of other cozy games such as fishing, cooking, crafting, and harvesting, but without the pressure to constantly be running to meet goals, Spiritfarer is a delightful and heartfelt addition to the genre. There is even an option to share the cozy vibes and play with friends as Stella’s yellow cat, Daffodil, in a two-player cooperative setting. Even visits from the mist guardian Hades are not unsettling, as they gently guide Stella and remind her that dying can be rewarding, peaceful, and even cozy.

1 Animal Crossing: New Leaf and New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

March 20, 2020

Nintendo EPD

Animal Crossing will always be a staple powerhouse in the self-care gaming genre, alongside its cozy counterpart and summer rival, Stardew Valley. Although all seasons are playable and magical in Animal Crossing, with their own unique seasonal quirks, summer is particularly glorious. In the 2012 revamp of the franchise, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, introduced fireworks galore and unique shells to scavenge on sandy beaches, as well as seasonal items to buy and collect, like mermaid attire. Special events occur during summer, such as meteor showers or loved-up villagers throwing weddings. Notably, Summer Solstice is celebrated on the longest day of the year; the sun doesn’t set until the following day, creating a bizarre, bright state of beaming sunshine at nighttime and no moon. Additionally, a cute board with face holes cut out (for taking photos) will pop up in the town plaza, where Isabelle will be wearing a sunflower T-shirt and offering a free pair of Ladder Shades.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf spoiled players with Tortimer Island, a tropical oasis with endless summer, reached via scenic boat ride. Tortimer tourists can enjoy mini-game tours filled with timed bug-catching objectives in order to win medals, which are the currency payable in the local souvenir shop. Social gamers can opt into Club Tortimer and visit Tortimer Island when it is populated with online players from across the world. In 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons revolutionized beach days by empowering players to take a swim; before this title, the tantalizing blue waves were inaccessible, taunting players attempting to run into the ocean who hit an invisible wall. In New Horizons, players can wade into the ocean, swim and even dive, if they are wearing an appropriate wetsuit. Divers can find precious loot on the seafloor or sea creatures by diving near air bubbles in the water, and (given that bee stings are more threatening than sharks in this wholesome universe) players can even catch shark species without fear. Grab an ice cream and snorkel mask and enjoy all the summer activities that the Animal Crossing franchise has to offer.



The Next Animal Crossing Game Can’t Reduce Tom Nook to a Villainous Landlord

Animal Crossing greatly expanded Tom Nook’s business enterprise in New Horizons, and the next game in the series can’t turn back the dial.


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