Switch stress-savers: 12 relaxing games to play at home

Switch Relaxing Games

You don’t need me to tell you that the world as we know it is going through quite a bit of a rough patch right now. With there being so many negative factors seemingly bombarding us from all sides, now more than ever, it’s good to just zone out with some wholesome entertainment using your Nintendo Switch. Thus, I’ve compiled a list of Switch games that I’ve personally enjoyed relaxing to over the years and that are a good value for the price. They’re all a bit different from one another, but they all have the same running theme of being pretty light-hearted with a relaxing atmosphere.

Now, here’s the “Chill Compilation.”

1. Go Vacation – $49.99

Genre: Arcade, Open-World, Sports, Multiplayer

Go Vacation is a massive collection of 50 different activities, all nestled in the sprawling, fully explorable open world of Kawawii Island. The island is separated into four resorts, each based on different environments (Marine, City, Snow, and Mountain). Each of the resorts contains matching activities. For instance, you can go diving in the Marine Resort, snowboarding in the Snow Resort, horseback riding in the Mountain Resort, and skateboarding in the City Resort.

You can create your own avatar or use a Mii character. There are different outfits to collect, as well as items for your own island villa that can be decorated as you see fit.

Considering that traveling is, well, impossible right now, this is just what the doctor ordered.

2. Sports Party – $39.99

Genre: Arcade, Sports, Multiplayer

Sports Party is another island-themed multiplayer collection. It features a pretty compact list of activities: skateboarding, jet-skis, basketball, golf, and Frisbee. It can make for a neat local multiplayer experience, as the controls are simple enough for anyone to pick up and play. They can also be used in either button or motion mode, so you’re free to pick which best suits your play style.

3. Fishing World Tour – $17.99

Genre: Arcade, Sports

The Switch has a surprising number of fishing games, but Fishing World Tour really stands out. Its stylized presentation is beautiful to look at and very easy on the eyes. It will immediately put you in a feel-good mood with its laid-back atmosphere and intuitive controls. There are over 180 kinds of fish to try and snag across 40 different fishing locations. You can even make use of the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Fishing Rod if you happen to own one.

The motion controls for this game are actually reely polished, so don’t be surprised if it gets you hooked! Okay, the fish puns are over now…

4. Koral – $11.99

Genre: Puzzle, Educational

Keeping up with the sea theme, let me introduce you to Koral. When I first came across this game, I was taken aback by its beautiful, neon-like presentation. It truly is one of the most beautiful games I ever played. Koral captures you with its beauty, but it does this to also teach you a lesson on the preservation of the seas and how they’re being polluted. However, the lessons are subtle, mostly regulated to the imagery of the scene and some informational bubbles that are dotted throughout the levels. Still, it’s a relaxing little puzzler that will send you deep below the waters to explore the gorgeous world that lies beneath us.

5. Claybook – $14.99

Genre: Puzzle

You probably played with clay as a kid. Get ready to relive those good ol’ days with Claybook. Each level will give you a specific task, and it’s all about manipulating clay into different forms such as a cube or disc to complete the tasks. The puzzles are not extraordinarily challenging, but you can try your best to solve them as quickly as possible.

Playing Claybook gave me that same cozy feeling as a nice Pixar movie. It also helps that the game looks like one, too. Definitely a title that can be enjoyed by younger gamers or even older ones who still have that creative, child-like wonder.

6. Marble It Up! – $14.99

Genre: Arcade, Platformer

Marbles are known for being fun toys, but what if you built entire futuristic courses with insane designs and power-ups to roll them around on? Can’t really do that in real life, but you can in a game! Marble It Up does just so with a collection of platforming levels that will have you guiding your trusty marble from start to finish. There are different hazards and challenges to conquer along the way, so make use of the power-ups to manipulate the situation to your advantage. Physics also play a big part in this experience, as you are rolling, after all.

The game initially launched with a small amount of content, but it has since received some updates that now have its level count at 60. So, there’s a decent bit of content to experience for not that much money.

7. House of Golf – $9.99

Genre: Arcade, Sports

Like the fishing genre, the golfing genre is also pretty popular on Nintendo Switch. House of Golf stands out with its unique design. This doesn’t have you playing minigolf on a traditional course; rather, it takes place in different rooms of a virtual house. Thus, the course design is clever and makes use of a lot of common household items. With such a relaxed atmosphere, House of Golf provides a neat little package that you can pick up and play to get a few minutes of relaxation or challenge yourself a bit to get the best score.

8. Good Job! – $19.99

Genre: Puzzle, Action

The Nintendo-published Good Job! just smashed its way into the eShop earlier this year out of nowhere. Interestingly enough, that’s essentially how the game works, too. You’re a new employee in your dad’s company, with the goal of ascending the ranks to the top floor. To do this, you’ll complete various menial tasks like fixing the internet and getting goop off the floor. However, none of these tasks are handled normally.

Each level in Good Job! is filled with hundreds of destructible objects, and you are encouraged to unleash some controlled chaos in order to get the job done. So, if you need to smash a wall using a chair launched by a catapult made out of an electrical wire to get the job done… do it. Not to mention that all of this is juxtaposed against some typical “office-themed” elevator jazz music playing in the background. You know, to keep you in that industrious working spirit. Ah, corporate life doesn’t sound so bad after all!

9. Ultrawings Flat – $19.99

Genre: Adventure, Simulation, Open-World

Since Nintendo has been ignoring Pilotwings for years now, Bit Planet Games stepped in to provide an alternative — Ultrawings. This open-world flight simulation title puts you in the cockpit of four different aircraft that are scattered around an explorable virtual archipelago. You’ll complete various missions that will have you doing different things like air races, photo challenges, and balloon target practice.

Ultrawings makes good use of motion controls for some of the activities, and it also has a really cool low-poly aesthetic that makes the whole package look beautiful. If you ever just want to take a break from the challenges and just fly around, you’re free to do that too. And unlike in Wii Sports Resort, there’s no time limit!

10. Farming Simulator – Nintendo Switch Edition – $29.99

Genre: Simulation, Open-World

There are quite a number of “Something Simulator” games out there, but Giant Software’s Farming Simulator is by far one of the more polished ones. The Nintendo Switch port of Farming Simulator 17 offers a healthy experience in both docked and handheld mode. You have the simple goal of taking your farm from tiny beginnings to a large profitability as you prepare your fields, plant your crops, harvest them, and keep repeating the process until you start reaping in some serious profits to buy new machinery and more fields. There are also missions from other farmers that can be accomplished to earn more cash.

Farming Simulator features a variety of licensed machinery that covers many aspects of farming like plowing, cultivating, seeding, planting, fertilizing, bailing, and cutting. You can even do other activities like taking care of livestock and forestry. Take it from me — this game can sap hours from you. So, prepare to hunker down and get your virtual hands dirty as you become the next John Deere.

11. MudRunner – American Wilds – $29.99

Genre: Simulation

In truth, MudRunner can be a very frustrating game. However, that’s the beauty of it. You’re put in the seat of some heavy off-roading vehicles with the task of delivering logs to a lumber mill. It sounds simple on paper, but it’s far more complex than that. You’ll be taking on some harsh off-roading scenery located in the USA and Russia. Prepare to get stuck in the mud, roll over as you take a turn a bit too quickly, and try to wrestle with the trees and swamps as you meander through thick backwoods and bogs. Oh, and don’t forget to mind your fuel consumption and try not to get smacked around too much.

Overcoming adversity in MudRunner is what makes the experience so rewarding. It’s also why escaping into its gritty outdoor world gives off an odd feeling of peace, even if there is danger lurking around almost every corner. If you have even the slightest interest in mudding and off-roading, then this sim is right up your alley as it’s one of the most impressive driving sims out there. Even more impressive is that it looks and runs decently well on Switch.

12. Cities: Skylines – Nintendo Switch Edition – $39.99

Genre: Simulation, Strategy

Cities: Skylines grants you the opportunity to build a city all your own and also manage a lot of little details in order to grow it. You can build an intricate road network, set up different districts for different types of buildings, and even control the amount of taxes and city policies in order to work with your citizens and attract new ones.

Cities: Skylines offers a really complex simulation, especially for a Switch title, each individual citizen having their own unique life. If you do well, you’ll see your settlement go from a small, no-name town to a sprawling metropolis with hundreds of thousands of residents.

None of these games were listed in an order of quality. They each bring their own flavor to the table, and there’s enough variety that there’s bound to be something for everyone. Some of these games flew under a lot of people’s radar, so I hope I was able to introduce you to at least a few hidden treasures that the Switch as to offer.

Stay safe, and enjoy!

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.