I have been punished for my hubris. Having left the last few weeks of conventions boastful of my lack of illness, I was ready to share every cool game I’d seen. But the universe burned at my pride and struck me down with a cold this week.
Most people think gaming lends itself well to sick days, but I’ve never found that. When under the weather, my reactions slow, my brain fogs over, and following any kind of intricate narrative is out of the question. Taking this all into account, there really aren’t a ton of games I can play to make the miserable experience of being sick go by faster.
However, my recent research has revealed five indies that are perfect to play while under the weather. These games are not only fun to play, but include several key factors that let the shuffling sickness sufferers enjoy without obstacles.
The first game I turned to in my unfortunately hazy state was Toem. As an isometric photo adventure, the mechanics are intuitive and it’s hard to get lost. It’s also the game equivalent of a ray of sunshine. Toem never fails to lift my spirits as I make my way through its string of endearing levels. It gets bonus points for being a Switch title — so I can play in bed — and I spent an entire afternoon focused on exploring the post-release Basto region rather than my aching throat.
Playable on both Switch and Steam Deck, this relaxed tile-placing title is perfect for fever-addled minds. Its constant supply of landscape building blocks keeps your head and hands just busy enough to speed up time. But it’s not so challenging that it poses a problem. The game’s comforting art style is also bound to help get sick players through the worst of the day.
This one is as easy as pulling out your phone and moving the character around. As far as games that don’t ask much from its players while still demanding all their attention, it’s hard to beat Vampire survivors. Getting upgrades and cutting through a swarm of bats or a horde of undead feels so good. And when you’re sick, the game’s auto-attack system is a lifesaver. What makes this an even better choice for the bedridden this week is the title has a DLC, Tides of the Foscari, coming April 13.
When ailing, I really just want to forgot how gross I feel. And one of the best ways to get my mind off of anything is to get a little spooky. Again available on several mainstream handhelds, Dredge’s core loop of heading out into the wild blue yonder to catch fish and avoiding what lurks beneath is simple and engaging enough for the malady-inflicted.
Another Switch savior, Loop Hero has been my absolute go-to game this week. The character follows a designated track and fights enemies with no need for my input, equipping increasingly powerful loot takes two clicks, and everytime I look up from a run, hours have melted from the day. Those elements that make it so dangerous when I have work to do make it the all-time best sick day game. As I fight to remember my obliterated world, I also march towards feeling well again.
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