10 Online Games to Reduce Stress

When you think of video games, what comes to mind? If you have grandchildren, you may be familiar with the popular game Fortnite, along with other titles that have earned poor reputations due to violence and adult themes.

However, this is not always reflective of online or video games in general. Research indicates that some online games — whether played on a computer, tablet or smartphone — may offer benefits in the way of relaxation and stress relief.

While some research has found that stressful situations in games can cause real-life stress for players, in some cases games can act as a tool for recovery from stress.

Choosing the Right Online Game for You

What’s the best game for reducing stress? That question largely depends on your personality and interests. For some people, single-player games like Solitaire or a jigsaw puzzle fit the bill, while others prefer playing against human opponents (or bots) in real time. These days, you can find just about any type of game you enjoy on your computer or cellphone.

Once you choose a game or two, feel free to play in the way that appeals to you most. Whether you sit at your computer or would rather play on your phone, it’s all about enjoyment and fun. To help you get started, we’ve put together this list of ten of our favorite online games to help you reduce stress.

  1. Candy Crush Saga

The maker of Candy Crush, King, is so committed to players’ fun and relaxation that the opening screen features rotating phrases including “Escape the stress of today.” If you dislike bright colors, you may not love this game. However, for many people, sliding the jewel-like “candies” to make matches can induce a restful state as you play on either iOS or Android.

As with many other games in this list, Candy Crush uses the “freemium” model; the game is free, but you’ll be offered many opportunities to purchase special tools and other upgrades. While the marketing pitches can get tiresome, it’s also easy to ignore them and stick to your game. As you progress, levels grow increasingly challenging, and it may take several tries to pass some of them.

  1. Drop7

Drop7, available for Android and iOS devices, is a puzzle game that requires you to flip numbered circles into the correct rows and columns. If intense concentration is not your preference, you may not enjoy this game, but it’s ideal for those who enjoy detailed tasks.

  1. Home Sheep Home 2

This slightly eccentric puzzle game is available on the website for “Shaun the Sheep” — an animated series by the creators of the animated “Wallace and Gromit.” Players receive three sheep — that you control — of various sizes. The goal is to get the sheep to the barn using various props, including steps, switches and ramps.

The laid-back nature of the game creates a relaxing experience, but higher levels of play become more challenging. Home Sheep Home 2 is available on iOS and costs $1.99. Similar games by the same creator are available on Android.

  1. Prune

Prune is another of the few games on our list that comes with a small purchase price. For a one-time fee of $3.99 on Android or iOS, you can enjoy pruning a bonsai tree into the shape you prefer. The game makers promise “massive explosions” and “endless action,” although the game is relaxing to play.

For each level, you’ll begin with a sapling, and you are responsible for its well-being. With a gentle swiping motion, you can remove branches and help your tree avoid obstacles to grow toward the sunlight.

  1. Pokémon Go

Contrary to popular belief, Pokémon Go — available on iOS and Android — is not just for teens. With simple goals for catching the various Pokémon characters, the game encourages you to walk outdoors and get some exercise.

The game promises players the ability to travel between the virtual and real worlds as they explore new locations and search for Pokémon. As you play the game, you’ll find that additional, rare Pokémon continue to appear in various locations.

  1. Neko Atsume

In Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector, you place cat toys and treats in your virtual yard in hopes of attracting various kitties. While the goal of the game is simple, the process can be very relaxing for those who love cats. If you’re allergic and can’t have a real cat, you can enjoy them in Neko Atsume’s virtual world.

As you begin the game, which is free and is available for iOS and Android, you choose your language, and a catchy tune begins to play. You’re advised that you can attract cats by offering them snacks and playthings, and you start by “shopping” — at no real cost — for cat items. You then place the items as instructed and wait for virtual kitties to start visiting.

  1. Jigsaw Puzzle

If you love working jigsaw puzzles in real life, you may find that playing a virtual jigsaw puzzle game on your mobile device can act as an effective substitute, especially when you’re away from home. The game Jigsaw Puzzle includes a variety of puzzles of different difficulty levels. Plus, you won’t need to worry about losing the pieces! The game is available on iOS.

  1. Hearthstone

Hearthstone, available on both Android and iOSas well as PC, is a virtual version of a tabletop card game, and you can play against real opponents or the computer. As you enter the game, you encounter virtual, swinging saloon doors as if you were walking into a real-life poker hall.

In a short, animated video at the beginning of the game, a child finds a treasure chest that transports him to a raucous casino environment featuring an array of wacky characters. From that point, you’ll remain in the mysterious medieval setting as you begin playing the game. Hearthstone is more advanced than some of the games in this list.

  1. Bejeweled

In the gaming world, Bejeweled — which has been around for more than a decade — is an oldie but goodie. It’s a classic puzzle game that involves swapping differently shaped virtual “jewels” to form sets of at least three. When you form sets of four or five like types and colors, you’re rewarded with special jewels that can blow up other jewels and result in higher scores.

The game features different modes of play, including Poker, Diamond Mine, Classic, Lightning and Zen — which features a slower pace of play and slower music than in other modes. The game is simple and not extremely challenging, which can work well for relieving stress. Bejeweled is available on iOS and Android.

  1. Plants vs. Zombies

Like Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies is a classic game that has been around for years. The game has a slight learning curve but does a good job of guiding new users in how to play, along with the capabilities of the various plants and zombies. The creators have thrown in healthy doses of wit and humor that you’ll encounter as you add new plants and move through the game.

Far from menacing, the zombies in this game are mostly humorous, and you may find “fighting” them with your various super-powered plants to be a fun, enjoyable and relaxing experience. Plants vs. Zombies 3, the newest version of the game, retains the magic of the previous version but is a little more complicated to play. Both are available for iOS and Android.

Enjoy a Variety of Entertainment Options at Edenwald

At Edenwald in Towson, Maryland, you’ll enjoy our convenient location near a multitude of local, entertainment options. From cultural offerings to dining, shopping and more, you’ll find ample opportunities to engage with others, have fun, and create the lifestyle you desire. To learn more about our maintenance-free, supportive living community, please contact us today.