When you’re feeling worn-down, pressured, and stressed, sometimes the best thing to do is to turn away from the source of strain and let your mind relax. That’s what’s so great about online games. They’re quick, they’re easy to get access to, and they’re fun snippets of entertainment to take you away from your stress for a few minutes at a time. Let’s take a look at a few of the most interesting, stress-reducing games on the Internet today.
One of the more unusual trends in online gaming today is the rise of the idle game. Idle games are designed to work with minimal player input, allowing the player to enjoy the pure satisfaction of watching numbers rise and circumstances get more complex with every decision. Idleplex is six different idle games in one, asking players to build a massive tapestry of windows filled with one of six different mini-games.
What starts as a slow and silly game of keeping a bouncing goat in the air quickly evolves into a wall of wild, partially self-playing games where you rack up money for upgrades by the millions per second. Idleplex even has a convenient button to make it look like you’re working on a spreadsheet so you won’t get caught de-stressing at the office.
Robot Unicorn Attack
The “endless running” genre may have started with classics like Canabalt and gotten famous with mobile games like Temple Run, but few running games are as charming and addictive as Robot Unicorn Attack. This Adult Swim invention is ground zero for extreme irony, tasking players with navigating a magical land of floating platforms in the role of the titular mythological creature.
Crash through stars, capture butterflies and enjoy the 1980s synth pop of “Always” by Erasure in the weirdest quest for a high score ever. There are also variations on the original, including a delightfully dark “death metal” version, a mobile-only sequel, and an extra-challenging version that has the original unicorn transforming into other creatures.
Plants vs. Zombies
Sure, the supply of zombie-themed games is an endless horde, shambling through every genre looking for new games to devour, but this one is special. Plants vs. Zombies has a simple premise but deep gameplay, pitting the two forces against one another in a lane defense model for the ages.
There’s a single-player challenge mode, a multiplayer adventure mode, and a puzzle mode that’s good for fans of Bejeweled. It’s silly, it’s creative and it’s a must-play for those who get a lot of satisfaction out of besting greater and greater challenges. And when you’re ready for a new wave, a mobile-only sequel hit the market in 2013.
While you’re de-stressing, you might as well earn a little cash on the side. Some of the best online games are digital adaptations of classic casino games. From slots and roulette to card games and skill tests, these games are good for players who don’t have much interest in killing the undead, controlling a cartoon or going on an adventure. There’s a great community out there for dedicated players, the buy-in is usually pretty small and you have the chance to earn some cash besides.
Games don’t just have to be about mindless fun. Quite the contrary; games can actually strengthen your brain while you play. Lumosity is a system containing dozens of games designed to train your memory, reaction time, attention, and problem solving for players of all ages. These games have been proven effective by a variety of international studies, and the scientifically supported program has aims beyond simply entertaining and improving players. Lumosity games are actually advancing the field of cognitive science and making it easier for researchers to build better teaching tools.
Don’t let stress get the best of you. There’s an endless supply of great games online that are great at taking the edge off those high-pressure days. Some will make your brain stronger, some can supplement your income and some are just for fun. Happy gaming and don’t forget to post your high scores.