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Five Games to Cool Down With
You know the feeling…heart beating, adrenaline pumping through your veins…you’ve just finished playing an intense multiplayer match or campaign mission, and now you’re all wound up and jumpy and ready to tackle anything around you that moves.
It’s at this point you need to calm down; you need to get your wits back, need to slow things a bit. Sure, you could try yoga, meditation, or cranking your favorite Enya tunes (please tell me you know who Enya is…), but we’re all gamers here, and there’s no reason to stop playing games, even if you’re wound up. Why not turn to some chill games for cooldown time? Here are five games I’ve found help cool off the intense gaming fever:
Yes, the classic, great-grandaddy of all block puzzle games, Tetris is one of the top puzzle games that are both addicting and uniquely satisfying. The rules of Tetris have been the same since its humble beginnings; align the oddly-shaped block sequences in one solid shape to make it disappear and prevent filling the game space to the top as the blocks come scrolling down. Over the years, the game has been updated and ported to virtually every platform, so it’ll be easily accessible for you to calm your nerves on when the need arises.
Created by master puzzle game developer PopCap, Peggle is a unique puzzle game with a lot of interesting mechanics and challenging gameplay. The controls are simple; each level is made up of a board with blue, orange, purple, and green pegs lined up in an order that changes with each new stage. At the top of the board is a launcher with a small round ball. Players aim the launcher and fire the ball, watching it as it bounces around and highlights pegs to eliminate them. Each peg does something different; all orange pegs must be removed from the board to clear a level, blue pegs are not required, but contribute to achievements and point counts, green pegs are used for power-ups that change with each stage, and purple pegs are points multipliers when hit.
With a soothing soundtrack and low-stress, addictive gameplay, Peggle is a great title to sit with when you just need a moment to recuperate.
SUPER STARDUST HD
The response to classics Geometry Wars and Asteroid, Super Stardust HD is a fantastic shooter with a captivating art style. Players take control of a small spaceship with a variety of weapons and one objective: Protect your planet from incoming asteroids and alien ships. Mayhem doesn’t begin to describe the gameplay of Super Stardust, with explosions abounding and brightly-colored ammunition streaming endlessly from your space craft. Power-ups, bombs, and speed abilities also factor into the gameplay, allowing the player to feel like a true space warrior as they traverse the expansive atmosphere above the planet they defend. While it may sound intense, it’s the presentation of Super Stardust that makes it oddly relaxing; a great soundtrack and brilliant visuals all make a very smooth and seamless experience that will leave players satisfied time and time again.
It’s the runaway gem-matching puzzle game that has seen ports to virtually every single gaming platform in existence, be it computers to the tiniest of mobile devices. Bejeweled is a classic puzzle game with a very simple premise; there are a variety of colored gems on screen; match up three or more of those gems in a row by swapping them around on the board, and you’ll accumulate points and eventually win the stage. As it has been updated and progressed over the years, Bejeweled has gained additional gameplay modes, but it still remains a simple game with complex strategy that will give players a chance to work their brains in a non-frustrating way.
Created by master pinball creators Zen Studios, Pinball FX is a solid pinball game for enthusiasts of the classic arcade icon. With a variety of tables and varying gameplay, Zen offers players unique experiences in both Pinball FX and all of their additional sequels and installments. While some purists might find pinball frustrating, when taken simply as an easy, calming endeavor, Pinball FX can be a fairly relaxing game with a large amount of replayability potential to keep you coming back for more.
Bang on with Pinball FX! When I only have a short time to play, or need to play something to cool down from something intense, it's one of my go-to games. I play Bejewelled when I have time to kill, but the kids have commandeered the TV. The other one I've been putting time into lately is Trials Evolution, although that can get seriously nerve-wracking.