Eight video games to help you make the most of your free time this summer

As much as we would love to spend every day outside and enjoy the summer sun, there will be days where the heat packs too hard of a punch and staying indoors is the more appealing option. This list includes a variety of genres and platforms from free app store picks to full-priced console games, all geared toward making your free time engaging and worth the investment.

The Sims 4

“The Sims 4” is the ultimate life simulation game, where you can live vicariously through your customizable avatars, design dream homes or cause humorous mayhem. Manage your Sims’ needs – or don’t – and watch as they stride or stumble toward their dreams. Although it came out in 2014, “The Sims 4” is still constantly updated with bug fixes and new content packs to keep the game fresh and exciting for its fanbase.

“Stardew Valley”

If you’re wanting something a bit more laid-back, “Stardew Valley” is one of the best games out there. After experiencing burnout from your office job, you get the chance to restart your life and take up your grandfather’s old farm. It’s the perfect world to escape to when the real world is too stressful with calming scenery and music. While farming is a big portion of the game, the unique, pixelated townsfolk are a bigger reason to invest many summer hours into a cozy, virtual valley.

“New Pokémon Snap”

For those looking to brush up on their photography and research skills over the summer, Nintendo’s “New Pokémon Snap” is a wonderful option. Traveling to different islands and environments is just what summer is all about, and taking cute, sharable photos of Pokémon has never been better. Whether you were a fan of the 1999 Nintendo 64 version or have little experience with Pokémon in general, this would be an essential addition to your Nintendo Switch catalogue.

“Resident Evil Village”

When days are hot, horror games turn into summer chillers that grip us from start to finish. “Resident Evil Village” is no exception and has become one of the most popular survival horror games of all-time, let alone this year. Claustrophobic environments, realistic graphics and memorable villains make this game a horror masterpiece worthy of those brave enough to play it.

“Little Nightmares”

If shooting your way through hordes of monsters is not your thing, then “Little Nightmares” might be your preferred chilling experience to dive into. Playing hide-and-seek has never been scarier, and for the heroine named Six, life or death is in your hands. Offering a unique combination of puzzles and narrative, Little Nightmares is a short yet fearful experience that is a quick and cheaper pick up for players craving some summer fright.

“Rocket League”

Free summer fun is the best kind of summer fun, and “Rocket League” developer’s Psyonix was well aware of this when they made their vehicular soccer game free to play last September. Play as an RC car and compete with or against anyone in a chaotic sports match. Don’t let the fact that it’s now free fool you; “Rocket League” is one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time and is undoubtedly worth playing this summer.

“Game Builder Garage”

Summer is seen as a time to brush up on some hobbies and skills that were left on the backburner during the semester. For programming enthusiasts, “Game Builder Garage” will turn game development into fun, engaging mini lessons designed by some of the best at Nintendo. Once you are accustomed to the creature-based visual programming language, you are free to design a variety of game levels and fulfill any dreams of becoming a game creator this summer.

“Idle Theme Park Tycoon”

If free time is hard to come by this summer, idle games on the app store are great because it doesn’t require a lot of attention but can still be a needed break from a busy schedule. “Idle Theme Park Tycoon - Recreation Game” is one of the best available because nothing screams summer more than a theme park filled with exhilarating roller coasters, relaxing water parks and long bathroom lines. A few minutes of upgrading and unlocking rides feel rewarding after accumulating virtual money throughout the day, and a few goals and tasks keep you motivated to return to your tiny virtual park.

Summer life is quite different from the usual semester roller coaster, which means that for those who don’t usually play video games, this season can be the perfect time to. Whether you’re hard at work this summer and looking for ways to relax or have more down time since the semester ended, video games can bring fun and relaxation to your home. Gaming with your friends, with strangers or on your own offers exciting and memorable experiences unlike any other type of media. While things are still virtual and travel is not yet back to normal, take a seat in a cozy place with your favorite snack or drink and spend some time exploring a relaxing, haunting or even productive game world.


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