Here at Nomadic, we spend a lot of time thinking about video games—both at work and at home. At work we’re crafting social content, and at home we’re on our next adventure. If you’re like us, you might find yourself endlessly scrolling through the game libraries on each platform, feeling overwhelmed about what to play next. Or maybe you haven’t played video games in a while and you want to jump back in. Whether you’d like to discover something new or branch out into a completely different genre, here are six video games for every occasion.
Best game to make time fly: Banished
Banished is a soothing city-building strategy game. In some ways, it’s like SimCity—but with less noise. In this game, created in 2014 by Shining Rock Software, you control a group of exiles that restart their lives in a new land. You control their jobs, manage what they build and monitor the resources like food, stone, wood, etc You’re able to build a village from the ground up through harsh winters, sickness, overpopulation and underpopulation.
This game is simple, but there’s something special about it. The music has a light, airy feel, and even when challenges arise, it’s not high pressure with blaring horns and intense battle music. You’re just slowly growing a small village into a city with farms, schools and vendors. The task-oriented nature combined with a sandbox feel makes this game not only a huge stress reliever, but you’ll be surprised how quickly three hours pass while playing.
Best game for hanging out with friends: Jackbox Games
Jackbox Games started in 1995 with their hit trivia game ‘YOU DON’T KNOW JACK’. From there, they’ve developed countless games in their party packs, and they’re great for gatherings and parties. Games are wrapped in creative themes, such as a spy intelligence office in Guesspionage or a 80s cyberspace war in Bracketeering. You don’t need to download an app to play these games—you just need your phone.
My personal favorite is the Party Pack 3 with Trivia Murder Party, Quiplash 2 and Tee K.O. These games will have you laughing so hard. Trivia Murder party is a trivia game with a twist where you’re trying to escape a kidnapper through answering questions. Quiplash is an Apples to Apples-like game where players vote on the best response to prompts. And then in Tee K.O, you and your friends craft the ultimate T-shirts with drawings and slogans.
Best game for a good workout: Beat Saber
Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game available for all VR Systems (Oculus, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR). It’s a great gateway game if you’ve never played VR games before. In the game, you have two sabers you use to slash through blocks to the beat of the music (similar to Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero). Beat Saber has several original tracks, but they also have an expanding library, with partnerships with bands like Imagine Dragons and Panic! At the Disco.
Keeping up with this fast-paced game will get your blood pumping. With different slashes, you’ll be moving and squatting for a solid workout. There are so many people shedding pounds from just playing Beat Saber everyday. Break up your normal workout routine with this fantastic beat-dropping game.
Best game for a good cry: That Dragon, Cancer
This game is only a couple hours long, but it will bring you to tears. I straight up ugly cried, and it’s one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had playing a video game. That Dragon, Cancer tells the story of Joel Green, who suffered from cancer and passed away when he was five years old. The game, produced by his parents, is a series of scenes that take you through the emotional and physical stages of grief.
Many of us experience grief in different ways, and it can be gut-wrenching. Sometimes you just need to let it out and have a good cry. That Dragon, Cancer isn’t a normal game, but it’s something remarkable to play and experience. Through the nightmares and trauma, parents Amy and Ryan Green were able to make something incredibly heartbreaking and beautiful.
Best game for escapism: Transistor
Transistor is a sci-fi, action-based RPG with fast-paced gameplay and incredible storytelling as you battle through a futuristic city. You play as Red, a famous singer who is attacked by the Process, a robotic group taking over the city of Cloudbank. Red loses her voice but comes into possession of a giant sword: the Transistor. Throughout the game, you battle foes to try and stop the Process from taking over Cloundbank.
The art in this game is gorgeous, which comes as no surprise from the talented team at Supergiant Games. This is their second game, among other story-rich titles such as Hades, Pyre and Bastion. The hand-drawn feel combined with a super futuristic city is an interesting contrast. Not only is the art brillant, but the Supergiant team takes impressive consideration when they craft the music for their games. I adore listening to all the soundtracks, but Transistor is definitely my favorite, with its electronic chill vibes and eerie melodies. Throughout the gameplay, you are entranced by the artwork, music and narrative. Don’t look up spoilers before playing; the ending is bittersweet, so have your tissues ready.
Best game for nostalgia: Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII was originally released in 1997 and was an instant hit worldwide. Rumors began to circulate around 2014 of a possible remake as other releases in the Final Fantasy franchise had graphic and gameplay improvements with technological advancements in gaming. The eventual announcement of the Final Fantasy VII Remake (FFVII) was met with major excitement. The game was released worldwide on April 10, 2020.
The game follows Cloud Strife, a soldier-turned-mercenary who joins the eco-terrorist group Avalanche. Going against the Shinra Electric Power Company, the group bombs a Mako reactor in the city of Midgar. The bombing triggers a series of events between Avalanche and the Shinra Electric Power Company that takes you on a wild ride.
For all those nostalgia vibes, the FFVII Remake lives up to the hype. When the music came on, I could feel my heart swell. The graphics feel so real it’s incredible to see the world of FFVII come alive. I’m only about 30 hours of gameplay in and already having a blast. A lot of work went into this remake, and it shows. The FFVII Remake will resonate not only for nostalgic players but for newcomers as well. It is already a hit, with over 12 million copies sold. I’m curious if this success will lead to many more remakes of other popular games.