6 slow games to help ease your election anxiety

In times like these, sometimes the best thing is to check out for a while with something wholesome and distracting.

There's a time and a place for "high-octane" games. For most people, that time and place is probably not after binging news of one of the most fraught elections in modern history.

For anyone looking to ease any looming dread or anxiety either pre- or post-election, we've got a selection of slow games that are sure to help coddle the ol' mind palace until you're equipped to handle the real world again.

A Short Hike

Do you like Animal Crossing? That's rhetorical, of course you do, especially if you're trying to avoid the crushing reality of the world around you. For anyone that enjoys Animal Crossing's brand of escapism, A Short Hike will likely be received with open arms. The game is exactly what it sounds like, you spend your time hiking through the mountains, chatting with other hikers, fishing, and generally just chillaxing with your other adorable animal friends. As a bonus, there are no hefty mortgage payments to Tom Nook.


If you're feeling more stressed than usual, there's arguably no more fitting game to play than Gris. The game deals explicitly with mental health and is one of the more gorgeous indie titles in recent memory. If you're not busy solving the game's symbolic puzzles, you're taking in its beautiful environments or watching one of the games many engrossing cut scenes. Bring your tissues though, this one tugs at the heartstrings.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Chances are, if you're at all into slow games, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is already either on your radar or already in your possession. Either way, it's worth reiterating that this Animal Crossing installment is a must-have for anyone looking to turn the volume down to 1 and maybe do a little fishing, or prune the garden. Heck, you could even get a little wild and re-arrange some furniture in your house.

Untitled Goose Game

Turns out games in which you play as a sentient animal are just plain fun. Untitled Goose Gamewhich spurred love and spawned many memes last year — is the perfect balance of levity and genuinely entertaining gameplay. If you've got the election day blues, do yourself a favor and cast yourself as a mischievous goose for a while. Just don't let the farmer see you first.

Alto's Odyssey

Sometimes a scenic view is all it takes to help clear the mind, and throwing in some "sandboarding," multiple modes, and intuitive, easygoing gameplay doesn't hurt either. Alto's Odyssey, the sequel to Alto's Adventure, is a mobile game that's just as much about attaining high scores as it is about taking in the world around you. You and your pals glide and fly through gorgeous landscapes while you either tap your way to the top score or just sit back and enjoy the view.

Monument Valley

Sometimes it's not a lack of thinking desired by your election-addled brain, it's another outlet to pour some of that excess mental energy into. Luckily, Monument Valley (and Monument Valley 2) offers gamers some pretty nifty puzzles with all of the atmospheric trappings of a top-notch indie game. Music blends with architecture which melds with some creative geometric puzzle solving to create a game that challenges just as much as it soothes. Plus it sure beats the heck out of doing Sudoku.

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