Autumn comes with its own cosy aesthetic, even in the gaming community. Alyana Fatima lists her top comforting games to play as the weather gets colder and the cardigans and pumpkin spice lattes come out.
In the past few years, autumn has become the internet’s cult-favourite season, and it’s finally that time of the year. As soon as there’s a chill in the air and a leaf on the ground we jump into cardigans, the autumn special coffees come out and the candles burn. It’s known as the spooky season and the back-to-school season, and everything has an autumnal red and orange aesthetic associated with it.
Do you want to play a comforting game to unwind?
This includes the genre of “cosy” and “comforting” gaming, which have risen in popularity over the past few years. Unlike the cliché combat video games, these games have low stakes and feel like a warm hug, bringing a feeling of comfort and care. After coming home from a long day this autumn, do you want to play a comforting game to unwind? Here is my list of game recommendations which nail that cosy autumnal vibe that everyone adores.
Starting with an obvious one, Stardew Valley is one of most popular “cosy” games. It is an open-ended farming simulator where you build relationships with the townspeople. The plot consists of quitting your corporate job after inheriting your grandfather’s old farm.
Autumn in Stardew Valley is the most magical time of the year
Although the game switches through all four seasons, autumn in Stardew Valley is the most magical time of the year. The colour palette of the town, your farm and the leaves switches to those specific orange and red shades and mushrooms start growing everywhere. You can finally plant pumpkins and bok choy on your farm, two very important autumn essentials. The atmosphere of this game in general is so comforting but definitely hits the spot in autumn.
Steam describes Wytchwood is a “crafting adventure game set in an expressive land of gothic fables and fairy tales”. The vibes are spooky and witchy – perfect for Halloween season, with the colour palette also being autumnal. It is told in a storybook style, where you play as a witch and explore the woods, collect items, perform spells (living the ultimate witchy dream in the forest) and solve puzzles. The music and atmosphere of the game is charming and soothing.
Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods is an adventure video game that focuses on exploration, story and multiple different characters. It takes place in the town of Possum Springs; the ultimate cosy autumnal small town. Not only is the colour palette very autumnal, but the town also has a spooky woods area and somewhere called ‘Maple Street’.
Themes of anxiety, uncertainty about life and finding a purpose make the story easy to relate to
You play as a cat named Mae who recently dropped out of college, exploring the cosy town and making friends. The themes of anxiety, uncertainty about life and finding a purpose make the story easy to relate to. Tales of gods and mythical lore also play a part in the game, and the soundtrack includes songs named, Weird Autumn and Pumpkin Head Guy.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
For more spooky Halloween vibes, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the perfect game as you play as Luigi exploring a haunted hotel whilst hunting ghosts on a quest to rescue his friends. There are so many rooms to explore and puzzles to solve, which will immerse you in the haunted hotel. The gameplay mechanics are simple, making this game a cosy yet thrilling experience. Its predecessors, the original Luigi’s Mansion for the GameCube, its remaster for the 3DS and the second instalment, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS, have the same spooky yet comforting vibes to them, making them honourable mentions on this list.
Totally encapsulates those first-day-of-school feelings
Two Point Campus
Autumn is also back-to-school season – although it’s not the most comforting or cosy time of the year for us in real life. Two Point Campus totally encapsulates those first-day-of-school feelings and makes it cosy – at least in-game. It is a task management game where you build and run a university.
You are in full control of how you construct it as well as being able to interact with your students. You can even choose from their selection of courses, from psychology to wizardry. Essentially, you can create your dream university life. It’s the perfect autumn game to use as an escape after a long day at your real university.
Forests always bring the ultimate comforting yet spooky feeling
Bear And Breakfast
Bear and Breakfast is a laid-back task management and adventure game and is one of the more recent releases on this list. In this game, you play as a bear named Hank who runs a bed and breakfast in the woods, building up your hotel chain from the bottom to the top. You also make friends with other animals who are all so lovable in their own way.
Besides being a cosy management game, the vibes and colour palette are very autumnal and perfect for the season. Forests always bring the ultimate comforting yet spooky feeling. The game’s soundtrack is also serene and calming which makes you want to slow down and relax.
The Wild at Heart
The Wild at Heart is a nostalgic fantasy game with an open world to explore. You solve puzzles and battle enemies whilst also gathering small magical creatures that you can command to do tasks and follow you around. The world is magical and filled with lore, caves, woods, mushrooms, waterfalls and fountains. The aesthetic and colours of the game are perfect for autumn.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Everyone fell in love with this cosy life simulator
Lastly, probably the most popular game on the list, Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ release in March 2020 is what ultimately started the latest cosy gaming renaissance. Whilst stuck at home during the pandemic, everyone fell in love with this cosy life simulator. Like Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing has all 4 seasons in-game. During autumn, the town’s grass and the leaves on the trees turn orange, the trees produce acorns and pinecones, and maple leaves fall from the sky. There are also seasonal events such as Halloween where you can go trick or treating, with NPC Jack the ‘Czar of Halloween’ making a special appearance, and spooky-themed furniture is available to decorate your house.
Featured image courtesy of Alexandr Sadkov via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
In article video 1 courtesy of PlayStation via YouTube. No changes were made to this video.
In article video 2 courtesy of GameSpot Trailers via YouTube. No changes were made to this video.
In article video 3 courtesy of Nintendo of America via YouTube. No changes were made to this video.
In article video 4 courtesy of Nintendo UK via YouTube. No changes were made to this video.
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