The Nintendo Switch is home to some incredibly chill games. Last year, Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the gaming world by storm. It took things that would be daunting in real life – like landscaping a perfect island, paying off massive debt, or befriending your new neighbors – and made them relaxing to the point of being therapeutic.
If you are still chasing that ACNH chill high, the best fix I can offer you in 2021 is actually a remake of a 1999 game: New Pokemon Snap. It’s certainly been a perfect replacement for me.
The original Pokemon Snap was the first game I ever played. 25 years later, New Pokemon Snap feels as satisfying as its predecessor – and just as accessible. It does not matter if you are a 3-year-old who has never touched a controller, or an avid gamer with ample carpal tunnel syndrome, anyone can have fun on this game.
So is Pokemon Snap the new Animal Crossing? Instead of a private island to customize, you have cute Pokemon to photograph. However, the feeling of peace, freedom, and mental calm is the same between the two games, making them great at relieving the stress of everyday life.
While it may not appeal to your inner Robinson Crusoe, New Pokemon Snap is in my opinion the most chill, relaxing game of 2021. Your only goal is to snap the cutest pictures of Pokemon. You don’t even need to think about movement, as you are comfortably settled in an auto-driven vehicle called Neo One. There is no pressure, no time limit, or complicated challenges to overcome.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because I think now more than ever people could use some self-care in their lives, and New Pokemon Snap is like a tranquilizer in game form. It really puts the nap in Snap – but in a good way! If you are someone who likes to unwind with games, and appreciates escaping to worlds that are slower and more peaceful than our own, this is the game to take you there.