When our team have got home from a long day of web developing and delivering first rate IT support, we like to take a load off. Unfortunately it might be time to look after the kids, start studying for a qualification or work through the life admin that's piling up. When we do get a minute to ourselves, who can blame us for wanting to de-stress? Here are the games and apps we pick up when its all getting too much.
Rebecca Harrison - Don't Starve Shipwrecked
I cannot get enough of this game at the moment. It's everything you loved to do in Don't Starve - craft a ton of stuff, make a base, try and survive the winter, watch it all get destroyed by a giant dragonfly - but on the high seas. Craft a boat, sail away, forget where you parked it, and then watch everything you've put hours of work into get destroyed by a sea monster.
I tend to pick it up in the evenings when I'm tired of worrying about what uni course I should accept a place on. It's relaxing because it puts my problems into perspective - sure, I have to make massive life decisions that will affect my entire future, but at least I'm not being devoured by viscous alligators.
Pick up Don't Starve Shipwrecked expansion on Steam for £3.99
Lyndsey Gardiner - Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is about as laid back as a game can get. You inherit a farm from your grandmother and start running it. So you're harvesting crops you've grown, petting animals you own, talking to the locals, finding romance with an eligible bachelor or bachelorette, collecting artefacts and fishing.
I play it on a weekend when I've got the free time to sink into it. It's relaxing because there's no fixed time period in which you have to do things, which means you can do whatever you like within a game day. Also, the game days are just the right length to make you think, "I'll just play one more" once it's finished.
Pick up Stardew Valley on Steam for £10.99
Gaynor Thompson - Fairway Solitaire
Fairway Solitaire is a fun spin on traditional solitaire. The gameplay is quirky and mentally stimulating, and there's also a golf commentator who commentates on your game making it all the more fun. You also never have to pay for in-game purchases to progress, as you end up with tons of coins.
I usually play this just before bed. Or when I’m too tired to play anything else but still fancy doing some gaming. It doesn't require you to constantly be paying close attention, and it's not high octane, action-filled gameplay so its not going to wake you up too much.
Paul Callaghan - Ganz Schön Clever
Ganz Schön Clever is a kind of dice puzzle game, where each player rolls dice, then choose how to use them in an attempt to maximise your score. The goal is to get the highest score possible. There's a pen & paper version (the original), but the app helps keep things in order and provides a nice option between heavyweight gaming on a tablet and stupid 3-in-a-row puzzles.
I feel stressed trying to think of specific times when I play this game, so I guess this is a good time to start playing.
Scott Dewing - Counter Strike
Counter Strike has gone through a ton of different releases and versions. It was first brought out in 1999, so now it’s almost 20 years old. You play as a T (terrorist) or CT (counter terrorist). You start as either a T or CT and spend 15 rounds on either side. If you are a T, you try to put the explosives down and the CT side try to stop you.
T can win the round by killing all CT’s or having the explosives explode. CT can win the round by defusing the explosives or killing all the T’s before they plant the bomb. I find taking turns playing as both a T and CT, and shooting at the other team very therapeutic. Each to his own.