The Games I’m Playing In 2021

Or… why can’t I stop playing games I’ve already played?

It’s a funny old time, isn’t it? We collectively hyped 2021 up as the end to the misery and suffering of 2020, and yet, unsurprisingly…. the misery and suffering just continues.

I live in the UK, where the vaccine rollout is going fairly well (in comparison to almost every other aspect of the pandemic, which could arguably have been better handled by three Labradors wearing a trenchcoat, but I digress) but normal life is still a very distant dream.

I had big plans for 2021. I wanted to finish 52 games, or one per week. In my head, this was going to include both big games and small, indie games you can finish in a single sitting. In actuality, however, I have played almost exclusively big, ongoing simulation games I was playing long before this year.

The reason is simple: it is comforting. So, here are my top picks for good games to play while the world is on lockdown.

The Sims

Well, obviously. I enjoy all of the Sims games for different reasons- 4 is gorgeous, but lacks the functionality of 2&3. To be honest, I have slightly lost my zest for The Sims in the last couple of weeks. I haven’t played the latest spooky pack, but I have no doubt I’ll be back soon. The Sims is like a siren, luring me in even when I’d quite like to resist.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is infinitely replayable, I think. I have had it for the Switch for ages, and I’ve just bought it for the PC. With a few mods, it is a totally fresh experience. There is something so chill about Stardew; the music is gorgeous and the gameplay is simple and rewarding.

Prison Architect

This one is dark. You play as the architect of a prison (obviously) and need to tend to your prisoners’ needs while encouraging them to behave and reform. It has a simple graphic style and surprisingly complicated gameplay, hard enough to be engrossing without being too difficult.