Kingdom Two Crowns is all at once simple and complicated, a settlement-building tower defence game on a 2D plane that limits the number of fronts you fight on to just two. While it can be stressful - especially at first while you learn how to maximise your resources and not build yourself into bankruptcy as the encroaching 'Greed' attack your village on a nightly basis - Kingdom Two Crowns is a strikingly beautiful game with gorgeous pixel art and impressive parallax effects. You'll soon lose hours to its sedate form of build, expand, defend gameplay. With two-player co-op helping to soothe the stress of fighting on two opposing fronts, never has rampant colonialism been quite so chill.
Gorogoa is a short puzzle game that's unlike any other we've experienced. Comprised of four storybook-style panels which combine, overlaps and interact in unexpected and ingenious ways, the fact that it's difficult to summarise in a paragraph is just as well because it's best enjoyed without too much prior knowledge. Suffice it to say that Jason Roberts' game was seven years in the making and will have you entranced for every minute of its relatively brief playtime. You'll likely breeze through this game in one handheld sitting and as a unique puzzle experience, Gorogoa absolutely deserves a place on your Switch.
Set in the 1980s, Campo Santo's first-person wilderness simulator puts you in charge of a Wyoming watch tower and has you exploring the Shoshone National Forest in the boots of Henry, a man looking to escape his past by taking this most solitary of posts. As lonely as the job sounds, you have company in the form of Delilah, a woman you chat with via walkie-talkie as you go about your daily work and rituals. The writing between the pair is top-notch and leads you on a touching narrative journey as you explore the lovely landscape bathed in sunset orange, ominous dark blues or luscious greens depending on the time of day. Firewatch is a funny, poignant and quite beautiful 'walking simulator' that captures the freedom - and occasional melancholy - of getting lost in nature. If you're the type to enjoys a good book and a camping trip, Firewatch is the way to go.
Tetris might be the obvious go-to if you're after a puzzle game to occupy your higher brain functions while the rest of your mind defrags, but both the excellent Tetris 99 and Puyo Puyo Tetris are arguably a little too hectic for the likes of this list. Lumines Remastered, however, is a far more chill audio-visual puzzle experience with a fantastic soundtrack that demands the use of headphones. You should know what to expect if you're a fan of director Tetsuya Mizuguchi's work (REZ, Tetris Effect), and while there are a host of online leaderboards and modes to get involved in if you like that sort of thing, zoning out with Lumines is one of the most immersive, relaxing experiences in video games.
A very pleasant surprise indeed, In Other Waters is a bit of a minimalist masterpiece that you'll often want to dip into for a more contemplative experience than the majority of the Switch's library. It has found a perfect home on the handheld, the form factor of which massively works in the favour of the game's mood and atmosphere to create an exceptional and unique experience. What you're getting here is a story that you're an integral part of, and it's one of the coolest, cleverest games we've played in a long time. An absolutely first-class effort.
An exquisite bike racer-cum-trials game with tight controls, varied courses, and uniquely zen-like presentation. At once calming and demanding, Lonely Mountains: Downhill looks and feels like no other game on the eShop. Barring one or two disappointing technical issues, it's an absolute freewheeling delight.
A Short Hike is a fat-free experience from top to bottom – or should we say bottom to top? It's the kind of game that makes us just sigh with happiness when we recall our time with it, and even having played it through to its ostensible conclusion multiple times, we know for a fact there are still things to see and do on that mountain. What we have here is something of an apotheosis – a milestone in indie games akin to Cave Story, or Spelunky. The very best bits of multiple game genres, stripped of all padding and bloat, mixed perfectly into a delicious video game stew that only gets richer and richer the more you play. An exploration in every sense of the word, A Short Hike is cute without being twee, challenging without being obnoxious, and emotional without being cloying. A landmark game for all ages. Don't miss this one.
Our triple-figure hour count for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild tells its own story. Yes, we could have made a beeline to Hyrule Castle at the very beginning of the game and dealt with Ganon immediately, but it's the self-made stories we experienced in the rolling fields of Hyrule that made the journey a magical one. From the fiery pits of Death Mountain to the snowy peaks surrounding the Gerudo Desert, every last nook and cranny in this game holds secrets that we've been uncovering for nearly 300 hours now. And we still haven't found all the Korok seeds.
Could we have found them all by now using a walkthrough instead? Of course, but galloping across the glades on horseback, or ripping up hillsides on our motorcycle has been one of our best gaming experiences ever and the remaining seeds secreted in the kingdom give us the tiniest excuse our objective-based lizard brain requires to dive back in time and again for a relaxing jaunt through Hyrule.
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Thanks to MegaWatts for suggesting assembling a list of chill games. Is there another Switch game you find particularly soothing? Let us know below and perhaps we'll add it to the list.
This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games , the Best Free Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Visual Novels, Fighting Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Run and Gun Games, Sports Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-builders, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch., and the Best Switch Collections And Compilations.
If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, as well as Every Nintendo Switch Online NES Game and Every Nintendo Switch Online SNES Game.