Nintendo Switch: 5 chill games to play for stress relief

Nintendo Joy-Con wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
Nintendo Joy-Con wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images) /
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A Short Hike

While VOEZ was the oldest Nintendo Switch game on this list, A Short Hike is easily the most recent having only dropped on the Switch in August of last year.

A Short Hike is also one of the shortest games on the list. A casual playthrough can be done in an hour if you desperately need to but the game is best played as a stroll.

As a young girl/bird dragged on a camping trip by her Aunt, you’re tasked with climbing a short hike to the top of a near by mountain…if you want. As you go around the mountain you get stronger, allowing you to climb more by extending a feather themed stamina meter. You can also glide in a delightfully smooth mechanic which allows you to get around the entire game world remarkably fast.

As you climb higher, the closest this game gets to difficult is when you get to the colder, higher regions and your stamina meter gets to cold to recharge. Instead you have to find hot springs to sit in for a moment to warm back up.

One of the things that makes this game so chill is the fact that you don’t have to really do anything. The mountain is flooded with delightful goofy animal people that have different things to tell you or different things they need help with.

Help a young thief “pay off their tuition”. Get into a parkour race with some other kids. Sit on the docks for a while and learn to fish. Find a rock that gives you money whenever you hit it just like in Animal Crossing and then smile in delight as no one you tell about it believes you because why would a rock give you money just for hitting it with a shovel?

Something about the minimalistic graphics and the chill nature of the game play make the game literally feel like a short hike. The path will branch off, there’s things you might discover on your second play through you completely missed on your first. You might discover that talking to characters in a different order grants you new dialogue to discover. Or don’t. You could also just sit and fish if you’d like.

If you need to just sit and chill for a bit and find some inner peace, A Short Hike is a walk in the park.