6 Indie Games to Help Cope with Anxiety and Depression - Travis Digital | PC Consulting Asia

6 Indie Games to Help Cope with Anxiety and Depression - Travis Digital Marketing - GameDev.net

I’m a grab-bag of mental health issues, as anyone who knows me can tell you. Anxiety, depression, anger, low self-esteem, the works. I live with a constant anxiety that’s hard to even explain to other people because it’s such a core part of who I am as a person.

This is exactly why games are a part of my self-care routine. I need to have an hour at the end of my workday to do something I enjoy – read a book, play a game, watch cartoons – or I start getting loopy. And by loopy I mean I gouge holes out in my desk with my okapi knife.

Games transport me to a fantasy world where I’m not troubled by intrusive thoughts. Where I don’t feel sad. Or I do feel sad but I feel ok about feeling sad. I feel relaxed, I go into a flow state, I immerse myself in a story with memorable characters, and at the end of it, I feel better somehow. Sometimes I even get inspired to write poetry inspired by the games I play to process my emotions or whatever’s going on in my life.

Mental health has become an endemic problem during the COVID-19 pandemic – understandably so with the threat of the apocalypse hanging over all our heads. Games are a good way to cope when reality feels too much to handle.

Here are 6 indie games to help you cope with anxiety or depression.

Donut County

I once described Donut County as a game that feels like popping bubble wrap or like listening to ASMR music.

Donut County is a game about dropping things down into holes. Animals. Objects. Food. Buildings. Cities. You will not believe how relaxing it feels.

Donut County offers silly, absurdist humor, soft, pastel colors, and a short playthrough conducive to quick gaming sessions. This is the kind of game you would play after a hard day’s work for 30 minutes so you feel better about your day.

Support Donut County by following the devs on Twitter or purchasing for $12.99 on Steam.

Celeste is a pixelart game about a girl climbing a snowy mountain. Why? Just because she can and she wants to. Well, it’s implied that she has other reasons but that’s the gist of it.

As you get higher, you start to experience anxiety at increasingly intense levels and even have to race against a doppelganger formed from your self-doubt, then finally learn how to overcome your panic attacks. There’s a beautiful sequence where you visualize your breathing as a feather floating in the wind.

The platforming is brutal in this game, like Super Meat Boy levels of difficulty. It never feels frustrating though, and you get a sense that you’ve accomplished something whenever you complete a level and climb higher up the mountain…

What other games should you play for self-care?

This content was originally published here.