What’s a Comfort Food Game?
We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s the doldrums of December and January, when publishers decide no one’s playing games. There’s nothing new and shiny, so you fall back on old favorites. Or, maybe you have limited time and don’t feel up to diving into the new, sprawling open-world masterpiece that everyone’s raving — or complaining — about. So you ignore the pile of shame and fire up a game that’s guaranteed to make you feel good. That’s a Comfort Food Game. It might not be chock full of vitamins and minerals, but it’s delicious and feels like home.
The COGconnected crew is a diverse bunch of gamers, and their comfort food games cover a pretty wide range. We also reached out to a variety of industry bigwigs and they too were all over the map…or the menu. What’s interesting is why a game becomes a go-to comfortable time-killer. It’s pretty obvious that we associate the game with a positive experience, and that the game is fun and rewarding, at least to us. All that being said, here are a few favorite comfort food games.
Elden Ring and Bloodborne
It seems strange that a comfort food game would be from a franchise known for being challenging. In my own experience, doing another run through Dark Souls is almost a meditative experience. You know where every enemy, shortcut, weapon, and treasure is hidden. There are no surprises, just the pleasure of crafting a new character and running the gauntlet once again. Elden Ring works the same way, especially if you focus on one area of the game, like Limgrave. The Colosseum update adds another delicious option to the comfort food menu.
It’s incredible that a seemingly simple indie game would capture everyone’s attention and even make several “best of” lists in 2022. Vampire Survivors is also a perfect comfort food game. Matches are usually quick. While there are tons of builds, controls are as basic as they come. As one COG team member said, “It’s addictive and I don’t really need to think much when playing. Perfect escape.” It doesn’t hurt that Vampire Survivors works great on consoles, mobile devices, and PC.
Rock Band and Beat Saber
While Rock Band and Guitar Hero were prime party games, there was a real pleasure in knocking out a quick solo song or two and trying to beat your best score. The same can be said about Beat Saber, especially if you can play on a wireless VR headset and don’t need to take the time to clear a space or worry about wires. Plus, it can be a short, low-intensity workout, perfect for getting the blood pumping after sitting around too long.
Slay the Spire
Short matches, addictive gameplay, and a wicked sense of fun. What more do you want from a comfort food game? For many players, 2019’s deck builder/roguelike has never left their gaming rotation. Slay the Spire and other card-battle games are perfect for short gaming sessions or to unwind with after a long day of real life.
Still hungry? Read on after the break.