Games to warm up with this winter

A list of games to get lost in during the long, chilly days of winter break

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For many students, winter break is an excellent time to recover from the exhausting fall semester.

But as the January days grow colder and drag on, a break can become boring. So what to do when you have an entire month to yourself?

Play video games of course.

The problem is, it can be hard to choose which ones to play, especially for the inexperienced. To help with that, we compiled a list of video games to consider.

‘Stardew Valley’  - Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android

To offset winter’s chill, maybe you need to go to greener pastures, which “Stardew Valley” is all about. In the game, your character discovers their deceased grandfather has left them a rundown farm in a small country town called Stardew Valley. 

The concept of the game is simple: live your life in the town, take care of your farm, make friends (romantic or platonic) and attempt to make an honest living. There are quests you can complete, but the game gives players free reign to do what they wish every day. “Stardew Valley” has something to offer for everyone, and thanks to a recent update, if you don’t want to play alone, the game supports multiplayer as well.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ - Nintendo Switch

If you’re looking for a multiplayer game that can really get your blood pumping for both casual and hardcore gamers, look no further than “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” This crossover fighting game (the fifth in the series) features a roster of 74 popular video game characters whom players pit against each other in either single player or multiplayer matches. 

This newest entry into the series features updated graphics, a larger roster and new stages, making “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” worth it, even for those who own previous installments. 

Regardless of your experience with the series, this game provides everything from great party entertainment to nail-biting competitive action.

‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’ - Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Anyone who has dabbled in first-person shooters has probably heard of the “Halo” series. This science-fiction multimedia franchise takes place in a universe where an old civilization known as the Forerunners create a group of superweapons called the Halo Array to defeat a parasitic alien race. In the future, an alliance of aliens that worship this old civilization are engaged in an intergalactic war with humans. The player takes on the role of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, a supersoldier created by humans to fight against the aliens.

“Halo: The Master Chief Collection” is a compilation of Halo 2, 3, Combat Evolved Anniversary, ODST and Reach, all remastered with modern visuals. Although the collection was originally released in 2014 for the Xbox One, it was released on Microsoft Windows in December. 

Each of the games have interesting stories and addicting multiplayer modes making it great for both playing by yourself and with friends.

‘Final Fantasy XIV’ - Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, macOS

For those who enjoy massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), give “Final Fantasy XIV” (FFXIV) a try. The “Final Fantasy” series is one of the most well-known RPGs, and despite its rough launch, the MMO has gone on to become a widely praised and deep RPG experience. 

In FFXIV, the player you create lives in the fictional land of Eorzea. After an apocalyptic event, the player is transported five years into the future to avoid being destroyed. During the game, the player has to deal with rebuilding Eorzea and another invading empire. 

Now is a good time to get involved in the game as Shadowbringers, the latest big expansion, came out in 2019. With all the new content and possible future updates, “Final Fantasy XIV” is a game you can easily spend thousands of hours on. 

‘Gris’ - macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, iOS, PlayStation 4

For a game that is simultaneously chill and aesthetically beautiful, the platform-adventure indie game “Gris” is a perfect fit for VSCO girls everywhere. “Gris,” which originally came out at the end of 2018, follows the character Gris, who is dealing with loss and grief in a world devoid of color. As Gris navigates through obstacles and puzzles, she slowly gathers lights that give her special abilities and help her on her quest to return color to the world.

While the watercolor-like style and calming soundtrack make the game a gorgeous work of art, the platforming and puzzles make the game difficult enough to provide a good challenge. Although this game is not long and lacks a multiplayer element, it is nonetheless a beautiful journey, perfect for those who want to casually experience one of 2019’s best games.   

Anastasia Wilds is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at anastasia.wilds@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @AnastasiaWilds 

ANASTASIA WILDS


Anastasia Wilds is an asst. arts editor.