1. Cookie Clicker
How it works: Dominate the world’s confectionary economy by baking cookies, one click at a time. That’s all you have to do until you rack up enough points to buy upgrades, means of mass production, and grandmas who will do the work for you while you run to meetings and Alt + Tab the game out of your boss’s line of vision. Eventually you’ll be able to purchase wizard towers, alchemy labs, and even portals to further your entrepreneurial endeavors. It’s charmingly bizarre and inexplicably addicting.
Who should play: Aspiring entrepreneurs, cookie monsters, and anyone looking for a month-long side gig.
2. I Fell In Love With The Majesty of Colors
How it works: How does such a simple game manage to take you through a whirlwind of self-discovery, confusion, anger, love, and heartbreak in just five minutes? This game can be charming or somber depending on how you play it, and the shortness of the game makes it easy to replay so you can test out the different endings. No matter how you approach the game — whether you play as a benign figure quietly observing humanity from the bottom of the sea, or become the monster that everyone expects — you’ll have a hard time not falling in love with the majesty of colors.
Who should play: Anyone who needs to release some emotion, whether it be frustration, sadness, or joy.
How it works: If you love exploring the world through Google Street View, or just exploring in general, you’ll love GeoGuessr. The premise of the game is simple — you’re dropped somewhere random in the world, and you have to guess where you are. It’s just like having a malfunctioning teleportation pad, and it’s a great way to check out cities and scenary that you might not have seen otherwise.
Who should play: Those adventurous spirits who don’t want to be trapped in a cubicle all day.
4. A Dark Room
How it works: You start off in cold room with no options other than to light a fire. As you stoke the fire, short lines of text appear on the left side of the screen providing sparse narration to the bleak world you will inhabit throughout the game. What begins as a simple, almost poetic, text-based narrative unfolds into a mystery survival browser game where you must venture beyond your room to collect the resources you need to survive. Though the storyline is intricately woven through the increasingly complex series of choices you must make to survive, the minimalist presentation makes it easy to set the game aside for hours, or even days, at a time. It’s the perfect escape when you need a little bit of a mental break.
Who should play: Lovers of stories, escapism, and introspection.