If you are like me or any of the 60 million Americans out there, then you have trouble falling asleep at night. As a gamer, I find it especially difficult to catch some shut-eye at night, since most games out there are meant to be thrilling and get your heart pumping.
However, I've been a gamer long enough to know what games to avoid if I need to get a full night's sleep, and what games will guarantee to knock me out within minutes. Counting sheep? Not me. I play boring (yet oddly satisfying) games before heading to bed. The following are games that I often turn to to help put me to sleep.
5. Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo, Nintendo DS)
Although any of the Animal Crossing games will do just fine (really, they're all the same game), I prefer Wild World because it's on a portable device that I can take with me to bed. The events in Animal Crossing, as anyone who has played the game knows, take place in real-time. If it's nighttime in “real life,” it's nighttime in your game. So if you're playing the game at night trying to fall asleep, it'll be dark in the virtual world of Animal Crossing. Most of the villager NPCs have gone to sleep, a relaxing melody plays, and there really isn't much to do in the game except go fishing or redecorate your house. I would often wake up to find my Nintendo DS on the verge of death after falling asleep while organizing the cluttered living room in my game.
Sure, it sounds totally lame, but as a sleeping aid? Absolutely brilliant. Now I can't wait for the upcoming 3DS version of Animal Crossing– so I can fall asleep in 3D.
4. Persona 3 Portable (Atlus, Sony PSP)
Persona 3 is considered to be one of the greatest Japanese RPGs of the previous console generation, and it has great music and voice acting. Developer Atlus ported the game over to the PSP, and it became a gold mine for insomniacs.
The majority of the “action” in Persona 3 involve navigating your way up 264 floors of a building known as the Tartarus. Each of the floors looks almost identical to each other, and are randomly generated. Every time you enter battle (and it happens way too often), you'll see the same exact animation sequences over and over again, and you'll end up repeating the characters' dialogue just to kill the monotony. I lost count of the number of times I repeated the lines: “Time for an all-out attack! Let me at 'em!” while rolling my eyes.
The purpose of counting sheep is to bore yourself to sleep with monotony, and the same affect can be achieved while playing Persona 3 Portable.
3. Dragon Age 2 (PC, XBOX360, PS3)
I love the Dragon Age series just as much as the next RPG nerd (I got every single achievement in the first game), but seriously, Dragon Age 2 became a sleep-inducing bore at certain points.
Almost every one of the sequel's improvements over Origins sounds great on paper: better graphics, character loyalty missions, and improved combat. However, there was one huge problem with the new game: almost every single dungeon looked exactly the same. In fact, I believe that they used the exact same cave over and over again for different missions throughout the game. Dragon Age 2 players should know what I'm talking about, they had to navigate through this dungeon a hundred times anyway.
Not only that, but I also selected the rogue class during my first time though the game. That meant I ended up doing nothing but tapping “A” to fight. Walk a few feet, see a dozen enemies, tap “A” until they're all dead. Find the loot, tap “A” to pick it up. My poor “A” button got a lot of work during my time with Dragon Age 2.
The monotony of navigating through the same dungeon, coupled with mind-numbingly easy combat made me catch myself falling asleep on numerous occasions while playing through the game. I'd often awaken to see my character running against the wall.
2. Euro Truck Simulator (PC)
Ever wonder what it's like to be a trucker? How about a trucker in Europe? Euro Truck Simulator is exactly as it sounds- a trucking simulator set in Europe (clever title, right?). Players can do everything real (European) truckers do- pick up cargo, deliver said cargo, adjust your mirrors, and drive within the speed limit. Yes, you actually have to regularly adjust your mirrors. Let's hope the worlds' hard-working truckers don't actually get as sleepy as I do when playing a simulated trucking game.
1. The Sims (various)
You go home after a long day of work and unwind for a few minutes in front of the TV. Eventually, you'll have to cook dinner, do the dishes, go to the bathroom, and eventually go to sleep, just to do the same thing over again the next day. Sounds like a pretty boring life, right?
What I just described was a typical gameplay session in The Sims, and if you thought a boring day is mind numbing, wait until you play a video game that simulates these boring days. Your avatar lives his or her own life as an average person, experiencing pretty much what you'd have to experience in real life. You'll perform daily chores, go to work, and engage in polygamous relationships. Just like in real life.
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