Summer is a time of great weather, less intense work, and vacations. In theory, at least!
So why would we start a blog post asking about what video games are great for the summer?
Because summer in practice is quite a bit different:
- If you’re going on vacation, you’ve got to get there, which means hours spent in cars, on trains, at airports, and on planes.
If you live in an area that’s warmer or more congested, you know the summer is equal parts great weather and equal parts heat and air quality warnings, leaving you with more time indoors.
- And less work doesn’t mean no work, so you might find you’re in the mood for a game after a long day of meetings.
Still, the summer hits differently. Gone are the longer nights and colder days of fall and winter. The warmth and brightness can lead to more energy… and it can also lead to a little bit of laziness.
Finding the right video games to match these summery moods is a welcome challenge, so today we’re highlighting some of the elements that make a great summer video game.
Five Qualities That Make For A Fun Summer Video Game
Wide Open Exploration - Summertime used to mean getting out of the house and going exploring. For those times when getting out of the house isn’t practical, consider an expansive game like Equilinox that isn’t so much driven by effort as it is curiosity. We’re not setting ourselves up for strict rule-following, but rather some guidelines that let us wander about.
Single Purpose - Summertime is meant to be a simpler time. Save your 100-hour playtimes and infinite side quests for the focused nights of winter. Instead, go for the shorter games that let you get going on the fun right away. As Mashable suggests, A Short Hike and Lonely Mountains: Downhill deliver on this premise. You’re either hiking up a mountain… or biking down one.
Summer Vibes - Summertime is blue skies and lazy living. Finding games like those on this list of best summer games that are about beach volleyball, theme parks, Donkey Kong’s tropical adventures, jet skiing, and sunshine will help unlock the vibes of summer even if you’re staying in.
The Great Digital Outdoors - Summertime is about nature escapes. When you can find games that transport you to small lakeside towns, national forests, the ocean, parks, and valleys, you can extend the summer fun late into the evening.
Puzzles Worth Noodling Over - Summertime is about not forgetting everything we learned during school. While this is more of a throwback to how our parents used to scold us into summer reading, maybe there’s some merit to it. If you want to keep your brain active over the summer (even if you’re long past needing to remember calculus), look for puzzle games like Tetris, Monument Valley, or Hexcells.
The other beautiful thing about summer is that it’s a blank slate for play. You get to spend the time how you want on the things that make you happy - and the people you’re happy with.
For those gamers among us, that can range from playing our favorite summer-themed video games to unlocking video game achievements at parties together.
What about you? Any games you have your eyes on this summer?