Let’s get this out the way, video games are for everybody. No matter your age, gender, background, or your ability, if you want to play video games you should. Well, Nintendo understands this, and luckily they put a lot of time and effort into ensuring even their most casual games are still enjoyable for everyone.
You might be asking, what is a casual game? Well, it’s a title that’s either simple or relaxing enough for anyone to enjoy, even if they don’t fancy diving into the latest Dark Souls entry. My mum used to love her DS, and you couldn’t tear her away from Nintendogs and Professor Layton. So for all the mums out there, or anyone looking for a nice, chill experience, we’re here to help with our list of the best Switch casual games.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most relaxing and simple games around that anyone can pick up, regardless of skill level. Whether it’s your kids, your gran, or someone else who’s never touched a controller, these titles prove that gaming really is for everybody, and it’s especially fun to share it with your loved ones.
Here is our guide to the best Switch casual games:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
It’s hard to imagine people who haven’t heard of Animal Crossing by now, but just in case, it’s easily one of the best casual games on Switch. New Horizons sees you take control of your own little island paradise, where you can decorate both your island and home however you see fit. Take part in daily tasks like fishing, watering flowers, or just chatting to cute animal neighbours as you settle into the relaxing island life.
You can even collect fossils, fish, and heaps of bugs to fill out the island’s museum. It’s a delightful game with hundreds of hours of content, all presented with an abundance of charm, and a gorgeous visual art style. It also has great social features, so it’s easy to go and visit a pal and check out their island over the internet. If we had to make one recommendation, it would be this one. Plus, it just got a hefty update as well as paid DLC, so this bumper bonanza of relaxing fun now has more things to do than ever.
A charming game made by one single person, Stardew Valley is a love letter to classic farming games like Harvest Moon, while bringing over plenty of modern touches and a strong sense of personality to every corner of the town. You inherit a farm and start a new life, and must try to grow your crops through the varied seasons, while exploring the area, speaking to residents, raising livestock, and even fighting monsters in the local caves.
With a beautiful pixelated art style and an unforgettably soothing soundtrack, Stardew Valley could be one of the most relaxing games ever made. It’s also immensely satisfying to arrange your farm and your crops exactly how you want them as you watch your farm grow over time. If you do take a trip to Stardew, be sure to check out our Stardew Valley farm layout guide to make the most of your space, and get your farm off to the best possible start.
Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee & Pikachu
Pokémon has always been a children’s game, whether fans like it or not. So it was nice to see a fresh take on Kanto with Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, which reinvented the original region with some gameplay elements borrowed from literally the biggest game in the world, Pokémon Go.
While it may not be as dense as some modern Pokémon games, Let’s Go is a charming take on the series that’s easy to understand, with smart additions added to the battle to make them more accessible than ever. There’s also an easy-to-operate multiplayer mode so parents can jump in instantly, and you can even send some of the critters you’ve caught in Pokémon Go over to your Nintendo Switch. They might not be the most difficult games in the series, but if you’re hoping to get your kids into Pokémon, this could be a fantastic place to start.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
There are plenty of great platformers on the Nintendo Switch that could be included here – for example, Super Mario Odyssey has some great features to make it easier for kids to play. However, Yoshi’s Crafted World is a game that is easy to understand and control, while simultaneously offering more for anybody that wants it.
The adorable crafted style is beautiful in motion, and gives each level a distinct theme and tone. While there are still platforming challenges and enemies, you can always swap the game over to casual mode to just sit back and enjoy the ride if it gets too much. It’s a great game that doesn’t compromise just because it’s a children’s game, and with great multiplayer features this is an easy one for parents to share with kids.
Now, this is a weird game to explain, because there isn’t that much to it… But what is here is really entertaining. You control a sinkhole in a small town, and you must try to get as many different things to fall down below as possible. You grow as more things fall, so it’s almost puzzle-like as you strategically swallow different objects until you can finally take the entire level down.
It’s full of great characters and fantastic writing, as well as a clean and simple art style that conveys the game’s chill themes well. It’s probably only a few hours of gameplay, but it’s all really enjoyable. If you need a simple game to enjoy one afternoon, Donut County could be your answer.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse Of The Leviathan
With an animated art style straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon, Rainbow Billy looks more like a kids game than most. This is a really simple game to get to grips with, but tackles some interesting themes as Billy tries to bring colour back into the cursed world – not by fighting, but by talking.
Exploring the gorgeous different islands is delightful, and each interaction brings some really interesting dialogue that deftly tackles themes like self-confidence, worth, and even mental health. It’s a really fun platformer in its own right, but achieves so much more through its approachable and emotional writing. Rainbow Billy has some important lessons that grown-ups and kids alike could enjoy.
A delightful puzzle game where you snip other players into shape to solve several different challenges, Snipperclips is so simple to understand but has a huge amount of possibilities when it comes to solving each puzzle. It also requires communication and some teamwork, so it’s an amazing game to pull out when everyone in the family wants to play together.
It has multiplayer options from two to four players, and additional modes if you want to just mess around with the core concept. It also has a batch of new puzzles in additional DLC, so if you enjoy this one there’s is plenty to dive into. Now, who do we ask about a sequel?
This one pushes the definition of video game honestly, as Townscaper is more of a toolkit, but no less satisfying. You can create, curate, and customize a gorgeous little town exactly as you please. With no objectives, no timers, just the freedom to do whatever you want.
This is a fantastic way to wind down, and with its simple controls, whether you’re playing docked or with touch screen in handheld, it’s a very simple game to understand. It’s also entirely up to you whether you want to build a massive metropolis, or simply create a quiet little town on the ocean, but crucially. Be sure to check out our Townscaper review for our full thoughts on this charming simulation game.
Untitled Goose Game
It’s a quiet day in a normal village, and you are a very horrible goose. Untitled Goose Game took the world by storm when it was originally released, thanks to its hilarious concept and striking visual style. It’s also very simple to understand, as you are let loose in the virtual village, with clear goals for your naughty goose to achieve.
You can experiment as much as you want, making it a great little playground, as you work to see just how far you can push each villager. This might not be the most relaxing game, but it’s one that very successfully translates to everyone. It even has multiplayer options now – should someone else in your family want to be a horrible goose with you.
And that’s our list of the best Switch casual games. We hope it helps you share a controller with your loved ones, no matter how many games they’ve played in the past. If you need even more engaging entertainment, be sure to check out our guide to the best Switch party games next.