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Subject: Games to help mentally decompress rss

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Shantel V
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I need some help! I am currently taking full time classes five days a week in a demanding allied health program. I'm spending most of my time outside of class reading, studying, and doing homework. When I do have free time, I want to relax and unwind with a game. I'll pull something off the shelf and as soon as I open the box I start feeling too mentally exhausted to play. It's like I can't process any more information, let alone do something that requires strategy. In the past when I came home from a crazy stressful day at work, getting involved in game was a great way to escape the pressure for a while. Now, even just staring at my shelf to decide what to play can tire me out.

Are there are any suggestions for 2-player or solo games that could actually help me mentally decompress or should I just lay off it for a while? I'm prepared to stop playing while I'm in this program, but that bums me out. Has anyone else experienced something like this?

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Jerry Martin
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I think any simple game that you have already learned to play before and have some experience would work.

I don't have any good suggestion. Personally, I like to learn complicated games as a way to relax. When I was working on my masters my problem was lack of time.
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Ryan S
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Someday Asagi will be the main character of her very own game.
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I often relax/unwind playing board game apps on my ipad, and many can be played on iphones and androids as well. Like Jerry said, playing a game you know really well is important.

Carcassonne
Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Ascension
Ticket to Ride

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K S
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I know the feeling: right now I am working a full-time job and completing my Ph.D. dissertation.

I think a short, simple co-op game fills this niche just right. If you have another player, they can help you share the cognitive burden after a long day. And co-ops can, by design, also be played solo. My favorite is Pandemic: The Cure.
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james napoli
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I think that Splendor or Dominion would be two games that are low stress, enough game to be worth playing them and work with 2 players that you could look at. Or maybe something like mage knight or java could work, just kidding

i would recommend trying Yoga, it's helped me immensely calming my self down...
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Shantel V
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darlok wrote:
Or maybe something like mage knight or java could work, just kidding


I've already tried TI3 and I can't figure out why my stress level keeps going up.....Lol
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Shantel V
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I like the idea of Carcassone, Dominion, or Ipad games. Little to no setup is great.
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April W
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I second Carcassonne and Splendor. Those games actually feel therapeutic.
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Phillip Harpring
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+1 to Pandemic: The Cure

Short setup, short playtime, decisions are straightforward (but still present), and when you lose you can blame the dice rather than yourself.

I'm often in the same boat, and it's one reason so few games get played at home. Once the day is done and the toddler is in bed, all my partner and I seem to have the energy for is to watch an episode of TV and hit the hay. The thought of setting up any board game, particularly one that she'd have to learn (and I'd have to teach), is incredibly intimidating. Playing via phone or tablet can be helpful since it eliminates setup, teardown, and the mental load of refereeing. Plus, you can easily save the gamestate and come back to it later if you want. My partner and I have played more games of Patchwork and Lost Cities on our phones than any other game thanks to asynchronous play.

Some other suggestions:
Tides of Time
Rolling America
Lost Cities
Star Realms
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Ryan S
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Soleia wrote:
I second Carcassonne and Splendor. Those games actually feel therapeutic.


Splendor has a really good iOS app as well.
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K S
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Emu Prime wrote:
Playing via phone or tablet can be helpful since it eliminates setup, teardown, and the mental load of refereeing. Plus, you can easily save the gamestate and come back to it later if you want. My partner and I have played more games of Patchwork and Lost Cities on our phones than any other game thanks to asynchronous play.

Some other suggestions:
...
Star Realms

+1 to Star Realms. Simple and quick, but I don't mind playing multiple times in a row (which is unusual for me). The app gives a decent solo challenge, and can be played 2-player asynchronously (which of course can become "synchronously" with two players sitting next to each other on the couch, if you like ).
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Justin Strickland
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Crokinole is therapeutic for me sometimes. Even if you don't have an opponent you can just shoot for the center and see how many you can make. Battle Line is also amazing at just kinda putting me "in the zone" so to speak. I forget about everything else and focus 100% on the game.

I'd also recommend like darlok to start doing yoga, or some strength training program. It will really help to give you more energy throughout the day. For the past month or so I've been practicing headstands every single day for about 5 minutes or so. I'm trying to get used to being upside down to progress to eventually a freestanding handstand. Each day it gets easier and easier and I can hold it without using the wall longer and longer. Seeing this progress makes me feel awesome afterwards because I know that it won't be long before I reach my final goal. I also do a 10 minute stretching routine before I go to bed which helps relax me too.
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Shantel V
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I just got Star Realms for my Ipad since it's free. I've never played so I figured I'd try it out to see how I like it. The Splendor app is $6.99 so will likely wait until it's on sale to try that one. Thanks for all the great suggestions!
 
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Stefan Schneider
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Maybe this geeklist can help you, there's some really nice games on it:

What to play on a sad/exhausting/difficult day
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Among the Stars might work. It is very similar to 7 Wonders, but less mathy, and more intuitive. It is a solid social setting game. Setup is a little longer than some of the others mentioned, but the game play itself is quite relaxing.

But to be honest, this is tough for me to recommend. For me, the heavier the game, the better I relax.
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Liam (Away/AFK)
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review/discussion YouTube channel focusing on solo play. The home of Wargaming 101 series.

Found this earlier in the week - some really good insights into games I don't normally see.
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John Prewitt
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Red7
Age of War
7 Dragons
Love Letter
Wipers Salient - solo
Friday - solo
Lord of the Rings: Confrontation
Carcassonne
Tokaido

All very relaxing.
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Shantel V
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gentle wrote:
Maybe this geeklist can help you, there's some really nice games on it:

What to play on a sad/exhausting/difficult day


This list is great! Thanks .

Side note: I'm really happy with the thread suggestions. Plenty of good content to check out, and surely something will fit the bill.
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Shantel V
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monkeyhandz wrote:
review/discussion YouTube channel focusing on solo play. The home of Wargaming 101 series.

Found this earlier in the week - some really good insights into games I don't normally see.


Just listening to her voice is very soothing and relaxing .
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Stephen Hall
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My wife and I play a lot of Cribbage. It's best with two, plays quickly (at least, once you know how to play), and is really low-stress. If you've never played it, give it a try. Heck, you don't even need a board. There is a virtual cribbage board app, so all you need is a deck of cards.
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Crazygaloot wrote:
monkeyhandz wrote:
review/discussion YouTube channel focusing on solo play. The home of Wargaming 101 series.

Found this earlier in the week - some really good insights into games I don't normally see.


Just listening to her voice is very soothing and relaxing :D.

Hi. I'm the 'voice' on this one and thank you both so much for the comments. I actually do try to convey a sense of calm and relaxation since for me so much about gaming is just that. I'm pleased that is coming across.
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Shantel V
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adm1 wrote:
Crazygaloot wrote:
monkeyhandz wrote:
review/discussion YouTube channel focusing on solo play. The home of Wargaming 101 series.

Found this earlier in the week - some really good insights into games I don't normally see.


Just listening to her voice is very soothing and relaxing .

Hi. I'm the 'voice' on this one and thank you both so much for the comments. I actually do try to convey a sense of calm and relaxation since for me so much about gaming is just that. I'm pleased that is coming across.


That's awesome! You're doing really nice work
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river tam
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my relaxing games

Nations: The Dice Game
Carcassonne
Finca
The Palaces of Carrara
Eggs of Ostrich
Ticket to Ride: Switzerland
Leelawadee
Streetcar


for solo
Ebbe & Flut
Harbour
Onirim
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Cage P
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Ok my suggestions arent boardgames but i find them very effective.
I found that in order to trully relax mentally is to make the mind
focus in a different way by preoccupying it. So my
suggestions are games like tetris or jewel quest, those types of games
make your brain work hard on simple split second decisions and allow you
to let go of your other day to day thoughts... they call the "tetris trance"
the "tetris trance" for a reason. At my first job they sent us to a stress
relief worshop where they taught us to juggle and it worked great, when we felt stressed juggling for 5 minutes worked great. The intense concentration
made us mentally let go of everyting else. Its the same principle
as playing tetris.
So if there are any boardgames with timepressure that make you
completely focus on fast simple tasks thats the kinda board game i would recommend. I cant think of any thought exeptbthe shipbuilding part in
galaxy truckers.

Dont missunderstand me, i love board games, if u wanna have fun play boardgames . But for pure stress relieief try my method, im sure it will work for u to. So try 5-10 minutes of a tetris type game and after play a boardgame.

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Jacob Schoberg
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Elkhorn
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Onirim (second edition) is very relaxing for me. Its sibling, Castellion, is also quite relaxing!
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