Shack Chat: What is your go-to game when you're sick?

Seems like everyone has been coming down with some bug or another recently. We definitely felt it here at Shacknews, so we're asking the Chatty community, what's your go-to sick game?


It’s still technically flu season, and there’s definitely been some nasty bugs going around as we closed out 2019 and went into 2020. Whether you’re achey, tired, or coughing up the crud, do you still find comfort in gaming? In this week's Shack Chat, the team talks about their go-to games when they’re feeling sick.

Super Mario Maker 2 - Asif Khan, Mama Mia!

I was deathly ill this week after contracting the CES 2020 plague at that godforsaken convention. While I honestly don’t play many games when I am that sick I did make some time to upload a level to Super Mario Maker 2. I had created the level on the flight to Las Vegas in good health, but I waited until I got home to put the finishing touches on the course. Hero of Time Level 02 - Trees is a challenging speedrun level that puts you in the shoes of Link with his trusty Master Sword. Super Mario Maker 2 is a nice chill game that you can pick up and play for a few minutes at a time, which is great when you are running to the bathroom every few minutes to hurl.

Hearthstone - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

This is a pretty easy one, given how Hearthstone can easily be played on mobile devices. So if I get sick, I just reach over and grab my iPad for a quick round. Although "quick" may be a bit of a misnomer now that Battlegrounds has been introduced. Battlegrounds is such an easy game mode for me to follow, given my familiarity with the minions and how they interact with one another. I've racked up 100 Top 8 finishes since the mode was revealed at BlizzCon and hey, as long as I'm feeling icky, then I might as well try and up that number.

Probably A Borderlands Game - Blake Morse, Reviews Editor

The last time I can recall getting seriously ill, I played my way through Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Honestly though, I don’t really have much of a go-to make-me-feel-better title. But, I am a big enough Borderlands fan that it’s kind of my number one pick for downtime no matter how I’m feeling at the moment. I also have a vague memory of playing through Castlevania 3 when I had the flu as a child. Beyond that though the game I most play when I’m sick is lying in bed and whining like a 5-year-old.

The Long Dark - Bill Lavoy, Managing Editor

If I’m not feeling well I’m likely going to play The Long Dark. It’s my comfort zone when it comes to games. Because I’m so familiar with it I can play it almost on autopilot, whereas something new or more high-paced might require more brain power than I’m capable of outputting when I’m sick. Not to say The Long Dark doesn’t require thought, because it’s a very thoughtful game, but it’s something that brings comfort and peace to me when I play it. If piping hot chicken noodle soup were a video game, it would be The Long Dark, except that The Long Dark is very cold, but this is my entry and I’m sticking with that statement.

Eufloria - Chris Jarrard, Always doing sick sh*t

If I’m sick but just well enough to sit in front of my PC, Eufloria is my go-to game. It is relaxing and forgiving of me when my reaction time and focus is compromised. The goal is to guide your collection of seed balls from one planet to the next. If you have control of a planet, you can plant trees that will either produce more balls or act as a defense tower from enemy swarms. The soundtrack is pretty chill and the on-screen action is simple enough to keep my stomach from churning. The game is also accommodating of unscheduled bathroom trips where I may forget to pause. You can’t ask for much more than that!

Sea of Thieves - Sam Chandler, Guides Editor

Sea of Thieves is my go-to game in any situation. Feeling tired? Sea of Thieves. Feeling like I need to relax? Sea of Thieves. Want to get my adrenaline going? Sea of Thieves. Even when I’m sick, there’s no place quite as soothing and medicinal as the watery world of Rare’s epic pirate game. The only time a problem might arise is if I’m feeling particularly nauseous or suffering from motion sickness. The way the ships rock and bounce over the water is so realistic that it’s been known to cause people to have actual seasickness.

Would you look at the time, it’s Sea of Thieves o’ clock.

Stardew Valley - Donovan Erskine, Intern

When I’m sick, I want to play something that puts me at ease. What game could possibly be more peaceful than Stardew Valley? I can kick back, tend to my farm, and go fishing on the beach. If I’m feeling up to it, i can hang with the townsfolk, or go exploring in the mines. When I’m not feeling well, I like to be lazy, and Stardew Valley is the embodiment of a lazy day.

Dance Dance Revolution - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

I usually don't feel like doing much of anything when I'm sick, and I'd rather watch TV so I don't have to interact with anything. But historically I've opted for playing Dance Dance Revolution or music games with a controller instead of their intended peripheral. StepMania is exceedingly good for this, but I'll often use my extensive collection of PS2 DDR games to quench my thirst for some type of gaming action, just not much. Of course, this is all assuming I'm not working. Typically I don't have a lot of time to rest even when I am sick because there's something I still have to do so...this is a pretty rare occasion. If I do actually have the availability to rest, then DDR it is, at least if I’m not too busy to set it up.

The Witcher 3 or some other RPG - Josh Hawkins, Expert Writer Guy

When it comes to sick days, I usually like to chill out in front of the computer and just dive into an RPG of some sort. Whether it’s The Witcher 3, Skyrim, or even a Pokemon game on my Nintendo Switch or 3DS, there’s just nothing like losing myself in a story that takes me somewhere far away from my sickness. Not only that, but most times I don’t really need to think that hard, and it’s usually pretty easy to just chill out and take things as they come without having to worry too much about focusing on the situation. Sure, The Witcher 3 might be a bit more difficult to think about as a sick game, considering you have to take all kinds of different things into account when fighting the various monsters you encounter, but it’s always been one of my go-to titles for those days I’m just not feeling so great.

Competitive fighting games - TJ Denzer, News Editor

Call me crazy, but when I’m feeling feverish, nothing helps me forget how miserable I am like the thrill of competition, and nothing gets my heart going like a good ranked match in a fighting game. Currently, my go-tos are Mortal Kombat 11 and Blazblue Cross Tag Battle. When I get into a match, my mind is racing, my heart gets going, and my muscles get intensely tight as I manage the timing on every move and combo. I forget about everything else for a while and it feels like my body is in overdrive when I really want to win. For that matter, once I get done with a particularly intense match-up and start to come down from it, I feel like everything in the room feels cooler and I’m more relaxed. I wouldn’t exactly recommend burning off sickness with sheer adrenaline, but for me who has always loved a good match in my menagerie of fighting favorites, it feels good and right.

Maybe Witcher 3? - Greg Burke - Master of Video

It’s weird, but I usually don’t play games if I’m dreadfully ill. I usually can’t see or breathe enough to enjoy what I'm playing. However If I have to choose what games I play, I’d say my backlog, which is huge. Currently, I have an awful head cold from my time at CES 2020. I’ve been using my game time to play The Witcher 3 since I never finished it upon release.

What about you Chatty community? Is there a creature comfort on consoles or PC that you go to when you’ve got the creeping crud? What’s the game that makes you forget about the sicky ickies for a bit? Let us know your go-to sick game if you have one!

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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