A name coined by gaming influencers, 'cozy gaming' is a blanket term for games that bring joy through wholesome and risk-free play. Typically targeted toward women and created by indie developers, the trend of cozy gaming has taken the gaming community by storm and is a gentle way of inviting non-gamers to play. These games usually include a low risk for failure, simple game instructions, a welcoming environment and an aesthetic that allows users to focus on artistic and social engagement in a stress-free setting. This genre of games evokes feelings of comfort and satisfaction while targeting the needs of creativity and fantasy. The relaxed tempo and ability to play for either short or long periods may appeal to gamers who need a respite from the typical violence-filled and intense games that flood the gaming market today. 

Many people embrace cozy gaming by creating a comfortable environment to play in. Since most cozy games tend to be single-player, it is easy to set up a safe space to play that fits your needs. Inspired by many cozy gamers on TikTok, a typical cozy gaming setup includes a cohesive color scheme, comfortable seating and a decluttered space. Many players opt for a neutral color scheme to match all their gaming technology and accessories like mice and keyboards. There is also now a market for gaming console skins, essentially vinyl stickers that wrap around your device in pretty colors and designs to give your gaming console a fresh and unique look. While all of this is cool, all you need to start cozy gaming is your preferred gaming device, like a phone or laptop, and the games themselves. It is all about how you feel that makes cozy gaming different from hardcore gaming. 

The gaming field is filled with new games labeled as cozy coming out all the time. The rise of the popularity of "Animal Crossing" in 2020 made many gaming developers finally understand the already present need for cozy gaming. Some games are available on most gaming consoles, but check where you can play before starting. Here are some recommendations of games that help satisfy all the criteria of a cozy game to get started:

'Unpacking'

A game about a simple life milestone of unpacking after a move: this zen puzzle game invites the user to follow the story of someone through eight moves while decorating the space and learning clues about their life through puzzles along the way. "Unpacking" is sure to please cozy gamers with its unique soundtrack and meditative gameplay. 

'Spiritfarer'

"Spiritfarer" is a cozy management game about dying. While that may sound morbid, you follow the journey of Stella, a Spiritfarer, by building a boat to explore the world and help care for spirits before they move on to the afterlife. Various activities like fishing, cooking, harvesting and crafting will help guide you through the emotional stories along the way. 

'Coffee Talk'

In "Coffee Talk," you are an alternative-Seattle barista who listens to the problems of mythical customers while preparing them a drink with the ingredients on hand. This game allows players to learn about the humanity of people through role-playing gameplay. 

'Wytchwood'

"Wytchwood" is a crafting adventure game where fairytales and gothic fables are real. While exploring the woods, you become a mysterious witch, where you will grow and collect magical ingredients for brewing. YOu can then cast enchantments on the characters and creatures you meet. The storybook art style and unique puzzles will immerse you in a mythical fantasy world. 

'Stardew Valley'

A cozy game where you get the chance to revitalize your grandfather's farm you just inherited. Exploring caves, growing vast fields of crops, raising animals and even marrying the locals while becoming a part of the community is what makes Stardew Valley so appealing to cozy gamers. You get the opportunity to decorate, role-play and build in this all-in-one game that is perfect for both short and lengthy gaming sessions. 

To get ready for some cozy gaming, change into comfortable clothes, find a comfy place to sit, turn off all harsh lights, turn on cute little lamps, or maybe even light a candle. Having a nice, warm drink and a snack at the ready are also essential, so find some time to decompress and start cozy gaming now.

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