I know it seems counterintuitive to break away from the norms of city life, being surrounded by technology day in and day out, to play video games while camping. However, sometimes it’s nice to bring one slice of home with you; that is to assume you enjoy camping.
I camp off my motorcycle at least a few times a year, which limits me on how much I can take, however I have enough room to cram at least a book or two, and maybe a handheld video game system. When nighttime drops, and I’m alone in my tent, I fire up my handheld and play my go-tos. I suppose if you’re camping out of an RV, you have an option to bring a whole TV and even a console like any Playstation or Xbox piece of hardware. However for this banter I’m focusing on handheld systems and the catalogue of games available on them.
I’m a huge fan of Coffee Talk, a video game that has you running a coffee shop at night and interacting with an eclectic group of patrons. It’s a low stimulating game that just has you using the ingredients you have on hand to make coffee, tea and chocolate-related drinks, and talking with your customers. When I’m camping, I’m breaking away from the overstimulation and high tempo of living in the city, so when I’m chilling by the campfire, or in my darkened tent, I like to chill with something that’s not going to hyper stimulate me. Which is going to contradict what other games I like to bring with me; side scrolling beat ’em ups.
Streets of Rage 4, River City Girls, TMNT: Shredders Revenge, and others are ones I definitely bring with me. Even though they feature fast paced action gameplay, the thinking is minimal as you’re just mashing buttons to your heart’s content. They bring me a profound sense of joy and reward that calms me when I’m trying to break away from it all.
This is why bringing something like a Nintendo Switch Lite is a must-have when you go camping. If you’re a digital game person, all you have to pack is the system itself, but even if you’re a physical game person like myself, the cartridges are so small that they barely take up room in your packs or bags. I also enjoy what the Playstation Vita brings as well; even smaller cartridges, and a robust classic game library at your fingertips. And it’s even smaller than the Switch Lite!
When I bring my Vita I like to rollback time and play retro RPGs like Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, and maybe even some Resident Evil if I feel like I want to get spooked. I’ve spoken before about how playing retro games can bring about calming senses of nostalgia, and the Vita was the perfect system for having a stacked library of classic games.
When I spoke to others about this topic, one common title that was mentioned was Animal Crossing New Horizons. It’s honestly the perfect game to play to relax, chill and decompress, I don’t think I need to say anymore!
Camping out is such a nice way to decompress and reset the batteries from the overstimulated world we live in, and although bringing a video game system with you may seem counterintuitive, I find that playing chill games like narrative, graphic-novel style games and walking-sim games still puts me in that “relaxed state” I am seeking when I go out into the wilds. Action-oriented games may feel like the opposite desired effect I want, but it still puts me in that same desired state especially if it brings on a sense of familiarity and ease. The types of games you like to play may vary, and if you do enjoy camping I’d like to hear what games you like to bring with you and play! Let us know in the comments, or head over to our Discord at the link here, or use the QR code at the bottom of the page!
Featured Image Art Source: The New Yorker