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First person shooters don’t need to be violent to be fun

From power cleaning to slime farming,

I’ve had no trouble playing less action-packed games like Pokémon SoulSilver and Sword. Today I attempted to take up Miles Morales again and felt my body go less wild than when racing, but I only felt comfortable for about a 20-minute session with some cutscenes. So I’m wondering if there are any suggestions for easing myself back into the action.

— Error in the Matrix

Hello there, Glitch in the Matrix! First and foremost, I apologize for your situation. That seems like a shocking and maybe frightening shift to go through, and I hope I can help you with some great advice. The good news is that I believe I have a solid selection of items that will be engaging without raising your heart rate.

I notice you’ve played quite a few shooters. As someone who isn’t usually like violent games, I’ve been impressed by how much the genre has expanded in recent years to incorporate features and visuals that aren’t violent or stressful. I have three suggestions for you, in in order of chillness: PowerWash Simulator, the Slime Rancher series, and Neon White.

Begin with PowerWash Simulator.

It should come as no surprise that the game allows you to recreate the feeling of utilizing a pressured power washer. Basically, you point your power washer at something and clean it, such as vehicles, playgrounds, or houses. You handle this nozzle like a weapon, yet your adversary is dirt. There are several degrees, and more complex work will not necessarily be more technically demanding, but will require more time and attention to detail, or will simply be greater in size overall.

Nothing beats the sensation of utilizing a high-pressure water jet to remove a layer of filth, with its precise lines revealing the bright swings and slides of a playground. With its steaming, steamy sweetness, PowerWash Simulator irons out every wrinkle in my brain. It’s fantastic on its own, but it’s also a fun way to unwind after a particularly tense game. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass, so if you have that, you can get it right now.

First person shooters don’t need to be violent to be fun

Slime Rancher and Slime Rancher 2 follow. You suck up numerous slimes as you explore a colorful, whimsical environment in these games. I like it because there’s a massive map to explore, ranging from caves to erupting volcanoes — and each area is home to a different species of slime. It’s adorable to witness the large, squishy slimes being sucked up into your character’s tiny vacuum pack. Organizing them into their enclosures can be tiresome because they quickly bounce out of position, but it’s a peaceful game for anybody looking for a shooter that requires time spent collecting, arranging, and harvesting resources. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass.

Finally, Neon White might be a good choice if you want to amp up the action. The game is a high-level speedrunner and shooter that needs precise use of numerous special abilities to accomplish levels swiftly and properly. It’s all about speed, and gold and ace medals need accuracy. Regardless, it’s the most relaxing shooter I’ve played in a long time.

First person shooters don’t need to be violent to be fun

The game is excellent at putting me in a “flow state,” in which I operate instinctively rather than rationally. When the stakes are high, other games cause an adrenaline rush. Because each level is so brief and can be restarted so fast, the danger remains relatively minimal with Neon White. “Making a mess” is just repeating a minute-long (or even shorter) level. The levels immerse you in a wonderful world of platforming accuracy and will move your head in a matter of seconds, thus I definitely suggest it.

Before I depart, here are a few honorable mentions: If you don’t want to play a shooter, you may try Donut County by Neon White, which is a strangely soothing game about swallowing an entire town up with a hole. If you enjoy PowerWash Simulator, you might enjoy House Flipper, which lets you to fix up a house; the two games play similarly.

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