Congratulations on defeating the big boss of the seasonal calendar once again! Now that old man winter’s cold months of misery have been shunted into the past for another year, it’s time to lighten things up as we enter the domain of spring. To help you sweep the last frosty remnants from your gaming life, we’ve rounded up five cheerful games to get those spring vibes flowing.
Video games to get the spring vibes flowing
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)
Sets the seasonal mood for: Spring cleaning.
Ahh, spring. As the sunlight begins to melt away the cold of winter, you open up your curtains to discover with a resigned sense of horror that your house/room is in an utter state. It’s time to get cleaning. But instead of the involved effort of tidying up our actual living spaces, let’s invest in restoring our underloved Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands instead. Hooray for sensible priorities!
By this point it’s been several years since most of us have waved hello to our villagers, meaning our islands are likely smothered by weeds and rampant flower growth, and our houses crawling with roaches. Enough is enough. Let’s get tidying up just in case that one friend still playing the game daily asks for a visit. Their masterpiece of an island might make ours look little better than a ramshackle rock by comparison, but at least it’ll be a cockroach-free rock!
With the Happy Home Paradise DLC, you can even use this as an excuse to escape April showers for some warmer climes. Leave those clouds behind and spend your days design a race car track house for a speed-fiend penguin instead. Magical stuff.
Alternatively, check out Animal-Crossing-inspired indie title Cozy Grove, which has won fans over with a surprisingly warm spirit for a game filled with ghosts.
Tchia (PlayStation, coming to PC soon)
Sets the seasonal mood for: Escaping the endless rain.
Still raining in your part of the world? The best way to send cold weather packing is by packiing yourself -- for a tropical open-world adventure! Tchia sees you exploring a sunny archipelago as a young girl with freeform climbing, gliding, swimming, and sailing.
That's already a level of escapism we can get behind, but Tchia takes things further by letting you posess pretty much every animal and object you encounter. There's even a fully playable ukulele to jam along with. Pairing a sunny environment with music and physics-driven escapades is a recipe for success, but there is a serious tale to uncover in this New Caledonian outing.
Pikmin Bloom (Mobile)
Sets the seasonal mood for: Actually going outside.
We might prefer our sunshine and blooms in digital form, but Nintendo's most recent partnership with Pokémon Go designer Niantic is doing its best to get us out and touching grass. Pikmin Bloom is a game all about walking. You walk to discover new Pikmin, walk to grow them in their pots, and walk to spready flowers all over your vicinity. The tiny critters are adorable, and visiting key places will see you bring home pals wearing anything from scissors to sushi outfits. If the weather's nice, load up Pikmin Bloom, pop on a podcast, and get out there to enjoy some real Spring once in a while.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (iOS, PC, with a console version soon)
Sets the seasonal mood for: Reconnecting with wildlife.
We’re not the only ones stretching our limbs come springtime. The animal world is rousing itself from various states of slumber, torpor, hibernation, and other fancy ecological words we don’t quite understand. If you have a bird feeder, now’s the time to fill those seeds for your feathered friends. There’s no reason we shouldn’t pitch in for virtual critters too, and Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is the perfect place to start. The sunny mediterranean shores in Alba are closer to replicating a relaxing summer’s day, but we’re here for the inhabitants rather than weather. And we don’t mean the human ones.
With camera in hand, Alba’s holiday plans involved snapping photos of and cataloguing the birds, bees, and other creatures spread throughout the island. Unfortunately, pesky humans have been up to their littering and polluting ways, so it’s down to Alba and her friends to spark change in the world by conducting good deeds for men and beasts alike. Heartwarming stuff to ease those winter blues.
Harvestella (Switch, PC)
Sets the seasonal mood for: Planting crops and fending off hungry creatures.
After years of excuses, we've finally slapped together a vegetable patch in real life. It turns out that while building one is easy, protecting new crops from the unstoppable onslaught of hungry bugs is anything but. Over in the digital realm, Square Enix RPG Harvestella's captures the spirit of spring planting perfectly. Set yourself up in a fantasy village on an alien world, growing and harvesting the supplies the townsfolk need to survive.
There's just one catch. Harvestella's world is also home to a number of aggresive alien creatures. And when the Season of Death comes around, they'll be looking to devour more than your cabbages. Yeah, we're pretty glad we don't have to deal with that one in real life, because our ordinary-sized slugs are already proving a handful.
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Sets the seasonal mood for: Some rather ferocious gardening.
After the frosts of winter, any good gardner knows that a well placed attack with shears or secateurs is vital for a new year of growth. But what happens when the plants decide to fight back? Calling in a zombie horde for assistance only seems practical, if you ask us. Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville proves just how deadly your average sunflower can be as they rise up to duel against ghouls from the grave.
The asymmetrical, third-person multiplayer shooter has just been released on Nintendo Switch, bringing its oversized greenery and gunplay to a whole new audience. If the lawn outside is looking a little too tough to face today, tackle some unfriendly flora in video game form first by enlisting with the shambling masses.
That's our winter weariness washed away, but have you got any other springtime games to freshen up our screens? Share your choices with us in the comments below!