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10 Scenic Nature-Filled Games That Deserve More Hype

If life in quarantine has thought us anything is that the beauty of nature is undeniable. Whether you’re having a bad day, a bad month or are just in a weird moment in your life there’s not much that a walk out in nature won’t cure. When we can’t do that then this list of games is going to be the next best thing.

Whether you need a hike in the mountains, a swim in the ocean or just want to sit by the campfire there’s everything to do here and more. Author note: there are so many amazing games in this genre and there are some that definitely deserve to be on here, so expect a part 2 for this list!

 

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is a wonderfully charming experience from Ustwo Games, the team behind the Monument Valley series. In this game, you won’t just immerse yourself in nature but you’ll actively be conserving it!

The main activity of this environmentally minded game will be to photograph animals as well as clean up some litter and oil spills on the island. This active involvement in nature really gives you more of an appreciation for what we’re looking to escape into. Get close to the animals and look for different types of birds, sea creatures and more. Make sure to play this with the volume up to hear all of nature’s calls.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS – Apple Arcade

 

Bear And Breakfast

I might be cheating with this one because Bear and Breakfast already has some relative hype. But it is a fairly new game on the scene and it definitely deserves a place on this list. Mostly because I love it. Set in nature, you play as a bear named Hank working with his animal friends to make cutesy resorts for humans to visit.

As far as management games go this is a fairly relaxing one. You get to look after your cute and charming B&Bs in different nature-filled locations. Whether it’s in the woods, the mountains, by a lake or even in the desert it’s all a visually rewarding experience. Not to mention that the star of the game Hank is just an adorable and funny little soft noise bear. In fact, all the supporting cast are cute and quirky in their own way, marking this game as the epitome of charm.

For our full review and different guides to Bear and Breakfast check it all out here.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

 

Beyond Blue

When we think of nature we think of trees and the mountains but what’s in our oceans is something that we can’t even comprehend. Inspired by BBC’s Blue Planet 2, Beyond Blue has you exploring the endless depths of life underwater. You’ll swim amongst countless marine life as Mirai, a young marine biologist who is following a pod of whales.

Beyond Blue is split into eight separate dives, acting as watery chapters for the overall story. Each dive begins with you swimming to an electronic buoy that pinpoints underwater creatures for you to find and scan. Futuristic technology allows Mirai to dive effortlessly through the water and, even with the clunkiest keyboard and mouse, gliding feels smooth and satisfying. Beyond Blue was made in partnership with the BBC and marine biologists, so gamers learn actual facts about the ocean while playing.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

 

Dinkum

We’ve covered Dinkum a fair bit on this site. But if you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically Animal Crossing in the Australian Outback. Set in this unique environment you’ll be able to explore eucalyptus forests, scorching deserts, cool billabongs and of course see plenty of wombats, kangaroos and crocs. Crikey!

Just like most games in this genre, you’ll be building up not just your own farm, but the entire town as well. Do this by building beautiful streets, planting flowers, installing windmills, fountains and more. Make this little town a haven and attract new townsfolk and businesses.

For our full review and different guides to Dinkum check it all out here.

Platform: PC – Steam

 

Eastshade

In Eastshade you are a travelling painter, exploring the island you landed on. Capture the world on canvas using your artist’s easel. Talk to the inhabitants to learn about their lives. Make friends and help those in need. Visit cities, scale summits, unearth mysteries, and discover forgotten places.

Eastshade while set in a high fantasy setting with anthropomorphized animals has enough real nature to let you get your fill of it. It’s a slow and personal game with nice stories and memorable characters. Take your time to get into the woods and set up your canvas to paint.

Check out our full review of Eastshade here.

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC – Steam

 

Firewatch

An oldie but a goodie. Firewatch is a game that may not need any hype when it launched but it could definitely use some rehype in 2022. Because much like the Star Wars series it’s a comfort game that can be replayed once a year.

Set in the absolutely gorgeous and stylised American wilderness, Firewatch completely immerses you in the solitude of nature. All while delivering you a compelling mystery as you stroll along its narrative paths. The amount of detail in Firewatch is to be commended. Trees aren’t just trees, they are distinctly cottonwoods, and aspens and water glisten from the side of boulders in the ravines. Firewatch will lose you in its dreamy vistas and will have you contemplating how small you are in the universe.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac – Steam

 

Haven Park

Another little animal in the woods wants to set up its own cosy campground. Haven Park stars Flint, a little yellow bird that’s doing his best to keep his grandma’s park up and running and make it a place for the campers to enjoy. While not a long game it’s a wonderfully chilled adventure.

You’ll spend time wandering the map collecting materials and creating campsites to attract campers. The campers themselves are also other adorable animals and they are very cute and colourful. Overall Haven Park is a very sweet game and one of my favourite parts is just listening to the chirping crickets and the crackling campfire.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

 

Lake

Lake is not so much a game but a place for you to unwind and explore as it tells you its grounded, heartfelt story. There are no puzzles, just beautiful scenery, a van full of mail, and old friends to reconnect with. Experience the charms of small-town life and take a step back to reflect on what’s really important in life.

Set in 1986, the game follows Meredith Weiss, who leaves her job in the big city to return to her hometown, Providence Oaks, which is nestled up in the mountains next to a stunning lake. She takes a job as a postman and begins to rekindle her relationships with the locals. It’s a simple life but one that is no less rich which you’ll see as you drive around quiet streets, view the spectacular towering pine trees and soak in the picturesque beauty of the lake.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

 

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

Probably the starkest game on this list, but it’s good to remember that the barrenness of the tundra is in fact a part of nature. There’s something serene and meditative about Never Alone’s desolate and snowy landscape.

You’ll play as two characters: Nuna, a young Iñupiaq girl, and her companion, an arctic fox. A blizzard has brought Nuna’s village to the brink of starvation. Seeing her people suffer, she decides to find the source of the blizzard and stop it. It’s a glimpse into the life of people that deal and exist in the harshest climates of nature, a world away from our concrete boxes. A wonderful nature-filled game that is awe-inspiring.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

 

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is for those who love exploring in Breath of the Wild but are tired of hitting goblins. This is in fact a no-combat game and that’s a good thing. Allowing you to really relax and explore this gorgeous open-world adventure game.

Set in the natural island paradise of Gemea, there are eight distinct environments for you to explore. Ranging from tropical beaches to snow-capped summits. Each location has its own flora and fauna, along with changing seasons and a day-night cycle. Here you’ll help the locals and clear the land of black muck.

Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

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