Image: Arika Co., IGDB

Ctrl-Alt-Escape: Endless Ocean

So, while the Nintendo Wii has become something of a joke in the gaming community, only fit for the occasional retro game of Mario Kart or Guitar Hero, there are some genuinely relaxing experiences I found and still return to when times are stressful. Among the best are the Endless Ocean games, the original released in 2007 and the follow up Endless Oceans: Blue World released in 2010. Both of these games are built around allowing players to swim through the ocean in an incredibly loose RPG type experience, there are various quests and activities you can undertake, but for the most part it’s all about you taking the time needed to explore the convincing ocean.

There are some genuinely relaxing experiences I found and still return to when times are stressful.

The original has one main sea with varying climates and depths, while the sequel expanded, allowing players to swim in the Arctic, the Red Sea and many more locales. The main appeal of the game is that it’s a beautiful, relaxing experience and that it was perfectly made for the Nintendo Wii. The point-and-aim system of gameplay works perfectly, allowing you to go at a leisurely pace through the beautiful underwater environments and interact with an array of sea life. The soundtrack can potentially get grating if you’re not a fan of either Hayley Westenra or Celtic Woman, they do fit, but the soundtrack does loop and this may be a problem for you. However, if one is willing to put up with this, not an especially strong main story particularly in Blue World, there’s a lot to enjoy.

It’s escapism, plain and simple, into a beautiful world that is rapidly disappearing from our own world and keeps me yearning to one day go and visit the aquatic wonders of the world while they still last.

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