There’s really no escaping Covid-19 Coronavirus at the moment, and with an increasing number of countries enacting social distancing, self-isolation and even outright quarantines, it looks like we’re going to be staying indoors an awful lot more over the coming months. It’s a scenario that diehard gamers have been preparing for all their lives!
Look, it’s a serious situation and we all need to be prepared to do what’s needed to ensure that the virus doesn’t spiral out of control. Depending on the various advice for the rapidly shifting situations in countries around the world, this could mean working from home, ensuring that you wash your hands more thoroughly than you might have been, avoiding touching your face, being conscious of how closely you’re standing to other people, and simply staying indoors instead of going out. As of yesterday, the UK government’s advice is that if you develop a fever and/or a new incessant dry cough, you’ll need to lock yourself away from others entirely for seven days to, uh, “squash that sombrero” and delay the peak of the virus.
So… what better way to pass the time than with a bit of video gaming? Here’s ten suggestions of what to play while you self-isolate.
Ring Fit Adventure – Nintendo Switch
Look, you can’t go outside while you’re trying to self-isolate, and even if you aren’t, loads and loads of gyms are closing their doors, but you also don’t want to lose those #gains you’ve been making over the last few months. So what are you going to do?
Ring Fit Adventure is one very good answer, if you’re a Switch owner (and are lucky enough to find it in stock or without a ridiculous mark up). With a pilates ring attached to your Joy-Con, and a garter belt for the other on your leg, it can track all manner of movements and let you work out in your living room. Sure, it’s not going to be as flexible as a trip to a kitted out gym, but even the fit and healthy might be surprised at how hard it can push you.
The one problem might be getting a hold of it, since it’s out of stock pretty much everywhere, and maybe you just don’t have a Nintendo Switch? Well, maybe BoxVR might be more your style for PSVR owners? And there’s Yoga Master for PS4 with Move controllers.
And if you want to keep your mental acuity up, there’s always something like Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training for Nintendo Switch.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Nintendo Switch
A lot of people want an escape from modern day life at the best of times, and a week or fortnight spent trapped inside could easily see you getting a bit stir crazy. So why not escape from it all? Just get out of the rat race and found a new little civilisation on a remote island?
When it comes out next Friday, that’s exactly what Animal Crossing: New Horizons promises to do, as you grab your island getaway package and disappear off to a remote island.
The only problems with this idea in the Covid-19 era are the reliance on air travel to visit other players and living in close proximity to a variety of different animals…
If you’ve got a fancy VR hat and not a Switch, you might want to try Vacation Simulator for another little escape.
The Sims 4 – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
The alternative to escaping real life is to try and simulate it, and The Sims 4 is filled with all the kinds of social interactions that you’ll be missing out on while in isolation, especially when you factor in all of the DLC packs the game now has. You can got to a totally open university and get a degree, you can go out clubbing, you can move to the city and visit markets, conventions, karaoke bars, and plenty more.
And if you really want, you can turn it into a nightmarish dystopia to vent your emotions at being trapped on the hapless Sims in your care. We know what you’re like…
NBA 2K20/FIFA 20/eFootball PES 2020 – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
It’s not just day-to-day life that’s taking a hit at the moment, but many of the sporting pastimes that so many of us love to follow over the weekends. Whether it’s Formula 1, NBA, football, or the Olympics, everything’s being played behind closed doors, called off entirely, or in danger of being so.
Pretend like that’s not the case, and potentially live out your dreams of taking Shrewsbury to the top of the Premier League with the gamut of sporting games out there.
Bonus points go to eFootball PES 2020 for having Euro 2020 DLC due in April, for an international tournament that feels almost certain to be cancelled.
Call of Duty: Warzone – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
For some healthy activities in a large group, but with plenty of space between you, you can’t go wrong with the latest battle royale sensation. It’s free-to-play whether you own Modern Warfare or not, but it’ll eat up a whopping 100GB if you don’t.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
The Witcher has been thrust into the public consciousness with the Netflix TV series that dropped just before Christmas, and I’m sure the streaming service will see a bump in viewers over the next month or two as well.
With a little taste of the Polish fantasy epic, I’m sure many will be hungry for more, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gives you a ton of GOTY worthy RPG action.
Two Point Hospital – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Show all manner of weird and wonderful diseases the door with Two Point Hospital’s satirical hospital management simulation. Your patients will come in with a nasty case of Mockstar or Lighteheadedness, but I’m sure your little health service won’t crumble under the weight of these healthcare demands… will it?
Plague Inc. – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Android
Or maybe you want to play the other side? Be the baddie and perversely infect the world with a virulent virus of your own creation? That’s what Plague Inc. asked you to do in less virus-riddled times.
A Plague Tale: Innocence – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Step back in time to the era of the Black Death, as this disease and an invasion of the English run rampant through France. You’re simple goal is to survive as Amicia guides her sickly younger brother to safety, but there’s more to this duo than meets the eye.
Something supernatural is affecting how the ravenous hordes of plague-ridden rats swarm the lands, and it’s only through using your smarts to stick to pools of light and guide the rats away from you that you can survive, dodgin past the Inquisition and English invaders as you do so. And what the hell is going on with her brother anyway?
The Division – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
It’s not like global pandemics haven’t featured in our films and games over the past decades, and one of the biggest examples of this is Tom Clancy’s The Division. Sparked off by the Dollar Bill Flu that rampaged through the US (and probably other parts of the world) thanks to money changing hands so frequently on Black Friday, the secretive Division is forced to activate its network of agents to try and save some semblance of order in North America.
The first game is a great cover-based looter shooter, with an iconic setting in the snowed in New York City, but the second game is also great way to spend dozens and dozens of hours, with a shift to Washington DC and summer as you battle to save the seat of power in the nation. It’s just heading into its second year of content, kicked off by the recently released Warlords of New York DLC that takes you back to another transformed slice of Manhattan Island.
Those are our ten ideas, ranging from the self-care to the perverse and the thematically linked. What will you be planning to play if you have to stay indoors?