These non-horror games embody late-night vibes

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Photo Courtesy of Steam

A screenshot from the video game “Outer Wilds” is shown above. Multiple non-horror games have been chosen as the best for late-night vibes.

By Aidan Finn, Contributing Writer

There is no other feeling than that late-night vibe while deeply immersed in a good game. The familiar hum of the air conditioner blaring outside, the other tune of the chirping crickets outside. A room only illuminated by the flare of onscreen colors, completely surrounding the scene in the game, either amid a fiery conflict or a calming landscape. It only ends when you can’t think straight or day breaks, a completely healthy practice while being an active college student. 

I always find it the best for particular games to be played at night. It’s something that is completely psychological yet material in how I select my time. Whether it be my desire for immersiveness when getting into a game or more concerning anxiety when not proactive during the day (to only arrive at night working all day desiring only sleep, an unfortunate reality). Luckily, here you can find a plentiful amount of games that are best suited for night owls to truly sink their teeth into.

“Tetris Effect” (2018) 

One of the best examples of style-over-substance, “Tetris Effect” is another of probably thousands of versions of the iconic puzzle games so universal it rivals Mickey Mouse in international recognition. A classic that remains one of the greatest exports of the USSR, “Tetris Effect” shakes up the formula by adding visual effects. But not Windows 7 screensaver effects, rather a colorful showcase animated to an electric soundtrack. It’s a perfect evening mood-setter.

“Outer Wilds” (2019)

One of the most unique and creative adventure games ever made, this modern indie classic is the perfect game to sink in hours of late-night gaming. Atmospheric in its sound design and world-building, “Outer Wilds” has you explore a hand-crafted universe at your leisure, letting you get lost in the vacuum of space in your ship or letting you chill and roast marshmallows with alien bros. That’s the dream right there.

“Metro 2033″ (2014)

While scary at times, “Metro 2033” is not directly a horror game. Rather, it’s a game entirely about desensitization to the horrific nature of post-nuclear Russia, where its populace go about their daily life of suffering from as much concern for mutant bears as for if they left the oven on. It’s a gripping, immersive game following in the tracks of the “Half-Life” series in larger-than-life sci-fi adventure, but it’s not afraid to chill and strum a guitar around the fire in classic Slav fashion, according to most (if not all) games set in Russia. It’s a definite must-play that’s also best played at night.

“Watch Dogs” (2014)

“Watch Dogs” holds a very unique position in the gaming sphere. It, to many, was seen as a failure, a thinking man’s Grand Theft Auto clone that was supposed to be used in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 generation with flying colors.

In expectation, it faltered in innovation beyond its competition and was too safe to be the juggernaut it marketed itself as. Nonetheless, it is not a bad game at all. One aspect of such is its atmosphere of dystopian Chicago. The sound design went all out in making this game, capturing the chilling hum of passing L trains, the roar of distant motorcycles in conjunction with the light rain illuminated by the hypnotizing hue of colorful LED billboards. The fact that it’s set in Chicago with a protagonist named Aiden also helped win me over. Play this for a mood no game has yet to recreate.

“Max Payne” (2001)

Essentially the coolest game ever made, this neo-noir magnum opus from Rockstar Games has yet to be topped. You play as Max Payne, a man with nothing to lose embodying every cliche of a ’90s action hero masterfully without devolving into self-parody. A dark and violent game set appropriately to a dark and stormy New York City amid a blizzard. The atmosphere is so thick you can cut and serve it on a platter, the story is tight, packing the right amount of explosions to avoid it being a misery fest. It is almost essential to play this at night, it wouldn’t feel right any other way.

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