Casual game recommendations?

I'm looking for PC games that I can play while listening to podcasts- games that don't have engaging cut scenes or important dialogue, games that honestly don't require a lot of skill or thought.

I used to be really into things like Farm Frenzy, Rescue Team, hidden object games, that kind of thing. I got heavily into MMOs and stopped downloading that kind of thing for a decade or so.

Now it almost feels like this sort of game isn't made anymore? Were they completely nuked by the existence of Gacha games, P2W, and anything that earns the dev a constant income stream? I'm happy to pay for a game once, but I can't be constantly buying booster packs.

I also don't want to play on mobile or on a console, PC Master Race here, haha.

SurvivorBobXYZ,

It's not clear to me that I could ever listen to podcasts while playing most of my library, but I'll do my best to list some with which I might try:

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 (and, by corollary, American Truck Simulator). If you can listen to podcasts in your car, this is basically a similar experience :)
  • Super Hexagon. This is not a game about making conscious decisions, it's too fast for that. You'd have to turn off the music, and determine whether you can retain stuff you're listening to at the same time.
  • Race The Sun. This is somewhere in the middle of the above two.
  • Solace Crafting. This is a relatively bare-bones sandbox RPG with harvesting, crafting, and building elements, that doesn't require all that much decision making, and can be played at any pace.
  • Minecraft (the Java edition). You've probably heard of it! I recommend the Java edition due to the rich modding ecosystem; you can usually find a flavor of content that suits any purpose.
  • Cities: Skylines (and, by corollary, SimCity 4). These are both world-class genre-defining city builders, which can be played at your own pace, don't require a whole lot of active involvement, and pair well with background listening of your choice.
Bender_B_Rodriguez,

I’d also throw Train Sim World into the list. Idk why I enjoy it so much lmao

Scribs,

Path of Exile

Just pull up a build guide and zone out :)

GraceGH,

This season's mechanic is neat! For those not in the know, it basically gives weapons a passive skill tree that's randomly generated per item, that you get experience by charging up and then activating pillars that spawn monsters.

The season mechanics can be pretty hit or miss but as long as they spawn a bunch of monsters people tend to be happy enough with them lol

BiggestBulb,
BiggestBulb avatar

The truck sims are so good

orbitt,

Can't recommend the Truck Sims and any other driving sim more for this scenario. It also goes a long way if you have a driving wheel.

ContentSpy,
ContentSpy avatar

You should try House Flipper

Aviandelight,
Aviandelight avatar

I have put sooo much time into this game. And listened to a lot of podcasts doing it.

YourHeroes4Ghosts,
@YourHeroes4Ghosts@beehaw.org avatar

I have that one, mowing lawns is a blast!

bandanawearingbanana,

Vampire Survivors for sure! It's a very chill arcade game and it's like 2-3€ when on sale.

Deestan,

I have a Steam collection just for that purpose, called "zone-out games":

  • Factorio
  • Euro Truck Simulator
  • Viscera Cleanup Detail
  • Satisfactory
  • Space Engineers
  • Hardspace Shipbreaker
  • Rift Breaker
  • Monster Train
  • Jupiter Hell
  • Vampire Survivors
  • Dorf Romantik
  • DOOM (any)
  • Nethack

Some advice I want to give is that "games that require a lot of skill" is only a temporary blocker. If you enjoy a hard game enough to play through it repeatedly, it can become a podcast game. Many people play Bloodborne or Binding of Isaac to audiobooks, and roguelikes are generally like this.

That in mind, I have a list of games that are valid podcast games but I haven't built enough familiarity with them yet:

  • FTL
  • Binding of Isaac
  • Terraria
  • Risk of Rain
  • Against the Storm
derrecmcormic,

Factorio is awesome. To make it even more chill - I turn off enemies and increase resources. Even without enemies that game gets so complex and involved. But still mindless.

itsgallus,

This is my exact genre of choice. I’m only gonna list the games I play, because I can’t name them all.

Just about any sandbox survival game will fit the bill:

  • Minecraft (obvi, but needs another mention)
  • Satisfactory
  • Rust
  • Valheim
  • Raft (there’s some story to read if you want to actually complete the game)

Then you have the simulators:

  • Dreamlight Valley (a lot of story in this one, but once you get past the dialogue and tutorials it’s basically fetch quests and farming)
  • My Time at Portia (same with this)
  • Car Mechanic Simulator 2021
  • House Flipper
  • The Sims
  • TABS (honourable mention; whimsical battle sandbox with some customisability)
LoamImprovement,

Power wash simulator will be your best friend. No spoken dialogue, no important cutscenes, just you and a power wash gun. The only thing you'll miss out on listening to podcasts is the admittedly very soothing sound of PSSSSHHHHHHHHHH from the washer itself.

CalamityKitz,

I second this, it's like listening to music or a podcast while coloring a book. It's extremely soothing!

HiddenRetro,

Great suggestion. Also, if people are into it Lawn Mowing Simulator is good as well.

Chufi,

What about tycoon games ? Old school ones are usually still very playable. Or for something more recent Planet Zoo can be as slow and peaceful as you like

BarrelAgedBoredom,

Cities: Skylines is worth a mention too! There's a bit of a learning curve but it's good fun. And pocket city 2 for a mobile version

jwp,

Tetris effect, katamari damacy - these two are the epitome of replayability and pick up/put down mechanics IMNSHO

Hedup, (edited )

Kartrider is a well developed Mariokart like game that is basically on all platforms (except Switch obviously).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQjON7OX63M

Laconic, (edited )

FTL is fun and hard.

Also mindustry

Chufi,

FTL is such an interesting game !

Scooterr,

Oldschool Runescape. The perfect game for watching something on the side. Just get into a rhythm and grind away

ArtZuron,
@ArtZuron@beehaw.org avatar

My father really likes Mini Motorways. You could try something like that

He's a big fan of sim cities and zoo tychoon and stuff too

Caffeinated_Capybara,

Love me some mini motorways and mini metro!

enfa,

https://classic-mahjong.com/ is free, entirely browser based, has no ads or other nonsense, and has the pleasant waterfall cascading effect when you clear all the tiles.

lightpohl,

Dead Cells was my go-to podcast game for quite a while! Story tidbits are few and far between, and it’s more about finding your stride in subsequent runs. There’s a lot of DLC that often goes on sale too.

coolin,

TBH Minecraft Parkour in the Hypixel server's housing area are good for this. I usually play one until I starts getting hard/finish then switch to the next one while I'm watching YouTube.

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