Friday Night Shots – What’s Your Go-To Game When You’re Down?

It’s Friday night!

You know what time it is, then.

Pull up a stool and listen to the music for a bit.

Given my post last week about games and my mental health, I was just curious what your thoughts were on this topic.

Say you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps. Nothing super bad, but just a little depressed.

What’s your go-to game when you’re feeling like that?

Sometimes you’re just not in the mood for a game, no matter what it is, and that’s ok too.

But as I said in that post, playing games can often improve my mood, or at least be an indicator that I’m not doing as well as I thought I might be.

I think we probably all have different types of go-to games in this situation, almost as many types as there are people.

Some people, taxing their brains and making them work to figure out things like Gaia Project or a big complex wargame are what they need.

They’re in their element when they have to work, and it brings them out of the doldrums.

That’s not me, though.

For me, I need something relatively simple and not involving a lot of setup.

Probably the best example I can think of is Wurfel Bohnanza, the dice-chucking, bean-counting game where you are simply rolling dice and trying to fulfill contract cards to get coins!

(Incidentally, that was one of my first reviews back in 2017, and I hit 700 posts today with my previous post review today!)

This game, that’s all you are doing. Rolling dice, “planting” at least one and rerolling as needed to try and satisfy the requirements of your goal card.

Things get more difficult as you go up.

There is nothing simpler, and that’s what I need when I’m really down.

Even a card game (like Subastral?) will do the trick for me.

I do find dice games very relaxing. There is a lot of randomness and you’re not having to really think about a lot.

Certainly nothing that will make your brain burst.

These games can really bring up my mood, because it’s playing a game (check my post about that) but it’s not making me work too hard at them.

Whether it’s playing a game or doing a blog post, I find that when I’m kind of down, thinking about complex things can become very difficult for me (and probably many other people).

I don’t want to think too much.

I just want to veg out.

It’s just easier that way.

(Sorry, that’s kind of what happened this week)

Sometimes that’s playing a video game.

My go-to video game when I’m really down in the dumps is Out of the Park Baseball, the iPad version.

I bought the 2023 version late last year and even though there is a new version out now, there aren’t enough changes for me to buy it.

Plus, I’m already in the year 2030 in my St. Louis Cardinals campaign!

I don’t want to lose all that progress.

The thing about this game is that it doesn’t take a lot of brain power (though you do have to keep on top of your roster moves and stuff).

When I’m really down and playing this almost mindlessly, I’ve sometimes left my pitcher in way too long until his arm is almost dead before actually warming up a reliever.

That’s not good.

But the game is so fun for me and each game just takes about 10-15 minutes.

I have played every game (162 games) in 7 seasons now.

That’s a lot of games!

And yes, I play it even when I’m not down in the dumps, so don’t think I’ve been depressed that long.

These are the types of games that just make me feel good, or at least get my mind off of bad things.

When I’m thinking about things I shouldn’t be, this will definitely do it.

So what about you?

What games do you like to play when you’re feeling down?

Let me know in the comments.

(This post brought to you by Canadian Club whiskey, the Letter A and the Number 9)

9 Comments on “Friday Night Shots – What’s Your Go-To Game When You’re Down?

  1. Love the series Dave, you know it! As for me, the boardgames which I love to play when I am down are usually solitaire ones, where I can just sit and relax. Some hex and counter, where I think for both sides and simply get time off. As for video game, any boardgame adaptation Twilight Struggle, ROOT, etc.) is good for me then.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Solitaire games are great for that! I wish I had more room for them. And your video game choices do not surprise me 🙂

      Glad you like the series! That’s one reason I’ve kept going with these posts

      Liked by 2 people

    • Intriguing question, Dave!
      Like Michal, I enjoy two-handed solo hex & counter when I am down – particularly a small chunk of a big game, like a month or two of a six-year Unconditional Surrender! campaign. That feels like a pleasurable puzzle with low stakes.
      In general, games are great for helping me focus when my thoughts are everywhere!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Interactive “puzzles”, yes! I weigh the options against each other, I try to find another combat factor to effect a column shift, I adapt the plan according to the outcome…

          By the way, regarding your Out of the Park campaign (which I guess is the same “small chunk of a big game” approach): Make St. Louis proud!

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: ≫ Friday Night Shots: ¿cuál es tu juego favorito cuando estás deprimido? - ¡Dudar! ¡Toma tu turno!

  3. I was thinking about something similar the other day. Like if I’m upset there isn’t a board game that will make me less upset, and how if I want to give a board game a fair shake of the sauce bottle I need to wait until I’m back to my normal feeling.

    Tangential to your question I know. But if I’m a touch down I prefer comfort, so games I can play backwards. Plus if they’re low interaction as well so I can sink into my own thoughts.

    As such The Guild of Merchant explorers comes to mind. Also Wingspan, The Quest for Eldorado, and Suburbia.

    Unrelated but almost 700 articles… You’re a machine! Massive effort. More than double what I’ve done in a similar time line. D:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words! I was kind of floored when I saw 700 posts.

      A friend now has Guild of Merchant Explorers, so I hopefully will get it to the table soon. I’ve always wanted to.

      I also have an unplayed Suburbia Deluxe Edition that’s calling my name from my shelf. Maybe one day.

      And to echo your thoughts, I don’t think I’d ever play a game I need to review when I’m down. Like you, I want my thoughts to be clear.

      Liked by 1 person

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