It’s time to put 2021 in the rearview mirror and look forward to the new year. For most of us, that means thinking about how to make 2022 an even better year than the last with some New Year’s resolutions. Every year when this time rolls around, I make big plans. And while I resolve to better myself and start up good habits with the best of intentions, I notice they start to break down as the months go on. So this year, I’m bringing in a little backup: video games.
It’s Time To Get Healthy
Like many people, my first resolution every year is to be a little healthier after the indulgent past few weeks. Despite video games being a mostly sedentary hobby, there are a handful of titles that can help keep this goal from fizzling out. First, I’m turning to Ring Fit Adventure. Sure, there are a ton of games that get you up and moving, like the Just Dance series or Beat Saber, but there is something about my motion propelling the main character forward to save the world that’s really motivating. I’m not going to lie, though; I’ve tried the game before and only made it through the first area.
Sometimes I find it more helpful to get out and exercise in the fresh air. So, on days when doing jumping jacks to fight dragons feels a little overwhelming, I’ll take a pleasant walk with my Pikmin crew in Pikmin Bloom. The result of a partnership between Niantic and Nintendo, Pikmin Bloom is an AR mobile game that acts essentially as a step tracker. Unlike other fitness apps, this one lets you grow and travel with a herd of cute leafy creatures. Maybe that’s just the motivation I need to keep those regular walks in my routine.
Of course, being healthy isn’t just about exercise, which is why I’m looking to Soup Pot to help make me a slightly better chef. This isn’t the first time I have used video games to augment my cooking skills. But with Soup Pot, a game about making dishes from fresh ingredients, I might actually learn how to make a wider variety of nutritious meals. Attempting recipes in a virtual kitchen at least mitigates the possibility of setting everything on fire.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your mental as well as your physical health. For video game enthusiasts, almost any game can help in this particular category. If a title helps you relax or puts a smile on your face, you’re doing yourself a favor. There are also games that, while a little intense, dive into what it means to struggle with mental health, like the upcoming She Dreams Elsewhere, which examines anxiety. The game is not officially announced for 2022, but hopefully, it will hit in time to help with my year’s objectives.
Spend More Time With Friends And Family
It has been especially difficult to keep up with loved ones these past few years. On top of getting a new job and all the normal, day-to-day things that get in the way, the pandemic has been doing its best to make in-person visits difficult for me. Speaking face-to-face might be out of the question in some cases, but keeping in touch can be as easy as turning on a gaming platform. It’s no surprise that the popularity of social games has been rapidly increasing since 2020. It is certainly a bandwagon my friends and I have jumped on and will hopefully keep riding into 2022.
Among Us is one of the easiest games for a big group of friends to hop into on a virtual hangout night. It’s not complicated to learn, talking is encouraged, and a lot of people can play it at once. If a larger player count isn’t a concern, though, some other good games we like to play together include Fall Guys, Valheim, Sea of Thieves, and Phasmophobia. More recently, we have been able to all get in the same room together, and when that happens, there are also a ton of fun party games to help everyone have fun.
Try New Things
While I could, and hopefully will, abandon my comfort zone in several different categories – like food, activities, career, etc. – I’m primarily interested in trying new types of video games next year. Coincidentally, that also means shaking things up in my career, so I get to cross two items off the list at once. There are a ton of new indies to get excited about for next year, and some I didn’t get the chance to try out in 2021. But there are also some big hits I’m hoping will broaden my horizons a little more.
One of the biggest coming up soon is Dying Light 2: Stay Human. Now, zombies aren’t usually my thing, but my fellow editor, Brian Shea, seems pretty excited for this title. Parkour, choice, and memorable characters all seem like good reasons for me to give this post-apocalyptic game a chance.
There are a lot of amazing games coming in the next year, however. Hopefully, I have time to fully explore titles like Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring, and maybe even Breath of the Wild’s sequel while still making some space for those titles I usually wouldn’t pick up.
What are your resolutions for 2022? Do any of them involve video games? Let us know in the comments below!