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    Mar 27, 2020

    19 Video Games That'll Probably Keep You Occupied All Weekend

    Now is the time to let your obsessive gaming habits shine.

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    1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will transport you into a wholesome, adorable island of your own design and keep you entertained...forever.

    Nintendo

    The latest installment of Animal Crossing made its debut on March 20th and — OMG — I have not been able to put it down since. It's a game that works in real time, so your progress truly is day-to-day. It's perfect for our current situation since we all have nothin' but time to devote to a game like this. I've been playing it when I find myself getting overwhelmed with everything going on in the world — the soothing sound of ocean waves while virtually fishing provides a much-needed, too-cute escape from reality right now. AND you can virtually play with your friends. This game has been my saving grace this week.

    Get a digital copy from Nintendo or a physical copy from Best Buy for $59.99.

    Psst! There's a coral Nintendo Switch Lite coming out on 4/3 that'll make your gaming even cuter than you ever thought possible. Pre-order it from Walmart for $199.96.

    2. Call of Duty Warzone is a massive combat arena that can be played for free (!!!) with 150 people at a time, so your entire squad can join in on the battle for greatness.

    Activision

    There a few ways to play this game. You can join forces with your friends and endure a 150-person battle royale, race to deposit the most cash in a "plunder" game mode, or just explore the massive map of "Verdansk" which combines new and fan-favorite Call of Duty locations.

    Get it for Xbox Live, PS4, or your computer for free.

    3. Jackbox Party Pack will give you access to a bunch of games to play with a group of friends from a distance — get ready to host your first virtual game night!

    playjackboxgames / Via instagram.com, playjackboxgames / Via instagram.com

    My friends and I bought Jackbox Party Pack 6 last weekend and had so much fun playing together. We all signed onto Zoom so we could chat while playing the various games. It came with six games total, which gave us enough options to find activities everyone enjoyed. It was fairly easy to set up as well — everyone just has to log into a specific URL and enter a unique code to get into the game. Honestly, it made this quarantine scenario feel a bit more normal even if it was only for a few hours of fun.

    Get it from Jackbox Games for $12.49+ (available in six pack options).

    4. Luigi's Mansion 3, in which you'll be armed with the Poltergust G-00 (a glorified vacuum) and encouraged to join forces with Gooigi (a gooey, green version of Mario's dear brother) to suck up ghosts and defeat mischievous bosses on each themed floor.

    Nintendo

    This game is SO fun. You can also team up with a friend and play together as Luigi and Gooigi. This has been one of my favorite games this year — it's lighthearted, a little spooky, and overall a good time.

    Promising review: "Incredibly fun, easy to pick up and play, multiplayer online and local is great. Multiplayer is simple to jump into, online players are usually great teammates. Spooky but not scary, has some jump scares, toddler enjoyed watching and giving backseat directions. Eases the player into gameplay and puzzle solving tricks, admittedly getting much more difficult toward the end of the game. It does it at a good pace in my opinion. If you enjoyed the older mansion titles and/or Mario Odyssey, you'll really like this one. Studio announced some DLC on the way come April, so look out for those." —Sorta Kinda Maybe

    Get a digital code from Nintendo or a physical copy from Target for $59.99.

    5. Fortnite, because it's a craze that (shockingly) has never ended! This online game will be a great way to connect with your friends (also for free) from a safe distance while either working together to destroy everyone else or trying to knock 'em all out every-man-for-themselves style.

    PlayStation

    The goal while playing Fortnite is to be the last one standing. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! You have to build while trying to protect yourself from being taken out from other opponents all while ensuring your remain inside "The Circle" when a storm closes.

    My friend Sam is a Fortnite fanatic! Here's why he loves the game:

    "Fortnite is great because it has unique mechanics that allows for a high skill ceiling and is very gratifying once you master it (if you can!)."

    Get it from Epic Games for free (available for PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC/Mac, and on mobile).

    6. Words With Friends 2 to help keep your brain thinking and give you a chance to *school* your buddies on their grammar and spelling skills.

    Zynga

    Promising review: "Besides the fact that there’s an ad for every word you play and you have to pay $9.99 for every 30 days of no ads, this game is addictive and I’m really learning....like a LOT. So much so, its not even about winning for me. I accept matches with people who have been playing 10 times as long as me, who I know will beat me, just to watch them and see how they play and learn from them AND learn new words. I’m obsessed with the lightning round as well. This game is amazing." —Lemony-Limey

    Get it from the Apple App Store for free (or the ad-free version for $9.99).

    7. Untitled Goose Game can be a wonderful distraction from the news (which is heavier than usual these days). You'll be able to roam around freely, get into mischief, and have a grand old time without leaving your couch.

    House House / Nintendo

    This one-player game for the Nintendo Switch will have you giggling for its duration. In this scenario, you're the goose! You'll make your way around a small town wreaking havoc in people's yards, street shops, and the village green. It's a very simple game, but it's a darn good time.

    Get it from Nintendo for $19.99.

    8. Doom Eternal, an epic single-player game that'll encourage you to conquer demons and stop the final destruction of humanity. Sounds kinda dark — bring it on!

    Bethesda Softworks

    Personally, I think this game looks terrifying. However, my husband has been raving about how awesome it is. Fan-favorite demons, such as the Pain Elemental, Archvile, and Arachnotron, make their return in addition to a whole new slew of characters. Get out all that pent up aggression you've been hoarding and let loose while getting to the core of these destructible villains.

    Promising review: "This game adds on to all the things that made the 2016 reboot amazing. Killer soundtrack, incredible lighting, fluid game play and barbaric kill moves. Turn up the speakers and turn off your brain with this great time waster during your quarantine!" —Red Beard

    Get it from Xbox or on Steam for $59.99.

    9. Disney Emoji Blitz, in case you'd prefer to waste some time with a lighthearted matching game filled with all of your favorite characters. Added bonus? As you play you earn emojis for your personal keyboard!

    disneyemoji / Via instagram.com, Disney

    I've been playing this game for far longer than I'd like to admit. Each week there are different temporary challenges that'll help you collect more and more emojis. It's a basic matching game at its core, but it's always fun to add a little Disney magic into your day!

    Promising review: "This is a wonderful game for the Disney fan in all of us. It’s a simple, fun, game that’s great to play when you have a little down time, or really want to advance a few levels in one sitting! The nice thing is you don’t just get to play the game, you get to win emojis of your favorite Disney peeps! They then act as stickers you can send in texts and posts and whatnot. It’s been a game I’ve enjoyed for over three years, and continue to enjoy as they have new challenges all the time! It’s truly the only game I play on a regular basis!" —Player 35

    Get it from the Apple App Store or Google Play for free (in-app purchases are available).

    10. Grand Theft Auto V will keep you entertained for a whiiiiiile, as updates are added for online play pretty often. You can be everything you're not IRL in this game (a thief, a wild driver, all that jazz) without actually doing anything reckless.

    rockstargames / Via instagram.com

    The Grand Theft Auto series has always been reliable source for a fun time. In this installment you can either stick to set objectives to progress through the story or do whatever your heart desires and roam through the open world (likely getting into trouble along the way).

    Promising review: "Still a great game even though it's a few years old. Tons of stuff to do in story mode and they just wont stop making extra stuff for online. Great game for playing online with friends." —e90wes

    Get it from Best Buy for $19.99 (available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, and Windows).

    11. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe so you can use all the downtime you now have to *finally* conquer Rainbow Road once and for all. Victory will be ouuuuurs!

    Nintendo

    Promising review: "This is my favorite game! It is so much fun to play against people online. My husband and I play this all the time. Every time my niece and her boyfriend come over they always want to play this with us. If you have more than two controllers four people can play at once. It is a lot of fun picking all the different vehicle options wheels, car, character etc. All the courses graphics are very well-designed and different for racing. We have had this game for six months or so now and we still like to play." —HeathyJ

    Get a digital copy from Nintendo or a physical copy from Target for $59.99.

    12. Just Dance 2020 is filled with a number of today's top hits that'll inspire you to jump around, get your blood flowing, and groove all night long (who needs to go out to a club, amiright?).

    Ubisoft, Samantha Hernandez

    One of my friends has created her own Just Dance challenge to get through this quarantine. She lets a group of us vote on what kind of song she should dance to that night then records herself performing and sends it our way. It's been such a light in this dreary situation for me and I've looked forward to the message every morning! The game itself has so many fun songs to dance to and it'll totally count as your workout for the day.

    Get a digital copy from Nintendo or the physical copy from Best Buy for $39.99 (available for Nintendo Switch, PS4, or Xbox One).

    13. A subscription to World of Warcraft will provide you with 110 levels (plus levels 1-60 of World of Warcraft Classic) for a seemingly endless way to spend your time in a fantasy universe. What could be better?

    World of Warcraft, warcraft / Via instagram.com

    Subscriptions include 1, 3, or 6-month options to choose from, so if you're looking for something to temporarily help you pass the time right now or want a full-blown new gaming obsession, WoW has got you covered. You'll be able to join millions of players for a magical adventure.

    Get it from Blizzard starting at $12.99/month.

    14. Stardew Valley, for anyone who has found themselves fantasizing about moving to an isolated farm and living off the land (ahem, me).

    Steam

    The game begins with you inheriting your grandfather's old farm plot in Stardew Valley (cuuuute!). You're armed with a set of hand-me-down tools and a few coins to try and restore the town to greatness! It's an open-ended country-life role playing game you'll surely get a kick out of.

    Promising review: "This game right here is a good way to spend time in those days with nothing to do, you can spend hours, maybe days in this game and always have something to do." —Tio Futtcool

    Get it from Steam for $14.99.

    15. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will transport you into the role of Professional Monster Hunter Geralt of Rivia. Your task? Locate a child of prophecy who will save us all. No biggie.

    Steam

    Promising review: "Finally just finished the main story line of Blood and Wine at 110 hours. Not even close to having done everything. This game is a masterpiece and such an amazing experience. The amount of detail is incredible, and the way the game pulls you in, from the main story, to some of the smallest side quests. Definitely recommended, 10/10" —ComradZ85

    Get it from Steam for $11.99.

    16. The Sims 4, so you can happily bring back your childhood obsession with building your dream home and setting up (and destroying) relationships in a community of your own making. BEST👏GAME👏EVER👏.

    thesims / Via instagram.com, The Sims

    To know The Sims is to love The Sims. You can spend hours (days? weeks?) building your perfect home before even thinking about interacting with your character. I'm a long-time fan of this game and, honestly, can't think of a better program to play when quarantined for a long period of time. The best part about this game is you can truly make it whatever you want! Want to make your Sim have 100 babies? Sure, why not? Or maybe you want to create Barbie and level up every single career and skill option. The Sim world is your oyster.

    Get it from EA games for PC, Xbox One, or PS4 for $49.99.

    17. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will let you live out your glorious '90s memories all over again.

    Walmart

    Promising review: "Incredibly fun! Super fun and cute character designs, the music is great, and the graphics are really charming with bright, lovely colors. Has fun, new mechanics, like seeing Pokémon wandering in the wild rather than entirely random encounters. There are also really nice animation details like Nicket wiping where its paws have stepped during battles, referencing its Pokedex entry. You also have the ability to customize your character! When you start you get skin tone options and in the world there are shops to buy clothes to build your own outfits. All around it's a really fun entry to the franchise and I think both older and younger fans will really enjoy this game." —Sunny

    Get Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield from Walmart for $54.50.

    18. Half-Life: Alyx is one of the latest games to join the Virtual Reality realm and will leave you feeling like you're actually joining the fight against an vicious alien race.

    Valve

    If you have an Oculus Rift and a PC, you're in luck! This game is so immersive you might even get a bit spooked. My husband gave it a go yesterday and was mildly concerned he was going to get hurt in our living room (one of the virtual characters pushed him and it felt SO real!). Be careful of your surroundings, please!

    Promising review: "Half-Life: Alyx is the future of gaming. A title that has not only brought us a little closer to the tipping point of virtual reality going mainstream but also shows that this is the way pancake games are meant to be played. From the visuals to the audio and the story to the gameplay everything comes together in this innovative title that uses VR to its full potential. It is a top notch adventure that’s jam-packed with many loving and cool moments that are a true throwback. Half-Life: Alyx is a must play for every VR enthusiast!" —Nathie

    Get it from Steam for $59.99.

    19. And Fitness Boxing for the Nintendo Switch you'll thank your lucky stars for buying after giving it a go this weekend. Prepare for sore shoulders and breaking a sweat!

    Nintendo

    Now that I haven't been able to go to the gym, my number one exercise resource has become Fitness Boxing. I connect the Switch to my TV, hold a controller in each hand, and go to town on a surprisingly intense workout each morning. I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of the song selections, so my "hack" is to mute the TV and play my own favorite Spotify playlists (Tik Tok Songs 2020, anyone??). I typically used this game to mix up my working routine, but over the last few weeks I've been using it more than ever!

    Get a digital download from Nintendo for $49.99.

    Actual footage of me playing Animal Crossing all weekend:

    Nickelodeon

    Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Interested in other ways to entertain yourself from home? You might be interested in 16 Ways To Enjoy Your Favorite Sports That You Can't Watch Right Now or The Best Photography Classes You Can Take Online.

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    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed