7 Soothing video games for people who love organization0 Comments
You’ve got a paper due in a few hours. You’re stressed, and the only thing that will take the edge off is to reorganize everything in your desk, alphabetize all of your albums, and fix your monthly budget. It’s what I like to call “procrasti-ganization.” There are things you should be doing, but since you’re organizing things, it doesn’t really feel like procrastinating. And that little rush you get when everything is in order is almost like a drug that mellows you out. Clearly there is something very wrong with your neurotic brain, but you’re in good company. Here are some of the best video games for getting your organization fix while putting off the stuff that really matters.
1. Fallout Shelter
Someone’s got to make sure that the future of humanity doesn’t perish in a radioactive wasteland, and the only way to prevent that is to have someone in charge with the administrative skills to delegate tasks. Every citizen has a place and purpose, each one fitting into the collective machine that is the vault. That sounds a bit like the speech of a movie villain bent on world domination, but only a real organizational wizard could have the gall to think he could single-handedly bring the world to order. This game provides enough chaos in the form of deathclaws, rad roaches, mole rats, and spontaneous vault fires to disrupt things so that you can satisfy your organization compulsion when you get everything running smoothly again.
You’re in computer class, and there’s an assignment you have to rush to complete by the end of third period. The trouble is, Snood is installed on your computer. Also, it’s the late 90s. Snood allows you to organize things very simply. Put at least three of the same things in the same place. That’s pretty much it. But if you’re really great at organization, you can set up long chains of objects held in place by two Snoods, then blast them all at once with one shot right before they reach the bottom. The more you practice, the more you can figure out how to destroy large sections of the puzzle all at once, and that’s a magnificent feeling. Way better than getting a passing grade.
If you were the kind of oddball child who liked to make sure all the toys and stuffed animals in your room were in a very particular order that totally made sense in your neurotic little mind, Plush will be quite a nostalgia trip. Every toy has a place on or around the bed, and some toys like to be next to each other while others just don’t get along. It’s your job to make sure that they all fit exactly where they are supposed to go, thus bringing the bedroom to a state of harmony. That’s the goal. There’s no risk of the world ending or someone dying or loud noises suddenly blasting in your ear. It’s just plain, stress-free organization. Just like when you were a weird kid.
Perhaps the greatest organization game of all time, Tetris probably haunts your dreams to this day. I know I often see it when I close my eyes at night. The concept is simple. Put falling blocks together without leaving little spaces in between them. Seems like it couldn't be more relaxing. But that’s where the nightmare begins. At first everything goes well, but then the blocks speed up and for some reason the long block you need never comes. You end up making a blood sacrifice to the geometry gods just to get the one piece you need, but the gods are fickle and unmerciful. So your stack gets bigger and bigger until, finally, it’s game over and you just have to move on with your life.
The SimCity series allows you to experience all the thrills of holding public office with the supernatural ability to rain biblical-style plagues upon your unruly citizens. If any game series allows you to let your inner sociopath run wild, it’s this one. As the mayor of your city, you dictate all zoning laws, all construction of public buildings, all funding and taxes, and all deals with neighboring cities, just like a real-life mayor. Through intense urban planning, monitoring spending, and providing citizens with enough services, you can eventually create the prosperous city of the future. But that’s it. There’s no end goal. It’s just organization for the sake of organization. It’s pure madness for people with a God Complex to indulge unchecked and with no consequences. And I can’t stop playing.
6. Rise of Nations
If you love all the resource management of SimCity but think your town should probably go to war with neighboring city-states more often, this is the game for you. Rise of Nations is in the same genre as Starcraft or Civilization, but with an AP World History class shoved haphazardly into the mix. You control your nation’s economy, government, and intellectual pursuits while conquering the world through diplomacy and war. I like to complete every possible level of research and advancement before building my army to its maximum capacity, then launch an all-out assault on the enemy. It’s literally the same strategy every time. But it feels so good and comforting to achieve a level of organization that the computer player can’t possibly compete with. And is there anything in the history of the world more organized than a phalanx?
7. Pokémon Shuffle
Pokémon Shuffle combines the puzzle nature of Tetris, the resource management of SimCity, the harmony of Plush, and the matching three things of Snood. At its core, it isn’t anything groundbreaking. There are plenty of games where you make a match of three puzzle pieces to eliminate them. But this game adds Pokémon with unique powers, as well as a good deal of strategy with strenghts and weaknesses, a system for purchasing power-ups, and the ability to gain strength with experience points. There are many factors to keep organized at any given time, which makes it perfect for procrastinating and putting that paper out of your mind for a while. But the Nintendo overlords, as a kindness, limit you to five plays at a time. Then you have to wait a half hour for another life. Of course, you could buy more lives with real money, but no one would ever do that. Right?
Now you really should be getting back to that paper. At least as soon as you place your cotton swabs in order of smallest to largest.