Great Summertime Getaway Games

Adam Leonhardt

It’s July and we’re in the thick of Summer. Many of us this year had the unfortunate reality of the real world cancel our Summer plans. I, personally, had to cancel my trip to California and to E3. My family and I had rented a condo in LA and would have enjoyed fun at the ocean, walking down the pier at Santa Monica, and many other wonderful Summer Vacation moments. COVID-19 had other plans and now we, like you, are stuck at home finding new ways to enjoy our Summer.

As an avid gamer, I use my favorite pastime for escapism all year long, and I’ve found a lot of joy and relaxation in losing myself in the digital world. Well we all need an escape right now, so I decided to put together a list of some of the games that I think you can use to replace that tropical getaway you might have had taken from you. So grab the sunscreen and pour the margaritas, because THESE are the Great Summer Getaway Games!

This first one is a bit of a throwback, but man nothing captures high thrills under the summer sun quite like a little Wave Race 64. This jet ski racer from the Nintendo 64 featured awesome wave physics that really changed the dynamics of the race by challenging you to read the waves and adjust your route accordingly. There was a follow-up sequel on the Gamecube titled “Wave Race Blue Storm” which also provides loads of fun. But I always look to Wave Race 64 as the peak of the series. If you’re missing getting out on the ocean waves, dust off the old N64 and take a ride with Wave Race 64.

What better way to immerse yourself in a digital paradise than through the power of VR? Astro Bot’s Rescue Mission has several locations that you’ll want to lose yourself in, but none provide that vacation vibe better than the Beachside Boogie level! Strap on your headset and join Astro as he runs through sandy beaches, skips through shallow waters and ultimately deep dive with dolphins and tropical robo-fish. This is single-handedly the greatest water level I have ever played in a video game and if you have the means to play PSVR, this is the MUST HAVE game for you. Just don’t forget a towel!

The sandy shores and uncharted waters of Sea of Thieves are perfect for the vacationer who enjoys exploring the unknown. Maybe you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to just tan on the beach, but rather find adventure in the tropics. No game does this better than Rare’s Sea of Thieves and the best part of this game is you can getaway with a crew of your best friends! Just create a party of your closest friends, grab a mug of rum and explore the endless oceans together. Sea of Thieves has such a gorgeous art style and sense of immersion as you play. Clouds roll by with thunderous tropical storms, shadowy jungles give way to secret torchlit caves, and around every corner and over every rolling wave you will be in awe of the world Rare has hand crafted for you. Sea of Thieves is the perfect getaway for adventurers.

Animal Crossing is kind of a slam dunk, but it cannot be overstated how chill this game is. Being able to live on your own private and customizable tropical island as you watch the clouds go by is the ultimate relaxation game experience. With no quest lines, ticking timers or game mechanics to force your hand, you can do anything you want in Animal Crossing. Take an hour to fish, or catch the seasonal insects, deep sea dive for shells, visit the museum, have a picnic under a waterfall… there’s not enough room in this feature to explain all the options you have to make your Animal Crossing getaway the ultimate vacation. It’s no mistake that this game is seen by many as the ultimate quarantine video game. Animal Crossing is an escape to a perfect world where you set the rules and there is fun to be had no matter the time of day.

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