Five video games to stave off quarantine boredom

When you have excess time on your hands, it can be hard to find entertaining activities. After all, there are only so many puzzles to complete and Netflix shows to binge. If you’re looking to engage yourself in something more interactive, video games are the way to go. Here are five of the best to play while you’re stuck at home.

Beat Saber

Price: $20

Console: PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality and Valve Index

Genre: Rhythm

One of the main drawbacks of being stuck at home, aside from the boredom, is being sedentary. Despite recommendations from health experts to get out of the house and move, almost all hiking trails are closed and walks around the neighborhood can only do so much for you. Beat Saber is the perfect solution to this. Touted as the best virtual reality game on the market, it’s a fun way to stay active.

In the game, you wield two swords, one red and one blue, to slash through cubes of corresponding colors that fly at you to the beat of a song. As you progress through the game, it becomes more physically intensive and challenging. Though the game comes with preset songs that can get boring after the first couple dozen plays, there is an enormous library of thousands more that can be accessed through modding the game.


Price: $7 (mobile), $20 (PC, PlayStation and Xbox), $30 (Nintendo Switch, 3DS and Wii U)

Console: Android and iPhones, PC, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U

Genre: Sandbox, Adventure, Survival

Chances are that you’ve heard of this best-seller. Available for almost every platform from iPhone to Xbox for a variety of prices, Minecraft is the classic game with infinite content that is perfect for making time fly. You can easily spend five or more hours playing alone or with friends without realizing it on this sandbox game.

If you’re bored of the normal game, known as “vanilla” minecraft, you can always spice it up with mods that can be installed using Twitch. There’s a modpack for everything—engineering to farming and magic—so you can never truly get bored of this game. If you haven’t played in a while either, there’s tons of new content from the latest updates like an upgraded ocean with dolphins and turtles, or new and improved villages.


Price: $5 (mobile), $10 (PC) or $30 (Nintendo Switch)

Console: Android and iPhones, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Genre: Sandbox, Adventure, RPG, Action

If you’ve already played Minecraft to its limits and want a sandbox game that’s more RPG-oriented, try Terraria. Available for the iPhone for $5 and on Steam for $10, it is chock full of fantasy items and places to explore.

Unlike Minecraft, Terraria is a 2-D game with more of an emphasis on items and combat than building. It has bosses, dungeons, extensive caves with immense varieties of monsters and tons of different weapons and armors. This makes the game great for exploring and amassing collections of tools and potions while doing much  more combat than other, more laid-back games. At the same time, it has varying levels of difficulty depending on whether you’re an experienced combatant or if you’re looking for casual play.

Half-Life: Alyx

Price: $60

Console: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality and Valve Index

Genre: First-person shooter, RPG

This installment in the Half-Life series is the most expensive on this list at $60, and only available for VR, but it’s well worth its price tag if you like story-based games. Additionally, it can only be played tethered, meaning that if you own an Oculus Quest, you will need to connect it to your computer while you play. Even if you haven’t played the previous installments in the series, its story is easy to pick up on and quickly immerse yourself in.

Set in a dystopian, technology-based world, you play as Alyx, a member of a rebel group aiming to seize a powerful weapon belonging to the dictatorial government. It is highly immersive and has a variety of different play styles available depending on what type of gamer you are. If you’re a beginner or more into the storyline, there’s a mode that makes combat incredibly easy so you can focus on the story. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a good fight, there are varying difficulty levels to suit your needs.

The game is also split into chapters so you can take breaks as necessary and play the game across multiple days to maximize playtime.

Just Dance 2020

Price: $40

Console: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genre: Dance, Rhythm

Similarly to Beat Saber, Just Dance is good for getting up and moving to a beat while you’re stuck at home. It has an enormous library of songs from a variety of genres, and in the more recent versions for modern consoles like the Nintendo Switch there’s a subscription available that lets you access some songs from previous Just Dance games.

Not only does this game provide physical activity, but it also supplies a good way to interact with family members and have some healthy competition.