Recs for Getting Lost in Another World

Sometimes there’s a lot going on in the world around you. Sometimes that’s politics, sometimes that’s family, sometime’s that’s friends, and sometimes you just want a break. When this world feels like a little much, here are three short recs for other worlds to get totally lost in.

Metroid: Samus Returns (for the 3DS)

This game isn’t really a new game for the Metroid franchise, it’s a remake of Samus II, which I’ve never played. So while I can’t tell you how faithful it is to the original, I can tell you that I think you should definitely pick this up. Even if it’s not an entirely new game, it feels fresh and original. If you’ve never played a Metroid game before, it’s a challenging platformer that grants you new skills the deeper into the world you explore. As you get these upgrades, you’re pushed to go back and explore other sections of the world you had to skip over. I love this mechanic (and Metroid was one of the original games to take advantage of this type of game play) because it makes you feel so powerful when you go back to old sections of the game. I’m almost done with this, but I’ll be so sad to leave this world behind. Even if it’s difficult, it’s engaging and immersive. It’s one of those games that sucks you into the world it creates, only for you to look up at the clock hours later and go, wait, what time is it?

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

When I realized this was Chakraborty’s first novel, I was blown away. Her stunning command of language and her depictions of the story itself blew me away. I felt like all the characters were fleshed out; even when the character did something I didn’t want them to do, I never felt it was to push the plot along. Instead, it always felt like a natural extension of the character Chakraborty had created. This book takes place in Egypt in the 1800s, but it doesn’t stay there for long. Soon, we’re following the protagonist Nahri as she uses cunning and guile to convince a djinn to help her across the desert, find a city full of magic, and weave her way through a political nightmare when she arrives. My biggest complaint about this novel was my realization when it finished – it’s only the first book in a trilogy, and it was just released, which means the second one won’t be out for a while. And I can’t wait!

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (for iOS and Android)
This is Isabelle! She’s like the mascot to Animal Crossing, and she’s always happy to see you!

This game came out a few months ago, but from the moment I put it on my phone I was completely hooked. I’ve never played an Animal Crossing game before, but I’m familiar with the world. If you’re not, the premise is pretty simple. You are a newcomer to this village, and you take on a loan from Tom Nook (the local tanuki  moneylender, because you’d have to have huge balls to charge that much for a mortgage). Using your wealth, you set yourself up in the town (in the latest game, you’re the mayor), and work to improve the area around you. You can do this by collecting shells, digging for fossils, catching bugs, and donating things to the local museum. In this slimmed down version, you still collect fruits and shells and bugs, but use them to fulfill requests for animals visiting the camp grounds around you. It’s a really fun and addictive game. I’m told it doesn’t have the depth of the original, but it certainly has all the charm. Even if, like me, you’ve never played an Animal Crossing game before, it’s simple to pick up but hard to put down.

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