5 games to distract you from Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.


It’s either something to look forward to or just another day on the calendar. For some people, they need a distraction to get around all the sentimental romance and public displays of affection, this is that list. We’ve given you five games that are very good distractions on a day like today.


1. Play The Last of Us – Left Behind

Valentine’s Day happens to coincide with a number of highly anticipated releases! This is a very good thing! Unless you’re supposed to be on a date! The DLC for The Last of Us (PS3) is available in the PlayStation Store today. Left Behind let’s us explore Ellie’s backstory before she met Joel. We’ll get to meet her best friend Riley and dabble in gameplay that emphasises exploration and “multi-faction combat”.


For fans of The Last of Us, getting the opportunity to go back and play through Ellie and Riley’s adventure is a welcome return, especially with the promise of gameplay ideas that didn’t make it into The Last of Us. Good fiction can be comforting and when it comes to story telling in games, Naughty Dog is one of the best.


2. Find and play the Titanfall beta


Sometimes it’s a good thing to keep busy, to keep your mind from ruminating. So why not set yourself a challenge, like acquiring a Titanfall beta key. Get out there and mine your social network for tip offs and keys to one of 2014’s biggest games! Maybe you have a friend that’s going on a date tonight and he has a beta key. Just don’t still be at his place when he gets back from that date. Think outside the box, because when you step into a Titan, I guarantee that romantic love will be the last thing on your mind.


3. Play a dating sim like Coming Out on Top


Some video games give you the chance to role play attitudes and mannerisms you might not normally have. You might be quite shy in your personal life and you have always wondered what it would be like to be more assertive in romantic situations. Dating simulators are a fun way to experiment with these styles and approaches because you can try them out on other characters. So, why not download a visual novel and live vicariously through the romantic life of someone else! Dating simulators might not help you hone your dating skills or make you more attractive, but they can be a lot of fun and can be empowering.


The Ren’Py visual novel engine is a popular platform for building romantic games like the soon to be released Coming Out on Top.The Ren’Py Games Directory features an extensive list of games you can play, sorted by relationship (Obscura’s game is a very 18+ gay dating sim) and many of them are free to play.


4. Save the Princess (again)

Super Mario 3D World

Sometimes you just need a win in life. With the help of video games, you can get back that winning feeling.


Many video games give you the ability to play as empowered characters on a mission and there ain’t anyone more suited to the task than Mario himself. Why not replay one of Mario’s many classic adventures and rescue Princess Peach from Bowser? There are a lot of quality titles to choose from including the sublime Super Mario Galaxy games or the classic Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Virtual Console. But, if you’re keen to avoid the damsel trope, you should definitely play Wii U’s Super Mario World and let Prince Peach do the saving!


Bonus Alternative Choice: Not into Mario? When it comes to Princess savin’ Nintendo also has The Legend of Zelda franchise and the current lull in releases is a good time to catch up. Getting a copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds isn’t just a good game to play, it also doubles as an effective portable screen for any public displays of affection. Seriously though, as Darcy point out in his review A Link Between Worlds offers up an engaging Zelda adventure with enough new gameplay ideas to make this a must-play for your 3DS.


5. Play Dark Souls in preparation for Dark Souls 2



Dark Souls 2 is just around the corner and is part of a group of games that will send our last generation consoles out with style. Catching up on a previous game is always fun, particularly when it is as beloved as Dark Souls. In the interim before Dark Souls 2, you can reacquaint yourself with the punishing controls and work towards finessing your combat readiness.


Also, this is a rich, dark fantasy world for you to explore. Why no get lost in piecing together the deep lore of Lordran, a fraught but rewarding task? Maybe you missed a lot of the story and lore the first time around? Why not take to that task by perusing the seemingly endless fan curated histories and videos.


Dark Soul’s has unforgiving and hostile environments, but at least when you fail you know you had a hand in it. This game will cure your melancholy after the first five deaths or it might enrage you to the point where your controller’s safety is at risk. Either way, it’s better than feeling sad and miserable on Valentine’s Day, because after playing Dark Souls, you’ll be able to blame the game for that.