Hello loyal readers/scanners/criticisers. If you clicked on this article after reading the title then there’s a pretty nice chance that, like me, you are also very, very single. So rather than wallow in my hatred of all those happy coupled off/polyculed up people out there, I’ve decided to be productive and Voila! So, for the benefit of those as crying-into-my-pillow lonely as myself and perhaps the amusement of those smug non-singlets I have compiled a list of videogames to attempt to take the bitter edge off.
1: The Sims (Literally any iteration)
An obvious one to start, The Sims as a franchise has been around for nearly two decades now and in that time has made many a lonely soul feel whole again. Imagine this, you build the house of your dreams, meet a wonderful neighbour/burglar/grim reaper and decide - that’s the person, your one true love and yours they must be. You introduce yourself, make a few jokes, perchance the occasional flirt and maybe a few hours later throw in some hugs. It’s pretty much guaranteed that by the end of the day, the object of your affection will be pixelatedly woohooing away with the disturbingly similar-to-life version of yourself. Next thing you know, you blinked or sneezed and you’re married with two kids and drinking young again potions together, I mean, that’s the dream right there. So really this one is on the list because of the incredible ability to make you feel like you actually have love, and fast; a real quick pleaser.
2: Hatoful Boyfriend
If you’re not fussed about your partner being human or even human simulated and your favourite song is ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins, then Hatoful Boyfriend might just be the game for you! With a plethora of feathered lovers to choose from and no shortage of drama (it’s basically Hollyoaks with birds) there’s no chance to feel lonely! It’s great for those of us who like our partners to be seen and not heard, as all communication is of the written variety. Throw in a touch of mystery to your avian interactive novel and you’ll find yourself swept up in a tale of romance, excitement and breadcrumbs...who needs real life??
3: Fable - The Lost Chapters or Fable II
Picture the scene - you’re running around Albion, halo shimmering slightly above your head of golden locks, charming smile glinting as your perfectly white teeth catch the sunlight and you’re surrounded by crowds of people, all of whom have hearts above their heads and are completely besotted with you. If it’s an ego boost you’re after, the Fable series should be your first stop. What better way to cover up the hole in your heart where love should be inhabiting than by running around towns full of lovestruck fans? You can belch, fart, flex, whatever - they’ll all still adore you (as long as you have vague timing skills), because you can do no wrong. Also Fable II gives you a constant dog companion, so furry friend for life right there. Just don’t bother trying Fable III, it’s been left off the sub title for a reason (spoilers, it’s terrible).
4: Don’t Starve
This is for the wallowers amongst us singletons. If your jam is allowing yourself to be swallowed whole by your loneliness then you need to spend some time on Don’t Starve. A bleak outlook where you spawn alone and die alone (weird, creepy creatures hanging around don’t count as companionship), this might actually make you feel better about your real life, you know after crying for hours into your keyboard/controller. I’d recommend not spending all of V Day on this game though, otherwise you might end up as insane as your character. A game for intermittent wallowing.
5: Cat Simulator 2015 (Android and iOS)
Come on, this one is self explanatory. It’s a game where you play as FREAKIN’ ADORABLE KITTIES! We all know you can’t be sad when cats are involved, they’re like anti-sadness radiators. Do yourself a favour and get this game even if you aren’t single, because cats.
6: Scribblenauts Unlimited
This one’s easy - you can DRAW yourself a wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend. Job done. Just don’t actually play the game properly cos there’s a lot of matchmaking and that’s just not helpful to your plight.
7: Emily Is Away
I’m not gonna lie to you, I bought this game because it has my name in it (shush yes Emily is my real name, no one needs to know), and it was free on Steam, free people. I chuckled to myself and thought, ‘oh I’ll play about two minutes and get bored’ but was quickly drawn in by the pixelated msn-like UI and the references to bands I was way too into in my teenage years. In fact it was so nostalgic of my time in sixth form that I kept being upset that my status wasn’t showing what super-cool track I was playing in Limewire (not that I use that anymore, please God don’t download Limewire). Anyway, I digress - basically you fall in love with Emily through chatting away to her over the years and choose how to interact with her. At least for the time I was playing it, it felt like I had an actual friend I was talking to on msn. Huzzah!
8: Any RPG with companions (I’m looking at you, Bioware)
RPGs are great because you get to basically make yourself, or you know, not yourself and get all immersed in an amazing world that whisks you off from reality into the realms of fantasy and happiness (and maybe dragons). The majority of RPGs have companions and better yet, romanceable companions, so you can live vicariously through your iteration of you who apparently has more game than you ever will. Just be careful to not, like me actually fall in love with fictional characters, unless you’re okay with unrequited love and a lot of fan fiction *cough*Cullenlemon*cough*.
Redshirt is a game set in the future where social media is the crux of life (Jim, but not) as we know it, with the ability to build you up or utterly destroy you and totally feeds into the whole “social media is a game bro” thought process. You basically pick a race on your space station and make friends in the right places. It’s not the best game in the world or even galaxy for that matter, but you might be better at making fictional friends than ones in real life. Sadly, I was not, but I did enjoy the plethora of sci-fi references, especially the title.
10: Any Pokémon game
Similar to Cat Simulator 2015, but arguably cuter it’s impossible to be sad or lonely when you have hundreds of adorable pokémon at your beck and call. I mean, with enough time and dedication you could have 718 “friends” - who needs a partner now amiright? And if that’s not enough, liking pokémon is totally a bonding topic with other pokémon-liking humans, so like you might even make actual friends just through playing these games.
11: Long Live The Queen
Um you think you have problems? Try being Elodie, a fourteen year old whose mum(the Queen) has just passed away and is now being forced into rulership in a matter of months! To top it all off she’s still gotta take classes every day as well as navigate a minefield of political intrigue, social etiquette and marriage. Oh and she finds out she’s a lumen (magic wielder). Did I mention she was fourteen? Seriously, pull yourself together, at least you’re not a Teen Queen.
(All of the above info is literally revealed in the opening sequence, so these are not spoilers Acelister...)
12: The Longest Journey
This game is in here because I am literally incapable of making a recommendations list without including it (^LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS!!). Play the game already.
13: Any MMO with a Valentine’s Day Event
This one is a safe bet because you know that all the other people on these games on Valentine’s Day are either as single/lonely as you are, or probably on the verge of being dumped because they’re spending V-Day on Warcrack again. And at least the ones who are playing with their partners aren’t gonna be rubbing it in your face with PDA and happiness, because what you can’t see can’t hurt you right?
14: Postal 2
Failing it all, Postal 2 is notoriously the most violent, gorey game of all time, so grabbing a copy of that and getting out all the rage/desperation for companionship by just killing a load of shit might be cathartic. You know, if that’s what you’re into.
I have found that playing all of these games is improved considerably with the addition of gin. So pick up your moonshine of choice and drink responsibly! (Or until you can’t feel the pain anymore.)