Cozy Christmas Games to Play During Holiday Season 2021

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Cozy Christmas Games to Play During Holiday Season 2021

December 23, 2021

By: William Worrall

 
 

If there’s one great thing about this time of year, it’s that you get to be all warm and cozy inside while the temperature drops outside. Whether your chosen method is to wrap up in fluffy stuff, a mug of hot cocoa, or even something stronger, there are plenty of ways to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and sometimes video games can help with that too. That’s why we present our list of the best cozy Christmas games to make you feel all snug inside under the glow of your TV or PC monitor. 

Tracks: The Train Set Game

Cozy Games - Tracks: The Train Set Game

There’s always been a weird connection between Christmas and trains. Just look at all those weird VHS tapes from the '90s that are just filled with footage of men talking about their holiday-themed train tracks. If you’ve ever played with a wooden train toy that you got at Christmas time, then this is the game for you. Tracks is basically a simulation of a wooden train set, except that you can build an entire landscape around your track without having to fill up your attic or basement. 

There’s everything here, from a gingerbread train to village shops fresh with snow. There are even candy canes and other Christmassy decorations to make your dream train track. The best part is that this entire game is incredibly cozy and relaxing. You can change the settings so that snow is gently falling while the serene piano music plays in the background. With the lights turned off in-game there’s even a literal glow to surroundings if you use the correct lighting. 

What’s even better is that Tracks keeps getting updated, and this year they’ve added an Advent Calendar just for the Christmas season. Each day you can unlock new decorations to use in the base game, giving you even more reason to come back each day. 

 
 

Little Inferno

Cozy Christmas Games - Little Inferno

Little Inferno was quite popular when it first dropped back in 2012, but you might not immediately connect it with Christmastime. While it’s true the game has nothing explicitly festive, it is set in a world of eternal snow where sitting in front of a warm fire burning stuff is the only to do. At the very least that makes it wintery, and it certainly makes it cozy. With your lights turned off, the orange glow from the on-screen fireplace makes the room around you flicker as you play, and if you’re using an older PC, you’ll get a warm feeling too. 

Your entire interaction with the game is burning things. You burn stuff to get coins, then spend the coins to get stuff to burn, unlocking new catalogs filled with more random stuff for you to burn. The paradox of this loop is even bought up in the game itself, but it’s not all there is to Little Inferno either. You also have to try and guess combinations of stuff to burn at the same time from their names, earning stamps to speed up the delivery time on your incoming stuff to burn. 

Little Inferno is a warm, slightly apocalyptic stuff-burning simulator, that is only slightly let down by having to wait around a lot for deliveries. On the plus side, if you’re really methodical about guessing combos, you can just completely skip the wait and bask in the warm glow of your fictional fireplace non-stop. 

A Good Snowman is Hard to Build

Cozy Christmas Games - A Good Snowman is Hard to Build

Continuing the very zen-like theme that we’ve had so far, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is an abstract puzzle game where you have to build as many snowmen as possible. There’s no time limit, no score or counter, just you, the snow, and a lot of balls to roll up into classic three-tiered snowpeople. It’s so easy to get lost in the game, with the simple and intuitive puzzles combining well with the adorable artwork and relaxing ambient sounds. It gives the game that "just one more" aspect to it that means you can be glued to it for ages. 

While A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is relaxing, it does present a fair bit of challenge at times too. However, even with some of the puzzles being a bit more taxing, the game manages to avoid any level of frustration by having very forgiving mechanics. You can undo each individual step and restart the section of the garden you’re doing almost instantly. Combine that with the fact that the game starts right back up again at wherever you were last playing and you’ve got a game that’s super fun to play, has a great atmosphere, and won’t get annoying while presenting a decent challenge. 

Cities: Skylines - Snowfall

Cozy Christmas Games - Cities Skylines Snowfall

I’m fully ready to admit that this one might seem like a bit of a weird choice. After all, what’s that cozy about a city builder? Hear me out on this one. The Snowfall expansion for Cities: Skylines bought a number of improvements to the game, and several of those do help to give the game a very cozy edge, under the right circumstances. First up, the most obvious addition of Snowfall is, of course, the snow itself, with a new map theme that brings complications of colder weather to the game.

 
 

You also have access to more public transport options and a fleet of snowplows to help deal with your eternal blizzard. There are also a few minor cosmetic changes, such as the logo for the in-universe Twitter clone where your citizens report on how well you’ve done. Part of the reason I think this game classifies as a cozy game for the winter months is that it brings all the right elements together. You’ve got the snow, the slight holiday theming, and a sprawling metropolis that you’re in charge of laid before you like one of those Christmas model villages. 

Just remember, you’re here to relax and get comfy. Don’t feel guilty about unlocking everything and removing the need for money, just focus on building your dream city in the snow and enjoy the atmosphere. 

Cozy Grove

Cozy Christmas Games - Cozy Grove

This one should have seemed like an obvious inclusion really. Come on, it’s got cozy right there in the title. In Cozy Grove you are sent to a haunted island shrouded in ice and snow. It’s your job, as a Spirit Scout, to go and camp in the snow wilderness and solve the problems of all the spirits trapped on the island. As you do, the freezing cold, snowy landscape transforms into a cozy wilderness camp, complete with a big wooden sign in the middle. 

The art has vibes that remind me a lot of Don’t Starve, with all the characters being like flat cardboard cut-outs in a giant picture-book world. However, while Don’t Starve has artwork that steers towards the gothic and creepy, Cozy Grove focuses more on cute, upbeat depictions. Although, the gameplay is less survival and more adventure, even if there are some elements about needing heat to survive the cold. Either way, it’s certainly a game that lives up to its title in terms of both art and gameplay, with the snow scenes slowly but inevitably giving way to more warm colors and places. 

 

Do you have games you go back to every holiday season? Let us know what they are in the comments below.

Will wearing an Odd Future shirt.
Staff Writer

I'm Will and I'm a UK-based writer who went to film school before realizing writing was more fun than film-making. I've written for a number of gaming sites over the past few years of my writing career, including Cliqist, Gaming Respawn, and TechRaptor. I also produce videos for my own channel (Mupple) as well as Cliqists popular YouTube channel. I've covered industry events such as EGX and am hoping to break into narrative game writing in the future.

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