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The one video game to play after every type of work day

Some video game escapism

The one video game to play after every type of work day

Recover From A Last-Minute Order

Your day: After the unexpected backslapping that followed the “Doritos: The Crisp Fighting Back Against Fake News” presentation, the rest flew by. A few flirtatious iMessages from Monica in IT, a couple of primo tea rounds, a lunchtime retweet off Barry from Eastenders (“ur a legend mate! Aha”). Sure, it won’t be one to dredge up on the death bed, but pretty decent as Tuesdays go. Wait… is that George from marketing? No, it can’t be. Yes George, no problem, sure thing. Tomorrow morning, 18,000 words on “The Hot Air Balloon: Nature’s Hottest Viral Marketing Tool”.

The game you need: Something so frantic and intense that your nerves are blasted to such a pitch that not only is the requisite all-nighter possible, you welcome it like a winning scratch card. Resident Evil 7 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) should do the trick. The latest instalment in the iconic horror franchise… and this time it’s first person, baby.

The one video game to play after every type of work day 1

Hammer Away All The Rage

Your day: The nervous-breakdown inducer. Stuck on the Metropolitan Line for 4.5 early morning hours, shoes disintegrating in an inexplicable puddle of acid rain on the way to office, PC exploding upon opening caress, lovingly crafted lunch salad sinking from Tupperware to carpet, car crash meeting where you call the MD “mother”. You. Know. How. It. Goes.

The game: Pummel things. Mash them. Wear your thumbs to dust. Man is a fickle creature and you’d be amazed how little Tekken 7 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) it takes to switch from “handing in resignation letter composed in blood” to “actually, the new breakout area is pretty damn chill, broski”. Hyper-competitive macho nonsense, only with next-gen prettified graphics.

The one video game to play after every type of work day 2

Restore Some Joy To Your Soul

Your day: 9:01am, a few cursory hellos and nods. 9:30, Pret. You avoid looking at the clock for a while – makes it even sweeter when you do finally check. Must be 2, maybe even 3. It’s been a decent day, the knotty report thrashed out and the grassing-up letter sent to HR (“I don’t mean to be petty, Cassandra, but my Wholebean Soya Milk is clearly labelled with a pink Post-It.”). You might even go to the gym tonight, or cook a risotto, or work on your Dog On The DLR novel. Whatever you want, it’s your time and time is flying. You check the clock. It’s 10:28.

The game: How to puncture the unmatchable boredom of office life at its most grayscale and dull? How about picking out the Grandaddy of ADHD Nintendo classics, a franchise that made short bursts of multi-coloured absurdity into an artform. Yup, it’s Mario Kart, and you best believe it’s back with added twists and knobs for its Nintendo Switch edition.

The one video game to play after every type of work day 4

Actually Engage Your Brain

Your day: If IT support ever seized your external hard drive, things would get interesting. The Mitchell brothers pictures you could explain, sure. Ian Beale in tears, yeah you could smooth those over too. Bruce Forsyth giving a nice big, sloppy thumbs up… absolutely normal workplace banter. But the crude MS Paint memes are the ones they’re going to bring up at the hearing. You know she’s seen them, Monica with the cruel eyes and the home-printed Workplace Conduct: Vol 1 booklet. Why do none of these bozos understand that memes are the revenue drivers of the future, dude. Now which minor Emmerdale character best fits “P45”?

The game: What could be better, after a heroically unproductive day of trying to amuse people you never see socially, to retreat to the “man cave” (literally, just a bedroom) and throw your head into a truly classic game of cerebral strategy. That’s right friend, it’s Age of Empires (PC) – only now you haven’t got mum peering through the door with tears in her eyes, wondering where it all went so, so wrong with that lad. And she can’t, because we don’t even live in that Catford bedsit anymore! Unlucky, mum!

The one video game to play after every type of work day 3

Mend A Shattered Heart

Your day: Is there anything more romantic than a 73-email thread bitching about the “Coughing Major” in IT who emits a pathetic little wheeze every quarter of an hour. You certainly hope not – you’ve got a lot riding on this. It’s been months of intrigue, patter-laden texts and earnestly shared links. Of mutually appreciated long reads. And you’re going to ask them, today, “for a drink at the weekend” in as clearly articulated “date” terms as possible. Hours pass, then a day. Wait, is that… a new mail? Oh, you’ve got a boyfriend, no it was like a “mates drink” anyway lol, what did you think it meant? Aha, yeah just bring him along, that sounds class yeah, no really… please!

The game: If melancholy is your métier, then it simply doesn’t get any better than one of the most astonishingly beautiful games in the history of the whole damn art form. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 3DS). Love, the passage of time, the struggle between good and evil. Thematically, it doesn’t get any finer than this. Ah, Link and his stupid flappy wellies – enough to make you forget the most ill-fated workplace romance.