I don’t watch a lot of shows or anything. I usually have a hard time focusing on them long enough to see them through to the end. When I saw that a childhood movie that traumatized me as a kid was being made into a television series I was expecting something completely different. The Grudge was something that creeped me out as a child, her moan and movement always made me uneasy. The show was oddly structured but the later episodes were pretty decently done. I honestly didn’t think I would be siding with a murderous ghost but I guess stranger things have happened.

Why bring it up? Well, the games below are what I have been playing in between rewatching that show and trying to dissect it and pick up on what I missed previously. There is a healthy mix of devastating horror both emotional and physical, as well as some great time filler games. On the list is also one of the best sandbox-style games I’ve ever played.

Coffee Talk (PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC)

I’m usually not one for visual novels. Having to read endless screens of text and dialogue doesn’t strike me as fun. It also gets incredibly old having to do so when wanting to stream a game to my audience. There’s still something to be said about mindless tasks in gaming helping to bring a sense of normalcy back to this bat shit world. That mindless task being to make coffee for your late-night customers.

It might not seem like the best business strategy to only operate a coffee bar during the night time hours, you know when most people want to wind down and sleep. The Barista manages though and it brings in some great characters that keep the mind-numbing text reading a little more bearable. Not to mention the coffee making mini-game can make things feel fresh now and again.

Coffee Talk takes place in a modern-day city, however, the patrons of the coffee bar are far from normal. The likes of vampires, werewolves, elves, and even a succubus have made appearances during my playthrough so far. They’re all shocking well dressed and have great background stories. Check them out for thirteen dollars on Steam or free on Xbox Games Pass.

Pokemon Cafe Mix (Nintendo Switch, Android)

Going with the threaded theme of coffee, Pokemon Cafe Mix is a free to play game similar to Bejeweled. Players have to mix and match Pokemon icons in order to properly make drinks for patrons of the coffee shop. Sometimes the puzzles have other objectives like breaking sugar cubes or whipped cream blobs in order to make a slightly difficult drink. There are power-ups you can use to break them faster while raising your score for the drink. You can earn more members to your team to make new and more difficult drinks. It also allows you to expand your shop and your little coffee dynasty.

Pokemon Cafe Mix is free to play but there are microtransactions scattered around the game. It is mostly centered around buying more power-ups to help you get through the game. They aren’t really needed though because the puzzles are pretty easy to get through.

Observation (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

If you are looking for something a little more horror-oriented than look no further than Observation. You play as a space station’s AI. The AI wakes up and the ship has fallen into chaos. Several of your humans are missing, there are fires and various system failures that need to be tended to. There is a much more serious threat, however. Something contacted the ship’s AI and put in almost a trance. It took the ship thousands of miles off course and no one knows why. The message rings “Bring Her to Us” (slightly paraphrased) in the AI’s head, something keeps calling to it to bring the last survivor to it.

The game has a great atmosphere and a solid story. The only real downside is the “puzzles” of the game all sort of dissolve into quick-time events or tests the player’s memory. It is still worth a shot and if you have Xbox Games Pass it can be downloaded right now. Otherwise, it will run you about twenty-five dollars when not on sale.

Pick of the Month: The Last of Us Part II (PS4)

The Last of Us Part II is one of the last great games of this console generation. It is full of gut-wrenching emotional scenes and enough horror and gore to fill any horror fans’ needs. The story follows Ellie on her quest for revenge as she looks for those who committed a despicable murder (trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t played yet). Ellie and her partner Dina are working through the ruins of Seattle trying to find Joel’s brother Tommy, who also is hunting down Abby and her crew.

Abigail is also a playable character during certain parts of the game. Including one of the most intense horde sequences in an early section of the game. I haven’t come to that part of the game yet but I hope she has some sort of character arc because as it sits six hours into the game, I hate her for what she has done.

For as many horrendous and downright brutal moments this game has it also has those same glimmering moments of hope. There is a part I just completed where Joel takes Ellie on a camping trip for her birthday. He takes her to this old paleontology museum to let her look at all the old dinosaurs and she is elated. It is a very touching scene, especially when they reach the space-themed segment of the museum.

It is a welcome and stark contrast to the events before this flashback. Events that see Dina and Ellie sneaking through a heavily infested tunnel as armed guards hunt them down. Then having to leg it from a horde moments later as everything goes south. The Last of Us Part II is well worth the sixty dollar price tag. Don’t believe the random negative crap that has been thrown around the internet. Try the game out for yourself and see how it goes. I am loving it right now and I cannot wait to see where it goes next.

I truly hope something on this list works out for you. There is a healthy mix of horror and simple coffee-loving fun. At the very least there is a long and wonderfully crafted story to help send the PS4 into its’ twilight. Feel free to drop your own game recommendations down below and if none of these sink your battleship go rewatch Avatar The Last Airbender. It is weirdly relevant now, plus it is a fantastic display of animation as well as storytelling.