My name is Emily. I’m a mom. And one of my favorite pastimes is playing video games! I know there are other gamer moms out there, so I want to share a few of the video games I have super enjoyed recently.
 
I prefer games that are not frustratingly hard and that have great stories and gorgeous artwork.

Ori and the Blind Forest

I can’t say enough good things about this game. It’s one of the most visually stunning games I’ve ever seen and the story is excellent. You play as Ori, an adorable fox-looking creature who is in charge of saving the forest after a powerful storm causes mayhem. A big scary owl serves as your main nemesis, but you find out later that there’s more to her than meets the eye. I finished this game a few days ago and I’m already playing it again in hard mode, that’s how much I love it. The game is available for PC, Xbox and Switch, which is what I played it on.

Hearthstone

This is a game that I’m always playing to some extent. It’s a digital card game that’s essentially the same as Magic: the Gathering. You play against another person using cards that represent creatures, spells and weapons. The goal is to damage the other player until they have no health points left and voila, you win! The cards are based on the World of Warcraft lore, but you don’t need to have played World of Warcraft to enjoy Hearthstone. I like this game because anyone can be good at it. You’re not using a controller so your dexterity doesn’t need to be in top shape. The developers often release new cards, special challenges and so on, which keeps it interesting in perpetuity. The only real drawback to this game is that it has in-game purchases, which can be tempting. You collect cards as you play, but you can also buy packs of cards and hope to get rare ones. The game can only be played on PC. You can also get the app for your phone, but I don’t recommend it because it’s not as fun that way.

Cuphead

I’ll be honest, this game is frustratingly hard. I love it anyway because of its unique animation style and soundtrack, which is reminiscent of 1930s/’40s cartoons and speakeasy jazz music. The story is that the two heroes, Cuphead and Mugman, have lost their souls in a bet with the devil. To get their souls back, they have to collect souls that are owed to the devil by the game’s villains. In practice, this game is “run and gun” style. The game is available for PC, Xbox and Switch. I can’t wait to see what these game designers come up with next!

Everything

This game is almost indescribable. You play as the universe and everything in it. You can play as mere atoms all the way up to entire galaxies. There’s no real point to the game, no goals or scores to complete. It’s more of a philosophical meditation than anything else. It ticks all the boxes as far as being artful in design, which is even more impressive when you learn that one person created the entire thing. As you play, you will come across recordings of Alan Watts’ philosophical musings which are timelessly profound.
 
I encourage my fellow gamer moms to check any of these out during your holiday downtime! And — bonus — these games are all kid-friendly, with ratings from E for Everyone to T for Teen, so play them together with the whole family, or gift them to your favorite video game aficionado!
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Emily is a Colorado Springs native who is passionate about volunteering and community engagement. She currently serves on the board of Teen Court and works for the Rocky Mountain ADA Center. Her pre-teen daughter, Amelia, keeps her busy, challenged and entertained. Emily is a self-proclaimed nerd and spends time reading, going to shows, playing games and exploring Colorado. She is obsessed with otters and soft pretzels and is a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society. She hopes to inspire and inform other young, single mothers and to be a resource for any parent in a non-traditional family. Emily is a brand new aunt and you better believe she’s going by “Auntie Em.”