Updated with latest releases. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for a change of pace and a pleasant distraction from everyday life, few mediums offer such an immersive, ongoing escapism as video games. Even the best books have an end, but some games can go on almost indefinitely and become a soothing part of our daily lives.
If that’s the kind of game you’re looking for, the list below of the best life sim and farming games on Switch should point you in the right direction.
Whether you’ve always dreamed of moving to the countryside, retiring to a desert island, or just heading to a watering hole to go fishing, the games below will set you up for your new (digital) life and keep you busy with nice little tasks to ease the stress of real life… or at least replace it with the low-rate stress of sowing turnips, caring for animals, and growing crops. Just remember, when you’re worried about cramming those digital lives into your busy schedule, it’s all for fun!
So take a shovel and a handful of seeds, and let’s take a look – in no particular order – at the cream of the crop; The best life and farming simulations on Switch.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
We included Animal Crossing: New Horizons in this list way back in 2020 – long before the farming mechanic was added as part of a massive update in late 2021. ACNH is a fantastic life sim in its own right, with lots of bug-catching, fishing, and making friends to keep you busy when you’re not trying to pay your mortgage, but now that you can actually grow crops and cook food, it’s even more heartfelt. recommendation from us.
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Publisher: Wonderful AQL / Developer: Neverland
Adding some traditional RPG elements to it harvest moonA farm sim style game, Rune Factory 4 Special adds dungeons to the mix of farming, fishing, cooking and romance and serves up a delicious mix in the process. One of the greatest achievements of the game is how it integrates all the elements of the gameplay into a cohesive whole. If you’ve played it on the 3DS, there’s not enough here to warrant a double-dive, but if you’re looking for a modern classic with equally satisfying farming and combat that lets you choose your own pace, Rune Factory 4 delivers on all fronts.
Rune Factory 5 is also available (and you’ll find it lower on this list), but we still think Rune Factory 4 is the best deal.
Publisher: Miraculous (XSEED) / Developer: Miraculous (XSEED)
The GBA’s 3D remake of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, Marvelous’ Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town brings the iconic original to life in sparkling form. The base game may have evolved a bit (it was released way back in 2003), but it’s still good for the farm sim genre – simple, straightforward, and fun. Keeping your farm running smoothly day in and day out and pursuing romance are all part of the game, and if you want the classic Harvest Moon game without the complexities and complexities of the later installments, Friends of Mineral Town provides just that.
Publisher: humble set / Developer: HopFrog
Combining mining, monster slaying, and simulation-style scavenging, Forager invites you to build an island community, expand and protect your land from reptiles. This game is a life simulation for those who find Stardew Valley too slow for their taste. A few clunky design choices are overcome by a fair amount of charm, so if you’re looking for a non-what-slow life, Forager might just be the ticket.
Publisher: Team17 / Developer: Patea Games
Crafting is at the core of My Time At Portia, and its timers and missions can be difficult to understand at first. Give it time, however, and it could very well become one of your most popular Switch games. The action takes place in the famous post-apocalyptic city. Your mission is to bring Portia back from the brink by completing missions and working your way to glory. Your relationship with the townspeople grows with your harvest, and – if you can get past that initial crafting hump – there’s a good chance you won’t be able to pull yourself away.
Publisher: SmashGames / Developer: Sean Young
For people who enjoyed the collect-create-fight cycle of Fantasy Life, this game can satisfy that same itch, and it will certainly take hours – even if the “combat” part is missing. Littlewood is an incredibly impressive game for a single developer, and while none of its ideas especially deep, it more than makes up for its breadth. Fans of the life simulation genre should definitely look for this game.
Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Wonderful Inc.
The picturesque visual style of Doraemon: Story of Seasons is one of the most beautiful on the Switch. This crossover is one of the slowest games on the list – perfect if you want to chill those beans. straight down. The fact that it offers solid, relaxing romp and fabulous farming featuring everyone’s favorite blue robot cat from the future is almost coincidental, because… We. Can not. Stop. Looking for. In it!
And if you can’t get enough, there’s always a sequel, Doraemon: Story of Seasons – Friends of the Great Kingdom, which basically offers more of the same great farm sim with everyone’s favorite blue space cat.
Publisher: TinyBuild Games / Developer: Lazy Bear Games
If Stardew Valley wasn’t so much about turnips as it was about getting corpses through communist donkey shipments, removing said corpse’s skin, organs, and blood to make paper, fertilizer, and stamina potions, then burying the body in your personal graveyard… Well, then you will have a Graveyard Keeper. Surprisingly action-packed and more suited to long playthroughs than short 15-minute bursts, there’s a lot to do in this graveyard management game – as long as you’re not squeamish.