An animal crossing character wears a witch costume.

Get Cozy! Here are 7 Video Games With Serious Autumn Vibes

Never too much spooky season.

Fall is such a special time of the year, because it represents rest, reprieve, rejuvenation, and, of course, reverie. It’s the time of year when summer’s brutal weather finally starts to even out, new opportunities begin to present themselves, and all the colors and smells of the changing days start to flood your senses in the best ways possible.

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People love fall for a reason, and the most talented of us are able to replicate those autumn-y vibes in art. Video games are no exception. They’re a perfect medium to capture the magic of fall, and especially for those of us who don’t really experience drastic changes in season (SoCal captives represent), they can be a much-needed escape. Here are the games that capture that particular autumnal magic best.

Night in the Woods

(Infinite Fall)

The love that Night in the Woods gets is totally deserved, since this is such a special story. It follows Mae Borowski, a 19 year old cat who drops out of college and moves back to her hometown of Possum Springs. Mae’s arrival doesn’t fundamentally change anything about the town, and things more or less go on as normal (which isn’t necessarily a good thing, if you know the story).

But Mae has this unbridled excitement for Possum’s Autumn, and combined with how cozily Autumn Possum is presented to us, it makes this game feel so nostalgic and warm. You can feel irritated with Mae’s antics, sure, but you can’t deny that her enthusiasm for “weird autumn” is infectious.

Life is Strange

(Square Enix)

Just like NITW, the first Life is Strange game takes place in October, and it definitely shows. Sure, they played up the romanticization of the Pacific Northwest quite a bit, but the game is absolutely gorgeous, and you definitely get those autumnal vibes all the way through.

Arcadia Bay might be a dead-end dump, but it’s got that seasonal charm down pat, especially on-campus at Blackwell Academy. Plus, protagonist Max Caulfield has quite a few moments and internal thoughts that add to the charm of the game’s ambiance.

Life is Strange: True Colors

(Square Enix)

Yeah, we’re cheating by adding another LiS game on this list, but True Colors really plays the vibes up to an almost fan-fiction-y T. Haven Springs feels almost too twee to be real, but if that’s what you’re into, then by all means, indulge yourself!

Plus, the DLC Wavelengths will have you literally living through Halloween, playing as coolgirl DJ Steph. But if manly Colorado ranger men are more your speed, you can always play the main title and romance Ryan. Either way, you get a fun LARP sequence throughout the town!

Animal Crossing

All Animal Crossing titles take you through the seasons, and they all do it with that special panache and style that the series is known for. That said, since my most recent experience with an Animal Crossing title is New Horizons, I gotta pour one out for that game’s spooky season.

There’s just so many activities to play through, and so many costumes to experiment with! I found so much comfort in getting to experience Halloween through this game during quarantine. And yes, the real thing is more fun, but it says only good things that a video game could still replicate those positive feelings.

Stardew Valley

A farmer surveys their growing crops in Stardew Valley.
(Chucklefish)

Just like with Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley runs the gamut of seasons, and while it might not have specific spooky events, it certainly knows how to create a vibe. Granted, most farming sims do this, but I think Stardew pulls it off the best.

Not only is the landscape gorgeous in the fall, but the specific soundtrack Eric Barone composed for this part of the game is just incomparable. It’s cozy and a little spooky, and it just generally reminds you of the warmth that autumn brings. Plus, between you and me, yams are one of the best money-makers in the entire game, and autumn is yam season. So. Bringin’ that bank home for ya, Leah.

The Sims 3

(EA)

Of course, The Sims is a franchise that also knows how to manipulate atmosphere to make for the most immersive gameplay experiences, and I’m one of those people that thinks The Sims 3 is the best in the franchise all across the board. Therefore, you can’t beat autumn in The Sims 3.

Whether you’re slumming around in Bridgeport, starting fresh in Riverview, getting witchy in Midnight Hollow, or staying classic in Sunset Valley, the vibes are immaculate in TS3 autumns. There’s no shortage of things to do, and hosting harvest parties are always a good time.

Silent Hill

(Konami)

Now, if what you’re really looking for is a truly pants-wetting experience, you’ve come to the wrong list. Our list of the scariest horror games is the one you’re looking for. But in any case, an autumnal list of games wouldn’t be complete without at least one horror title, and pretty much every Silent Hill game takes that cake.

While there isn’t an established “time of year” that these games take place in (since the only time that the town operates on is The Void), I gotta admit, wandering through the foggy streets of Silent Hill sure reminds me a lot of autumn in Santa Cruz. You even have people running at you and yelling, now that the chillier weather has reinvigorated their spirits. So realistic!

(Featured Image: Square Enix)


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Author
Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).