Three ways to escape lockdown without leaving the house

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We could all do with a bit of escapism right now. Looking at the same four walls every day has certainly taken its toll on a population that prides itself on keeping perpetually busy and staying out of the house.

Luckily though, the digital era is, as you might expect, primed with apps and games to soothe – or at least lessen – our lockdown boredom and grant us a healthy dose of escapism.

Here is a roundup of the best alternative ways to “escape” your home in the current pandemic.

Animal Crossing

What better way to pass the time than by leading an idyllic, lockdown-free life from the POV of a cartoon animal? You can explore your neighbourhood, catch bugs and even go to the hairdresser – sounds just like the good old days, right?

This video game first launched in April 2005 for the Nintendo 64. As if its creators could see into the future, their most recent version – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – entered the world, this time for Nintendo Switch, on the 20th March 2020. This serendipitous timing led it to become the first console game to reach 5 million digital sales in a month. With worldwide populations stuck at home longing for the great outdoors minus the anxiety of catching a potentially life-threatening virus, the humble characters of Animal Crossing are the go-to solution. After six weeks, it has sold 13.41 million copies.

Sims

Continuing on the simulated reality hype, Sims springs to mind. If your old discs of this iconic game are scratched, here’s some good news: Sims 4, which launched back in 2014, is set at a reasonable price of £6.93.

Missing your friends and family? What better way to fill the void than creating your own life-like sims and having them argue over burnt mac and cheese? You can even make your sims fulfil your real career aspirations while you’re furloughed at home. Like the previous versions, Sims 4 comes with many expansion packs which you can add onto the core game. To fill your fun-employed time, purchase their “Get To Work” extension and you can follow your sim into the office while you’re stuck at home. It’s like a real job, but without the sweaty commute.

Geoguessr

If fictional games aren’t doing it for you, the “realism” of Geoguessr could be exactly what you need. Designed by Anton Wallen, the app uses images from Google Street View, allowing you to explore the world it drops you in. The player then makes a guess of where they are based on what they’ve seen. Maybe you can see a road sign in a different language? Or do you recognise the style of traffic lights in the location? This game will help fight off that travelling bug of yours and save you the money you would have spent on flights. Summer holidays have never been so cheap!

Francesca Lister-Fell

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