Top 5 games that make you smile

Top 5 games that make you smile

Feeling blue? Play one of these games for a big grin

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Video games. The bane of my existence. But also the reaffirming joy I need to get through the day.

Video games have an incredibly ability to put a smile on my face, even on the darkest of days, and they help me forget about all of the stresses of life. Other times they only compound the stresses of life, but let's just forget about that for now, like all of my other obligations.

When I'm out and about, standing in a queue, waiting for someone to stop ranting at me, or ignoring Skype calls from my bosses, I love to play mobile games to take my mind off of those things and put a smile on my face. Here are just five games that are guaranteed to brighten your day even in the darkest hours.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

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Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came. Even if it's just because they know you're going to be their slave for the foreseeable future.

This is the power dynamic in Animal Crossing, where you're whisked off to a new town, and quickly find yourself performing menial tasks for the entire village until people consider you to be their friend.

In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, this process has been streamlined. You can pop in, chat to a few animals, they'll declare their love for your magnificent taste in clothes and decorations, and you're all set to go about your day.

It's a small, satisfying gameplay loop that sees you picking up shells, catching fish, and then getting endlessly praised for it by your peers. And honestly, isn't that what we all want from life?

In Pocket Camp I can just run in, decorate, have a chat, and my animal friends will give me gifts just because I'm nice. Damn, why isn't real life like that?

And just like getting likes on twitter, in Pocket Camp you'll see hearts getting filled up from how much everyone loves you. If only I had hearts swirl in my vision every time someone was being nice to me, I'd be much less miserable when people make eye contact with my in the street. This says more about me than Animal Crossing, doesn't it?

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Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector

I like cute things. Kitties? Yeah, kitties are pretty darn cute. Cuddly, warm, sweet, and intensely stupid. Everything I need to have my love and protection instincts kick in.

And in Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector, well, there's lots of kitties to collect, and yes, they are adorable.

By placing food and toys in your garden, kitties will come visit you, play with you, and have their pictures taken. You can't control the whims of these independent felines, but each time a new one appears it warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.

They all have such cute little faces and cross-shaped butts. It's beautiful.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Happiness isn't always simply derived from cute animals and love. No, sometimes happiness is best found in the flames of war. Or something like that.

Cue Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a game which is arguably not a "traditional" fighting game, but it is a game that I will take just as seriously and grind you into dust on.

Few can compete against my ledge-guarding antics, off stage footstools and devastating spikes. Each time I connect a Mario f-air or Captain Falcon's knee, I feel joy and elation. A smile stretches across my face as I acknowledge I have absolutely ruined someone's day. Fantastic.

Pokémon GO

I've always wanted to catch them all. But as it turns out, there's a lot of them, and them only keeps increasing in number.

It's difficult to find time to sit down and trawl the Pokédex in recent Pokémon generations, but at least I can take my time with the process in Pokémon GO.

No, Pokémon GO is not the best Pokémon game. Far from it. It is, however, fun in small, rewarding bursts. I can log in daily while walking to the gym or whatever it is I actually do outside, burn some calories, hatch some eggs, and catch some Pokémon.

Each new Pokédex entry feels incredibly satisfying thanks to how difficult new entries are to come across, but the slow and steady pace is satisfying. It's not a game, more of a walking companion that makes exercise feel a little bit more worthwhile.

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Tetris 99

Tetris 99 is great, dropping blocks into place, targeting KOs, getting big scores, devastating enemies, having massive numbers of grey blocks fly on your screen and kill you…

Sorry, did I say it's great? It's awful. Losing in Tetris 99 is terrible and I hate it. But I also love getting my own back on those crafty foes I'm playing against.

Tetris 99 is a game of two halves. The one half is where I lose, and I hate it. The other half is where I win, and I'm never happier.

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Dave Aubrey
Dave Aubrey
Dave is the Guides Editor at Pocket Gamer. Specialises in Nintendo, complains about them for a living.