To all our fellow northern hemisphere people: it's winter. Sucks, doesn't it?
There's no escaping this most miserable of seasons. Unless you have plans to hibernate for a couple of months, or to pick up some cheap flights for a spot of winter sun.
As the rest of us bunker down for the inevitable cold snap, it helps to relocate your mind to a sunnier place. There are plenty of books and movies that will help you do that, of course. But games can help too.
There are a bunch of portable games out there that can help warm your soul even as your fingers and toes turn blue.
Whether you're a Switch, iOS or Android gamer, here are a bunch of games to help you shake the winter blues.
There's nothing like an Animal Crossing game to make you feel all warm and summery inside. It might be a series that's in sync with the seasons, but the good-time vibes make for constantly sunny disposition.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp takes the homespun capitalism of the earlier console games and creates a superbly accessible sunny getaway of a mobile game.
If there was a sunnier Switch game than Yoku's Island Express released in 2018, we didn't play it. Set on a beautifully bouncy tropical island, this cute Metroidvania instantly warmed our cockles with its vibrant pinball-themed action.
As Yoku, a pint-sized dung beetle mail worker (yes really), you must roll around a semi-open environment, bashing bumpers, collecting power-ups, delivering packages, and meeting the island's quirky citizens. This one's a fruity ice lolly of a game.
Most likely to be featured in a 'mobile games like Zelda' list, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is also notable for its bright, sunny theme. Set on a fantastical tropical island, it's like a particularly adventurous holiday.
One with sword fights and magical items and perilous dungeons. Okay, so it's nothing like any holiday we've every had, but it is dead summery. Honest.
Mario games are always like a sunny vacation from the drudgery of daily life. But Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch is the most explicit example since Super Mario Sunshine hit the GameCube.
It's basically about Mario setting off on his summer hols. Along the way you'll snorkel through crystal-clear waters, skitter among palm trees on a remote island, and party with the locals in a sandy Mexican-themed town.
As the name suggests, Rayman Fiesta Run is a vibrant festival of a mobile platformer. It's so full of colour and fireworks and laughter, it's practically wearing flip-flops.
The levels you'll be bounding through are filled with giant doughnuts, cocktail umbrellas, and paradise beaches. And to top it all off, you're playing as one of the most joyful and beautifully animated lead characters in gaming.