MANILA -- The coronavirus continues to infect the globe, causing more people to stay indoors to protect themselves or to avoid spreading the disease.
If you're reading this and you're working from home, consider yourselves fortunate as not everyone has that luxury of having a job amid this public health crisis. Nevertheless, it can't be denied that at some point, we all need a distraction from all the craziness in the world today.
Some turn to television or the Internet, and there are those who consider gaming as their temporary escape from their stressful lives. If you are the latter and you happen to have the hardware, you've come to the right place -- here are five games you can play to keep your mind off COVID-19.
1. FIRE EMBLEM: THREE HOUSES (NINTENDO SWITCH)
This 2019 tactical role-playing game is a gift that keeps on giving as it is begging to be played multiple times. Three playthroughs in and 360 hours later, I am still very much willing to give it my precious free time.
Here, you play the role of a mercenary-turned-professor and choose which of the school's three houses (thus the title) to guide through a series of battles. Each house represents a nation and has its own story, adding to the game's depth and massive replayability.
2. PERSONA 5 (PLAYSTATION 3/PLAYSTATION 4)
I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Persona 5 is one of the best Japanese role-playing games ever made. More of that here.
P5 is set in Tokyo, and it follows the geographical detail of the city pretty well. If you're one of the many people whose trips to Japan have been postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus, immerse yourself in this game instead. Those who are willing to wait until the end of the month can order a copy of Persona 5 Royal, an expanded edition of the original.
3. SIMS 4 (PC/PLAYSTATION 4/XBOX ONE)
Sims 4 will let you live out your dreams -- however random they may be -- giving you just the right boost when your real life is getting you down a bit.
You can make your characters (called Sims) look exactly like you (or your friends, your family, your crush, even your enemies), down to the finer details like the nose bridge, gap between the eyes, and body proportions. Their personality, voice, and movements can also be customized, as well as the homes and communities where they'll work and live.
4. NBA 2K20 (PLAYSTATION 4/XBOX ONE/NINTENDO SWITCH/PC)
This NBA season has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, so here's the next best thing -- 2K20, where you can play as your favorite basketball stars.
You can also spend hours creating your own characters and driving them to victory, if that's your cup of tea, or pick teams from past NBA eras.
5. SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE (PLAYSTATION 4/XBOX ONE/PC)
FromSoftware's games are notorious for their difficulty, and Sekiro is widely considered as the developer's hardest title yet. In fact, some fans even petitioned for an easy mode as they find it "impossible" to finish it.
Sekiro is a beautiful game that rewards skill and discipline -- two things that could come handy in real life, especially in the time of the coronavirus pandemic. That rush of adrenaline after toppling (or fighting, if you're unable to beat it) a mighty foe will surely help you get through the day.