Listmas 2022: Cary’s coziest picks

If the onset of winter each year conjures one and only one feeling, it has to be the need to feel cozy. Bundled up. Safe and warm. Maybe a fireplace crackles in the background or a warm beverage sits nearby. The surrounding space could be tight, or it could be expansive – either way, the important thing is feeling comfortable within it. Our first Listmas list of the month focuses on just this, our favorite places in game that invoke snuggly warmth and emit auras of comfort and safety. In coming up with my list, my picks tended to go all over the place, and narrowing them down was no easy task. But, I eventually focused my efforts and these comfiest of choices rose to the top!

The biggest-littlest fortress in Dragon Age: Inquisition

When a beaten and battered band of rebellious upstarts led by the all-important Inquisitor happen upon a fortress called Skyhold in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the place is a mess. Claimed by ruin and decay after being abandoned, the place is literally falling apart at the seams. With no better options in sight, the Inquisition make lemonade out of lemons but turning Skyhold into a place to behold! Granted, “cozy” is not a word that’s readily applied to fortresses, but Skyhold itself is brimming with all sorts of small, cozy spaces, some taken up by teammates, others waiting to be filled. Taken altogether, while the fortress itself might look like a drafty, old castle, its insides tell a much more comfortable story!

A log cabin of my own in Fallout 76

Like so many other Fallout 76 players, I eventually got hit with the C.A.M.P building bug. This system allows for the creation of one’s own homebase in the game, which could be a palatial mansion or a run-down shack or an underground vault. During my time in the game, I tried my hand at building a number of different houses, and most of them served just fine. The game offered various exterior-types (wood, brick, etc.) and more were added along the way, one of my favorites of which was the log cabin exterior. For my heavy gunner Gwendolyn, her first place was a small log cabin I built into a hillside, and it was perfect. It was a little snug, but it held everything she needed to get by. The log cabin-look and feel definitely added to its general sense of coziness, too.

The best apartment in all of Mass Effect

I’ll admit that “cozy” did not fall into my first impression of Admiral Anderson’s-turned-Shepard’s apartment in the Mass Effect 3 DLC, Citadel. After all, the place is massive! Two floors, lots of room and space to spread out, it seemed the definition of luxury, if nothing else. But then Shepard’s crew arrived for some well-earned time off, and the place transformed. Its large rooms became much more intimate with the addition of crew members just being themselves. Relaxing and chatting, eating and drinking, playing cards or relaxing in the hot tub, a very good time was had by all in a space that could have remained rather uninspired otherwise. After good time with good people, that apartment became the coziest place on the Citadel!

The galaxy’s most famous spaceship in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

In Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, so many debates loom, none of which are as important as “who owns the Milano?” The answer should be simple: Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord owns it. But, because Rocket has put so much time and effort into keep the Milano going, he claims some form of ownership, too. This minor quibble permeates life in the compact and very cozy ship, the rendition of which in the game is all-too perfect. With five permanent crew and the occasional visitor, space on the cramped ship fills up quickly. At least the crew each have their own room, decked out according to individual tastes. But it’s the interior common space that probably the homiest of them all. Complete with seating and lots of swag, it’s probably the most comfortable spot in the galaxy, too. Probably.

My first house in The Sims 4

If my foray into home creation in Fallout 76 is any indication, I’m no master builder. As long as the place has four walls and a roof, it’ll do just fine. When it came time to make a house a home in The Sims 4, I realized I had to take a different approach. Having no Sim experience under my belt when I started the game, I had no clue what to expect. I knew I’d have to exist within a virtual world, but that was about it. When the option arose to build a home for my sim, I felt like a fish out of water. Seemed I could just create a thing with four walls, sure, but there was just so much more building stuff to explore! I found I could change fixtures, furnishing, and layouts. So many things could be customized, it was almost overwhelming. I eventually settled on a small one bedroom-one bathroom abode that suited my sim to the letter. It wasn’t flashy, but it was cozy and comfortable, just like the perfect house should be.

All images, include lede, were captured by author during gameplay of Dragon Age: Inquisition (© BioWare), Fallout 76 (© Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Game Studios Austin), Mass Effect Legendary Edition (© BioWare, Electronic Arts, Inc), Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (© Eidos Montréal, Square Enix), and The Sims 4 (© Maxis, Electronic Arts).