“Cozy Grove” saved me while I was trapped on a train for 35 hours

From the days of the Game Boy, the greatest joy of portable games has been portability. From a bench in the park to the back seat of a car, any place can be a place to make buttons. This has become even more true over the past two years, when being able to play while reintegrating into the outside world has become a way to deal with Covid-19 anxiety. Last week, however, I discovered a whole new utility: helping me stay calm while on a train for 35 hours with a small child.

This revelation came through the right kind of catastrophe in early 2022. Like many other families, mine struggled with what to do this holiday season as Omicron cases increased. Finally, my husband and I decided to get out of the cold in Philadelphia and take our child south to my parents’ house, getting off and taking an Amtrak train back. We could isolate ourselves with my family and, during the trip home, try to stay safe against Covid in a private cabin. However, like many others, we were trapped when a heavy snowstorm hit the northeast last week, leaving cars stranded on I-95 in Virginia, and we were trapped in our cabin shortly after. do more than wait.

The problem started around 5:30 in the morning, when I woke up and found that the train was not moving. There were trees on the roads between Richmond and Washington, DC, and we couldn’t move until they were cleared. In a surreal turn of events, we didn’t receive any updates until almost noon because the train driver forgot to include our car in the ads. We had no idea when we would be moving again, but in many ways, we were lucky. We had heating, private space, a bathroom, and as others on the train asked about diapers or formula, the overpacking ensured we weren’t hungry.

What we needed, however, was a way to keep our little human from becoming a weeping mess. We had an iPhone 12 Pro with an abysmal battery, an iPad and a Nintendo Switch. It was the latter, and specifically Cozy Grove, that saved us all.

Illustration: courtesy of The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild

I like to describe Cozy Grove as a kind of research based No animals. You are a Spirit Scout and your job is to help the ghost bears on your island recover their memories so they can move on in peace. It’s a quiet, soothing game, and while playing it certainly helped ease my nervousness about the situation, my child got the most out of it, ordering his mother to teach him various things on the island. either fish, Mr. Kit (“Mom, I want to see the fox!”), Or a shell. He especially liked the different bears on the island, and he asked me to guess which one he wanted to see. (“It’s what looks like corn or what does a flower look like? “was a common question during those long hours.) The part I appreciated the most was this, thanks to my impulsive upgrade to the Nintendo Switch OLED. which made a big difference in our trip.

At 1:30 the next day, we arrived at our destination with our eyes sunken, 35 hours after leaving. Luckily, my son was already asleep when we got there, and he went to bed as soon as we got home. But even after drifting, I kept walking on mine Cozy Grove island. It’s still the perfect getaway, even though I’m no longer trapped.

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