A cozy grove saved me while I was stuck on a train for 35 hours

From the days from Game Boy, the greatest joy of handheld games is portability. From the park bench to the back seat of the car, any place can be a place to press buttons. This has become even more true in the last two years, when the opportunity to play while reintegrating with the outside world has become a way to deal with anxiety from Covid-19. Last week, however, I discovered a whole new utility: it helps keep me cool while I stay on the train for 35 hours – with a small child.

This revelation came through a disaster appropriate for early 2022. Like many other families, mine struggled with what to do this holiday season as Omicron cases increased. In the end, my husband and I decided to get out of the cold in Philadelphia and take our little child south to my parents’ house as we got off and returned by Amtrak train. We could isolate ourselves with my family and try to stay safe from Covid in a private cabin on the way home. However, like many others, we crashed when a huge snowstorm hit the northeast last week, leaving cars blocked on I-95 in Virginia, and we were left in our cab with nothing but waiting.

The problems started around 5:30 in the morning when I woke up and found that the train was not moving. There were trees on the tracks between Richmond and Washington, D.C., and we couldn’t move until they were cleared. In a surreal turn of events, we did not receive any updates until almost noon, because the conductor of the train forgot to include our car in the messages. We had no idea when we would move again, but in many ways we were lucky. We had warmth, privacy, a bathroom, and as others on the train asked for diapers or formula, the overpacking made sure we weren’t hungry.

What we needed, however, was a way to prevent our little human being from becoming a weeping mess. We had the iPhone 12 Pro with terrible battery life, iPad and Nintendo Switch. It was the last one, in particular Cozy grove, it saved us all.

Illustration: Courtesy of the Guild of Quantum Astrophysicists

I like to describe Cozy grove as a quest-based species Crossbreeding of animals. You are a spiritual scout and your job is to help the ghost bears around your island regain their memories so they can continue in peace. It’s a calm, soothing game, and while the game has definitely helped relieve my nervousness from the situation, my young child has benefited most from ordering his mother to show him various things on the island – whether it’s fish, Mr. Kit (“Mom, I want to see the fox!”), Or a clam. He especially loved the different bears on the island, asking me to guess which one he wanted to see. (“What looks like corn, or what looks like a flower?” Was a common question during those long hours.) The part I was most grateful for was that thanks to my impulsive upgrade to Nintendo Switch OLED, I easily got six-hour game sessions, which made a huge difference in our trip.

At 1:30 the next morning we arrived with dim eyes at our destination – 35 hours after we left. Fortunately, my child was already asleep when we got there and went to bed as soon as we got home. But even after he fell asleep, I continued to wander around mine Cozy grove Island. It’s still the perfect escape, even though I’m no longer trapped.

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