Offical Video Game Thread

I play an awful lot of Catan against a dumb AI on my phone. :slight_smile:
When I want to think a little harder, I play two-suited spider, or sometimes nonograms. I also have a decent sudoku game. (The one that seems to be the industry leader has a lot of features I don’t like, but I found one that I like.) I have a lot of other android puzzle games that I sometimes fiddle with. Oh, and I played a really beautiful game that had a nice story wrapped around the puzzle, but it took up too much space, and I deleted it… hmm… Monument Valley.

In real life, I mostly play bridge against other people. But I am a social game player, and I play the games people I want to spend time with are playing. I have friends who are seriously into board games, so I’ve played a lot of games once or twice.

I have both a Mac and a PC, and I play Minecraft on the laptops. (I play java version.) I tried to play Witcher 3 on the PC, but I wasn’t coordinated enough. I’m thinking I ought to try again, though. I started Portal, on Steam. I enjoyed it, but it got a little monotonous, and it’s sort of gloomy. I may go back and finish it, though.

When my kids were younger we played some D&D thing cooperatively with them. And I tried a game with a name like “ig and og” with my daughter, which was fun. But I’m not quite coordinated enough, and we are rarely free at the same time.

I really loved portal, but then again dark humor is my cup of tea. FWIW, it does require a bit of agility too.

I was going to suggest Disco Elysium, it’s also mostly sad/cynical joke (though more like AO political?), but maybe that’s too gloomy. Anyway, it’s easy to play, and it does something pretty unique and fun with branching dialogue that depends on your character choice.

Can you turn down the difficulty-level on the Witcher? My wife likes those kinds of games (I’d suggest Dragon Age Origins, though I’ve heard Witcher is great also) and that’s what she does.

There’s a few old D&D games, like Baldurs Gate or Planescape Torment that you could try, that have good adventure and story, but they have the same old inscrutable combat/spells/etc. so I don’t really recommend it.

In terms of things that are like ios/android games I recommend:
Professor Layton (I think there’s a version on the Switch) where you’re just fed lots of little classic puzzles. It’s bright and colorful and has a sense of progress. Admittedly the puzzles are generally pretty easy (though sounds like you like easy sometimes)
Heavens Vault- My wife is playing this now. You run around an open world translating hieroglyphics, learning words and making educated guesses. So it’s sort of like a newspaper cryptogram, but there’s automatic note-taking, overall progression, and some intuition (“that glyph usually has something to do with people”) that makes it interesting.
The Witness - beautiful open world with grid puzzles sitting on the ground. The puzzles aren’t super hard, but they can take a little while, like soduko. What makes it interesting is that you learn the rules as you go, and learning the rules lets you solve more parts of the island.
World of Goo (a “bridge-builder” game, but rich in style)
Human Resource Machine (a “programming-game”, but rich in style)

Another actuaryesque game, you might be able to play with other analytical people:Factorio (or Satisfactory), both are multiplayer, and about laying conveyor belts to create an assembly line-- ie increasingly large and complex logistical puzzle. Depending on your nature, automating things can be very satisfying (or too much like real life work).

There’s also a lot of games similar to mine-craft, though I’m not sure I’d say any are clearly better, unless you really want to add monsters or automation or farms or exploring or survival or something. Stardew Valley comes to mind as a less creative, more relaxing alternative with a defined goal.

There’s a lot of quick fun party games I’d recommend also, but you’d need some friends around that are into the idea. I don’t recommend playing anything at all with strangers on the internet.

There’s also a number of board game translations, though honestly I find them wanting.

1 Like

Oh yeah, I second Gorgoa (for its prettiness) and Baba is You (for it’s outside the boxiness)

Another challenging puzzle game is the Return of Obra Dinn. Basically you wander around a 19th century ghost ship, trying to piece together how everybody on it died, using glimpses of the last couple seconds of their life. Actually, it’s usually easy to figure out how they died (stabbed, shot, crushed, etc.) but it’s very tricky to put faces to names, and requires a lot of patience and cleverness and memory.

Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend it to Lucy since you’re constantly staring at violent scenes (even though they’re muted with black-and-white line art).

1 Like

I’ve been meaning to pick that up. The art looks like a perfect rendition of FF6 art, from 1994… so I’d say it’s already aged well. :wink:

A few more puzzle-y game recommendations:

Zachtronics makes a bunch of programming/engineering puzzle games. Space Chem and Opus Magnum involve building machines (of sorts) to manufacture various substances by generating building blocks, moving them around, merging them, etc. Exapunks is more explicitly programming, writing a sort of code to make your computer agent to move around within and alter other computers/devices. Those are all build-it-and-let-it-run, so absolutely no reflexes required (just a lot of planning).

Into the Breach is a turn-based combat puzzle game from the makers of FTL. No reflexes required.

1 Like

Also…

I left off a lot of traditional video games (since they tend to be agility based) but you might like:
Zelda, Breath of the Wild? Not sure how much agility that involves.
Katamari Damacy. (just a weird but simple, fun, and interesting game)

Turn based combat games
You might like Fire Emblem on the switch.

Management games:
City Skylines-- you build your own city!
Rollercoaster tycoon-- you make theme parks. A bit easier though?

Civilization which is sort of like a board game of world history with a mix of war and research and government-- (I’d recommend Civ 5 btw, though 6 is fine too). It’s probably the best videogame boardgame. There’s a lot of mechanics but you can just start on easy and learn as you progress. And you can play with or without other people.

Rim World-- you build a little base (make houses, beds, research, crafts, etc.) and take care of your people. It also involves getting attacked by pirates, which can be a downer, but it adds a good challenge, and it’s easy to understand.

Oxygen Not Included-- You build a little base in an asteroid, and take care of your people. There’s no fighting, but it’s also harder to understand. You just have to manage a lot of finite resources (food, water, oxygen, waste, heat, cold, comfort, stress…) so it’s sort of an engineering problem with a cute face.

Yeah… of these, I’d second Opus Magnum. It’s the most “user-friendly”.

Into the Breach is also pretty good if you want chess-like puzzles, but it’s quite hard.
“FTL”, is also pretty great. You manage a little star-trek ship, shooting at other space-ships, and it has just enough randomness, progress, and strategy to be addicting. You can pause whenever you want, so reflexes aren’t really required.

I bookmarked your post, thank you for some good ideas, even if you weren’t aiming them at me. Now to go figure out what bookmarking a post actually does in my profile :slight_smile:

Agreed. Exapunks is straight-up programming, and if you’re not really into that it will pretty quickly get too hard to be fun. On the other hand Opus Magnum distilled the basic ideas of Space Chem into a much more pleasant experience – less “realism”, but with tighter puzzles, prettier graphics, and a little plot.

The only problem with FTL is it’s very RNG sensitive. Not as bad as it used to be (I was a kickstarter, and boy was it brutal on launch), but you can still get to the “end” and be completely hosed, no matter how well you played until then.

(And now I’ve reinstalled both Opus Magnum and FTL…)

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords is a puzzle game I played a bunch. It’s a bejeweled type gameplay but you match certain colors to give yourself mana which you use to cast spells/use abilities against enemies.

Banished is a decent city building game. Not quite as complicated as some of the others, though isn’t great at explaining some things.

I’ve been trying to find a decent crafting/survival game for a while. There are a lot of those types of games out there since it seems pretty easy to make…but most of them aren’t good games.

Hey Ldancer. I agree, good survival/craft are hard to find and never last.

My favorite is Don’t Starve (Which has multiplayer and dlcs). It’s interesting because it dumps you into a beautiful/funny world where you don’t understand. So it’s not just your character having to figure out how to hunt rabbits and run away from wolves, but you -personally- having to make sense of the unknown and sometimes take risks that could cost you your life.

7 days to die is pretty good if you have friends. It’s sandboxy like minecraft, but you have a very specific goal of coming up with effective defenses against the (next) zombie horde. That said I don’t know if I’d really call it “good”.

I’d also absolutely recommend Rimworld, from above. It’s not quite the same genre, since you have a little group to manage, but it’s really great at what it does.

Finally, I didn’t really like Banished (both boring and hard to understand) but if you liked that, I might suggest Frost Punk-- which has a simple city builder combined with pretty interesting stories.

Haven’t tried Don’t Starve, might add it to my wishlist and check it out if it’s on sale.

I played 7 Days to Die for a while. I think I changed the options to tone down the zombies and it was OK but I think I spent a while building a base which got wrecked by an exploding zombie and just decided to quit (It’s been a while).

I’m kind of biased against 2d games. It’s hard for me to get into them unless they are really good. Rimworld’s been on my steam wishlist for a while but never been in a position to try it out.

Played a few hours of FrostPunk and wasn’t much of a fan. Can’t remember what I didn’t like about it but it didn’t draw me in.

Right now playing a little of Astroneer. Kind of a cartoony space building thing. Ok but not that great. Not sure why all these games have a terrible interface and I end up having to look almost everything up on the internet.

My daughter played a lot of breath of the wild. I might like that, true. I played in katamari damacy. That’s a fun, weird game. I second the recommendation.

I’m okay with dark humor. It’s really that the screen and graphics are dark and bleak that i don’t care for. But i should probably complete it… And find out first hand the story of the cake. :wink:

I played witcher on easy mode and couldn’t get out of the little training intro. But I’ve developed some dexterity playing Minecraft, so it should probably try it again.

I played the first baldurs gate with my kids, when it was new. I enjoyed that.

Easy puzzles that you have to work through in order sounds potentially tedious. I like Minecraft because it’s wide open and there’s never something i NEED to do. (well, maybe I need to run away from this creeper RIGHT NOW, but nothing that takes much time.)

My daughter loved witness, and is also playing heavens vault, with a friend. She says good things about it.

Several people have suggested stardew valley, but as best as I can tell it’s strictly less interesting than Minecraft, and the graphics aren’t quite as pretty. I haven’t come close to exhausting Minecraft. Heck, I haven’t used redstone, yet. (Tonight I plan to build a trident farm, though. Tridents look cool. Yes, I cheated and watched some YouTube videos. Of course, I will be in survival mode, so it will be a little trickier to implement…)

My DIL says nice things about Hades, but it’s probably too hard for me.

Haha, I played Astroneer with my brother and we just… got… bored… Not long after getting off the original planet. Which is the main problem with practically all survival games. Once you “survive” there’s really nothing to do but uhhhh… “survive” more?

There’s a “God Mode” in hades, that lets you walk right through. That said, I wouldn’t really recommend it, because it’s 90% fast dodging combat with random gear and pretty art. And it’s just that not interesting unless you’re really into dodging monsters and whacking them with swords.

That said you might want to play Transistor, which was by the same people who made Hades. It has a lot of the same mechanics, but the game sort-of pauses every couple seconds, and lets you decide what you want to do. It also has beautiful music and some special voice acting. (That said, it’s also a lot of dodging monsters and whacking them with swords, with minimal story.)

I usually turn off game music. :upside_down_face:

I love turn based RPGs. I’ve been playing Shin Megami Tensei IV on the Nintendo 3DS and Persona 5 Royal on PS4.

Trying to get a PS5 for myself for Black Friday/Xmas to no avail. Dunno if things will restock by Black Friday.

If I’m able to get one, any suggested games?
Don’t like shooting games. RPG like God of War is something I enjoy. Or puzzle games like Portal, or The Room. I like cute games too.

Another new-gamer suggestion:

Shapez.io

A minimalist automation puzzle game that’s cheap and very straightforward and relaxing.

You build a factory using conveyor belts and machines that split and combine and paint etc. (Like several other games) The nice thing is that it’s very easy to pick up, like a phone game. Go ahead and click on the link.

Looks like that should that be shapez.io? (Seems neat so far, after just a few minutes…)