View Full Version : Gaming Recommendations?

2010-06-14, 09:36
I’m looking for a recommendation for game to put on my laptop for the kids to play on rainy days during our vacation. I must admit that I am not much of a computer gamer myself and do not keep up with the newest and the latest in gaming, so I really have no clue what is out there right now. The kids (2 girls, now ages 16, almost 14, and a boy, 8) do like a bit of gaming though.

I am not really looking for any heavy duty action/mayhem games. Instead, what previously has been or currently is popular with them on our main computer are things like “Civilization”, “Age of Empires” and “The Sims”. I.e., role play and strategy. Is there anything particularly new and good out there in that sort of line?

Nice graphics would be a plus, but are not a necessity. The kids actually have often tended to prefer the earlier versions of some of the computer game series that I mentioned above, when the games did not fall over themselves trying to impress in the graphics department and in adding what kids actually saw as excessive complexity in the game play. In any event, my laptop, while pretty capable (Fall 2009 MBP, Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz, 4 GB of RAM) is certainly not designed as a cutting edge gaming machine and will probably not handle very well the frames-per-second demands of some very high-end graphics-intensive games.

What would be ideal would be a role-playing game that is accessible at a basic level for those who do not want to put huge amounts of effort into initially learning the game (none of the kids are hard-core gamers), but with interesting and varied story lines that allows more complex play, for those that want it, as they go along.

Any recommendations would be gratefully received.

2010-06-14, 09:58
I got a great suggestion that's free. Download yourself an emulator and let them experence the greatness that is NES. I play games like Zelda and Mario Bros and Mega Man and things like that. You can also get SNES, Sega, ect ect. Very fun and free.

2010-06-15, 09:01
Thanks Yontsey. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I’ll consider it.

Actually, with a bit of my own research, I realize now that what I had in mind does not really exist in the gaming market, or at least not anymore. Being somewhat (very) out of it in this area, I had not realized the degree to which ‘first-person shooter’ games now dominate the market. What I imagined was something like ‘Myst meets Civilization’. That’s not happening, as far as I can see.

I ran across a few gaming forums when the decline of development of that sort of game was discussed (and lamented by some). Beautifully imagined and realized video game worlds take a lot of time and money to develop, and the industry has determined that the payback is not there without a significant action and ‘shoot-em-up’ element. That’s unfortunate, but it may not be that way forever. People may get tired of what is currently being offered.

In any event, I did find one newish game that looks at least fairly interesting and close to what I have in mind: Spore. I’ll be buying that.

2010-06-15, 09:07
I haven't played it so I can't give you that many details, but I have heard some good things about the Total War series. Might be too complex though. I'm not sure.

I suppose you already have Civ IV? It sounds like what you're into is a more casual, relaxed 4X game.

2010-06-15, 09:18
I think Spore is pretty underapreciated, and you can get it for cheap now. Haha, just saw that you mentioned it already. Oops.

Also: Portal. it's completely different than what you mentioned, but it's stellar, and it should be pretty cheap on Steam. It's more puzzle-oriented than action-oriented, so anybody who likes "thinking games" should like it. Plus, it's not very violent and it features strong non-fanservice female characters, so it checks all the "why aren't more games/sci-fi more like this" boxes. :)

2010-06-16, 12:14
If you're into puzzle games, Portal definitely rocks.

2010-06-16, 12:35
If they're into the swords & sorcery RPG stuff, Oblivion was Game of the Year (http://www.elderscrolls.com/games/obgoty_overview.html) a few years back... massive world with multiple quests. Quality voice work (Sean Bean, etc) and graphics that will work fine on your MBP (they work fine on my earlier model).

If they're more the swashbuckling type, Pirates (http://www.feralinteractive.com/game/pirates).

But it's hard to go wrong with Civ IV. ;)

2010-06-16, 13:56
I like adventure games by Telltale Games, Tales of Monkey Island (http://www.telltalegames.com/store/talesofmonkeyisland) is on sale for $20 and it was pretty fun.

I've also had fun playing Torchlight (http://www.torchlightgame.com/). Supposedly it's like Diablo although I've never played Diablo, they look similar though.

2010-06-16, 14:11
Funny thing about Torchlight. It's very much like Diablo 2, simplified, with WoW-style graphics. Main thing it lacks is multiplayer. It doesn't have any MP at all. A lot of people have criticized it for this, but it never seemed like an issue to me because I always played D2 in single player. I thought the MP community was too hardcore, there was too much lag, and there were WAY too many dupes and other cheats going around. Not to mention the huge convenience of inventory management without having to worry about mules in single player. You can use a stash program like Atma or GoMule to transfer items between characters or hold items in a stash file.

2010-06-16, 15:28
I like Torchlight too. I got it when it was $5 on steam. :)

2010-06-16, 22:24
Thanks for the additional recommendations. I really appreciate that. :) I have ordered Spore online. I'll keep some of the others in mind for the future. I won't order them all right now: I don't want to spoil the critters. ;)

2010-06-16, 22:27

Plants vs. Zombie.s Awesome game, can play it forever.

Graphics are cartoon like, not overyly grotesque or anything, and it's got a wide variety of skill levels.