8 games to jump into
Video games make up more of the entertainment industry than ever before, so here are eight titles to help you jump in and see what gaming has to offer.
The average Aussie gamer has been playing games for at least 10 years of their life. While this may sound intimidating, the Australian gaming industry has grown 20 per cent in the last two years alone, meaning that it’s easier than ever to find something that excites you. So, if you’ve been thinking about finding another hobby, or just wanted to see what gaming has to offer aside from Fortnite, then you’re in the right place. Here’s a list of some great games that don’t require a powerful computer to run, and don’t cost a great deal to get.
Role-Playing Games treat your time as an investment. These games put a focus on depth, making sure that while your skills keep improving, you always have meaningful things to do.
Stardew Valley (2016) puts you in the shoes of a fledgling farmer charged with your very own plot of land in a charming pixel-art town. As you play, you learn how to properly tend to your crops and livestock, manage relationships with the townspeople and gradually increase the fruits of your labour. Its popularity has garnered a dedicated online community, offering help from starter guides to cosplay tips.
Path of Exile (2013) is your standard RPG fare, packed with monsters to kill, dungeons to roam, quests to complete and loot to find. If you’re up to it, there’s a scarily-deep upgrade system that’ll take hours of your time as you find the best way to vaporise the 12 enemies surrounding you. And the grotesque boss in the next room. It’s free-to-play done very well, with new content always being added to the game, and a lively community to join.
Point and click, something everyone on a computer can do. This should be easy.
Superhot’s (2016) premise is an interesting one - it’s based on the idea that the stark-white world doesn’t move unless you do. Enemies stand still and bullets slow to a crawl, giving you time to plan the next move out in your head. Played in the first-person perspective, Superhot’s slow motion mechanic means that your success is a reflection on your planning and execution, and failure is a lesson for next time.
Gone Home (2013) tests you on your penchant for short stories. Not so much a shooter, it is set during the mid-90s in woody Oregon, and you’ve just arrived home to find the house empty. There is a story here in every note and artifact you find. The only thing you can do is walk around and figure out what happened. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but worth finding out for yourself.
Best enjoyed with friends, both of these games are able to be played on one keyboard.
Nidhogg 2 (2017) is a zany, if simple, fighting game on the surface, where two slime people try to get to opposite sides of the stage. A single hit means death, and the controls lend themselves to frantic button mashing that plays well versus a friend sitting beside you. Amazing in tournament mode with a group.
Overcooked (2016) is where you can manage a kitchen with a friend or three, demanding better communication and coordination with each level. As levels get busier and busier, you’ll be caught up in dancing around your partner, memorizing recipes, warding off hungry rats, and fighting the ever-present threat of burning the food. Overcooked fosters the kind of chaos that can make or break friendships and has more than enough variety to keep the basic gameplay – cooking – from ever getting stale.
2D Side Scrolling
Think early mobile games, the first Nintendo DS game you had, flash games you played as a kid, or if you’re lucky, the retro feel of classic arcade games.
Limbo (2011) has you play as a nameless young boy looking for his sister in a grim, colourless world filled with puzzles and traps. The unrelenting atmosphere, eerie soundtrack, and grisly deaths slowly build a haunting story about your character that, to this day, has players pondering it. For its palpable mood and environmental storytelling, Limbo was an innovation at the time, and its DNA is still very visible in many 2D side scrolling games that have come out since. Check out Inside (2016), Celeste (2018) or Little Nightmares (2017) if you’re interested.
Rogue Legacy (2013) conceptualises an immortality-of-sorts - every time your character dies, you come back as a direct ancestor. The twist is a system of genetic variation, giving your character traits that can be helpful, such as ADHD that allows you to move faster, or vertigo, for example, which flips the entire game upside down. You are tasked with the exploration of a castle that resets and varies every time you die, leaving you only the coins you accumulated and the skills you gained to buy upgrades and keep progressing.
Don Deshan Udugahapaththuwa is a first-year Communications (Creative Writing) student. You can find him in his room, writing or gaming.