While there will always be room for fantasy in video games, as they often are an escape from the toils of reality, there is an occasional need for the harsh and soul crushing reality of being a cog in the machine and slowly being ground to a fine dust by endless levels of bureaucracy. There are simply moments where instead of fighting dragons by yelling at them in their own ancient language or dealing with an army of fascists in anachronistic ancient Roman styled armor made from sports equipment armed only with a grenade launcher and your trusted cyborg dog, someone wants to experience the degradation of being a low level employee of a second world country’s border control. For gamers desiring that level of reality, “Papers Please” by Lucas Pope is the perfect game to experience that special feeling that comes along when someone is being simultaneously violated and ignored.
The game “2048” is currently sweeping across campus, but there is another game that is equally as addicting. “LHC” is the more science based cousin of “2048.” “LHC” is a physics-based collision game. Instead of colliding numbers like in “2048,” physics particles are smashed into each other in order to create larger, more impressive particles.
“Rock Paper Scissors” (RPS) is a classic free-to-play multiplayer strategy game with no anti-piracy restrictions. There are sites and applications available that allow players to game against a set program of moves or an AI, but the full version of the game can be downloaded for free off of any site where one can find instructions or off of any other player who already owns the game. The game was first created and released by some unknown indie developers in Asia during the Hang Dynasty, where it was called “Shoushiling,” which translates roughly to “hand command.” Eventually, as with many games from Asia, it grew in popularity with the Western crowd, who managed to import the game to their countries, translating it into many languages. The English translation was eventually retitled as “Rock Paper Scissors.”
In late 2008, Ubisoft released “Prince of Persia,” which was meant to be a reboot of the original series released in 1989. While the later reboot, “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time,” was met with more acclaim, “Prince of Persia” is definitely a game that can stand on its own.
“Depression Quest.” What kind of a game is this?!? There are no guns, no cars, no explosions, no air strikes, no invincibility mods, and heck, there are barely any graphics! In fact, the graphics are only just random pictures that pop up sometimes alongside the text that makes up the entirety of the interactive portion of the game. The whole thing is just a boring story about an average guy going about his day-to-day life and he never gets any superpowers or becomes an unlikely hero or finds out he is the Chosen One. He just eats, sleeps, goes to work, and does boring stuff in between. Who thinks that stuff is fun? Even old-school text-based adventures had more enemies than this stupid thing. The fact that the developers of this piece of garbage have the nerve to call it a game in a day and age where awesome titles like “Call of Duty,” “Battlefield,” “Skyrim,” and anything with Batman’s name on it rule the industry is an insult to everything that is awesome about gaming.
They engage the enemy in his own mentality. They chase his dreams, fight his demons, and live his nightmares. They are international secret agents. They are the Psychonauts. “Psychonauts” is a 2005 platformer from the deranged and brilliant mind of Tim Schafer. It introduces the player to a world where the greatest battles and adventures take place in the mental realm and the experts in such battles are part of an elite psychic force known as the Psychonauts. The player enters the story as a young psychic boy named Raz who sneaks into a summer camp for Psycadets (Psychonauts-in-training). Players are given free reign to explore the camp and are shortly introduced to the game’s other levels: the minds of those around Raz.
“Pause Ahead” is a free online action-platformer game from developer Askiisoft that employs a very unique mechanic in its gameplay: the pause button. Hitting the pause button in this game causes all the on-screen action to freeze, but the player character retains his momentum. The player is given no special powers outside of this one, which opens the door to a lot of complex and trying puzzles.
In the midst of a gaming world full of multiplayer focused, first-person shooters, foul mouthed twelve year olds, open world role playing games where finding a quest can take hours, and games relying on gimmicks like motion capturing and touch screens instead of gameplay, it can be refreshing to go back to basics. Dungeons of Dredmor is exactly that. The game is a fairly straightforward, Roguelike, dungeon crawling role playing game made up of randomized levels with a single semi-customized character and a very uncomplicated quest in mind. This game heavily invokes Nethack by being an incredibly fun, if on occasion frustratingly difficult game that can be played over and over again because of the randomization of the dungeon and the broad range of ways to actually trudge through the game’s ten to fifteen levels.
Cookie Clicker is a free, simple, and addicting online game that allows players to make cookies with every mouse click. Through a series of upgrades and continuous clicking, the game challenges players to make as many cookies as they can. It may not sound like much, but Cookie Clicker provides a strangely engrossing experience that can last for hours at a time. The objective is to make as many cookies as possible.
The entire world has been taken over by “League of Legends”. However, “Star Wars: The Old Republic” can definitely stand in as a substitute for League for those looking for a change of pace and a break from the same old video game, but perhaps not for those not wanting hardcore gaming. Since League’s inception five years ago, in 2008, and its beta version premiere a year after that, the completely free-to-play model supported by microtransactions, all anchored by highly addicting gameplay with millions of players worldwide has done its part to drastically alter the way consumers purchase video games.
While virtual token economies have long existed before, where a buyer can spend some amount of real money for an equivalent amount of electronic “points” or “coins” to buy individual components of a video game, Riot Games, maker of League of Legends, have become massively successful through this approach.