Gaming Roundup for All Your Gaming Needs
March 22, 2020 9:54 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday I started playing Stardew Valley and, uh, somehow I lost most of the weekend farming.
posted by sukeban at 10:25 AM on March 22 [8 favorites]

somehow I lost most of the weekend farming.

Say goodbye to productivity.

This happens to me when I play Slay the Spire, Binding of Isaac, or Into the Breach. Somehow time just vanishes.
posted by Fizz at 10:26 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]

I basically haven’t played a video game since I was a kid (in the arcade!) but the lock down has me considering buying some kind of platform. So, this is well-timed, thank you.

From what I am reading the Switch is sounding like probably the right option, but of course that is the one that is sold out.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:30 AM on March 22

For people who are reluctant to spend money on something they're not sure they enjoy:

Steam typically offers refunds within two weeks of purchase and with less than two hours of playtime

XBox Gamepass exists for Xbox but also for Windows, and they have a collection comparable to what you would see with a Netflix subscription (some newer, more hyped games; more extensive collection of lesser known games). It's about $10 a month, $5 the first month. Great for trying out a lot of games.

Playstation Now has a similar offering for PS4 owners, and you can stream to your Windows PC if you don't have a PlayStation.

Not sure about Mac for any of the above. Work firewalls everything.
posted by avalonian at 10:32 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]

@Dip Flash, try searching for Switch Lite, they seem to have more of those available than the regular Switch. You lose out on the literal "switch" to tv functionality, but if you're going to play mostly in handheld, then it won't be too much of a deal-breaker.
posted by Fizz at 10:32 AM on March 22

if anyone is interested in MP, my username on Steam and the Epic Games Store is the same as my user name here.
posted by selfnoise at 11:01 AM on March 22

Also, yeah, if you just need to speedrun the next few months buy Stardew Valley. See you in May.
posted by selfnoise at 11:01 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]

Related: World of Warcraft offers double XP to stay inside during coronavirus [Polygon]

I may look at making a post about how to get into MMORPGs in the coming days as I suspect the number of people falling back into WoW, FFXIV, & ESO is going to jump significantly over the coming months.
posted by Fizz at 11:25 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]

How about a guide on how old people can learn how to use game controllers, because my repeated attempts to do so have been a complete and frustrating failure, especially since shoot and loots are my favorite genre.
posted by Beholder at 11:30 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]

How about a guide on how old people can learn how to use game controllers

I have to reverse the Y axis to use a controller properly for FPS games.
posted by linux at 12:37 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

Thank you, Fizz

I posted this in the soothing media thread, but it's probably a better fit here.

“Best Multiplayer Games for the Quarantine!” —Electric Playground, 22 March 2020
posted by ob1quixote at 1:12 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

Yeah WoW and also Overwatch are super fun, but I uninstalled all Blizzard games finally, it was not a lightly made decision. I also enjoy STO, but not currently installed either. I miss old computer games like Escape Velocity series, and Myst/Riven, and SimCity 2000, SimTower. I haven't found anything that suits my cup of tea, casual gamer who likes pretty graphics, that's not as tempting to become a huge time/attention sink the way modern games often are. I was kind of hoping there would be more web browser or small, cute games (such as the defunct Quadradius), but there's less popular interest in that? Also, I've never played Civilization and the VI's screenshots are rather mesmerizing...
posted by polymodus at 1:23 PM on March 22

Steam note: They currently have the 2013 Tomb Raider game available for free. I've not played it or even know if my PC will run it, but a free game's a free game.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:41 PM on March 22

Polymodus - the thing I like about Civilization VI is how it intersects with actual history - feels like half the "game" is just reading up fascinating events and personalities of the past. I've written up two playthroughs I had, where I genuinely learned some things about the world - Greece and the Ottoman Empire - both conquest victories. There are other victory types, like religious victory, cultural victory, science victory, diplomatic victory, etc.

Cities Skylines is a sort of ok-ish modern version of Simcity, although I still prefer Simcity.
posted by xdvesper at 3:46 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

Hey, my household resembles this post! My super nerdy, geeky partner has resisted Minecraft for years and finally tried it out for the first time last week. She stayed up four hours later than usual on Thursday. On Friday evening I told her I’d play with her and we stayed up until 3am, we played most of Saturday, and played a few hours today. I played it a bit about ten years ago but never got super into it, but it’s so much more fun with another person (one who is actually inclined to learn how to do advanced stuff that I never cared about).

When we stopped last night I started freaking out a little because I felt so disconnected from reality. Is that something that happens to other people who play games for a long time? I think we both needed a distraction and I don’t regret giving our weekend to it, but it was a a weird feeling and came much quicker today.

In any case it kept me off the news and all social media (and Metafilter) for 24 hours, which is a positive thing, so I’m glad to have something I feel compelled to do after work that isn’t doomseeking online. My high need dogs seem pretty bummed their humans aren’t as focused on them though, gotta be more conscious of that.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 3:49 PM on March 22

Cities seems like it would be right up my alley, but it seems like $70 just to get all the "right" starter packs.

If you like tower defense games and don't mind playing something ancient, kingdom rush and its sequels are good value for money at abput ten bux each.
posted by maxwelton at 4:36 PM on March 22

If anyone is looking to kill endless time on an iPhone (and maybe Android, haven't checked), I can't recommend Mini Day Z enough! High-stakes survival zombie game with very simple controls. I'd 100% purchase and play it on the Switch if it was available, it's a really addictive and fun game.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 4:39 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

Reliving my teenage Apple ][ years with Ultima 4:
(free right now, there's lots of other stuff on there for about two bucks)

Started playing Fallout 3 last night as well. On the one hand very dystopian but on the other hand you can just walk right up to strangers and talk to them without wearing a mask!
posted by nickzoic at 6:17 PM on March 22 [3 favorites]

I got a Switch shortly before Xmas and played Zelda pretty much nonstop all last week. This weekend I switched back to the game of Skyrim I've been playing on my laptop for a few years now. Both games are so much fun and have kept me highly entertained here at home while I'm off work (I work in public schools) - but now that I'm going back and forth I keep having these moments where I'm left wondering why the heck my Argonian thief can't effortlessly scale cliffs or pull up a handy 'telescope' and why Link can't vanish into the shadows or swim forever without drowning ... kinda disorienting!
posted by DingoMutt at 6:52 PM on March 22

I recently took another run at Factorio and either because the minimal "campaign" is a better tutorial now or because I got good enough from my previous attempts to really enjoy it, I've managed to really get into it this time. As in, I'm no longer allowed to play it on work nights because otherwise I find myself wondering how it got to be 3am.
posted by suetanvil at 7:28 PM on March 22

Look. If you need a game for quarantine: Deep Rock Galactic. Danger. Darkness. Dwarves! It is right about to leave early access and the game is freaking polished. The devs are relatively responsive - and the community is such that it has largely avoided a-holes. (Here's a hint: if there is a guy wearing a corporate marine helmet in your team, 9 times out of 10 he's the only asshole you are going to find).
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:25 PM on March 22

Here is where I feel I have to wholeheartedly recommend the recently released indie fighter Shaolin vs WuTang 2. It's like a more realistic Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, where each fighter represents a real martial arts movie style--no hayukens, ice or fire blasts.

Every fighter is basically just an awesomeley thinly-veiled version of some of the greatest stars from 70s-80's martial arts movies, from Shaw Brothers and Enter the Dragon, to Sonny Chiba and Tony Jaa.

If you like those kind of movies or no-frills fighters in general, you'll totally cliche this game. I'm admittedly an old school martial arts movie lover, but man this one's fun.
posted by unwordy at 11:01 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

Borderlands 3 has a big gay wedding DLC coming out Thursday, if that is your jam.
posted by poe at 2:58 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]

I have definitely gone back to FFXIV again now that I'm spending so much time indoors. I've been playing it for so long on and off that it's definitely a comfort game for me at this point. If anyone is going back to it or picking it up for the first time, and is on the Crystal data center, hit me up, send me a DM or something. The more friends to play with the merrier!
posted by bridgebury at 5:19 AM on March 23

Fallout 76ers on Xbox: message me and I’ll add you as a friend. I’m usually playing in the evenings (Sydney time), and normally on a private world. You can join me and camp the public workshops without worrying about asshole pvpers!
posted by um at 5:54 AM on March 23

Borderlands 3 has a big gay wedding DLC coming out Thursday, if that is your jam.

Also it is a Gaige DLC in the same way that DLC1 was a Moxxi DLC.

Hopefully she will asplain how ones goes from vault-hunting and psycho-murdering to wedding-planning.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:15 AM on March 23

how ones goes from vault-hunting and psycho-murdering to wedding-planning.

With legendary loot drops!
posted by Fizz at 7:25 AM on March 23

Also it is a Gaige DLC in the same way that DLC1 was a Moxxi DLC

I wish every shoot and loot game had a character like Gaige who is designed for new players and players who stink at fast paced combat.
posted by Beholder at 8:30 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]

I was interested in the linked Ars Technical article on gaming with a partner, but kind of sad that it focuses mostly on games I don’t like, with the exception of two I have already played (Portal 2 *is* fabulous! But it was the first game I played with my fiancé, nine years ago!).

We’ve also already played Keep talking and hope nobody explodes. And from the linked article might try Lovers in a dangerous spacetime or Human: Fall Flat. And not on the list was Witness, which we also quite enjoyed.

But really what I want is more puzzley less gamey. I don’t like shooting or platformers (even Portal 2 had way too many of these). I am bad at anything requiring precise timing. But I like puzzles! And I like working as a team!

So, which of these other lists should I look at, for partner games or even single players that benefit from an extra brain?
posted by nat at 10:14 AM on March 23

If you want to fast-forward to the end of the pandemic, start playing Civilization. It'll be over before you know it...
posted by chromecow at 11:36 AM on March 23

polymodus, if you're looking for a replacement for Escape Velocity, check out Endless Sky (also available free on Steam).
posted by hanov3r at 4:46 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

My best friends gave me Animal Crossing to keep me sane in these interesting times. I'm definitely much less neurotic. COVID-19 is not a problem anymore, I am just going to chase those Nook Miles and shoot furniture and money out of the sky...
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 6:19 AM on March 24

“First Five: Comfort Games”Electric Playground, 05 April 2020
posted by ob1quixote at 11:49 AM on April 5

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