We've suddenly all found ourselves with a whole lot of time on our hands, so what better way to spend it than by playing some good old (and new) games. With all the news that's flying around at the moment, it's easy to feel a little weary, and the last thing we want to do is add to that stress and anxiety by playing any number of apocalyptic survival games, zombie horde defences, or any other end of the world-y type titles. And there's a lot of them sprinkled throughout our favourite distribution platforms.
But don't worry, we've got you covered - we've gathered up some of the best games to play to help keep your mind off things. There's one or two that might be reminiscent (no spoilers), but they'll definitely be focussing on the happier and infinitely more hopeful side of things, so no need to worry there.
We've also gone ahead and given them some handy little tags, so you can see at a glance what kind of game you'll have in store, should you choose to pick up a copy and play for yourself - which, by the way, now is a great time to do so. There are games galore on sale, what with publishers realising how bored people are getting in lockdown - silver linings and all that...
This is part one of the five-part series, so, sit back and have a quick scroll, as we count down our top 50 games to play in self-isolation.
First on the list at 50 it's...
Rolling Line is a wonderful little game with huge potential scale from the folks over at Gaugepunk Games. Built for VR (and available on monitors too), Rolling Line is a train hobbyist's dream come true; with a tonne of props, trains and tracks, you can spend hours designing and delving into a world of miniature trains. Great for those creatives and hobbyists alike, it's easy on the eyes and easy on the mind.
That's right, it's the new Battle Royale on the scene, Call of Duty: Warzone. A fast paced, easy to pick up and put down online FPS, this game will see you and two friends pit against up to 147 other players for a colossal king of the ring shoot out. Or if you unlucky enough to be put down early in the game, you'll find yourself fighting one-on-one in the Gulag.
A forgiving Battle Royale with plenty of second chances, the game is great for killing a few hours and having a laugh with a couple of friends. Find out more in our earlier blog post on the game's day-one release.
Next up it's the ever-popular management sim, Football Manager 2020. Ever play FIFA and wish you could do more of the manager's role and less of the player's? Or seen the state of some of the Premier League teams and think, 'I could do better'? Then this is the game for you. Create your team and create their story, fix its problems and find the opportunities, play the game and let the players play theirs. A must have title for footie fans and management enthusiasts alike.
What better to keep your mind off of things than redecorating and reinvigorating? Well let's face it, ain't nobody got time for that IRL (or maybe now they do...? Though it might prove difficult to find somewhere still open that sells what you need...)
A great indie title now in full release, the game allows you to, well, do exactly what it says on the tin. Find clients, accept work and get the tools you need to buy your very own rundown shack, and turn it into the perfect model of the homebuilder's dream. Paint walls, install radiators, clean windows, take out the trash, furnish every corner - you name it, you can do it, right down to the very last nut and bolt.
The Tomb Raider series is a pretty fantastic series (with a few not-to-be-acknowledged in the middle). If you've not seen our post on The Reboot Done Right, check it out now to see why. It's full of adventure, action and puzzles, plus the newer rebooted series has a lot more narrative going for it too. It looks gorgeous, runs pretty well on most up-to-date hardware, and even better on the latest, with stunning vistas, creepy caves and chilling catacombs, plus some of the most intense cinematic sequences possibly in gaming history - there are times when it looks like a Hollywood blockbuster!
I reckon almost anyone reading this article knows about The Sims. It's possibly one of the most iconic games to come out of EA in the decades since they first came to be.
A favourite for all types of gamers, it's feature-packed and full of fun - from creating your own Sims, their pets and homes, to forcing them to devise evil plans to take over the world, you can do it all. Or, if you're of the normal type that plays The Sims, asking them to climb into a swimming pool that you may or may not fully intend to remove the ladder from afterwards...
So yeah, if you're feeling nurturing or murderous, well, The Sims is for you!
With Borderlands 3 fairly new on the scene, there's never been a better time to jump into the series. An action-packed, looter-shooter with RPG elements, the game has a beautifully unique art style and a fantastic sense of humour, and although I can't speak for all of the titles in the series, the first entry has a truly stellar soundtrack too. What's more, the games feature the wonderful option for co-op, meaning you don't have to play it all on your lonesome -- bring a friend and wreak havoc on those wasteland bandit scumbags.
In at 43 it's another indie title, this time still in Early Access, but well worth the buy-in. The game is set in a dark, gritty dungeon-crawler-esque game world, filled with strange emaciated figures and a good helping of environmental story-telling.
It's defining feature though is its unique combat system, which sees people wobbling around as the game tries to calculate all of the physics involved. Hard to learn but satisfying to master, you can spend as little or as much time as you like trying to get to grips with the system before attempting to bash in some random npc's skull, who aggro-ed on you because you "accidentally" dropped a barrel over his head...
Of course, what else is worth spending your time on if not your hard-earned cash? Becoming an esports champion in League of Legends perhaps? A massive online battle arena title which can be for casual and hardcore players alike, the game sees you pit various champions against one another in intense and glorious battles. It's fast-paced, strategic and colourful, full of lore and artistic flavour. Definitely worth a go if you've never played it before, especially seeing as it's free!
And if getting into esports is something you're potentially serious about, then check out our post on the best specs for an esports set up.
And for the final entry in the first of our five posts, at 41, it's Passpartout: The Starving Artist. You are a frog/melon/strange alien puppet-man in France, struggling to make a living from your passion for art. Beginning in your humble Parisian garage, can you impress passers by with you MS Paint inspired drawings, or perhaps an original abstract masterpiece? Will you make it through the day, selling enough paintings to pay for your Wine and Baguettes? Who knows? There's only one way to find out - get painting passionately... and quick! Let your creativity run wild and chill out to some soothing tunes with a brush in-hand, in this charming, quirky indie title.
And that wraps it up for the first ten entries on our Top 50 list. Join us tomorrow for games 40 through 31.
See you then!
What do you think of the list so far? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!
24 Sep 2020
It was 3:30am, cold and windy. I was lying four floors up on the scaffolding deck under the Royal Tweed Bridge in Berwick-Upon-Tweed. I had my bag for a pillow and two layers of clothes on. Unable to sleep and looking out to the night sky I decided that I was going to change...