Other Games We Play

As part of the Reader to Reader series of posts, I thought we could talk about the “other” games we play.

I’m not talking FPS, because we did that in the Your Favourite Underrated FPS Games post, I’m talking about everything else.

For this post, let’s stick to video games and we’ll do other types of games in another post.

If you have any images you want added to the post, either link to them or send them to me and I will size them and embed them in the post.

I’ll start the ball rolling with myself.


About 2 years ago I found my beloved Gameboy Pocket. I thought I had lost it and was over the moon when I came across it. I have about 6 games for it, but the only one I really played was Tetris.

I only play Game B though as I dislike playing for too long. For those that don’t know, game B requires the player to complete on 25 lines to win. However, there are two variables: Speed and pre-dropped shaped. You have 9 levels of pre-dropped shapes and 5 levels of speed.

The image below shows my high score for Level 9, High 5 – the hardest possible. I’ve looked for records for game B online and I can’t find any, so I am going to stick my neck out and say this is the unofficial World Record: 33,200 points.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I play at least a few games every day now. I love it so much, I even wrote an article on it for a squash website: SquashMad.com: What Tetris Has Reminded Me.

One other small piece of trivia. When you reach 25 lines in game B, Level 9, High 5, you get the following animation:


The only other game I can think of that I played a lot is Trackmania. I think I played one of the original games and remember one track that I played again and again and again.

I did venture online a few times, but most of the tracks were custom and they were overly complicated for my liking. I haven’t played in years, but if I can find my controller (I can’t play with a keyboard) I might play a few games again this summer.

The official website has a updated version called “Trackmania Nations Forever” and it’s also available on Steam.

The version I played is available here Trackmania Nations at Softonic. There is this patch to bring it up to the last version before it became “Forever”.

Well, those are the two games I played most outside of FPS, what about you?

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  1. Tetris
    Tetris really should be there near the top. It’s quite possibly the most perfect video game ever made. Not a thing to add, not a thing to subtract. And yet, it’s uniquely a video game. You couldn’t do this in another format (although Tetris board games did exist). I have little doubt that 100 years from now, people will still play Tetris. Of course, I do think they hamper their own immortality through their draconic licensing schemes. While I’m happy that Pazhitnov finally got paid for his work (the Soviet Union claimed his royalties for years), I can’t help but wish the Tetris concept was truly democratized instead of licensed out to specific publishers.

    Also worth a mention is the always addictive Tetris Attack, which was doing the match-3 thing long before Bejeweled and Candy Crush did it.

    Mega Man
    Mega Man, in its various forms, is probably the franchise I revisit the most. I know the NES games and their weapon loops like the back of my hand. I can hum the music in my sleep. The pinnacle of the run-and-gun side scroller, Mega Man has a lot of things going for it. Tight controls, clever stage design, and memorable music. The fact that you can choose your own stage order means you can make things easier or tougher on yourself, even if you’re familiar with the game. Mega Man X introduced a darker tone and wall-climbing into the series, which were echoed in the post-apocalyptic Mega Man Zero. I never got into the other spin-offs, like the 3D RPG Legends or the Pokemon-inspired Battle Network. These days, Capcom seems to have put Mega Man out to pasture, but its concepts live on in indie games like Shovel Knight. One of its chief designers left the company to Kickstart Mighty No. 9, but the less said about that, the better.

    Another thing I like about Mega Man is that it doesn’t waste your time. Games like Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World are like epic adventures, so I find they get rather tiresome after a while and aren’t very replayable. Whereas with Mega Man, you can finish any of them in a couple hours.

  2. Zekiran

    I’m hopelessly addicted to stupid flash games. I’ve had an account over on Kongregate for many years, and have a small selection of favorites like Boomshine, Ring Pass Not, Filler, and that kind of thing. I wish that a couple of those had not suddenly lost their websites – high score tables and such are gone even if the game itself is available on kong. Momentum Missile Mayhem is another absolute favorite of mine.

    I love ‘hidden object’ games as well. Point and click or hunt and click ‘escape’ games that a variety of sites put out on a daily/weekly basis are my favorite way to blow about 20 minutes.

    Also in that vein, Popcap games like Chuzzle, Peggle (Extreme, my first exposure to it, from the Orange Box), and Plants Vs Zombies.

    I play games like these to let off steam and waste time a bit. I play a lot of Spider Solitaire.

    Online though I also play if you can call it that, with flash doll-makers so you can dress up figures. I *create* a lot of characters, and thus I actually put those images to use on websites.

    1. I used to play a few flash games, but for some reason stopped. I think it was because they were too addictive for me, especially the puzzle games.

      1. Zekiran

        They REALLY are. I don’t have much else to do with my time, so it’s not that big a deal for me. But the amount of them I do if I’m not paying attention… oi. Word searches, quick puzzles, twenty minutes adds up.

  3. trackmania is a amazing game and even though i only play first person shooters “trackmania” is up there with the best
    trackmania forever is still free to download i beleive so anyone without this in their steam libary needs to head to http://store.steampowered.com/app/11020/ …….. and download straight away
    also the editor is one of the best to use and ive even made a trackmania track called ” RUN AROUND THE PARK” ( http://www.moddb.com/members/brianthesnail/addons/run-around-the-park )… then again its not hard to create a track and features and anyone with knowledge of lego or meccano should be right at home
    so yeh… trackmania is a legend among games and was also used in recent gaming championship !

  4. I am hopelessly in love with immersive RPG titles from Bethesda. The Fallout series and the Elder Scrolls games always have me hooked for weeks on end. I always try to create myself as the player character and make decisions based on my own morals and ethics.

    Having seen the reveal trailer for Fallout 4 this week… Well… Let’s just say I am very excited about E3 this year.

    1. I love Fallout, but from Fallout 3 on, I’d think they lean toward FPS. Of course the original games were turn-based RPGs. Never had the patience for those, but loved the setting.

      A lot like XCOM, actually. I love the concept of XCOM, and Enemy Unknown was great, but I’m not clever or strategic enough to do well in those types of games.

      Fallout 4 is the next best thing to Half-Life 3 for me. I look forward to it that much.

      1. The thing is, as an FPS, Fallout 3 was pretty awful. Fallout New Vegas at least included iron sights and weapon modding which made shooting without VATS more tolerable. However, I still love the games for the lore and the characters. New Vegas and it’s factions added even more depth. I find myself getting shot at by random characters as I wander the wastes because of a mission I did to piss them off a couple of hours ago!

        Yes! I love that! Also bang, you’re dead, give me your stuff. 😛

        I’m like you, in that I could not get into the originals. It may be because I didn’t try them until I’d already finished Fallout 3.

  5. AI

    Back in my younger days(way back!) I worked for a company here in Minnesota that repaired pinball, jukeboxes, etc. so I bought an original Pac-Man console! I have to say it was one of my favs my kids loved it too!! Kinda wish I still had it now! 🙂

    1. Ever give Pac-Man Championship Edition a try? It’s available on Steam. It’s a pretty addictive reimagining of the same basic gameplay, only with a more an emphasis on score attack.

  6. galocza

    in THEORY my favourite genres would be crpgs and adventure games.
    but to tell the truth i cant really remember when i played an adventure game (maybe sam&max seasons 1-2 a few years back), i simply dont have a patience anymore to find the solutions to the puzzles, and looking them up is a slippery slope – i end up following a walkthrough.
    rpgs i love and play from time to time but for me it means preparation before and competionism while playing so besides being on the lenghty side they also a bit stressful and i rarely get around to play more than one per year. i had a 2 week vacation and i planned to at least start fallout new vegas (i finished fallout 3 last year, yeah, i have a bit of black log) i cleverly planned my character but there were so many things to do around the house that i didnt even start the game. last year was a good one for them, septerra core, skyrim, two worlds – but to my greatest shame i never played the baldurs gate games eg. i was a backer but still didnt get arount to play wasteland2.

    i realized that im too lazy (or stressed or lacking time) to learn the mechanics of a new game (with some substance) so i keep going back to old favourites (deus ex, nolf games or the old fallout games eg) or try simpler, more casual-like ones.
    i still play counter-strike (now :go), i started with 1.0 14 and a half years ago, and i take a break from time to time (my last hiatus was 18 months long 8).
    with defense grid started a tryst with tower defense games which i very much disliked before but from the two dozens i tried i really enjoyed only about 6 or 7. still, not a bad ratio.
    i also like turn based games like the disciples and kings bouty series or eador but they are also incredible timesinks so only 1 or 2 a year.
    from the casual/indie scene i play those mostly with some strategy or rpg element (ftl, reus, hunters of the dead, braveland, bardbarian) or puzzle games (hexcells, lyne, kami, roboblitz eg) or idiotic and funny ones (footlol).
    there are a few which in theory i should have never played like a valley without wind (as i dislike platformers) or burnout paradise (racing games are not my cup of tea) but i did and enjoyed. (mind you i dont like anything in general that requires some dexterity as i have none. 8)
    and i have a terrible back log of games i should have played but for some reason or another never got around to like the hitman games after silent assassin or the thief games after thief2, overlord2, the remade lucasarts adventures etc.

    in general i rarely start games anymore which require more effort and time – not even to master but learn although i know well these are the most rewarding…

  7. lucifer372

    Most of my games are FPS, but apart from that , I like the odd indie game, mostly adventurelike little games on Steam.
    But my two major addictions nowadays are Criminal Case on Facebook, and Euro Truck Simulator 2.
    The first is really a typical additive game, played twice a day, before and after work.
    The second game I stumbled upon by accident, and immediately my love for driving simulators was awoken. I’ve been playing this for approx. 300 hrs now, and still couting as I try to “complete” the game for a second time.
    One of the major advantages of ETS2 is the fact that you don’t need a lot of thinking and there is little game sound. This allows me (as a freelance dj) to listen to tons of new music in my headphones while playing. As with playing FPS with music on, here the music really spoils the feel and the experience of the game.

  8. I would have to say my favorite game right now would be Civilization 5. I’ve pretty much had the game since release and played pretty much every civilization in the game at least once. I’d say I’m pretty good at the game, as I can pretty regularly beat the game on Emperor difficulty (6/8 for how hard the game is).

    Also along the lines of strategy games, another one I play quite regularly would be Europa Universalis 4, which is too complex to probably even begin explaining here. It’s another strategy game, like risk in a way because there are provinces spread throughout the entire world, but it plays more as a sandbox, in that you define the goals you want to achieve for the game (not necessarily world conquest all the time, although it is possible).

    And the third that I play pretty regularly would be Minecraft, which is surprisingly very addicting. I’m not going to bother explaining though, as I’m sure everyone here knows what Minecraft is, or at least have heard of it.

    1. Oooh, yeah, Civilization V is a fantastic time sink of a game. I’ve also spent a lot of time this year on Cities: Skylines.

  9. Hec

    Here are the ones I mostly play:

    Is a game so sweet to explore and progress in a surreal land, lovely old school 2D style, and just great to see your character became stronger and kill awesome bosses with some awesome weapons.

    SIM CITY 4
    The modding capacity and community for this game is just huge and awesome, maybe quite comparable to the HL community. Is just beautiful to see a great city grow and just manage it like a lego in your own PC. And is still in my opinion the best City Sim for all eras, and all times forever…

    GTA SA
    I just love the story, is like a real life bad arse gangstar movie, also is another terrific criminal sandbox, with a huge community of modders, LA sun is great, The soundtrack is the best of all times… I can actually say that because this is one of the most immersive and atmospheric games I’ve ever play, and though the graphics are crappy now, is still just a classic.

    This modern jet aircraft combat sim.Is a low real, but realistic arcade Combat flight sim. And the result of this brilliant idea is just a very great, fun and highly moddable Combat Flight sims of all times. Me being a fan of Combat aviation love it, because that feeling of shoot down planes in all times of history, in real combat scenarios is just addictive!!! Planes look great and is made by an indie developer team which is highly professional, If you love warbirds you have to own all of their titles that’s for sure: https://store.thirdwire.com/store.htm

    I love F1 and motorsports. Well here is the best closest to F1 game for android you’ll ever found, and is just great I love it and I play the world championship all the time and is better from my tablet. Is also great that is done by just one single inde very highly talented developer: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.MantisGames.FormulaUnlimited2014&hl=es

    1. In my opinion, Cities: Skylines is better than SimCity 4 and worth a look if you enjoy these kinds of games.

      I actually never cared much for SimCity 4. Back when it came out, you needed a supercomputer to run it, so its performance was pretty awful and glitchy. Numerous patches later, it was alright, but I never liked the whole “SimContinent” concept. I’d much rather build one enormous city, like you could in SimCity 3000.

      I feel the SimCity series peaked in SimCity 3000. That game addressed a lot of the shortcomings in 2000 (the simulated object limit, in particular) and let you build even bigger cities. Sadly, it’s something of a lost game these days, as neither Steam nor GOG have it available.

      There’s no doubt that Cities: Skylines capitalized on the resounding failure of SimCity 5, but to me, it’s a proper extension of the formula in SimCity 3000. Even bigger cities, more road and zone types, all in full 3D. Plus, it brings a few novel ideas to the table. I love how you can segment your massive city into Districts, each with their own policies and specializations. Now, you can have downtown cores and the suburbs that serve them, the filthy industrial district where everyone works, and the posh commercial district where everyone shops. Traffic, pedestrians, trains – they are all properly simulated. A traffic jam looks like a proper traffic jam. Citizens go through entire life cycles and you can query every one of them.

      It also has Steam Workshop integration and, by now, there’s got to be thousands of custom buildings, road prefabs and maps to built upon. The devs were smart and saw the impact that modding had on SimCity 4 and fully embraced it for their own game.

      The thing that’s truly magical is playing Cities: Skylines with SimCity’s soundtrack in the background. 😀

      1. Hec

        Wow, many thanks for that advice Maki, It’s sounds like Cities Skylines is the worthy big winner of the City simulators now.

        I’ll sure try it, some of these days. I only have a question, the title has some sort of relation to the CIties XL saga??

        1. No, it doesn’t. This confused a lot of people because the Cities XL series isn’t known for being very good, so many thought that Cities: Skylines was connected to it because of its title, but it’s not.

          Cities: Skylines was developed by Colossal Order, whose previous game credits were the Cities in Motion games which focused on transportation more than city building (and explain the elaborate traffic simulation in Skylines), and published by Paradox Interactive, which is known for strategy games like Europa Universalis.

          1. Hec

            OH OK then, you’ve convinced me Maki, I’ll sure give that game a worthy try!

  10. Uhh I could possibly write a book here if I wanted to. But I suppose I limit myself to the games I did replay over and over again these last few years just like Half-Life.

    Operation Flashpoint: Cold war crisis – nowadays called Arma: Cold War Crisis: That game was part of my life for over 10 years. It was released back in 2001 and had 2 AddOns called Red Hammer and Resistance. The main story of the first game was about a Russian General gone rouge and mad almost starting a world war3 in the process. The interesting part about it was that it was more a simulation than a shooter. Everything was possible in it. Be it on food, on a bike, car, boat,tank or chopper & plane. I’d create many Sp missions & campaigns for that for years.
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/65790/ The current installment of that game series is called Arma3.

    Battlezone II Combat Commander:
    Another very interesting game I replayed over and over again. That game played in another reality in which some smaller asteroids hit Earth in the 60s containing something that scientists soon referred to as bio-metal. That led to technologically breakthroughs which allowed humanity to unite and explore the starts and encountering eventually hostile Aliens. The interesting part about that game was that you could play on food and in numerous vehicles and also build up a real base like in RTS games either in 1st or 3rd person or if you had 1 communications bunker constructed out of that one in typical RTS view. There were even entire fan AddOns for the game that literally continued the official storyline by adding entire new campaigns and mp game modes. The most fun part was the smart AI your could order like 10 squads each consisting of 10 units around the map. Build base defences.. Forward outposts and expansions on resource points etc.

    Homeworld series: A space RTS game series that plays in real 3D space. The games had a brilliant storyline similar to Battlestar Galactica in the first game. In the AddOn Cataclysm you tried to defend your newly won Homeworld against all sorts of treats and in HW2 you discovered some ancient secrets of the universe. Just recently after a decade their were high definition remakes released. If you’ve never heard about Homeworld you should definitely give this one a try.

    Mass Effect series: If you’ve never heard about it or played it you should. Some of the most wonderful graphics I’ve ever seen in any game. And also possibly one of the most brilliant story lines in any game thus far and brilliant voice acting. Plus decisions you make affecting the further story development.

    Settlers2 : Return to the Roots Sure don’t need to tell any of you about Settlers it’s famous just like the Anno series. Return to the Roots is a fantastic fan mod that made improvements and bug fixes to the game implementing an installer for modern OS and even adding new graphics and 1 new playable faction the Babylonians:

    Corsix TH: A fan remake of the classic Theme Hospital. A sim in which you build a hospital and fight against the most funny deceases.

    Atlantis Series: An adventure game series. Set in Atlantis obviously with a fantastic story plot. It was one of the first games I’ve played back then on the Pc along with C&C1 etc.. Ever since I’m fascinated with everything that has to do with Atlantis in one way or another that game truly inspired my imagination back then. It’s a very lovely game and despite some animation issues (playing to fast on modern OS) is it very recommendable. The later games in the series are just loosely based upon it. Yet there are still some historical references to the first and original game of the series. It also has wonderful music tracks.

    There are more games I unpack every few years like numerous Star Wars games etc. but mostly only in combo when some fancy mods getting released. Each single game I recommended here is very recommendable and you should check them out if they’re unknown to you. The settlers & Theme Hospital game are even free to get.

  11. I kickstarted Satellite Reign which is still in early release on Steam but very playable and very recommended. I was a Syndicate Wars addict when i was a kid so its great to dive back into that world and the new class system is excellent..

  12. Karl

    Are these also supposed to be underrated?

    Either way – I always enjoyed Anachronox, and (like everyone else who played it) thought that it never got the accolades that it was due.

    It’s old, and the gameplay and graphics are excruciatingly dated, but the story and characters more than make up for it.

    It’s now available on Steam – and as of this writing, it’s part of the Summer Sale and costs less than a small cup of coffee. I highly recommend picking it up.

  13. Regarding FPS

    Like Phillip I really enjoy Playing Chaser and Alpha Prime baught it for a really small price I really recommand both of them
    Mirror’s Edge witch is visually great with highly collorfull texturing is also recommanded for me it’s not a shooter it’s just a combination of some fights with search and hunt with lots of jump and action the strory behind is well put together

    Call of Juarez Bound in Blood was also a good surprise for me except the fact that there are a lot of boss duel which are quite difficult to pass (because you need a perfect synchronisation) All those game can easily be found for less than 2 eur/$ in second hand store or on steam

    Note that most of the game release before 2009 doesn’t need an online registration so if you find them on a second hand store they are playable

    For non FPS I’m a real addict of Rally gaming with a french interface that use Richard Burns Rally it’s really a simulation game no arcade here if you roll with the car wheel are not more aligned and it’s quite complicated to drive if you touch a tree you can block the gearbox loose break or simply destroy the engine and then its finished there is a big community behind who develop new tracks, new cars so even if the game cames out in 2004 (graphics are a bit out of date) it is highly enjoyable to make online rallye with 200 to 300 competitor from all over the world

    for the one intrested : http://xv.rallyesim.com/

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