The first four drifted across the consciousness super quickly:
- Guild Wars 2
- Path of Exile
- Minecraft (with all the mods and modpacks)
They’re the primary games I’ve been playing for the past couple of years. All of them are huge, have tons of things to do, and most importantly get updates or can be modded to create novelty and variety in gameplay.
(The first a little less so these days, and threatening to fall off the listing, but since I’m still throwing two days a week into maintaining social connections in a static raid, I feel obliged to acknowledge the time/effort investment still ongoing.)
The fifth proved a little harder.
Honorable mentions go to Tales of Maj’Eyal, Terraria, Hitman, which were all considered for how much -game- and variety/freedom of choice they contained therein. Don’t Starve was just a hair shy below the above list.
Also flashing across the mind were Total War: Warhammer 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War for both being huge monstrosities that I had vague ambitions to play in more depth – an uninterrupted year sounded about right – but I quickly wussed out at the daunting prospect.
Ditto Monster Hunter World – I bet thousands of hours could be sunk into all the weapons but actually killing monsters on repeat loop in the way MHW does it might not hold my attention that long. Then again, maybe it would, except that I rarely have uninterrupted hourly chunks to play it to any real depth right now.
I finally had to honestly admit to myself that I’d played barely any of the above this past year.
Instead I’d been playing Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite with relatives on mobile, and attending monthly Community Days have been a thing the last year or two in terms of relationship maintenance and social community building/participation.
If I had to choose one or the other, HPWU wins out for being more soloable and necessitating a lot LESS inventory management.
So I settled for the absolutely prosaic (but actions speak louder than words) choice of:
5. Harry Potter Wizards Unite
It’s what I’ve been mostly doing anyway.
Mind you, there would be a lot of other game-related activity on the side, that would not officially be “playing a video game.”
Reading about games, on blogs, Reddit, guides, Let’s Plays, the works, would be a given. Writing about them, probably. Buying a ton of them on sale but not actually playing any of them in the year, sure, sounds about right.
I’d be watching Twitch streamers play a variety of other games (video game spectator sport), getting my Critical Role fix in (aka tabletop RPG spectator sport), browsing through oldschool gamebooks (they’re books, interactive, sure, but books) and idly considering solo RPing through some tabletop RPGs (that mixes oldschool RPG and writing, but no video or computer in that mix, beyond a PDF viewer).
I’d get more library book reading done, and maybe, just maybe, actually paint up some minis.
It’s been interesting timing on this topic – it was only last weekend when a public holiday presented me with a three day opportunity to get bored enough to start looking for other things to sample. (While blithely ignoring all the things I still wanted to revisit in Warframe.)
I gave Dota Underlords a spin to try out the strange new auto chess genre. Sidetrekked into Minion Masters and Helldivers (free weekend) to determine that I did not really care for either. Completed Quarantine Circular (a slightly poorer made game than its predecessor Subsurface Circular).
Took advantage of the upsurge of “productive” play to uninstall ‘completed’ aka taste-tested and unlikely to play again anytime soon items from the above, and gleefully grabbed back the smidgen of free disk space that resulted in.
Then I promptly sunk more time into continuing a long ignored Subnautica (finally got the prawn suit, then promptly lost it in some poisonous green brine that destroyed me when I briefly exited the vehicle, creating yet another ragequit stopping point) and got sucked into finally giving Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 a go.
It’s been more games one weekend than I’ve played in as many months, and apparently I’d been craving the variety like water in the desert. Just didn’t know it until I did it.
So if there’s one thing to be reinforced by this ‘5 Games’ thing, it’s that I really need to be playing more games.
I find the biggest losers, and the biggest things I’d miss from such a limitation, are the one-off shorter singleplayer games that are more contained or have a linear story. I’d miss my adventure games and interactive fiction. I’d miss the small scale, quirky, do-one-thing-well, focused indie or niche games.
In actuality, these are probably the easiest things to be squeezing in between the big primary games, like pebbles fitting around big rocks in a jar, if only I’d given some more thought to doing so.
Worth thinking about.