With the UK now into its fifth week of lockdown thank to the coronavirus, many of us are turning to our video games for entertainment. But what if there’s someone in your household who hasn’t picked up a controller in years, or even ever, and they need a little convincing?
There are plenty of releases out there to appeal to someone who has limited experience and now is a great time to point them in the right direction. Get them on side and the rest of this isolation period could be spent gaming! The releases on today’s list are great gateway games to help ease someone into our hobby, and this post is dedicated to the lovely Larissa from Games (and Other Bits) who very kindly tagged Later Levels for a Real Neat Blog Award last month.
If the non-gamer in your life has an artistic nature, then Coloring Pixels
could be something that appeals to them. It’s also great for a gamer who’s looking for a form of digital stress relief
(just what we need in these uncertain times). Think colouring-by-numbers: you simply choose an image you’d like to complete, pick a colour and then start clicking away on the pixels tagged with its associated number. You can see my attempt at filling in 40,000 squares to create ‘Ocean View’ in the video playlist opposite
by Eastshade Studios
made it onto my favourites list as soon as I finished it in April last year. Think of a game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
but without the combat: somewhere you can explore without fear of being attacked, where there are secrets and interesting characters to discover, and plenty of gorgeous artwork to see
. It’s an excellent title for anyone who may not yet be experienced to tackle RPG combat mechanics and who knows, it might even get them wanting to try The Witcher
or Horizon Zero Dawn
Some people may be opposed to video games because they think they’re all about violence and competition, but Journey
could be just the thing to convince them otherwise. It was on one of the first titles I played with my stepson
and I’d highly recommend it for non-gamers. The controls are easy to learn, there’s no combat and the other players you meet in-game can only communicate with you through musical chimes. When Ethan
realised the other characters were real players, he was keen to interact with and help them.
Life is Strange
I finally completed DONTNOD Entertainment’s
darling last month and, although Life is Strange wasn’t for me
, I can see how it’s a good release for non-gamers who love movies and good stories. Everyone has been through those teenage experiences so its characters are relatable (regardless of any supernatural abilities); and the time-travelling element makes for a few simple puzzles which could inspire players to go on and try more from the adventure genre. There’s also a whole host of other walking simulators
to play if they enjoy it.
I’ve returned to Tomorrow Corporation’s Little Inferno
several times over the years because it’s fun and has a lovely message underneath its cartoony exterior. You’re given a ‘Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace’ and must burn items for money, which can then be used to purchase new objects from mail-order catalogues. There’s no scoring system or time penalties which means you’re able to freely experiment in order to find all 99 combinations. This could be a good choice for anyone who likes completing puzzles.
This has to be one of the most enjoyable yet frustrating releases ever published. Overcooked
by Ghost Town Games
is regularly pulled out at our family gatherings and everyone, even those who don’t usually play video games, want to have a go. It’s a good one for making non-gamers feel as though they’re working together as part of a team and plenty of communication between members is required to fulfil orders correctly and on time. There’s always someone who does nothing except spin around with the fire extinguisher, though.
by Wish Studios
is another title that frequently ends up getting played at our family gatherings because it’s just so hilarious. It’s kind of like The Jackbox Party Pack
games in humour but here, team members take selfies which are then used to answer challenges to find out how well they know each other. During the later stages you’ll find yourself drawing on the photographs so things can get a little risqué if only adults are participating – this is exactly what happened when we streamed it for GameBlast18
Do you know a non-gamer who enjoys escape rooms? Then get a copy of The Room
by Fireproof Games
for them because they’re going to love it. You’re presented with a series of boxes and must solve puzzles in order to unlock them, uncovering a story about their mysterious creator and an element with strange powers along the way. There’s such a sense of achievement
when you reach the end. We played the latest release in the series
, The Room VR: A Dark Matter
, recently and really hope the developer treats us to another instalment very soon.
Thank you once again to Larissa from Games (and Other Bits) for her kind nomination! Hopefully this list will inspire the non-gamer in your life to grab a controller and become your player two. What have you been playing with your friends and family during the lockdown, and do you have any additions for today’s list?