These are scary and uncertain times we’re in at the moment, what with the country being in lockdown and everyone socially distancing themselves from each other to keep everyone safe. It’s absolutely vital right now that we all do our bit to flatten the curve, so please do the right thing and stay at home. But you don’t have to be bored while doing so!
We asked our contributors for their suggestions of games to play while we’re stuck at home, so if you’re not sure how you’re going to pass the next few weeks, why not check out one of the picks on this list? Stay safe everyone, and enjoy!
Dark Souls – Callum Brown
Something that puts people off Dark Souls is the extremely high difficulty. The game is brutal, unforgiving, and requires lots of time and patience to truly master,meaning it’s the perfect game to play if you find yourself having to self-isolate in the near future. You’ll suddenly find yourself with plenty of time to learn how the game works, and explore the wonderfully bleak yet intriguing world that it has to offer. Alongside the exploration, you’ll discover how addicting the gameplay can really be.
My favourite thing about Dark Souls is that when you encounter a difficult boss (which is most of them) you will die to it repeatedly, but each time you do, you’ll get better; learning their attack patterns and coming up with new tactics. Eventually, after several attempts, you will finally defeat the boss, and the sense of accomplishment is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Admittedly, this does mean that the game takes a long time to finish, which is why it’s perfect for when you’re stuck at home with nothing else to do for a few weeks.
Kingdom Hearts series – Yasivini Raveendra
People are now self-isolating themselves to keep safe, and what better time is there to play games? If you’ve been a seasoned gamer from a young age, I’m sure Kingdom Hearts is a game that you heard all your friends rave about when it first came out in 2002. With thirteen titles in the series, it’s bound to keep you entertained. Kingdom Hearts is a collaboration between Disney, Pixar and Square Enix, and features the story of Sora, our protagonist, and his journey to find his friends and light. On his journey, he meets several famous faces such as Mickey Mouse, Aladdin and even Jack Sparrow!
This interactive RPG always has you on the edge of your seat, and challenges you with intense battles. You’re never doing the same thing in Kingdom Hearts; you could be fighting off a thousand Heartless in the great battle of Hollow Bastion, or singing your heart out in a musical with Sebastian, Ariel and the crew in Atlantica! The stories are all interconnected and well thought out, though they can get frustrating at times, but it pays off as you advance through the levels. This game series has endless challenges and is bound to provide you with hours of fun if you’re up for the quest!
Professor Layton series – Gwynnie Naylor
While in self-isolation during this whole coronavirus pandemic, I stumbled across my DS that had been sitting in my room for months since I brought it back from my childhood home. Struck by a sense of nostalgia, I booted it up and set to playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village, the first in the Professor Layton series. I discovered that these games are perfect to be self-isolated with; they require no wireless connection, and if played correctly without using cheat sheets online, you can spend hours solving various mysteries and unravelling a tapestry of intricate puzzle pieces.
The Professor Layton series follows Professor Layton, a Poirot like figure who travels the globe solving mysterious cases, and his apprentice Luke. It’s a well written series, with each game having a series of unexpected twists and turns, which also forces you to flex your brain on some tricky brain teasers in order to solve each case. The music is absolutely fantastic, and the graphics vastly improve from the first to the last game. A very pleasant afternoon can be spent solving puzzles and unravelling mysteries, my personal favourites being the ‘Curious Village’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Catherine Lewis
Wow, the new Animal Crossing really couldn’t have come out at a better time, huh? Animal Crossing games have always provided a soft, joyful escape from the real world into a friendly and colourful one, and at a time where we can’t even live a normal life, now is the perfect time to make your escape to a deserted island with some new animal friends!
As the game runs in real time, evolving day by day, you can just lose yourself in a new happy life, building up an island from scratch to become a thriving town. What you do with it is up to you! You could live on the beach and spend your days fishing by the ocean, build up a gorgeous town with paved paths and areas for your villagers to hang out in, or even dedicate your time to creating your own custom clothing designs to share online. The choice is yours, but regardless of what you choose, you’re going to be addicted!
You can also play with friends online and share the magic together, so even while you have to be apart in person, you can still get together for some wholesome fun on your islands. Have a bug catching contest, trap one of your poor villagers by surrounding them with pitfalls, or even stargaze together; the options are endless. Have fun!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Ash Williams
What better way to pass the time in the real world by adventuring in one of the best-realised virtual worlds of all time?
You all know about Skyrim by now; the RPG juggernaut by Bethesda took the world by storm when it came out nearly ten years ago (yeah it really has been that long), with literal hundreds of hours of questing, dungeon crawling and mountain hopping to sink your teeth into.
Now, that’s all well and good on its own, but over the many years since its release, Skyrim has cultivated one of the biggest modding communities in gaming, so if the base game wasn’t enough, or you fancied replacing all the dragons in-game with characters from Thomas the Tank Engine, go ahead.
Basically, unlike a lot of the games on this list, Skyrim doesn’t really have a defined end point. Sure, you can finish the main quest line and call it quits there, but you’d be missing out on so much extra stuff hidden around the beautiful landscape; you’d be doing yourself a disservice. No, Skyrim ends when you’ve had enough. There’s plenty there as is, but there are so many mods that add onto the game, giving you almost limitless replayability and creating a customisable experience that no game has matched since.
So, if you haven’t had a look at the Steam Workshop, or Nexus Mods, and you have a PC up to the task, that’s one of the first things I’d recommend checking out out when you have the time, which, let’s face it, we all have a lot more of at the moment.