Today is National Video Games Day, and while we know they’re not for everyone, games aren’t all like Candy Crush Saga and Pokemon Go. Check out these interesting, intelligent games that we think everyone can enjoy, regardless of skill level or know-how.
Regency Solitaire – It’s solitaire meets Jane Austen! This game offers a streamlined, fast-paced game of solitaire set against the backdrop of Regency-era England. As you progress through the game, you follow the story of a young woman trying to get her family’s fortune back and find a suitable bachelor. It’s charming, funny and the game is addictive and fun. regencysolitaire.com
Oxenfree – If you’ve been enjoying Stranger Things on Netflix or other spooky shows or films that channel The Goonies and Stand By Me, you’ll enjoy this narrative-based adventure. In Oxenfree, you play as Alex, a teenage girl who is visiting an old island with her friends as a last hurrah before high school graduation. When Alex and her pals find a strange cave, they accidentally unleash a strange force that seems to be communicating from beyond. What’s great about Oxenfree is that you choose how Alex responds to her friends’ conversations and questions. The story is also surprisingly poignant. nightschoolstudio.com/oxenfree
Firewatch – Firewatch is a movie-length game in which you play as a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in Wyoming after he loses his wife to dementia. The only person you communicate with in the game is your boss, a woman who you know only through your walkie-talkie. Depending on the choices you make, you can either strike up a friendship with her, have an antagonistic relationship or even something deeper. There’s also a slowly developing mystery of someone who seems to be messing with you in the woods. firewatchgame.com
The Walking Dead: Season One – While there are several (mostly subpar) games based on The Walking Dead, this one is a standout thanks to its strong writing and streamlined gameplay. In the game, players are introduced to Lee, a man who has just been convicted of manslaughter, when the outbreak first hits. Lee soon finds himself struggling to survive the quickly declining world around him, and saves a little girl named Clementine. The game is split up into five “episodes,” all structured like a TV show, where you make decisions and build relationships with other characters. telltalegames.com/series/the-walking-dead
Her Story – This game is unique in that it uses live-action footage. You play as an anonymous person going through police video archives of a woman being questioned about a mysterious crime. As you go through the interviews, the plot becomes clearer, and you can deduce what’s really going on and if the woman is telling the truth. We won’t spoil any more of the story for you, but we’ll just say – it’s good to be thorough during an investigation… herstorygame.com