I like me a big old-school, gigantic, level-grinding, random-monster-encounter-every-three-steps dungeon crawler of a computer game (Final Fantasy #, Morrowind, Sacred, WoW…).
But sometimes I don’t have time for that. (Actually WoW is another story – too cheap to play it, and also it’s one of those games that will eat your entire brain if you let it, and lead to addiction, for some.)
So here are a few of my favorite casual games, for PC.
Note, most of these are on Steam, but some are also available in other venues too (notably PuzzleQuest & Peggle are also on Nintendo DS, which is the only other platform I currently own).
1 ) PuzzleQuest – it’s Bejeweled, but every time you make a match, you get mana of that color, to use for spells! It even has a (standard, adventure) plot. This has a Space spin-off game, too. There were allegations of the computer being a cheater in this game, but the game designers said they didn’t have spare resources to program the computer to cheat!
2 ) Peggle – Cross pinball with pachinko, and add special powers. Insane fun, and lots of replay value! There is a sequel called Peggle Nights, but I haven’t tried it.
3 ) Plants vs. Zombies – Super cute Tower Defense without towers. Add in sunflowers, zombies, and catchy music. I cannot explain how fun this is. Go at least try the demo.
4 ) Spectromancer – Card-based mage vs. mage battle in tiny bite-sized chunks, with typos. Has online play too! This game makes me trash-talk the computer due to the high random factor in your card deck. The computer HAS to be cheating. Grr…!
5 ) Wonderful End of the World – Strange Katamari Damacy clone with catchy music.
6 ) Osmos – Eat everything. Grow. Simple. Beautiful. Relaxing.
7 ) Cogs – Actually I find this insanely frustrating, but it’s so gorgeous! 3D tile-sliding puzzler with a strongly Steampunk theme. Shiny shiny brass.
8 ) AudioSurf – Automatically generates a race track based on the music you decide to play. Fun because you can see how well other people have done when playing the game using the same song you did. You can use ANY song – or even a podcast, but I’m not sure how that would work. This Week in Audiosurf would be a long game!
9 ) GemCraft – I LOVE this game, and it’s a free browser-based game. Tower Defense, there are at least 3 versions/expansions of this online (GemCraft, GemCraft 0, GemCraft 2) and they are all great, though I noticed some caused lag when I tried to play using wifi.
10 ) Scribblenauts! – This is the only non-PC game, but I just HAD to include it. This Nintendo DS game is mind-blowing. Solve the puzzles with ANY method you can imagine. Just type in the object you want to create! I solved one by gluing a rope to the back of a pterodactyl. Over 220 levels. Controls are clunky, but there are no other games where you can summon Cthulhu and have it battle a Kraken. Or a kitten.
11 ) What’s your favorite casual game? Let me know!
Now if you say “I don’t want to spend $10 on a game I don’t need.” I understand that too. So check out http://www.oldschoolapps.com – home for nifty, nifty old abandonware that has no license.
Ok one more free game link: Pixelships !