Computer Game Lovers - Help Me Kill Time - What Computer Game/Style should I buy?

Ok, having been very recently laid off, I’ve got some time on my hands for a few weeks. I’m suddenly finding myself with the urge to get deeply involved in a computer game - something that will enthrall, excite, stimulate the synapses, etc., but MOSTLY will provide a great escape, a way to kill time. I can buy ONE game and one game only.

I remember way back in high school when the first Wizardry came out, and how my friends and I would stay up 'til dawn broke trying to beat that game. I can recall how amazing that world seemed (even w/ it’s simple line graphics), how much fun, how agonizing and frustrating when your character died…

Anyway - I’m looking for that same feeling - although it does not have to be the same genre at all. Would a turn-based strategy game do it, an empire-building game, a non-linear Myst adventure? To help you out, here’s my thoughts/experiences with genres:

[ul]
[li]Adventure: I like some adventure games (the Zorks, Gabriel Knight 3) but this is a toughie 'cos if I don’t get into it right away I’m liable to forget about it. Note that I do own but haven’t played The Longest Journey and Traitor’s Gate[/li][li]Sims: Don’t think this is for me. I have SimCity 3000 but never really got into it. Found it frustrating to be honest.[/li][li]First-Person shooters: I have Quake III and Unreal Tournament - I like the “escape-ism” of FPSs but I think I’m looking for something to make me think a little more.[/li][li]Role-playing: Have the original Diablo but I never finished (upgraded computers and never re-installed). I’m leaning towards this category for my choice, however - any suggestions?[/li][li]Strategy: This is the other category I’m leaning to. I don’t have any of these. Don’t think I want the more “War” oriented ones, probably would buy an “Empire Building” type. Suggestions (the thread on Civ-3 really makes it look interesting).[/li][li]Did I miss anything? (Forget Sports)[/li][/ul]

Ok, so I just typed a short novel. Those of you who read it all my thanks in advance. Those of you who reply get my double-thanks in advance.

Help - need to buy and start playing soon, before reality sets in and I have to start job-hunting :slight_smile:

Deus Ex is pretty cheap these days. It’s an fps with heavy rpg elements and an extremely engrossing plot.

And Wizardry 8 is coming out in a few weeks. I suggest waiting until it hits the shelves–the word is that it seriously kicks ass.

Civilization 3 is highly addictive, but if you want a first person shooter that makes you think, operation flashpoint is kick ass.

Swat 3 is great, and getting cheaper.

Either one of these games if you just go into the game like Rambo on PCP, you will not be long for this world, you do have to come up with a bit a stratgy.

It would help if we knew what computer you were using. I wouldn’t want to advise you to buy Civ III if you had a P-200.

That said, if your computer has the chops, a really immersive strategy game like Civ 3 is always good. A less horsepower-pumped game, which is a LOT easier than SimCity 3000 and a lot more fun, is Roller Coaster Tycoon. Everyone who plays it likes it. It’s cheap, too. Hope you like late nights - very addictive.

Diablo II might be up your alley, but frankly, it wears a little thin quickly. A lot of people rave about Baldur’s Gate too.

If you liked Wizardry and Diablo, get Everquest. It’s an on-line game, so ya gotta have an internet connection, but you’re posting here so you must have one. In fact, this month’s edition of Computer Gaming World comes with a free copy of the basic Everquest game. Otherwise, there’s a $10 edition you can buy at just about any software store. The $10 edition comes with one free month, after that it’s $10/month. For me, that works out to about 10 cents a minute or so to support my habit.

It is, without a doubt, the most addicting computer game I’ve ever played. And I’ve been playing since the first Pong game my parents bought us in 1975 or so.

If’n you want to spend a little more, Dark Age of Camelot is the same sort of thing, only newer. I prefer Everquest, but it’s purely a personal choice.

Quick summary: Everquest is an on-line real time game where you create a fantasy character and do fantasy character things. Role playing and player-vs.-player are available but not required. You choose between a variety of races, such as human, barbarian, elf, ogre, etc. and a variety of classes - several flavors of magic users, fighters, and hybrids. You venture out into the world and adventure.

If’n you go with EQ, give me a hollar, and I’ll help ya get started. You’ll have your own personal tour guide, and maybe some money/equipment to get you started.

Athena
aka
Bryllyn, lvl 19 Dark Elf Enchanter
Fenanea, lvl 21 Human Warrior
and a handful of other personas…

well, I’d reccomend Stronghold. it’s a castle-building game. in it, you build a castle, grow an economy, and then you can get attacked by barbarian invaders who you can set on fire if you had the foresight to set up arrow braziers and to soak the battlefield in pitch.

you can also launch cow corpses into the enemy lines.

a fun looking game, all told.

but, for a good time waster that’s also absolutely free, i reccomend Infantry.
for it, you need to go to the Sony Station’s Infantry Devision and get the free Station client. you have to register to get it, but i haven’t recieved any spam from them, so it’s safe.
after you have the client, you need to load up Infantry. it can do that automatically through the SonyStation interface. just choose Infantry and it will get and install the Infantry essential game engine automatically. that should take about 40 minutes on a 56k.
after you have the engine, you can get into indevidual game types and sets. each CTF game has one huge map and a set of individual rules, so those game types take about 40 min on a 56k the first time you try them; after that it’s all saved, so it starts instantly after that. all other game types take about twenty minutes; only the CTF types have buy menus and characters you keep from game to game, so the rest are much smaller.

errr…

those times i mentioned weren’t the time the games take to play out, but the time it takes to download the essentials for those specific game types, as opposed to the general Infantry engine.
(just clearing up any possible confusion…)

Computer should be fine for just about anything - PIII-800, 32MB nVidia Ge-Force card.

If that helps w/ any suggestions…

Try Grim Fandango. You should be able to pick it up for about ten bucks. It’s a slick adventure game where you are a dead travel agent trying to solve a mystery in the afterlife. It’s a hoot.

I’ve been playing Fallout and Fallout 2 for the last couple months, and they rock. They are role-playing games, set in a not-so-far-away post-nuclear holocaust future. The game gives you a basic goal, and dozens of subquests along the way. The great thing is you can play the typical do-gooder, helping people you meet along the way, or you can take the “evil” route and steal, kill, and plunder if you wish. The games even have animated end sequences where you see the results that your actions have on the various people and groups you encounter in the game.

And and I got both of them bundled from Amazon for about $15. Awesome deal.

I’m gonna second Fallout, at least. I got Fallout and Fallout 2 bundled for $10 at Wal*Mart, and you really can’t beat that price. The only complaint I have about the game is that the manual is in PDF format, which means that you have to read the manual OR play the game, can’t have the manual open while you’re playing unless you use ALT+TAB frequently. I haven’t even tried Fallout 2 yet, but I’d say that I got my money’s worth just from the first game.

You can pick a pre-made character (the pre-made characters are Fighter, Thief, and Diplomate)(I’ve tried Max Stone and Natalia, I prefer Natalia), or make your own. As Fledermaus said, you can be good or evil or a mix, and there’s lots of subquests. You can also change your options for things like how much of a mess you want to see when your enemies die. It’s got quite a bit of humor in it too.

Ooh! Oooooh!

Battlezone - The original one from about 3 years ago. A genius combo of action/strategy.

As mentioned, Swat 3 is a great game, as is Rainbow 6 and Rouge Spear.

Ever get into flight sims? Falcon 4 and Enemy Engaged - Comanche/Hokum have incredibly deep and enjoyable campaigns. Falcon 4 is a deep sim though, it’d probably take you several days just to learn the weapon systems. MS Flight Sim 2002 is amazing… not exactly exciting though.

Caesar 3 was a lot of fun, too.

Shooter-type game with adventure elements:
Voyager: Elite Force. Graphics are excellent, easy to play, and a lot of missions.
In a similar vein, Dark Forces II, set in the Star Wars universe, is also a lot of fun.

RPG:
I really enjoyed IceWind Dale, by the makers of Baldur’s Gate, you should be able to find it for around 20-25 bucks.
An older rpg that is loads of fun is Dark Earth, great graphics and storyline.

Strategy:

I have tried a lot of these type of games, but I keep coming back to Sid Meier’s Colonization, probably my favorite game of all time. You can get it in a bundle pack at Wal-mart for ten dollars or less.
A more modern game that is enjoyable, although with a steep learning curve, is Star Wars Rebellion, very intricate and absorbing.

Dark Age of Camelot. It’s a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (similiar games are Asheron’s Call and the previously mentioned EverQuest). Has the interface of a FPS, but is actually an RPG where you can interact with other players online.

I’m a Mac user, but I threw together a PC specifically to play this game. I’ve had it a week, and I’ve played at least 2 hours every day. If you’re looking for involvement and character development, you’ll really enjoy this game.

I guess the only drawback for you, being unemployed, would be the $11.95 monthly subscription fee - although you do get the first month free…

According to gamespot.com, Wizardry 8 is coming out Friday, 11/13. Tick, tick, tick…

According to gamespot.com, Wizardry 8 is coming out Friday, 11/13. Tick, tick, tick…

whoops. Make that 11/16. Friday, anyway. Woo.

the Dark Ages of Camelot.
roleplaying online game, in it’s beginnings and plenty of time consuming fun. of you can wait, star wars is supposed to kick ass but it comes out in a year

Dark Age of Camelot. It’s a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (similiar games are Asheron’s Call and the previously mentioned EverQuest). Has the interface of a FPS, but is actually an RPG where you can interact with other players online.

I’m a Mac user, but I threw together a PC specifically to play this game. I’ve had it a week, and I’ve played at least 2 hours every day. If you’re looking for involvement and character development, you’ll really enjoy this game.

I guess the only drawback for you, being unemployed, would be the $11.95 monthly subscription fee - although you do get the first month free…

I would second the Everquest recommendation if you have some time on your hands. The game is unbelievably immersive and addictive. Evercrack is more like it.

I’ve been playing for two years now, and still enjoy it immensely, no other pc game has ever held my interest for so long.

Glory

aka
Gloriana Frostglitter
60 Shaman
Erollisi Marr

Wow, can’t believe this wasn’t mentioned.

Especially since you wanted to “think a little more”.

Riven.

Ok, it is a couple of years old, but is still very compelling.