I’m on a big casual gaming kick right now. I love the small games, many of which don’t need to be installed, that give you about 5-25 minutes of game time. Perfect for lunch breaks and whatnot. Simplicity is the general rule, but fun is even better.
I’m currently using a Windows computer. I should probably also note that I don’t have any special interest in these games or their authors, except as a fan. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on these game, and will probably have to check into a clinic before I can stop. Here’s what I have in my gaming mix:
Transcendence - kind of an odd game. Somewhat like a dungeon crawl like nethack, except it’s sci-fi. The gameplay itself is very graphical, and reminescent of Asteroids or Star Control. There’s a strong trading element to the game, kind of like Elite. It’s still in beta, but I find it very fun.
Bacteria - a “capture the field” type game played against the computer or a human opponent, reminds me a little of Go or Othello. You rotate pieces you own, and conquor the piece that the first piece points at, the newly-conquored piece will give you the piece that it points at, and so on. It’s very aggrivating to see half the board switch over to your color, only to have it switch back within a few turns. Great for testing blood pressure medicine.
Taipan - a Windows version of the old Apple II game. A very simple trading game, and very reminescent of DopeWars.
Xye - an updated version of the old “Kye” game, where you must eat all the diamonds on the level. (No mention of how bad that must be on the teeth!) Plays a lot like Boulder Dash or Sokoban.
Space Trader for Windows - Another space trading game, this one is very much like Elite, without the 3-d flying through space, and with a turn-based structure.
Lastly, there’s the whopping huge Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection, collected together and ported by the guy who wrote the Windows SSH shell Putty. There’s a little of everything in here, including SameGame, Suduku and Black Box. As a bonus, all these games will also work in Mac OS X and Linux.
…So, what’s your recent casual gaming obsession?