Category Archives: Gaming

Destressing: 5 Online Games You’ll Love to Play

Destress This Mess

When you’re feeling worn-down, pressured, and stressed, sometimes the best thing to do is to turn away from the source of strain and let your mind relax. That’s what’s so great about online games. They’re quick, they’re easy to get access to, and they’re fun snippets of entertainment to take you away from your stress for a few minutes at a time. Let’s take a look at a few of the most interesting, stress-reducing games on the Internet today.

Idleplex

One of the more unusual trends in online gaming today is the rise of the idle game. Idle games are designed to work with minimal player input, allowing the player to enjoy the pure satisfaction of watching numbers rise and circumstances get more complex with every decision. Idleplex is six different idle games in one, asking players to build a massive tapestry of windows filled with one of six different mini-games.

What starts as a slow and silly game of keeping a bouncing goat in the air quickly evolves into a wall of wild, partially self-playing games where you rack up money for upgrades by the millions per second. Idleplex even has a convenient button to make it look like you’re working on a spreadsheet so you won’t get caught de-stressing at the office.

Robot Unicorn Attack

The “endless running” genre may have started with classics like Canabalt and gotten famous with mobile games like Temple Run, but few running games are as charming and addictive as Robot Unicorn Attack. This Adult Swim invention is ground zero for extreme irony, tasking players with navigating a magical land of floating platforms in the role of the titular mythological creature.

Crash through stars, capture butterflies and enjoy the 1980s synth pop of “Always” by Erasure in the weirdest quest for a high score ever. There are also variations on the original, including a delightfully dark “death metal” version, a mobile-only sequel, and an extra-challenging version that has the original unicorn transforming into other creatures.

Plants vs. Zombies

Sure, the supply of zombie-themed games is an endless horde, shambling through every genre looking for new games to devour, but this one is special. Plants vs. Zombies has a simple premise but deep gameplay, pitting the two forces against one another in a lane defense model for the ages.

There’s a single-player challenge mode, a multiplayer adventure mode, and a puzzle mode that’s good for fans of Bejeweled. It’s silly, it’s creative and it’s a must-play for those who get a lot of satisfaction out of besting greater and greater challenges. And when you’re ready for a new wave, a mobile-only sequel hit the market in 2013.

Poker

While you’re de-stressing, you might as well earn a little cash on the side. Some of the best online games are digital adaptations of classic casino games. From slots and roulette to card games and skill tests, these games are good for players who don’t have much interest in killing the undead, controlling a cartoon or going on an adventure. There’s a great community out there for dedicated players, the buy-in is usually pretty small and you have the chance to earn some cash besides.

Lumosity

Games don’t just have to be about mindless fun. Quite the contrary; games can actually strengthen your brain while you play. Lumosity is a system containing dozens of games designed to train your memory, reaction time, attention, and problem solving for players of all ages. These games have been proven effective by a variety of international studies, and the scientifically supported program has aims beyond simply entertaining and improving players. Lumosity games are actually advancing the field of cognitive science and making it easier for researchers to build better teaching tools.

Don’t let stress get the best of you. There’s an endless supply of great games online that are great at taking the edge off those high-pressure days. Some will make your brain stronger, some can supplement your income and some are just for fun. Happy gaming and don’t forget to post your high scores.

All Day, All Night: 6 Games That Take the Most Time to Complete

game controller

Some people get lost in books and movies while others get lost in role playing games. RPGs allow gamers to become entrenched in a story that’s infinitely more exciting than reality. Some people become so engrossed they don’t physically move for hours –even days — as evidenced by a New Zealand gamer who recently developed a life-threatening case of Gamer’s Thrombosis.

Below are six of the longest-lasting games ever created.

Captive

Thanks to a cleverly programmed algorithm, Mindscape’s 1990 release of “Captive” gives gamers the possibility of experiencing 65,535 different levels. The game, which would theoretically take 40 years to complete, follows the adventures of Trill, an amnesiac who just spent 250 years in a cryogenic prison, and his four droid helpers.

In spite of its 1990 graphics, this decades-old game offers enough interactive elements and gadgets to hold a player’s interest indefinitely. Aptly titled, the never-boring Captive continues to keep obsessive players in its grip for days, weeks, and months on end.

Silent Hunter 3

This World War II submarine simulation is the best of the Silent Hunter series. Players are immersed in an extremely realistic U-boat warfare situation with the possibility of 10 different missions. Each time a mission is played the outcome is different, leading the player through seemingly endless scenario variations.

Since its release in 2005, thousands of improvements and features have been added. One of the game’s most outrageous features is its “Realism Mode,” where the player and his submarine travel in “real time.” In this mode, a submarine could float quietly for days without an attack or any spark of excitement. It takes a particularly vigilant and attentive gamer to sit through this type of slow motion realism.

Elite

Created nearly 30 years ago, Elite was a game ahead of its time with eight galaxies to explore, each offering 256 separate planets. The game, which took two years to create, wasn’t the first space trading game of its era.  Nevertheless, it serves as a basis of comparison for all other space trading games today.

Three versions of the game have come out since the original Elite. “Elite 4″ never made it to shelves, although it was rumored to have been a possibility in 1998.

Daggerfall

Daggerfall, part of the Elder Scrolls saga, is notable for having a virtual landmass twice the size of Great Britain.  With more than 15,000 castles, dungeons, and towns to visit, it’s the perfect game for OCD sufferers who need to satisfy a good, long itch.

Obsessed players will find themselves exploring Daggerfall’s many hot spots morning, noon, and night, with little time for meals or bathroom breaks.  When a player does manage to break away to the restroom, he notices his once-young face has grown wrinkled and gray and he likely needs addiction treatment.  Help for Daggerfall dependency should be sought before it’s too late.

Demon’s Souls

Playstation 3′s Demon’s Souls, a riveting game that has received wild acclaim both in North America and Japan, takes the concept of obsession and compulsion to new heights. In order to advance to a new stage, players must not only “pass” each level, they must do so with a predetermined level of competence. Players who are killed during a level must go back and re-do the entire level, facing all enemies again and losing all swag. Gamers prone to OCD are either in their glory or their own personal hell with this one.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

No list of time-sucking games would be complete without Grand Theft Auto. GTA, which borrows from some of the scariest and most realistic criminal incidents in the California/Nevada region, first hit the shelves in 1997. By the time the San Andreas edition came out in 2004, gamers were hooked on this semi-fictitious story in which gang member C.J. Johnson tries to avenge his mother’s death. Blood/Crip gang wars, crack addiction, and Los Angeles riots set the stage for the adrenaline-pumping San Andreas edition which takes an average of 80 hours to complete.

Have you played any of these games? What did you think?

The Greatest Video Game Characters of All Time

Games

As with films and television shows, whole franchises in the game industry can be built on the strength of a single character. Often the most successful characters will transcend their own industry and move into others. For example, a number of television series and films have been based on the exploits of a video game character, either in animated format or live action. With so many different characters appearing in their own games over the years, which ones have been the most successful and gone on to become icons of the video game world? Here are five of the very best.

GTA: Vice City hitting Android and iOS on December 6th for $4.99

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In early October, Rockstar announced that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City would soon be released for smartphones and tablets. Technical details, such as what devices it would run on, as well as basic details, such as the release date and price, were unknown. Today, Rockstar announced that the game will be released on December 6th in the Google Play store as well as the App Store, priced at $4.99 as a special 10th-anniversary edition. You can also expect a new trailer to be launched within the next few weeks.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II racks in more than $500 million in first 24 hours

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Year after year, Call of Duty titles have been the biggest entertainment launches of the respective years. In 2012, they’ve done it again. For Black Ops II, within the first 24 hours, Activision says that they’ve brought in more than $500 million in worldwide sales, even beating some of the best performing movies of the year. You’ll find the full press release below.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City coming to iOS and Android soon

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Just as with Grand Theft Auto III will soon come Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to iOS and Android, a little over 10 years after the game was released. The actual release dates of the game for both platforms are currently unknown, but it’s set to be coming “this fall,” so we can expect it most likely within a month. For more information, check out the press release below. It’s only a matter of time until we see GTA: San Andreas making its way to these mobile platforms.

RollerCoaster Tycoon and other Atari classics coming to iOS & Android

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Atari announced yesterday that it’d be releasing a number of their classic titles for mobile devices in the coming months. Some of these games include Outlaw, Centipede: Origins, Deer Hunter Online, Dungeons & Dragons: Warbands and, of course, RollerCoaster Tycoon. Specifically with the latter, the game will allow players to share coaster designs, and will offer “an experience both long-time fans and newcomers will enjoy.” You’ll find the full press release below. All games will be shown off at a press event on November 1, so we’ll be seeing how all of these games will perform very soon.