Winter is almost upon us and as the nights become darker, colder, and longer our minds naturally turn to the things that we can do to fill the time. The winter season is the one that most likely finds us vegging on the sofa in front of the TV more often than we would care to admit, but you don’t have to turn into a complete couch potato this winter. There are plenty of gaming activities that you can do from home that will engage your brain while distracting you from the slow passage of time.
Here are six of our favorites.
2020 is an epic year for video gaming. Both Microsoft and Sony will release their much-anticipated next-gen consoles and there have been some major game releases throughout the year. While there are still plenty of new titles set to be released before the year is out, when it comes to staying entertained this winter, we’re going with two well-known video game classics.
Hinterland’s The Long Dark has been a hit since it was first released back in 2014 and it’s the perfect video game to see you through your own long dark nights. Unlike some of our other strategy and survival faves, there are no zombies or monsters to outwit here, just Mother Nature herself at her most brutal. Set in the aftermath of a natural disaster, the winters are long and food supplies are short. You’ll need to put all your survival skills to the test, as you fend off the very angry bears that lie in wait in the expansive frozen wilderness while managing your health, energy, and hunger.
If you prefer your survival games with a bit more gore, Endnight Games’ The Forest will be right up your street. Taking place on a dangerous island filled with mutants – cannibal mutants, no less – as well as testing your survival knowledge to the extreme, this game also delivers an intriguing story. Can you stay alive long enough to uncover the mystery of the game’s protagonist?
If strategy gaming is your cup of tea, you really can’t go wrong with traditional mainstays like Risk or classic poker. Fittingly, both these games and many other vintage board and card games have had a thoroughly 21st-century makeover and are now available to play online.
The ultimate game of global domination, Risk is currently playable on platforms like Steam. It’s the “Risk that you know and love” and comes with all sorts of added extras like 5 different difficulty settings and a choice of unique online-only maps. You can play it solo in single-player mode or against friends and other gamers.
Meanwhile, online poker options include standard Texas Hold’em games and innovative new games like Zoom Poker – a fast-fold format that introduces new opponents with each and every new hand.
Mobile gaming is the latest and most popular trend in gaming right now. Developers and publishers are going all-out when it comes to bringing us survival and strategy gaming apps that really push the limits of what this portable medium can do.
The Android game Don’t Starve delivers all the boxes for a survival game. Stranded on a deserted island, as the title suggests you’ll need to gather all the resources that you can manage to ensure that you survive the ordeal. As an added layer of difficulty, you also need to keep your mental health in check by engaging in avidities like crafting and shelter building.
With its unique graphics and gameplay, Downwell has a great retro feel to it that hearkens back to the early days of the NES console. The title’s pretty self-explanatory too: players take a journey down a deep well to search for hidden treasures. Within the well you’ll find hidden dungeons containing boosters and powerups, just don’t get complacent while you explore as there are plenty of baddies lurking around who are out to stop you. Unlike Don’t Starve, Downwell is a premium game ($2.99), but it’s well worth the investment.