Computer & video games


Been enjoying playing through the single player campaign on Starcraft 2, it’s free, and I never played it when it came out. Maybe I’ll try getting destroyed online soon!


I’m looking for an alternative to Minecraft for my 10 year old and me to play together. We’re a mac / ipad / wii / 3ds family. Preference would be a mulitplayer ipad game (we have two, so we could play vs. or coop). 10 is an odd age. He wants to fight but I don’t want straight up bazooka war blaster in HD stuff. Strategy, even with a combat-ish theme is ok. We play Hearthstone together (smooshed together on an iPad, making choices together). We do play Minecraft, but lately he really wants it to be something its not and I’m getting bored with building stuff. I kind of want to kick his butt at a game.

Any suggestions?


Bayo is such a great experience! It’s my guilty pleasure for sure.


I’ve been playing Splatoon a bit on Switch lately, which could fit the bill. There’s a 3DS version, but not sure about you being able to play with/against one another with only one console. It’s a lot of fun, though!
Edit: no 3DS version, my mistake.


(There’s definitely no 3DS version of Splatoon though!)


Fire Emblem on 3DS is good, but you’ll need to give him some assistance. The Zelda games on 3DS are also very good. OoT, Majora’s mask are classics, but A Link Between Worlds is great too.


Mario vs Rabbids is a good accessible turn based strategy that’s got combat but not headshotting racists online combat… the turn based strategy makes it less likely to wind them up to hyper mania. Switch only tho’


Damn, my bad, I thought there was!


When I was a kid during the golden age of video arcades, my dad managed one in our local mall. I got to go in with him on Sunday mornings when he did the collections, and worship at the church of Mario with a set of keys and the test credit button :smiley: My mom, on the other hand, was a programmer who worked on the county school board’s payroll system on a classic room-sized mainframe.

So it might not be a surprise that the first part of my career was as a computer game developer. It was a mixed experience – mostly a fun crowd and a casual-ish place to work, but management was mostly awful and the daily routine was not much like a layperson would imagine. Working out a combination of geometry, trigonometry, and collision detection to make a camera move just so. Spending days trying to figure out why your fancy graphics engine that was working so well is now showing nothing but a black screen, or why a tree turned into a mile-wide horrorshow of spikes or your character’s face is inside-out. Working out how to make enemies chase players without running into obstacles or ignoring changes in ground level, while still animating properly. Spending a month eking out an 8% higher frame rate, only to have somebody else try to demo the game at a trade show half a continent away at 16 times normal resolution and calling you on a Saturday while you’re at a relative’s wedding with an “emergency” and could you try to fix performance? No overtime pay of course.

Um, anyway. I moved on from that to work on engineering software, where the pay and respect and planning are far better, though everything’s a bit boring and corporate. I still play games quite a bit, but I honestly tend to focus on one or two games for months at a time, and tend more toward casual single-player games.

My latest favorite is Slay the Spire. I’ve yet to beat a level 3 boss yet, though I’ve come very close. The random nature of the game is both frustrating and refreshing – you can’t really pick a particular strategy and stick with it. It’d be cool if there was a way to replay the same run and make different decisions.


Thanks for the suggestions folks. Sounds like we should consider a Switch in the not distant future. Something about playing games on the TV makes it seem weird to me. I don’t know why.

I took a look at a couple of iOS games, Vainglory which I guess is a bit of a genre defining classic, though I knew zero about it until yesterday - and a few of its derivatives, Star Wars Force Arena and Titanfall Assault. I went with Star Wars. Gameplay is fun, I like deck building. I introduced the kid to it and he immediately got into it. So…I think we have a winner. We’ll see if it has any staying power.


There’s always Smash Bros. for 3DS


Excellent suggestion! We already play it…it’s super fun.


Star wars battlefront?

Or on a similar theme Knights of the old republic (but I think it’s single player only).


I played it first as a kid on N64. It was always fun back then, but I don’t think I ever understood the depth of game mechanics behind it. I joined a group of my friend’s friends after hours at a tech company to play in a tournament and had my view of that game flipped.

I got my ass kicked.


Kinda the opposite for me is that anything enjoyed on the tv is a family event. With backseat gaming, fierce rivalries and a talking point at the dinner table afterwards. I went that way after seeing the exclusion that IOS games have where children are in their own little world.

No micro transactions, no online grieffing, and I can keep an eye on it all…


Smash is a crazy deep game, I remember spending hours on Melee at a younger age, and you really get to understand after a while how tactical and precise the whole system is (even moreso if you play without items), + it litterally invented a fighting game category. Really powerful system (like Mario Kart but I’d say it’s less immediate maybe for the beginners, who can just feel overwhelmed by what can feel at first as a nonsensical maelstrom of weird and histerical nintendo patchwork)


I’ve been playing an awful lot of Battletech the last couple of weeks since its release. An embarrassing amount of Battletech. So many missiles, so many big robots. It’s been great. 90’s nostalgia mixed with explosions.


i’ve been focused only on looming dark souls remaster… but played the network test a couple times and it seemed incredibly underwhelming. i’ll play it anyway i’m sure.


I want to give this a second mention. A huge update for this came out last week and I’ve been pulled back in.

My primary April game was Subnautica. It’s a very good spin on the Minecraft style hunt->loot->craft->build loop. There’s a surprising amount of plot. It’s also quite scary. If you play this, try not to read any guides.

I received Far Cry 5 in a trade for a pile of old Humble keys. It was a lot of fun for a few hours, but ultimately gets repetitive, loud, and dumb. I enjoyed Just Cause 3 way more.

If you love short, charming games, I highly recommend Minit. I beat it in just under two hours. It’s a lo-fi, black-and-white game where your character dies every 60 seconds. During that time, you scramble to find one thing in the world that you can change for the next life. The main mechanic is really well-executed and never overstays its welcome.


A second recommendation for Minit. If you don’t have a lot of time for games, it’s a novel little game and it’s quick to finish.