Where to get your gaming fix during lockdown
If you’re running out of ways to entertain yourself whilst stuck in quarantine, now’s the time to get into gaming. This is the perfect opportunity to play online against your friends (or foes) and explore the best that the virtual world has to offer. More and more people are jumping back into the gaming scene and embracing technology as the saviour of their sanity; after all, as well as staving off boredom, it can be a great social tool. And besides, who knows when we will next have this much free time? Here are some of the best lockdown games depending on your devices and consoles.
If you have a Nintendo Switch, you will most likely be well aware of a current unlikely obsession sweeping the nation. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has even hardcore gamers putting down their guns and picking up turnips in order to maintain their personal paradise. It’s a place where you can interact with other gamers and escape from your bleak surroundings to an idyllic desert island. Though it’s not so new, 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great game for anyone who likes puzzle-solving, with hours of beautifully crafted gameplay and exploration. Fancy having a quick brawl with your mates over the Internet? Forget puzzle-solvers and embrace Super Smash Bros., one of the world’s most venerated and quirkily cartoonish fighting games there are.
There’s nothing like a bit of nostalgia, and nothing screams nostalgia like The Sims. Take yourself back to the good old days by creating your own community and watching it grow. You might not have any control over the real world, but you can have control over the virtual one as you build houses, relationships and careers. For another great blast from the past, take a dive back through history with Age of Empires. Launch a solo campaign or play with or against other members of your household in an epic battle. But hold on, because this is not quite all there is. In fact, you can visit quite a few alternative online venues where gaming is put on a pedestal, including some of the finest non Gamstop betting sites. Whatever the gaming product you find enjoyable online, PC will surely be one of the most entertaining platforms to experience it on.
Who says online gaming is all there is? We say, throw your keyboards away ladies and gents, and replace them with the delightful and visually compelling board games, which range from Gloomhaven, an overwhelming dungeon crawler where the box alone weighs 10 kilos, to Carcassonne where you get to feud with other landlords for the plumpest pieces of land. Some board games might indeed offer a bit of a challenge deciphering the rules, but there are quick and fun games to get your hands on right now, if there is only a single person in your household you can convince to give tabletop games a whirl. Splendor, Dice Throne and Exploding Kittens all come with a seemingly inexhaustible entertainment value you can tap into indefinitely. And if you are looking for a real winner, you must try Wingspan for yourself.
PlayStation and Xbox
For a true escape from reality that will transport you back into your childhood, the latest in the Final Fantasy franchise is sure to keep you entertained. The game, a remake of Final Fantasy VII, has all the wild and wonderful features of the original, including a cross-dressing dance-off, and is currently available on PS4 – though we expect this to be extended to other consoles. For a grittier co-op, open-world adventure, commit virtual crimes with your mates on Grand Theft Auto Online, which is also playable on the Xbox One. If you prefer a PG game, work together in a chaotic kitchen with your friends on Overcooked 2. Truth be told, though, you don’t actually have to worry too much about the consoles you pick. In the past, it used to be a choice between peer pressure and what your heart truly desired, but today, cross-platform play has made it quite possible to join your friends in an epic adventure online, regardless of what platform they have settled for. Whether you want to play Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone, you can just hop in there and enjoy the company of your fellow gamers.
If you only have a phone, there’s still a world of entertainment out there for you. Exercise your imagination through a classic game of Minecraft, or check out Monster Legends to evolve your own creatures in a Pokémon-style fantasy world. Fans of classic boardgames can even download the extremely pertinent Pandemic: The Board Game, in which you and your friends unite to help stop the virus spread. But those are just tip of the iceberg when it comes to mobile gaming. If you just so happen to be of a more competitive turn of mind, then Supercell’s popular Brawl Star must make the cut as it offers a three-on-three virtual arena in which your animated avatars engage in an epic shoot-out battle that involves grenades, lasers, and yes, the occasional rocket launcher.
Dive into virtual reality
All cooped up at home and yearning for picturesque landscapes? Well, virtual reality might be just the solution for you. The Oculus VR sets could be a little pricey at first, but they are your ticket to a Narnia-like experience where you find a portal to new and exciting lands slap bang in the middle of your living room. With technology really getting up there, photorealistic realities are being crafted in real-time to create the most immersive experience you can imagine. If you ever wondered what the Apocalypse would look like, Half-Life: Alyx might just be a way to find out. Or, you perhaps want to leave the Earthly bonds and head out across space. Well, you can and your spacey odyssey begins with No Man’s Sky VR. Fancy casting spells and raining down magic onto your foes? The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the choice fit for you.
The editorial unit