I spend hours each day working on a computer, so when I get home, it’s usually a relief to read, exercise, visit friends or watch TV. However, I’ve got some side projects that also require me to use a computer. All work and no play makes Brian a dull boy, so short gaming breaks are welcome. Here’s some games I’m playing online these days:
I’ve discussed Tichu here before, but must once again give the game my highest recommendation. Recently, a group of my friends has become addicted. I can’t say I’m surprised. Part poker, part setback, part bridge and part arsehole, Tichu boasts a ridiculous amount of variation and strategy. It’s perfect for four people who are looking for some fun and want to learn a new game. You can also play for free online against an assortment of Eurotrash Europeans at Brettspielwelt. For rules, strategy, forums and more, check out this Tichu site.
I never had a Nintendo growing up, which is probably a good thing. Having a computer instead helped introduce me to the fact that computers could do more than just play games. Still, it’s nice to make up for lost time every once in a while, and this web-based RBI Baseball ROM is the perfect way to do it. Besides standing alone as a great little time-waster, I love being able to play as the Boston Red Sox circa 1987; Roger Clemens, Jim Rice, Ellis Burks… they’re all there! And don’t even get me started on the music. Just check it out.
Still one of my favorites, Carcassonne is an excellent introduction to Euro-style board games. Easy enough for noobs to understand, but complex enough to keep seasoned gamers interested, Carcassonne has a lot going for it. The puzzle mechanism ensures that every game is different, while it also lends itself to lots of discussion between players. Those two points are vital for a game to become a classic, and Carcassone has earned that status. The AsoBrain version of the game (called Toulouse) allows you to play against computer players, which is great for honing your skills. The Friends-themed monikers(get it?) and weak AI will also keep your confidence high.
Room Escape Games
I love lateral-thinking puzzles and riddles, and room-escape games really strike a chord with me. Typically, you have to find your way out of a locked room using only the items you can click on with your mouse. The items may be hidden, they may need to be combined with other items to serve a function, or they may require some logical leap to use appropriately. Little is explained and players are usually forced to get creative to solve the puzzles. Noobs Room is a good one for starters.
So those are my favorites games at the moment. Not many, I know, but I’m usually busy crushing tween dreams, astroturfing or decreasing the overall quality of the Internet. Who has time for games?