You know me, I’m always up for a good discussion, no matter if it’s games, films, TV series or even books and writing. So, when the crew of Later Levels approached me for a monthly gaming Q&A, hopefully to create some great debates around video games, it didn’t take much for me to see that it could be fun.
Every month, I’ll present you with the question and my answer. If you’d like to join, get in touch with Later Levels. The rules are simple, in fact there is only one to note: your answer must be in 100 words or fewer.
This month’s question is: Which game would you recommend to a non-gamer (to get them into gaming)?
We’ve all been there, talking to someone who has never played a videogame or hasn’t touched a console since the Amiga they had growing up. We tell them of the games we’re playing and how much fun we have, but it’s a struggle to get them to comprehend the joy we feel in gaming. So we do it, we recommend a game to them, even propose to get it for them, just hoping they’ll feel what we do when they launch the title and get into it…if they get into it.
Over the past few years, every time I’ve been in this situation, I’ve gone to one game: Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars, the first title in the series with Nico Collard and George Stobbart. Why do I pick this one every time?
Broken Sword is a point & click adventure. The mechanics are simple and there is a greater emphasis on the story, which makes it easier for non-gamers. The characters are great and the story is interesting and it even uses historical elements.
In terms of the puzzles, they’re not that difficult and smoothly scale in challenge, starting from the first couple of rooms, where the inventory puzzles are trivial.
But there is another reason and it’s that Broken Sword is one of the more grounded adventure games, with logical solutions and a coherent narrative. It’s easy to digest for non-gamers.
That’s it for my answer. What do you think? Which game do you choose for non-gamers when you meet them, and why? Do you go for storytelling games like I do, or do you go for something like a platformer or an action game, more about speed or a visceral experience? Let me know in the comments.
3 thoughts on “Gaming Q&A: Games for Non-Gamers”
You hit on a great point… games with less game mechanics and a focus on story/puzzles is a great way to go. A friend of mine is trying to get into games. My recommendation was Portal, and my reasoning was much the same as yours. I will relay your Broken Sword suggestion as well!
Portal is also great because there isn’t much time lost between death and respawn and it’s all about experimentation. You have simple objectives with increasingly complicated steps to get there and some hilarious stuff happening along the way.
Yeah, Portal is a fantastic way to go!
Tomorrow the poll will go live on LaterLevels.com and I’d love it if you could vote on it 🙂