VGC Day 12: It’s a Secret to Everybody

If you’ve missed a few days of our Video Game Challenge, you can catch up here!

Today, the video game challenge wants to know:

Day 12: What’s a game that everyone should play?

…Don’t say Dragon Age: Origins. Don’t say Dragon Age: Origins…

Backgammon. Seriously, everyone should play backgammon.

Image result for backgammon

If you like strategy games, particularly strategy games that rely on the luck of rolling dice, play backgammon. I used to play this on the computer all the time when I couldn’t find anyone to play it with me. It’s absorbing like chess, but with the added element of luck-by-dice-roll.

That felt a little cheap, so here are a few other games that everyone should play:

Card Games

Hearts is certainly a fun game if you have access to four players (or, again, I learned to play on the computer). Again, a lot of strategy goes into getting a winning hand.

One that I used to play in high school during breaks from my orchestra rehearsals was Egyptian Rat Screw. It was so much fun, and things got crazy pretty quickly. Pro tip: take off your rings before playing!

A Tabletop Game That Isn’t Backgammon

I’m sure BadgersAndBowties and iplayedthegame have much better selections at their fingertips, but I quite enjoy Codenames from Czech Games. Imagine trying to get someone to pick the words “grease,” “senate,” and “country” from a pile of words, when you’re only allowed to say one word to describe all three. It’s amazing.

Image result for codenames game

Video Games

…Don’t say Dragon Age: Origins. Don’t say Dragon Age: Origins…

Dragon Age Origins.png

…darn it.

This is actually hard, because other questions have dealt with “underrated games” and “best gameplay,” so I’m trying not to repeat (for once). There is also no accounting for the tastes of other people. How can I know a game that “everyone” should play?

Well, you’re over here at AmbiGaming, where we have the answers to all of your tough philosophical gaming questions.

Image result for riiight meme

You all know that I like story-driven games, all the more if it’s in some sort of fantasy setting. As I was looking through my collection for inspiration for a “game everyone should play,” though, I noticed some games that come from genres I usually don’t go for, like Destiny (first-person shooter), Demon’s Souls (dungeon-crawler/rage-inducing masochism), and Spec Ops: The Line (military shooter… sort of). I also noticed games like Journey and Folklore and InFAMOUS nestled happily amongst the titles on my shelf.

Destiny seems really interesting, even though I still get a little ill when I try to play it, and Demon’s Souls is infuriating but I haven’t given up on it yet. InFAMOUS was like playing in a comic book, which was fun. And… okay, I didn’t particularly care for Spec Ops, but that wasn’t because of the genre. I really enjoyed playing Journey, and Folklore was actually pretty interesting, except it requires a lot of reading that I can’t do that well on my television. But they all are/were great experiences, and I’m glad I picked them up.

With that in mind, I would say that everyone should pick up a game from a genre they don’t usually play and give it a fair shot. Whether it’s a board game, a card game, a text-based game (like A Firelit Room), a first-person shooter, a sporting game, an adventure game, or anything in between, pick it up and play it with an open mind.

That may sound like I need to go pick some daisies and sing “Kumbaya,” but you never know: you might find a whole new way you enjoy playing games!

Have you ever played an amazing game outside of your usual genre? Did it inspire you to play more games like it? Which do you think is a game that everyone should play? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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  1. I find that story-heavy games are a bit of a tricky proposition because if the plot falls flat, the gameplay doesn’t (and often can’t) make up for it. Metroid: Other M is a good (in the bad sense) example of this in my book, though Spec Ops: The Line was an example where the gameplay was so bad, even if the story didn’t suffer from numerous execution issues, the best it could’ve hoped for would’ve been to turn out to be mediocre. When it comes to story-heavy games I think everyone should try, I’d say Undertale, Planescape: Torment, and Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors are the ones I think succeeded beyond any shadow of a doubt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think a good story-driven game is one of the hardest to pull off, because you’re right – the combat usually doesn’t carry the game in that case. And unlike books and television, video games have so little dialogue to begin with that an ystorytelling needs to be done through visuals and passing comments, and the occasionally cutscene

      Those are solid games! Undertale really is fantastically done, and I’ve heard of Planescape and really have been meaning to check it out. Guess I’ll be looking into Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors now, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I reeeeeaaaaaally want to argue that, that a story-heavy game with great gameplay can still hold up even if the story’s bad, but I can’t think of a good example of it. There’s games like Final Fantasy X, which I had a pretty good time with entirely because of the gameplay, but the story’s still at least alright, there. Meanwhile, the thought of a game like the Walking Dead with a really bad story (also known as Walking Dead Season 2 heyooooooo!) is absolutely painful to me.

      I’m going to find a good example of this in like two years and come back to this comment, just you watch.

      In any case, absolutely, play games beyond what you normally do. That’s the best way to really grow as a player.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The thought of a Walking Dead game with a bad story is indeed scary – especially when it’s written by Naughty Dog. Boom!

        Anyway, I think for me, it’s because even if the gameplay of a story-heavy title is good, when I attempt to play through it again, I remember, “Oh right, the plot is turbo-disappointing,” and then I lose interest immediately. I guess knowing what’s coming can soften the blow, but it’s really not the mark of a good time, but a bad time (though you know I’ve had my share). It’s easy when the story can be ignored or is entirely within the instruction booklet, but when it’s clear a lot of effort when into its creation and the author forces you to pay attention, it’s very grating.

        Similarly, I knew going into Undertale that there was a chance it would lose me – especially once I heard Mother 3 was an inspiration. I even became a little wary once the plot became what some might describe as heavy-handed, but luckily, Mr. Fox put the unsubtle nature of his work to good use by actually having something insightful to say (without contradicting his own message in the process to boot!).

        In other words, I don’t mind being proven wrong – especially when it results in something cool like Undertale. Therefore, I look forward to hearing your counterargument!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Codenames is great fun if you have the right crowd for it! I often find myself suggesting things like Fibbage and Quiplash to none gamers as you can run it through your TV and people just need a smartphone.


  3. I never play visual novel/test style games but fell in love with phoenix wright

    But something more recent, I’ve always kept away from online competitive multiplayer games. But I really loved Rocket League when it came out, was one of my favourite games that year. Since then I’ve picked up Overwatched and surprised by how accessible these games can be. I don’t play to be the best at these, I simply don’t have the time to practice that much, but I want to game to still give me a challenge yet not overburden me with opponents that just wipe the floor with me and take away the fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having a good balance is so important for enjoyment, you’re right. It’s always good to try new games. Not only does it expand your game “palate” but it also sometimes clarifies what you are looking for in a “good” game, as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I get the feeling I should play Dragon Age Origins some day…

    I like anything with a good story or fun gameplay. I don’t play many FPS games though. I have Destiny, but hated the always online thing so never got into it. The story seemed neat though. I platinumed Infamous and absolutely loved the “Lightning Storm” ability (as well as all the general electricity storm themes). 🙂

    It’s always good to try new gaming things. There are a lot of gems hiding in many genres.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES you should definitely play Dragon Age: Origins!!!! And I’m not surprised you like the electrical storms of Infamous… 🙂

      It’s definitely good to keep an open mind about games – you never know what you’re going to fall in love with!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Egyptian Rat Screw….wow does that bring back memories. I remember my best friend slapped another friend in the face after he slapped a double she was going after, and rings were ALWAYS banned.

    I think I’d have to say The Impossible Game, because it will not only teach you patience in platforming, but it will show you what kind of person you are :p

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never played Backgammon, partly because the board intimidated me. Your question asking for a game outside of my usual genres intrigues me. I think the first Resident Evil REmake might fit the bill for me. I don’t like horror and am not generally good with guns in games. Yet, I tried REmake and enjoyed the atmosphere and survival gameplay, so much that I played through RE2, RE3, RE0, Code Veronica, and RE4 afterwards. I didn’t get into RE5 or RE6, partly because I wasn’t interested in the switch to action gameplay. I don’t think it’s a game that everyone should play. I could never wish horror on anyone that didn’t want to experience it. My easy answer for that one is Super Mario Bros. But at this point, everyone’s probably played it, right? Haha.

    Outside of video games, Codenames sounds very fun! And hearts is a classic, though I’m more used to spades, which I assume is very similar. I’m also a big fan of the board/card game, Boss Monster, a fun retro-inspired game where you play as a boss who must build your own dungeon to kill heroes in. There’s lots of fun references, both obvious and subtle, and I think that anyone who enjoys video games would get a kick out it. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! That’s awesome that REmake pulled you in to a different genre! I’ve never really been drawn to horror stories/games; my parents used to take books with horror/supernatural themes away from me when I was a kid because my imagination would just run wild and I wouldn’t sleep (at least without the lights on), so I learned to stay away haha.

      I agree that Super Mario Bros is a game everyone should play, because it’s fun, a classic, and really has some great game development aspects, as well. It’s an all-around solid title with obvious staying power!!

      Yeah, backgammon looks a lot more intimidating than it is. I’m sure there are great players out there with some crazy and advanced gameplay moves, but the basics are pretty easy to get after a game or two. Boss Monster sounds amazing. That sort of reminds me of a meme I saw recently about how a townsperson tries to defend their home from adventurers coming to steal their stuff, and they eventually and unwittingly turn into a boss dungeon. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate horror. I’ve seen maybe one horror movie in my life, and I couldn’t watch it. I don’t like to play horror games either, which is why it’s so amazing that I got into Resident Evil like I did. That’s what I thought of first when you asked your question.

        And that meme sounds hilarious! The accidental hero. Boss Monster has a character like that called the fool that just goes into a dungeon of the player currently losing. Everyone else is looking for some kind of treasure and the fool accidentally walked in, hahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

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