Desert island gaming

momEvery time I visit Good Old Games’ (GOG.com) website, I think to myself, “I do not have enough time to play these games, but if I was stranded on a desert island with no internet but somehow had a laptop and a power source, I’d want a copy of every single one of these games.”

It helps that they’re DRM-free.  I do love that about GOG.com.

But what if I had to pick just ten?  Ten games to last me a lifetime.  They’d have to have longevity, a lot of content, and some variety to them.  Here’s what I’d pick:

1. Ultima VII Complete Edition  I‘ve never actually played one of the single-player Ultima titles, and I hear this was the best.  It’s certainly pretty dang big, including three expansions.  I actually own this through GOG.com but have yet to play it.  Some day.  Maybe today.

2. FTL  As a space roguelike, FTL has strong replayability chops and quite a few unlockables.  It’s also a great game to pick up for a quick session without wearing out its welcome.

3. Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete Edition  Another absolutely massive title that offers a hybrid RPG/strategy setup.  I played a lot of this in the 90s and can attest to its addictiveness.

4. Fallout 2  Despite a frustrating beginning (it sucks having to start with just a spear instead of a gun), Fallout 2 is way better than the original (especially since it lacks a time limit).  I’d definitely be up for adding a post-apocalyptic journey to my island experience.

5. Star Control I & II  Two games for the price of one, although I’d be more interested in the latter.  Star Control II is one of those great games that I always heard about… and never played.  I’d like to rectify that.

6. Rollercoaster Tycoon Deluxe  I’ve always had a huge crush on this title (and, oddly enough, not its sequels).  Despite being 2D isometric sprite-based, it’s an addictive little theme park builder that kept me coming back to it time and again.

7. Baldur’s Gate II Complete Edition  One of my all-time favorite computer RPGs, and one that I really wouldn’t mind spending a couple of years with.

8. Master of Magic  I’d be almost equally okay substituting Master of Orion (the original) instead, but there’s something special and nostalgic about MoM that would have me adding this 4X title to my desert island list.

9. King’s Quest 4/5/6  While adventure games have limited replayability, I still would crave them, and here are three that I never got around to playing.  Too bad I couldn’t cheat and just include the entire series (which is just $20!).

10. Arcanum  I had this game way back in the day and loved it, despite it not ever working on my computer right (there were lots of graphical issues with my older system).  Steampunk and fantasy in a combined setting?  Awesome.

Looking over the list, I feel pretty comfortable with my picks here.  Obviously, I’d love to expand it to 15 or 20, but having limitations means that you make tough choices.  A lifetime with only ten (well, 13) games… it’d be doable.

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7 thoughts on “Desert island gaming

  1. Great list, Arcanum was one of my fave’s, although the ending just kinda….ended.

  2. I never played the Ultimas. I think I started a character in Ultima 4, but I don’t think I ever actually *played* it, if that makes sense.

    FTL I bought since you hyped it and a friend of mine also bought it and loves it. I’ve put maybe 2 or 3 hours into it and I’m already done with it. I found it to be simply annoying. I tried a game or 2 using a trainer program to remove some of the annoyances, and that didn’t help. Guess I just don’t like that style or something.

    HOMM3 = awesomesauce! I loved that game!

    Fallout 2 = loved it, though I never actually finished it, since in the final area even with the ability to save and reload, invariably I’d get crit’d by a mob ripping a full auto magazine and since crit’s ignore armor that = dead me = couldn’t advance = I still say it was a good game. And the time limit in FO1 was so long that it wasn’t ever an issue, so I’m surprised you brought it up.

    SC1 = loved it. SC2 = never could figure it out. It had a time limit and I never could quite figure out what I needed to do to even be able to advance the game, so I always failed big-time when I tried to play the single-player story mode. Very frustrating. That said, I did love the dueling mode and a lot of the new ships, at least.

    BG2 = As much as I loved the idea behind the BG1, BG2, and Planescape games, I just never could really get into them. No idea why. I owned them all, just never got very far in them. They just didn’t “do it” for me, and I have no idea why either.

    Arcanum = loved this game going the magic route. Going the tech route sounded fun in theory, but I never could quite work it out in practice. That said, I am feeling the need to find my disks and reinstall this one to try the tech route again. . . .

    I’ve never played the others.

  3. Agree with most of your list but . . . how is FTL a roguelike? A ship crew/disaster management game is like a class based random dungeon RPG? You’re going to have to explain that one to me :P

  4. Because it is a roguelike, just in a scifi setting. You can’t reload from saves, you have random encounters, and you keep on going until you die (usually). The ship is your “character” that has one life and is subject to permadeath.

    Don’t take my word for it — practically every review I’ve read about FTL uses the phrase “roguelike”.

    Also, the official FTL site calls it such: http://www.ftlgame.com/

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