In the past few weeks I’ve been dealing with every college student’s favorite occasion: Finals. In the writing department, finals are generally taken home, written on your own time, and edited until they are seen as acceptable for a final grade. In the meantime, getting in depth with games like Portal 2, or Red Dead Redemption has been a huge challenge.
So, what have I done instead? Spent my time playing smaller games with quick missions or games that are easily picked up and put back down. Though it’s difficult to tear myself away, I certainly feel that this limited gaming has helped preserve my sanity during these dreaded finals - and I’m here to discuss the games that are perfect for the gamer on the go, or too busy to invest any real time in gaming.
The first game I played as a way to unwind after hours in front of the computer with walls of text is not necessarily a co-op game - not unless you pass the controler as I do. But it is called “The Maw,” made by Twisted Pixel on the Xbox Live Arcade. You may recognize their name from another great pick-up-and-play title, ‘Splosion Man. Both perfect for the world of “I can play a few levels, then I have to get back to work.”
An addiction I’ve recently had to face makes me realize that Tower Defense games are another great way to spend a bit of time with a friend, without always getting too intense. Of course, only the early missions work like this - it’s the later ones you have to invest a lot of thought, time, and energy in to. Either way, go enjoy some South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!, PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe, Monday Night Combat, or the heavily addictive Plants Vs. Zombies (now with Co-Op on XBLA).
The games that aren’t so hot for just picking up and playing? Most Beat ‘em Up’s or Shoot ‘em Up’s are not good for a level or so, as the general goal is to get as far as you can before dying. While I sill love and recommend X-Men Arcade, Streets of Rage 2, or Aegis Wing - they’re not necessarily the most ideal for times when school work should be done.
It’s okay though, the end of the semester is upon us - and those who are taking advantage of their summer vacations (like me) can finally get to those bigger titles, or those time investments. Good luck to all of those in finals, and make sure you game for sanity’s sake.