PC GAMES: A quick look at some good game titles this Christmas
IT is the most exciting time of year for retailers and children alike as we are bombarded by adverts from all directions and the kiddy winkles are putting their finishing touches to their Christmas wish lists.
If your children are as demanding as most they’ll probably be nagging for the latest and greatest gadgetry goods this year. I imagine it must be tough having to explain what a recession is to a young child and argue that Apple iPads and Xboxes just aren’t in Santa’s budget this year.
But, if you already have a workable PC installed at home, games as gifts are the perfect solution to making everyone happy this Christmas. PC games are not frightfully expensive these days and I can assure you from experience that there is nothing more exciting than being given a new game to play for Christmas.
I have compiled a list of a few great PC games that cover several genres and are suitable for a variety of ages. It is also useful to know that most PC games today are not gender-specific. What may have once been considered as boys’ games are now being played considerably by the growing number of girl gamers.
Sid Meier’s award-winning Civilization series is a treat to the mind that will appeal to strategy gamers who enjoy turn-based games. Civilization takes one back to the beginnings of time where you can play as one of the great leaders from history. Discover new technologies and lands, build great wonders, forge alliances and sign treaties as you lead your people through time.
Civilization is a challenging game that promises hours of unique gaming. The previous release (Civilization IV) is now available for only R66 and includes three expansion packs.
In a post-apocalyptic world set in the not too distant future, you are one of several survivors who were preserved in underground vaults. After humanity emerges from living underground for generations, they have already begun to form tribes and allegiances. Conflict is inevitable as different tribes compete for clean water and survival, but one city has mysteriously been preserved from complete destruction. That city is New Vegas.
Stunning visuals and complete immersiveness make this game a personal favourite of mine. Outcomes differ depending on how you play the game and engage with its moral choice system. Just a warning: Fallout does have a gambling component and suggestions of prostitution — hence the age restriction.
The Elder Scrolls places the player in the fantasy realm of Cyrodil — set in the Middle Ages. Made by the same company as Fallout 3, this game is equally stunning and immersive. Players are given endless quests which may see you fighting in the arena or battling mythical creatures with both magic and steel.
The Elder Scrolls is a great example of a sandbox game, whereby the player can literally venture where he or she pleases until the edge of the map. Like Fallout 3, it also features a weather system, whereby players will experience rain, snow or shine and changes between day and night.
The game is not excessively violent or naughty, but perhaps a little complex for younger players.
From Railroad Tycoon to Zoo Tycoon — these games are great educational simulators. Players will learn the fundamentals of zoo upkeep and design in a fun and visually stimulating way. Zoo Tycoon is available with four expansion packs, namely the Zookeeper collection, the Marine Mania collection, Endangered Species and the Extinct Animals expansion pack.
If your offspring are into fast cars and adrenaline rushes (i.e. racing games) you need look no further than the Need for Speed series. Hot Pursuit is one of the more popular releases that will make car fans drool at the well-rendered graphics and sporty cars they get to drive.
Fifa 2011 (ages 3+): R308 (PC)
The ever successful Fifa series is back with Fifa 2011 released this year. Football games are a lot of fun with a lot of effort put into their design. Players look like the real deal, stadia are modelled accurately and the roar and buzz of the fans creates a high-energy atmosphere.
Fifa 2010 is a good choice considering that the World Cup was hosted by our country this year. Unfortunately this release is currently out of stock; but if it becomes available again before Christmas it is selling for just R129.
GAMES BARGAIN BIN:
(these are games I haven’t personally played, but have certainly heard of. Suitable for all ages):
- Ultimate Monster Trucks R14
- Football Manager 2007 R14
- Winter Games R14
- Puzzle Quest R90
- Zoo Tycoon (stand alone) R66
NOTE: All PC games mentioned here are available at www.take2.co.za which is also offering free shipping this festive season on all orders over R350. Games may be available in stores or on other shopping websites, yet prices may differ.
Happy gaming and Merry Christmas!