It is summer, and that often means rain or unrelenting heat. So whether you’re building a pillow fort to avoid the storm outside or seeking shelter from the intense heat of the sun, here are some games to check out through the ages to keep you company and devour your time.
An action/adventure/platformer that can be played single or two-player, The Legend of Mystical Ninja is a 2D side-scroller that allows for some depth of field. While the two playable characters look very different, their functions are basically identical. The game starts with some mischief at a local temple involving a ghost woman, and from there, the story unfolds. I use the word “story” loosely (I don’t want to ruin it for you). It is a fun game to play with a friend, and potentially merciless by yourself. I have a gaming tendency of “run and gun,” which is often problematic, since you end up hitting villagers. The game is fun, and if you haven’t played it perhaps seek it out and give it a shot!
This game caught my attention when it was announced. I really enjoyed those small Toad levels in Super Mario 3D World, but I will admit I was apprehensive about dedicating a whole game to it. The 3D World levels seem small and underwhelming in comparison to this game. Like all first party Nintendo games, Treasure Tracker is easy and incredibly enjoyable overall. You act as Captain Toad and Toadette and walk around dodging obstacles, collecting items, and even riding in rail carts. Each level is a limited space where you can collect three crystals and, of course, get the star. There is no running, though you’re allowed to jog slightly, and you cannot jump. This makes the order of events more complex to solve some puzzles.
If you want to collect all the things and go for the 100%, you may go a little mad. The game is light and carefree, which allows for a quick gameplay session before or after work. If you like Nintendo, puzzle platformers, and happened to main Toad in Mario Kart, this may be the rainy day game for you.
Level 5, the developer that makes the Professor Layton series, brings Fantasy Life to us. You start doing one of 12 jobs, which you can change to others the further along in the game you get. I started as a hunter, but you could be a baker, miner, or even mercenary—to name a few. The jobs are sort of broken up into hunter, gatherer, and crafter. Each job has different tiers such as novice, apprentice, and expert. It has similar battles to real-time RPG games, and has some Animal Crossing tendencies like doing tasks for neighbors.
Fantasy Life sort of serves as a very long to-do list, but not one you dread. You have a butterfly that follows you (think Navi), but slightly less annoying. Slightly. It is a really light game, but it is up to you to save the world. I never felt there was any urgency in the game, which may be a fault, but that would take away from all the side quests. It is really a delight and perfect for playing in a pillow fort on a rainy day.
Who doesn’t like ninjas? Perhaps pirates, I guess. I’m recommending Tenchu 2 over the first in the series because like many games, it is similar to the first, but with slightly better controls. There is also a long line of games in this series (I enjoy them all), but Tenchu 2 is the powerhouse of the series in my opinion. The story is engaging, and you play as one of three ninjas. Not only can you play through as each ninja, the game really lends itself to replayabilty as you try to get the best ranking or create your own parameters to work within in each level—courtesy of the load out screen.
Tenchu 2 is a great game if you want to be a ninja, play in the dark, and watch mildly comical, bright, and perhaps even orange-ish blood awkwardly splash on the screen. The only downfall of this game is that it is on the Playstation 1. As a result of this, there are some awkward camera angles at times and the game can be very dark.
Can’t find Tenchu 2 or don’t have PS1, but you like ninjas? No worries, there are Tenchu games on the PS2 and Xbox 360 (Shadow Assassins pictured above).
Of course, many would argue that the best way to play Skyrim is on PC because of the mods, but even without the mods there is still a ton of replayability or the chance to visit Skyrim for the first time. I also have Morrowind and Oblivion, but Skyrim was the first Elder Scrolls games that really clicked for me. I personally have a few characters that I play totally differently from each other. One only punches, another pants everyone they can, and another is the scrappy cat guy who creates a ruckus everywhere. If you have never played Skyrim, now is your chance. You can probably pick up it for next to nothing, including all the expansions.
If you play on PC, you may even be able to venture around as Link, or perhaps you’ve been looking for some great text on the lore of a fictional world. Skyrim is still for you with hundreds of in-game books building up the lore of the world for you to find. You can be cat dude, werewolf, or even a vampire if you have the expansions. Oh, and dragons. There are a lot of dragons.