With the Winter season around the corner here in the northern hemisphere, you might be looking for some games to keep you busy during the slow Winter months. Join us as we take a look at games that just seem to be better when there is snow falling outside your windows.
1. Lost Planet
Taking place on a frozen world filled with pirates and huge bugs, Lost Planet is the best (and most obvious) game to play during the Winter. Seeing a huge snowstorm outside your window helps to immerse you in Lost Planet’s world…plus, given how short the game is, you could potentially go through the entire experience start to finish in one sitting. A heavy snowstorm is the perfect time to attempt such a thing.
2. Mass Effect
While there are a couple of planets you can land on in Mass Effect that are snowy, that is not the reason to play this game during the Winter. No, the reason to play Mass Effect in the Winter is because it is best played for long stretches at a time. If you start getting into side quests and seeking out all of the information you can possibly find on the story, there is a lot to remember. Also, being stuck in your house brings about some slight feelings of isolation…something you will have to get used to if you plan on exploring all of the random, empty planets Mass Effect’s universe has to offer. For the full Mass Effect experience, I recommend also playing it in a relatively dark room lit up with a black light. I don’t know why, but for some reason it makes this game even better!
3. 1080° Snowboarding (aka Ten Eighty)
It just makes sense to get deep into a snowboarding game during the Winter, and 1080° Snowboarding for the Nintendo 64 is one of the best around. Combining a variety of tricks, a simple control scheme, and a healthy dosage of nostalgia, Ten Eighty makes for a perfect choice for the snowy season. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting the urge to suit up, strap in, and hit the slopes after messing around with this game…it’s a normal side effect of going through it with snow falling outside your window.
4. Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
This one may seem like an odd choice, given that there isn’t really much of anything Winter has to do with amusement parks…but that’s precisely why this one should be played during the Winter! You can’t go to the amusement park during the Winter, so why not just make one yourself? The hardware requirements fro Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 were extremely steep when it was first released…anything bigger than a small park would result in slowing down your system. With video cards like the 5870 and with quad-core CPUs becoming the norm, you can now create absolutely MASSIVE theme parks with extremely detailed scenery and keep everything moving along at a smooth pace. If you find yourself longing for amusement parks and roller coasters during the winter, Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 (and its expansions) are your best choice for fun.
Drakensang is another game that doesn’t really have anything to do with the Winter season. However, this is a BIG game, requiring a significant time investment of 50-100 hours, depending on how much you want to see and complete. Like Mass Effect, when you start looking into all of the side quests and trying to round out the story as much as possible, Drakensang can get to be a bit convoluted. Going for long play sessions can help reduce the confusion by keeping things moving along. Also, nothing happens quickly in this game…most quests take a fair amount of time to complete, and there is a LOT to see and do in this game.