Efficient Gaming #2

By | 01/31/2017

Start-and-Stop Gaming

Life causes interruptions, which is partly the foundation of this site for grownup gamers who still want to game. Following up on Joe Threezero’s Efficient Gaming #1, I’d like to add some games that are ideal for a life that interrupts – games you can easily pause, save, or outright close without losing your progress or enjoyment.

Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius

Link: finalfantasyexvius.com
Platform: Android, iOS
Game Type: RPG
Cost: F2P
Min Session Time: 5 minutes

I hesitated to include any mobile games in this list as they naturally cater to a “play anywhere” need, but I was compelled to include this recent installment of the “Final” Fantasy games based on its gameplay, story, and visual style. (Let’s just assume all of my praise is followed by “for a mobile game”.) Brave Exvius feels a lot like Final Fantasy VI, with witty dialogue between relate-able characters and a somewhat intriguing plotline (surprise, there are magic crystals involved). It’s also a very individualized experience; you’re not reliant on finding and staying active in the best guild lest you get stomped by a veteran player raiding your stuff. It’s a great game that borrows some of the best mechanics from the classic Final Fantasy games with some modernizations.

Grim Dawn

Link: grimdawn.com
Platform: PC (Windows)
Game Type: ARPG
Cost: $24.99
Min Session Time: 15 minutes

I was embarrassingly late to the ARPG scene, not having played the Diablo franchise until very recently, but I absolutely love it, and Grim Dawn is one of the best I’ve played. Grim Dawn is a very engaging and enjoyably challenging game with a healthy balance between character customization and simple, straightforward mechanics. There is no “one way” to build a character, just a healthy combination of options you’ll want to try and retry based on how you’re feeling that day. (Most days, I feel like raining meteors down on boss mobs.) Multiplayer is seamless (and really well-integrated with Steam), and your character progression is saved continuously (even in multiplayer) so there’s no worry if you have to leave suddenly to stop the cat from eating your Betta fish.

FTL: Faster Than Light

Link: ftlgame.com
Platform: PC (Windows/Mac/Linux)
Game Type: Strategy
Cost: $9.99
Min Session Time: 5 minutes

This can be a love-hate game (I love it, JoeThreezero hates it), but it definitely belongs on this list. It’s a fun, challenging game with tons of replay value and interesting combat and non-combat situations. Will you rescue a stranded alien in hopes that he’ll join your crew instead of killing you, or kill him off just to be safe? The choice is yours and fate is not always kind. The game is easily paused, alt-tabbed or saved – with a state-based design that makes it easy to recall where you left off (i.e. boarded by the enemy with your oxygen supply damaged because the RNG hates you).