As gamers, we all have friends that dislike or scoff at video games. Maybe they see it as too nerdy, or maybe someone else left a bad taste in their mouth by introducing them to a bad or violent game. Either way, many of these so called non-gamers have a bad image of games, yet they’re often hooked on mobile games like Candy Crush. So how can we, as gamers, show them that gaming is more than nerdfests, murder simulators, and poking candy? Well, I’ve compiled a list of 10
gateway drugs games to get non-gamers to play, and maybe even turn them into gamers!
These games were all chosen because they are simple, easy to pick up and play, non-violent, and most importantly, fun!
1. Wii Sports/ Wii Sports Resort
Gamers often laugh at the Wii and the Wii Sports series, but in the end I think everyone has had a great time with it at some point. It’s great for playing with other people, it’s easy to pick up and play, and it can easily become addicting!
2. Guitar Hero/Rock Band
While we’re talking about unique party games, I think I’d like to give a shoutout to Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Yeah, the fad may be over, but there is a new version for new consoles, and they really pique the interest of non-gamers, especially if you can find a song from their favorite band. Also, these games can be found on Playstation 2, Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and Xbox One! And the controllers for the older versions can now be found for dirt cheap!
3. Mario Party (1 through 7)
You can’t be talking about casual party games without mentioning Mario Party. The game is fairly simple, and anyone who has played a board game before can get the hang of Mario Party. The mini-games might be a tad tricky for non-gamers, but most are very simple. Even if someone gets frustrated by a mini-game, it only lasts 30 seconds and there will be a new one right around the corner. Competitive non-gamers will love Mario Party!
As a sidenote, I choose 1 through 7 because I have heard that the motion controls of the newer games can be frustrating. When choosing a game for a non-gamer, it’s important to stay away from frustrating controls. I haven’t played any one past 7, so I can’t say whether this is true or not.
4. Any Lego Game
Does your non-gaming friend like Batman, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, The Avengers, Star Wars, or Harry Potter? If they don’t like any of these, you need a new friend. Go and replace them right now.
Good, now that you have a decent friend and not a complete buzzkill you surely can find a Lego game based on something they like. The Lego game are easy to pick up, and easy to learn; the games are charming, and sometimes funny. And every Lego game (that I’ve played) has been cooperative! And honestly, who doesn’t like Lego (except for that loser friend you dumped in the last paragraph).
5. Animal Crossing
In my mind, Animal Crossing isn’t so much a game as it is a relaxing escape from the stresses of life. It’s more about customizing your town while getting to know the neighbors than trying to achieve a goal. Any that’s why it’s so appealing to some people. If your non-gamer friend is someone who would prefer action or puzzles, this isn’t the game for them. If they’re someone who wants a cute game with plenty of customization, then it doesn’t get any better than Animal Crossing.
6. Racing Simulators
I know what you’re thinking. “Racing sims for non-gamers? Is this guy serious?” Yes, but first let me apologize for going from Animal Crossing to racing sims. Many of you are probably suffering from whiplash about now.
So here is my reasoning. If you have a steering wheel then you already have a controller that 99.9% of non-gamers are familiar with. Not only that, but most of the major racing sims have the option for assisted braking and steering. This means that it’s almost hard to crash. Once you show your non-gamer friend that they can drive expensive cars with gorgeous graphics on a racetrack with a “real” steering wheel, you may never get your PC (or game console) back!
Some ideas for good racing sims are Project Cars, the Dirt and Grid series, Assetto Corsa, Forza, and Gran Turismo.
7. Ace Attorney series
Nobody can resist a good mystery, and the Ace Attorney series have some excellent mysteries and puzzles that are bound to hook anyone. I was not sure whether to put this on the list or not. On one hand, the stories and mysteries are on par with some of the best TV shows and movies. But on the other hand the characters and dialogue can be downright cringeworthy. But in the end, the courtroom scenes are so good, I’m willing to look past that annoying sidekick.
I’m sure not everyone shares my opinion about the dialogue and characters, but I do know that there’s no way to play this game and not get hooked on the mysteries.
Point and click adventure games are great for non-gamers, and it doesn’t get much better than Myst. The game is by far the easiest to control on this list, and it’s bound to make any non-gamer curious with it’s numerous puzzles. Myst and Myst Masterpiece don’t work on Windows 7 or newer, but the newly released realMyst Masterpiece works great on newer PCs, and is an excellent remake (of a remake of a remake) of the original. Myst isn’t multiplayer, but it’s still great fun to play with 2 people while working together solving puzzles.
But whatever you do, stay away from the DS and 3DS versions of Myst. You’ll thank me later.
Alright, so I cheated. These 2 games are very similar, and so I decided to put them together. Both games are made by Amanita games, and both are point and click adventures. They are also both extremely charming, gorgeous, and easy to pick up and play. If you don’t fall in love with the cute characters, then you have no soul. Or you’re that previous “friend” that didn’t even like Lego.
10. The Stanley Parable
I’ve been dreading writing this bit. How do you even describe The Stanley Parable? Well, it’s a simple game to play. It does have first person controls, which may be a bit tricky for non-gamers, but once you get past that the game is simple enough. The Stanley Parable is humorous while being deep on a philosophical level. At it’s core, it’s a game about choice, and non-gamers will love it!