Gaming to get me through the mutant strain

What to do in the winter now that the mutant strain is here.  Before kids arrived in my life I spent a couple of months happily gaming – playing Sonic the Hedgehog on a Sega Megadrive.

For those few weeks in the early nineties I spent what felt like most waking hours coaxing my new prickly blue animated friend through the various zones and collecting all the rings.  For a while it was the last thing on my mind before bed and the first thing when I woke up.  How simple life must have been then!

Then one day, I finally did it, I completed the game.  I’d won and I never played it again. I’ve got a bit of form with video games.  At University I was a big player of Space Invaders and Asteroids.

My life right now could do with some simple all-absorbing pleasure to get me through these next few months of more restrictions.

According to an article on I’m not alone in feeling like this.  A 2019 survey showed that as many as 42% of Brits aged 55-64 played video games regularly. What’s more, more than 1 in 4 people over 65 said they had played a video game in the last five years.

What to play, that’s the big question. I’m put off by the shoot ’em up type games, something more cerebral would appeal. Here are some Lifeline’s recommendations for older gamers.

Word Games

Most of us are familiar with the classic game Scrabble. Nowadays, there are plenty of innovative word games you can download for free on your smartphone .

Lexulous and Words With Friends are great examples. You can download these Scrabble-style games from the Apple Store, Android Store and through Facebook. Wordscapes is another mobile game. If you combined a crossword puzzle with a wordsearch, you might get something like Wordscapes. It’s a great mental workout trying to find as many words as you can from the letters provided.  I play WordFeud which I’d happily recommend.

Puzzle Games

Candy Crush is one of the most popular mobile games ever. The aim is simple – clear the board of candy by lining up three or more matching pieces in a row. Don’t let its simplicity fool you though. As you progress to higher levels, this game can be fiendishly tricky. Candy Crush is a great (free!) way to stretch your mental muscles.

Two Dots is simple to pick up and impossible to put down. You use your finger to draw a horizontal or vertical line between dots of the same colour. For anyone looking to put their problem-solving skills to the test, there are thousands of levels to complete.

Console Games

Wii Sports is one of the older games on this list, released all the way back in 2006. Players select one of five sports: tennis, golf, bowling, boxing, or baseball. They then use the Wii remote to mimic playing the sport in real life, by throwing a punch in a boxing match or swinging a golf club.

The Call of Duty series is another one of Lifeline’s picks. There are so many Call of Duty games to choose from, however they all have the same challenging missions and playing style. This is an example of a first-person shooter game, where players experience the game through the eyes of the main character.

The final recommendation is Super Mario Bros. a classic example of a platform game, a bit like Sonic. You play as the iconic Mario, travelling through colourful worlds to rescue Princess Peach. This game has great options for beginners: if you get stuck on a certain level, you can watch a computer-controlled character complete it before having another go yourself.

My oldest daughter’s into her computer games and has recommended Civilisation VI which does seem appealing so I might try that first unless you readers have any recommendations.

Published by brianjonesdiary

Dad, husband, brother and son. Interested in travel, politics, sport, health and much more. Semi-retired and aiming to making the most of life as I approach my sixth decade.

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