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Games Entertainment

What is Your Desert Island Game? 409

Posted by Zonk
from the build-a-raft-out-of-game-consoles dept.
1up has a feature today asking games industry heavyweights what their 'desert island game' would be. Games from the Civilization series are backed by the likes of Sony's Phil Harrison, David Jaffe, and Bethesda's Todd Howard, while Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has waiting-for-rescue fans among a number of the list respondents. Bioware CEO Ray Muzyka has an interesting answer to the question while talking about his pick: StarCraft. " It's an unusual choice for me in that I'd normally pick a role-playing game. But StarCraft has a strong campaign editor to make new content (including making either combat-oriented or story-based campaigns), plus you can play both the solid single-player campaign and against the A.I., and -- here's the trick -- you can play on a LAN or WAN (you said no Internet, but didn't mention local or wide area networks...my goal would be to build a WAN -- I'd explain how, but that would be telling -- connecting other folks similarly dropped onto nearby desert islands by other videogame online sites, who are equally eager to play some competitive multiplayer RTS or try out the campaigns I've created to kill time on the long days where there's nothing else to do but collect coconuts and build rafts." So, assuming that you have everything you need to play, what game would you want to take with you into seclusion?
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What is Your Desert Island Game?

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  • Tetris DS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:14PM (#19023355) Journal
    Tetris DS, lots of modes and never gets old.
    • I would mod you up (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tknd (979052) on Monday May 07, 2007 @04:59PM (#19028257)
      If I had mod points.

      For people that don't understand, Tetris DS is quite a different game than Tetris for old school gameboy. The reason being due to several small changes:

      1. Shadow block - A shadow of where the block will fall is always shown. Sounds cheesy, but helps a lot given some of the other changes...
      2. Hard drop - The block will instantly drop to the shadow if you press the up button.
      3. Limited / Infinite spin - In certain modes (Wifi) there is limited spin which allows you to rotate the block for a short amount of time to keep it from sticking in place even though it touches other blocks. In other modes (non-multiplayer) there's infinite spin which has no time limit.
      4. Hold block - You can place the current block into the hold queue by pushing the L or R buttons, the block that was previously in the queue will be swapped out--you can't swap out a block from the hold queue if you just placed it there. This is highly useful and allows you to do some pretty nasty things.
      5. Shows next 6 blocks - You can see the next 6 blocks (in order) that you will receive.
      6. T-spins - The game recognizes t-block spinning which can be used to put garbage blocks on your opponent similar or worse than a tetris.
      7. Back-to-back tetris or t-spin - A bonus garbage row is sent to your opponent if you perform multiple tetris or t-spins with no other line clears in between.

      Because of this, Tetris DS plays nothing like the original. The concept is the same - stack blocks and when a line completes it clears, but because of all the changes, the game is much more flexible and has a greater depth to it that doesn't involve just blocks falling faster and faster. For example, try mastering setups to perform double and triple T-spins, it's pretty tough and forces you to read your 6-piece queue ahead of time to determine how to construct the setup.
  • NetHack (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:15PM (#19023369)
    I might even be able to beat it without saving eventually ...
    • by RichMan (8097) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:26PM (#19023573)
      The nethack source is the real game.
      • The nethack source is the real game.

        Somewhat higher-tech, but with a vaguely similar spirit - my choice would be Half-Life 2, and the Source SDK. I've already had hundreds of hours of fun out of it, and could have great fun working on MINERVA without any external distractions.

        Although Steam's offline mode would be guaranteed to arse up within a week, demanding an internet connection to continue...
    • Re:NetHack (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:51PM (#19024035) Journal
      Nethack is THE game. Took me 4 years to beat it with one class, even with the spoilers. With a dozen classes to choose from, one could easily be entertained for decades.
    • by Cheapy (809643)
      Spoilers or no spoilers?

      You might die (in real life that is) before you can ascend with no spoilers!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jandrese (485)
        Playing it without spoilers is just crazy though. It takes multiple hours to get to the lower levels of the dungeon, and if you need to know about some trick a mob has or you're screwed, you're just out several hours to learn that trick. Then you get to repeat that (plus some extra time you spend fighting the original mob) to learn the special tricks of the next mob.

        Plus, the RNG can be cruel and really screw you from time to time. Falling down a pit that just happens to be exceptionally difficult to
    • by kinglink (195330)
      I was going to say Legend of Zelda Link to the Past because it's a favorite, or one of the Elder scrolls with the editor. But damn if this one doesn't take the cake. Best answer.

      Still have yet to ascend. I'm sure when the rescue boat comes I'll turn and wave and shout "Just one more game".
  • Starcraft/Warcraft (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LordBafford (1087463)
    Yes starcraft sounds like a good pick to me, that or warcraft3. Both would supply you with many maps and campaigns to play and allow you to create your own maps as well.
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuitNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:19PM (#19023427)
    Does Visual Studio count as a game?

    No? Fine: Chess.
    • by MankyD (567984)

      What's funny is that I was thinking along the same lines. I much prefer coding. It is quite a stress reliever and, because you can really code whatever you want, it's always changing. Who needs a campaign editor when you have a text editor!

      </nerd>
  • by Corpuscavernosa (996139) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:19PM (#19023435)
    All day. I've been playing the game for 20 years (on my original system that surprisingly still works) and I plan to play till I die. There are countless versions for countless platforms but nothing beats the music, the controls or the plain feel of the single greatest game of all time.
  • Master of Orion II (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jimstapleton (999106) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:20PM (#19023445) Journal
    Yeah, it's from 1995, but it's one of the most fun and addictive strategy games I've ever played.

    You don't need uber graphics to make a good game.
    • Totally agree on this one, one of the best games ever.
      I love it how the other races hate you if you bomb a planet, but blowing it up with a stellar converter doesn't even get a raised eyebrow :D
    • OK, MOOII was a fun game, but once you discover that a fleet of Titans equipped only with those weapons that can hit all four shields at once ("plasma-somethings?") can pretty much win any game for you, the multi-hour slogs tend to lose some of their appeal. (I hear Galactic Civilizations suffers from a similar problem once you figure how systems cram into a ship.) For a while, I actually used ground troops to break up the monotony, but it's a lot faster (in terms of linear clock time) just to nuke your e
      • I could destroy said fleet with 1 ship of the same size class or possibly 1 lower.

        Actually there were several 'all shield arc' weapons, none of which was very good, and all of which can be outdone by other weapons.

        The best weapon in the game is a phaser at high enough tech level that you can use auto fire, armor piercing and shield piercing, as well as a couple of the beam weapon boosting mods.

        Add a time warp facilitator and a phasing cloak, and you have a nice ship. There's a tactic against that as well th
        • by kailoran (887304)
          the time warp/phasing cloak thing is more of a bug exploit than a proper design. It's a tad bit overpowered, even in the 1.40 patch.
          • by Chmcginn (201645)
            The phasing cloak is the problem here, especially considering that the AI won't use it.
      • by Astarica (986098)
        By the time you can get shield piercing phasers the enemy should have Hard Shields if they kept up with you. Plasma Cannon is the only practical 'hit all 4 shield arc' weapon unless you consider fusion beam or laser as a valid weapon (they won't even penetrate a high class shield at all). Plasma Torpedoes can be made into enveloping but that requires future techs, and even then the damage isn't really that great when you consider Lightning Shield still works on torpedoes.

        Plasma Cannons are the undisputed
    • by tibike77 (611880)
      I was just about to say the same thing... but then again, in single-player mode, it can become annoying, the true "fun" in MoO2 was hotseat multiplayer.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by imbaczek (690596)
      Try GalCiv 2 [galciv2.com]. It's got this "just another turn... oh shit it's dawn again." feeling; the game's generally good enough to be called "a worthy successor".
      • by Nasarius (593729)
        As a huge fan of MOO and MOO2, I tried Galactic Civilizations 2. Honestly, it doesn't do anything for me. I tried with the original, and I tried again when the expansion was released, but I could never get into it. It's sort of flat and lifeless, and there's too much micromanagement.
  • Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers for NES, because that damn Fat Cat must go down!
  • Microprose Magic: The Gathering came out a long time ago. I still play it heavily. The adventure game mode is a huge time sucker.
  • I'd take something with a good chat function so I can get my ass off the island... failing that probably a nice pinball machine.
  • Trackmania (Score:3, Interesting)

    by igotmybfg (525391) <slashdot@dTWAINa ... net minus author> on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:23PM (#19023531) Homepage
    Unbelievably strong level editor. Endless amusement. In short, it r0x0r.
  • by Sciros (986030) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:25PM (#19023555) Journal
    Oblivion, as long as I'm allowed to take the Elder Scrolls Construction Set along as well. The fact that you can make your own EVERYTHING with the editor means there's near-infinite gameplay available.

    Naturally I'm including Shivering Isles if I'm allowed. Great expansion, and tons of extra assets for the editor.
    • by jimstapleton (999106) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:32PM (#19023697) Journal
      ...

      Sorry, but this just makes me think of what I did in morrowind once.

      I took this dinosaur like creature, made it 3x it's normal hight... Made it ultra-powerful, and stuck it in the middle of the starter villiage. (over 2k HP, I think all the stat/skills were in the hundreds, etc. I can't remember though, it's been a couple years)

      This villiagers ran away but not fast enough.
      The guards ran towards the villiage, and didn't survive long.
      It was fun to watch.
  • by glindsey (73730) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:26PM (#19023575)
    Given that you will find no AC outlets or battery chargers on a desert island, eventually you'll be playing "bang on coconuts with sticks."
  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:29PM (#19023613) Homepage
    I've been playing the Civ games for over a decade now and they have yet to get old. Definitely my pick for a deserted island game.
  • If mods are allowed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lockejaw (955650) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:29PM (#19023625)
    Escape Velocity: Nova, plus a few favorite plugins and the Port Authority mods. Also, throw in ResEdit and the relevant templates in case the regular content gets old.
  • gcc (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Sketch (111112) <(mister.sketch) (at) (gmail.com)> on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:30PM (#19023635)
    If you want to talk about infinite replayability, gcc is the way to go. You would be able to create as may games as you want! After all, you're on a desert island, so you'll have lots of time on your hands to make these games. You could create any genre/style you needed.
  • by SadGeekHermit (1077125) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:31PM (#19023667)
    Two words: "Skirmish Mode". You can set up an off-the-cuff battle between any combination of races, using any of numerous maps, pick from several races, set different game rules... It's infinitely configurable. You would never run out of weird situations to try.

    I'd personally try to get the point where I could own Chaos as Tao under the hardest difficulty level. Of course this is nearly impossible; Chaos is TOUGH. I think it's like this:

    The Eldar are the "cool kids" who take Theater and think they're better than everyone else.

    The Tao are the nerds. Everyone picks on them, but they've got better technology and can strategize.

    The Space Marines are the football team.

    The Orcs are the delinquents, smoking cigs out back instead of going to Biology class.

    The Imperial Guard are the Young Republicans.

    And the Chaos Marines are the psycho satanists smoking cloves and playing Ozzy at top volume in the courtyard; they're planning to sacrifice the dean's cat to Nurgle after Saturday's rave.

    It's College, writ large in outer space!

    How can you not dig that...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DeltaSigma (583342)
      No Tyranids, not diggin' it.
      • Or dwarfs. Having had a bit of a life over the past few years, I was disappointed in the extreme to learn they've dropped the Squats.
      • by Chmcginn (201645)
        Relic's probably afraid that Tycho actually would kill Gabe this time...
      • They haven't put the Tyranids in yet... Although, the teaser they put in at the end of the singleplayer campaign hinted that the NEXT Warhammer would not just let you conquer one planet, but several! Maybe there'll be some Tyranids in that one...

        Come on, it's fun, even sans Tyranids...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Puff of Logic (895805)

        No Tyranids, not diggin' it.
        My understanding is that they won't do Tyranids because they don't think the engine will be able to do them justice. Hopefully the next gen WH40K games will have an engine that'll do Tyranids nicely. Company of Heroes really opened my eyes as to what was possible in terms of RTS graphics and I'm looking forward to seeing that applied to the WH40K universe.
  • Pax Galaxia [diogames.com] is the only game I have yet to get bored with, and I have been playing it longer than any other game I own, or have owned. Even though the game may seem simplistic at first glance, it definately gets my pick.

  • 1. Zero Wing - nothing whiles away the day like laughing at "Engrish"
    2. Tropico - training
    3. Black & White - a different kind of training

    But I would say that Diablo Battle Chest would provide the most replayability and the most depth (if you like RPG types). NetHack would be a close second.

    Layne
  • Second Life.

    Counter Strike is fun, but playing de_dust2 all day isn't going to amass funds to charter a helicopter to come pick you up. Build the next hot weapon or sex toy, and you'll be out of there in time for the weekend.
  • Nethack, no question. Infinite replayability, tons of playable classes, powerful artifacts, and a level of detail not found in any other game. I might even manage to beat the damned thing if trapped for long enough.

    Plus if I would probably have to build a computer out of coconuts, I would want something that I can run in a console.
  • Empire (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ebacon (16101) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:40PM (#19023827)
    Typical Empire session ... I'll just finish this turn, then save and quit ...
    4 hours later: ....I'll just finish this turn, than save and quit ...
  • by Nimey (114278) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:41PM (#19023843) Homepage Journal
    Reason: it'll never get old.

    Downside: do it too often and you'll bleed.
  • Due to a bug; it is impossible to get to 100%
  • Does porn count as a game?

    If I'm gonna be stuck on a desert island all by myself, I'm gonna need me some porn. :-P

    Cheers
  • Ummm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by killmenow (184444)
    Custer's Revenge [wikipedia.org]
  • by petrus4 (213815) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:51PM (#19024031) Homepage Journal
    If so...

    1) An open source WoW server emulator. I could do a number of things with that; tweak the AI and make bots for WSG/partying, migrate it to postgresql if that's never been done, (I don't think WoW does run on postgres) and maybe make some new material if I had 3d studio max. Someone else said the Diablo Battle Chest; I'd *maybe* go with D1, but WoW is everything D2 is and more.

    2) UT 99 with level editor, and offline copies of this [beyondunreal.com], this [beyondunreal.com], and this [beyondunreal.com] site.

    3) GTA: San Andreas.

    4) Another interesting game-related project if I could learn enough would be a truly decent 3D front end for Nethack. This [freshmeat.net] could possibly serve as a base, but I'd make a lot of graphical alterations.
  • Whatever game can teach me to:
    1) Survive
    2) Build a raft
    3) Not die horribly in the middle of the ocean
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jeffasselin (566598)
      Seriously, I love video games, but who gives a sh1t on a desert island about games? Books, I can understand. But a video game?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by nomadic (141991) *
      Voyage of the Mimi! You'll need an Apple II on that island though...
  • by JoeWalsh (32530)
    My desert island game is Lux (http://sillysoft.net/lux/ [sillysoft.net]) - it's like Risk, only a ton better, with hundreds of custom maps, clever AI, and online multiplayer capabilities. I've played the game literally thousands of times, but I still go back to it when I'm bored...which I imagine would be quite frequent on a desert island!
  • At least I'll learn how to fight dinos!
  • Just to pass the time you understand.
  • There are a couple games I can play for a long long time. Right now, I think I'd go with Eve Online. I think any under development, active MMO would be more fun long term than most other static single player games. But here are some other candidates.
    • Nethack: Because the dev team has thought of everything. Lots of variety, lots of challenges, and can run on nearly anything.
    • Star Control 2: There's so much going on in the different systems. If there wasn't the 4 year limitation, I would most likely
  • ... because I'd pick Pirates!
  • Spy vs. Spy #2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by umeboshi (196301) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:07PM (#19024353)
    It was the first thing that came to mind by reading the article title, and not reading the summary.
  • by the grace of R'hllor (530051) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:09PM (#19024385)
    I want to take Duke Nukem Forever. Tell me when it's done, and I'm off to the island.
  • by MagicM (85041)
    Go [wikipedia.org]

    No, not really. I just wanted to look like a nerd.
  • I'm probably the only guy left in the world who still plays this game a lot, but I really like it and it kills time like no other game can
  • WOW, as soon as I figure out how to get the aforementioned internet access there. Barring that, probably Zelda: Twilight Princess (due to all of the stuff to find).
  • Just get Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls Construction Set. After you spend your first year or two fully playing through Oblivion you'd open up the construction set and start recreating the island you are on and make an adventure out of your life (adding in cool stuff like aliens and mythical beasts which you have slain with your bear hands while stranded). You'll be posthumously awarded the best game designer of the 21st Century! (Which they will then go back in time to save you from the island and you wil
  • by YGingras (605709)
    Probably the only game that is simple enough to be taugth it in 5 minutes and still take a lifetime to master. Even better, the handicap system is trivial, just give the weakest player a few extra stones to begin with. With handicap, almost anyone can have fun and be challenged when they play together. In fact, to master Go, you probably need to isolate yourself on a desert island for a few years.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Probably the only game that is simple enough to be taugth it in 5 minutes and still take a lifetime to master. Even better, the handicap system is trivial, just give the weakest player a few extra stones to begin with.

      Unless you're gonna be playing Go with a soccer ball named Wilson, you're probably not going to enjoy it that much. :-P

      Cheers
  • Why take one when 1000+ will do? :-)
  • Granted, it's not the ever popular strategy or multi-player online game that Slashdotters like so much. However, there is an economy and while with unlimited time, the game could be beaten fairly quickly, it does have merits. For one thing, the game does not stop being fun after it has been beaten. There are plenty of challenges and cars to choose from and if you happen to be stranded with Player 2, you would have a good deal of options there too.

    The other options I would take are Civilization II or even Si
  • Monkey Island.
  • In all these years, I still haven't beaten it. But I still have fun wandering the landscape and interacting with the locals.
  • Age of Mythology is five years old, yet I'm still playing several games of it a week. I was a bit disappointed that they decided to do AoE III instead of a follow-on to AoM. I love the fact that it has Norse and Egyptian mythologies in addition to your studied-to-death-in-American-schools Greek. Hopefully an AoM II will appear and have Sumerian or American Indian or Chinese or some other non-typical pantheons.
  • I'd take WoW, then when I'm bored of running endgame instances, I'd just spam "RESCUE ME PLZ" in the major cities chat and someone would come find me!
  • Everquest for Mac. I simply love this game and its first class community. I hope it lasts forever.
  • by edremy (36408) on Monday May 07, 2007 @02:47PM (#19026071) Journal
    /g "Hey guys, I'm stuck on a desert island in RL. Could someone please send a rescue party?"

    Sadly, this would probably be followed by

    /g "No, my hearthstone is not set for Virginia"
    /g "No, I *don't* have my flying mount with me. This is real life. Please send a rescue party ASAP (and some beer)"
    /g "Damnit, no, I can't cast Underwater Breathing on me and swim out. I'm not a warlock in real life guys."

  • by tsa (15680)
    I like pushing boxes around!
  • SPORE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Monday May 07, 2007 @04:40PM (#19027985) Journal
    Well, if they are going to set me up on a desert island that presumably has a power source, internet connection, and is stocked with Mt. Dew and twinkies, my guess is they could also pull off an advance copy of SPORE.

Crazee Edeee, his prices are INSANE!!!

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